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 "If This Is It" by Huey Lewis & the News. This was the fourth single released from their Sports album in July of 1984. It went on to peak at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September of that year. This was a little bit before Back to the Future would really propel the band into the stratosphere. The song had a fun music video that received quite a bit of play especially in the early days of MTV.
The music video for "If This Is It" was directed by Edd Griles. Griles had already directed the band's video for hit "The Heart of Rock and Roll" and he would later also direct the video for their 1986 hit "Stuck With You". He had also worked with Cyndi Lauper on her videos for "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", "Time After Time" and "She Bop". Griles also directed videos for Eddie Murphy "Party All the Time", Lee Greenwood "God Bless the USA" and the WWF wrestlers version of "Land of a Thousand Dances". He transitioned into more television directing and some of his early work there fittingly included directing both the 1984 and 1985 MTV Video Music Awards.
The video for "If This Is It" was filmed in Santa Cruz, California featuring the beach and the Boardwalk amusement park. It starts with a little snippet of "I Want a New Drug" and then revolves around Huey trying to reconcile with his ex-girlfriend. His efforts to get her back are not successful, but instead catch the attention of her friend who feels sorry for him and the two seemingly end up together at the end. The video ends with a family, who spent hours looking for an open space on the beach, finally locating one, only to be attacked by a shark underneath the sand that charges toward them (complete with Jaws music). Even though Huey is the star of the video, there are some other funny bits throughout the video including the rest of the band. One of those scenes is one of my lasting images of early MTV. It features the News singing the chorus while buried in the sand with only their heads visible. Keep an eye out for that one while enjoying the music video for "If This Is It" by Huey Lewis & the News...
I usually like it when an effort is made like this to tell a story through the music video. Huey Lewis & the News made a few other fun videos in the decade, so hopefully I will get to cover those in future Flashback Video issues.
Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!