top of page

Flashback Video: 'Obsession' by Animotion

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 "Obsession" by Animotion. This was originally written and recorded by Holly Knight and Michael Des Barres, but it received very little attention until it was covered by Animotion and released in late 1984. The Animotion single was quite distinctive and would make it all the way to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as #3 on the dance chart in 1985.

I had the opportunity to interview both Michael Des Barres and hall-of-fame songwriter Holly Knight and asked them about creating this song which turned out to be a massive hit for another band. Knight said, "I wrote the music and melody and some lyrics, Michael wrote the bulk of the lyrics. Our version (the original) appeared in the movie A Night In Heaven [1983] about a stripper starring Cristopher Atkins and Lesley Ann Warren." Des Barres remembered, "I wrote the lyrics in literally ten minutes. It was one of those wonderful moments as an artist you are so grateful for. I was newly sober so essentially the lyrics were about being under the grip of narcotics." You can read a little more about what each said about this song as well as the rest of their amazing '80s accomplishments in my interviews with Des Barres and Knight.

The music video for "Obsession" was directed by Amos Poe who had co-director the 1976 punk rock movie The Blank Generation and is associated with the birth of No Wave Cinema. He went on to direct just a couple more music videos including Run-DMC's "You Talk Too Much" and Anthrax's "Madhouse". For the "Obsession" video, lead singers Bill Wadhams and Astrid Plane stand in front of a water fountain and perform the song intermixed with clips of the band dressed up as Cleopatra, Mark Antony, a spaceman, a desert sheik, and a samurai throughout. Here is the music video for "Obsession" by Animotion...

I always fondly remember the Animotion's "Obsession" from its use as the theme song for WWF Saturday Night's Main Event.  Here is an intro to that NBC special presentation where you can hear the song (towards the end)...

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



bottom of page