Ever since the dawn of MTV and Friday Night Videos, the music video has significantly impacted musical tastes and pop culture. It might not be as extreme as when the Buggles declared that "Video Killed the Radio Star", but there is no arguing that the music video certainly could make or break a song's popularity. So this regular Flashback Video feature will serve to remember some of the music videos from the great '80s decade that made an impact on me in one way or another.
This issue we will cover "Alive and Kicking" by Simple Minds. "Alive and Kicking" was released in September of 1985 as the lead single from their Once Upon a Time album. This single and album benefited from the huge success of "Don't You (Forget About Me)" which was featured on the soundtrack to The Breakfast Club earlier in 1985. "Alive and Kicking" went on to peak at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December. The song was a worldwide success reaching the Top 5 in at least eight other countries as well.
The music video for "Alive and Kicking" was directed by Zbigniew Rybczyński who went on to direct the Simple Minds video for "All the Things She Said" as well as several videos for other artists. Some of those other videos include "Candy" by Cameo, "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" by Pet Shop Boys, "Let's Work" by Mick Jagger and "Something Real" by Mr. Mister among many others in the mid-to-late '80s. For his work, he did receive a prestigious MTV Video Vanguard Award for "being a visionary in the field of music video" in 1986.
The video for "Alive and Kicking" was filmed at the North–South Lake state campground in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. A portion of the video was filmed on the overlook at the site of the old Catskill Mountain House. The Catskill Mountain House hotel overlooked the Hudson River Valley and had been one of the most fashionable/popular destinations for the rich and famous during the late 1800's. It was eventually surpassed by other destinations and eventually closed in 1941. In 1962, the State of New York acquired the property and, despite some pleas to protect the building as a historic structure, it was destroyed as the area was turned into a natural park and campground. The site still offers incredible views of the mountains and valley, so Simple Minds took advantage of that as a back-drop for their music video. You can see some of it here in the music video for "Alive and Kicking" by Simple Minds...
As you can see, it can be a little windy up there in the mountain tops, but such a beautiful place to film a video. The Simple Minds Once Upon a Time album is one of my favorites from 1985 and "Alive and Kicking" is a big reason for that.
Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!