top of page

Flashback Video: 'Loverboy' by Billy Ocean

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 "Loverboy" by Billy Ocean. Billy Ocean released his fifth studio album, Suddenly, in September of 1984 and was his breakthrough in the U.S. The first single released was "Caribbean Queen" reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October. The album's second single, "Loverboy" was released in November. Continuing the momentum, "Loverboy" climbed the U.S. pop charts steadily and peaked at #2 in February of 1985.It is clearly a love song about wanting to be intimate and not being able to stand the idea of the person with anybody else. That's why it makes absolutely no sense that the music video for "Loverboy" is a lower-budget sci-fi film that combines Star Wars, The Dark Crystal and Planet of the Apes (but not in a good way). At the time, I don't remember thinking it was all that strange, but looking back now it is just plain bonkers. The music video is directed by Maurice Phillips and it was shot at Durdle Door (a natural limestone arch) on private property in Dorset, England. Phillips had previously directed other music videos for artists like The Thompson Twins, Paul McCartney, Chris DeBurgh, Level 42 and Whitnesnake, but not for any of their more recognizable hits. The video starts with some psychedelic images in space followed by an alien riding on horseback along the beach to a cantina built inside a cave. The alien tries to attract the attention of a female alien inside the cantina, and after he shoots her partner with a laser, they ride off on the horse together in the sunset. Billy Ocean himself is only shown sporadically throughout seemingly performing in another location and/or dimension that is shown through a holographic pyramid/cube. Like I said, bonkers. I suggest you take it all in for yourself and enjoy the music video for "Loverboy" by Billy Ocean...

It is as if they decided what the video was going to be even before they decided what song they were going to use. That is the part that probably surprises me the most, the video has so little to do with the song and just seems so out-of-place. But it was the '80s and somebody approved the budget to shoot this video. Whoever that was, we thank you for providing us this entertaining merger of music and film. Bonkers, I tell you!

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

bottom of page