Video Killed the Radio Star
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"Video Killed the Radio Star" is a song by the British New Wave group Buggles released in 1979 and produced by Trevor Horn. It celebrates the golden days of radio, talking of a singer whose career is cut short by television. The song topped several music charts and has been covered by numerous recording artists. It was the first music video shown on MTV and has been widely parodied and utilized in popular media.
The music video for the song, directed by Russell Mulcahy, was the first to be shown on MTV, when the music channel debuted on 1 August 1981, at 12:10 A.M. On February 27, 2000 it also became the millionth video to be aired on MTV. At 2:57 in the video, Hans Zimmer can be seen playing a keyboard. Debi Doss and Linda Jardim, who provided the female vocals for the song, can also be seen in the video.
J. G Ballard inspiration
Group member Trevor Horn has said that his lyrics were inspired by the J.G. Ballard short story The Sound-Sweep, in which the title character, a mute boy vacuuming up stray music in a world without it, comes upon an opera singer hiding in a sewer. He also felt "an era was about to pass." The theme of the song is thus nostalgia, which is also echoed in the tone of the music. The vocals are initially limited in bandwidth, giving a "telephone" effect typical of early broadcasts. The lyrics refer to a period of technological change in the 1960s, the desire to remember the past and the disappointment that children of the current generation would not appreciate the past. In the 1950s and early 1960s, radio was an important medium for many, through which "stars" were created.