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 "(I Just) Died In Your Arms" by Cutting Crew. "(I Just) Died In Your Arms" was released in the summer of 1986 in the UK, but not until March of 1987 in the U.S. I remember that summer that it was played on the radio almost constantly. It raced up the U.S. pop charts and spent two weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May of 1987. It also charted on the Mainstream Rock, Adult Contemporary and even on the Dance charts in the U.S. while reaching the top 5 in at least ten other countries.
I had the pleasure of an interview with Nick Van Eede of Cutting Crew. You can find out much more reading the entire interview, but this is what he had to say about the song's success:
I can tell you from first-hand experience that from the moment I had written "(I Just) Died In Your Arms" to the moment it was number one in America, there had to be about 10 implicit things all lined up at exactly the same time, at exactly the right time in your life and at exactly the right time in the current climate of music in the universe. From writing the song to getting the right players to getting the right producer to getting the right studio to getting the right mix to getting the right photographs all to emerge at exactly the same time as Branson is launching his U.S. Virgin Records label. To have an MTV-friendly video and to have an image to the band that seemed to fit the '80s. And FINALLY that very hard-to-pull-off trick of being transatlantic and conquering both sides.
He mentions the MTV-friendly video and that did add to the song's exposure and success. There were actually two videos made for "(I Just) Died In Your Arms". One was shown in the UK upon its original release and then a second video was made for the North American markets. The video shown on MTV in the U.S. was directed by Paula Greif and Peter Kagan. Together the duo had also directed other videos like Scritti Politti's "Perfect Way", Steve Winwood's "Higher Love" and Duran Duran's "Notorious". They also directed the commercial for Nike's Air Max using "Revolution" by the Beatles. This video had a similar style to their others featuring artistic fragmented shots using a model with the band performing to camera mostly in black and white. Here is the U.S. music video for "(I Just) Died In Your Arms" by Cutting Crew...
That was one of the biggest hits of 1987, but I am an even bigger fan of their second hit single "I've Been In Love Before" which peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 while also reaching #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Cutting Crew also received a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 1987. In early 2020, "(I Just) Died In Your Arms" was re-recorded and re-issued as in an orchestral incarnation and proved to be as awesome as ever.
Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!