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 "Nasty" by Janet Jackson. "Control" was the second single released from her breakout album, Control, in April of 1986. It became a big hit that summer peaking at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July. It also reached #1 on the Hot R&B chart in June and #2 on the Dance Club chart in July of that year. "Nasty" was a worldwide hit reaching the Top 20 in at least nine other countries as well. I still regularly quote the line, "My first name ain't baby, it's Janet – Miss Jackson if you're nasty".
The music video for "Nasty" was directed by Mary Lambert. She went on to direct films, notably 1989's Pet Sematary, but she really established herself directing music videos in the '80s. She did several of Madonna's early videos including "Borderline", "Like a Virgin" and "Material Girl" as well as a couple later in the decade including "La Isla Bonita" and "Like a Prayer". She also did "The Glamorous Life" for Sheila E., "Would I Lie to You" for Eurythmics, "Love Touch" for Rod Stewart, "We'll Be Together" by Sting and "Rock Wit'cha" by Bobby Brown. In addition to "Nasty", Lambert also directed the "Control" video for Jackson.
"Nasty" was choreographed by none other than Paula Abdul who also made a cameo in the video herself (a couple years before releasing her own debut album). The former Lakers dancer, Abdul was discovered by The Jacksons, after a few of the band members had watched her while attending a Los Angeles Lakers game. She was first signed to do the choreography for their music video to their single "Torture". That led to Abdul choreographing Janet Jackson's first music video from Control, "What Have You Done for Me Lately". She then returned to choreograph both "Nasty" and "Control". Abdul went on to win a MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography for "Nasty".
Check out the music video for "Nasty" by Janet Jackson...
The music videos for "What Have You Done For Me Lately" and "Nasty" showed us a new, grown-up Janet Jackson. Her Control album is certainly one of the best albums of 1986r and possibly the decade.
Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!