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 Ran (So Far Away)" by A Flock of Seagulls. The second single from their self-titled debut album, it was released in March of 1982. It became a hit especially in the U.S. where it peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October of 1982. The catchy song along with the band's memorable hairstyles were perfect for MTV. The young cable channel played the music video regularly which certainly helped with the success of the song. To me it is one of the definitive new wave songs of the early decade.
The music video for "I Ran" was directed by Tony van den Ende. This was one of the first videos he directed, but van den Ende went on to direct many other videos in the '80s including Rufus & Chaka Khan "Ain't Nobody", Simply Red "Holding Back the Years", The Cult "Rain", Samantha Fox "Touch Me (I Want Your Body)" and Rush "Lock and Key" among many others and continuing into the '90s. The music video for "I Ran" shows lead singer Mike Score and the rest of the band in a room covered from floor to ceiling with aluminum foil and mirrors. The cameras used to film the video have their stands also covered in foil, but are clearly visible in many of the background reflections. There are also a couple women with distinctive make-up stripes across their faces that appear throughout. Definitely can tell this one is from the early '80s. Here is the music video for "I Ran (So Far Away)" by A Flock of Seagulls...
In an interview for Greg Prato's 2011 book, MTV Ruled the World: The Early Years of Music Video, Mike Score is quoted recalling his memories filming this video:
"[The 'I Ran' video] is just basically being stupid. [Laughs] You know, 'Stand here, the camera is going to be in the middle, and you're going to try and do something.' And, of course, we had no idea what to do in a video. Videos were not the 'mini-movies' yet. If it was up to the band, we probably would have just stood there in our wild gear and gone, 'OK, we'll just pretend to play.' But they wanted a little bit more, a little bit more angular and quirky. It seems to me that all the early videos had to be quirky. I guess nobody was taking them seriously until somebody dropped a million dollars on one." Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!