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 "Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard. It was released as a single from their hugely successful Hysteria album in April of 1988 in the U.S. It ended up being one of the biggest songs of that Summer, but surprisingly only peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July of 1988. In addition to heavy radio airplay, much of the success is also due to its music video receiving heavy rotation on MTV. In fact, "Pour Some Sugar on Me" held the #1 spot on the Dial MTV daily countdown (based on viewer votes on 1-800 call in) for a record 86 days from June 17 to October 7 that year.
The U.S. music video for "Pour Some Sugar On Me" was directed by Wayne Isham who directed most of Motley Crue's videos including "Smokin' in the Boys Room", "Girls, Girls, Girls", "Dr. Feelgood" and "Home Sweet Home" among others. Isham also directed all of Bon Jovi's videos including "Wanted Dead or Alive" and was awarded (with Bon Jovi) the MTV Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 1991 Video Music Awards for that outstanding work. He would later also direct the 1988 video for Def Leppard's "Armageddon It". Isham also worked with Whitney Houston, Bryan Adams, and more during the '80s and countless more since then.
The U.S. version was actually the second music video created for this song. The first version was more of a concept video (directed by Russell Mulcahy), but when it appeared to become a hit in the U.S. they decided a different music video was needed. This is the video that most people recognize and it is simply the band playing the song live. The U.S. video was edited from the band's live performance recorded at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, CO, in February 1988 (later released as a full-length concert video called Live: In the Round, in Your Face in 1989). Nothing all that special except for the band playing a kick-ass song. Here is the U.S. music video for "Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard...
The video itself is nothing out of the ordinary, though the song is definitely one of the more memorable songs from the very late '80s. Surprisingly, MTV ranked "Pour Some Sugar on Me" number 1 in its "Top 300 Videos of All Time" countdown in May 1991. I kind of feel that concept videos deserve those honors more often than not. In 2006, VH1 ranked the song number 2 on its list of the "100 Greatest Songs of the '80s" and I don't necessarily disagree that it deserves to rank highly on that list. Either way this video has received over 1 million views on YouTube which is incredibly impressive as well.
Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!