Do you remember watching the MTV Video Music Awards the first year they were presented in 1984?
This year’s MTV Video Music Awards will be presented on Sunday August 28th. Now, we have all realized that MTV no longer specializes in broadcasting music videos. They focus on airing reality shows which appeal to young adults and teens. But in 1984, the first year the awards were presented, the short form music video was a very exciting development in the music industry and very few rock or pop artists could release a single without a promotional video to back it up, thanks to the launch of the MTV cable channel in 1981.
So, with this year’s awards show coming up later this month, I thought it would be cool to take a look back at the MTV Video Music Awards “Video Of The Year” competitions from the first few years.
There was amazing music released in 1983-1984 (the years for which the 1984 awards were presented), including songs from Michael Jackson’s Thriller album, Cyndi Lauper’s debut solo album She’s So Unusual, and The Police with their final album before they broke up, Synchronicity. Those three artists were nominated to win the “Video of the Year” award the first year it was presented, but it was a different recording act who would win the coveted prize.
Michael Jackson was nominated for “Thriller.” How did he NOT win the award? “Thriller” is the most celebrated music video of all time! Were folks sick of giving him awards since he had cleaned up at the Grammy Awards and the American Music Awards? Cyndi Lauper was nominated for the “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” music video, another iconic video from the decade. The Police were nominated for “Every Breath You Take,” Billboard Magazine’s #1 single of the year. Then, there was jazz keyboardist and composer Herbie Hancock who was nominated for the “Rockit” music video; another creative entry in the field.
But the first MTV “Video Of The Year” award would end up going to The Cars for the “You Might Think” video!! It’s a great video, but was it really better than “Thriller?” You be the judge.
Pretty amazing decision, but there you have it. Check back soon for another look at the MTV Video Music Awards during the decade that channel actually aired music videos.
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Larry Martino is the long-time Afternoon Drive personality on 96.3 KKLZ. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of Larry Martino and not necessarily those of Beasley Media Group, LLC.
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