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Flashback Video: 'Jessie's Girl' by Rick Springfield

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 "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield. It was released as the first single from his Working Class Dog album in February 1981. "Jessie's Girl" was relatively slow to break out taking 19 weeks to eventually hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August which is one of the slowest climbs to #1 at that time. "Jessie's Girl" held the top spot for two weeks and would be Springfield's only #1 hit. It would also win him a Grammy award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. A couple other events helped propel the success of this song. Springfield joined the cast of General Hospital as "Dr. Noah Drake" making his debut in March of 1981 and then a little cable network called MTV launched in August of 1981. This additional exposure certainly helped make Springfield into an '80s star and sex symbol.

Rick Springfield directed the music videos for his first two music videos both "Jessie's Girl" as well as "I've Done Everything For You". The music video for "Jessie's Girl" is relatively simple featuring Springfield singing about his obsession for his friend's girlfriend and how he can't understand why she prefers Jessie to him. He starts in front of a brick wall, then there are some scenes in other locations as well as stage performance and a return to the brick wall intermixed together. It is a pretty solid video for that early timeframe and to be directed by the artist himself.

One interesting note is that the guy who plays "Jessie" in the video is Steve Antin. He would go on to star in 1982's Last American Virgin and then as "Troy" in 1985's The Goonies among several other roles. After excelling playing those unlikable characters, Antin moved on to screenwriting, producing and directing though he received his start in this music video. Here is the music video for "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield...

"Jessie's Girl" ranks on our popular list of '80s Songs with Guy Names in the Title, so check that out to see what other songs made that list.

Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!


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