Flashback Video: 'Shattered Dreams' by Johnny Hates Jazz

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 "Shattered Dreams" by Johnny Hates Jazz. “Shattered Dreams” was released as a single in March of 1987 in the UK, but wouldn’t be released in the U.S. until the following year in March 1988. It went on to become a worldwide hit reaching the Top 10 in at least nine countries including peaking at #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It stayed at #2 on the Hot 100 for three straight weeks, but also reached #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in May of 1988. I remember it getting lots of radio airplay especially that summer of 1988. It was the first single off of the band’s debut album Turn Back the Clock which was released in January 1988 and debuted at #1 on the UK album charts. “Shattered Dreams” earned Clark Datchler (the song's writer and lead singer) a BMI award in 2010 for the single being broadcast over 3 million times in the U.S. alone. Two videos were actually shot for "Shattered Dreams". The first was used in the UK with the original release of the single there, but they were never happy with that version. So they commissioned a second video to coincide with the single's release in the U.S. This would be the version used on MTV and that anyone from the U.S. is familiar with (and the one you can watch below). This second video was directed by David Fincher, who was known for his commercials and music video direction at that time including his work with Madonna, Aerosmith, Paula Abdul and many more in the late-80s. Fincher would, of course, later go on to become a hugely successful film director with films like Seven, Fight Club, The Social Network and Gone Girl among others. Many of his music videos were shot in black and white and the video for "Shattered Dreams" is no exception in that regard. Here is the music video for “Shattered Dreams” by Johnny Hates Jazz…


I had the privilege of an interview with Clark Datchler of Johnny Hates Jazz and here is what he said about the video and working with David Fincher: David Fincher was very confident. He was a young kind of upstart. Quite brash and good humored. He knew what he wanted and was confident in his ability to deliver it. We got along well with him. It was a good feeling working with him because we were a lot like that in the studio in as much knowing that we were good at what we did. He certainly knew that he was good at what he did. And he had some good ideas for our “Shattered Dreams” video and the “Heart of Gold” video.

We did a video for “Shattered Dreams” in the UK when it was released there in early 1987 that we were never happy with. It was one of those things that we got used to, when you read a video synopsis and it sounds incredible and marvelous, but when you come to do the actual video it’s nothing like that at all. That’s how we felt about the first “Shattered Dreams” video. Whereas the way that David Fincher described the second version, the black and white one that we filmed in the States, was more true to what he conjured there and then. It was a good experience working with him, but we kind of got spoiled. He went on to have a brilliant film career but got his start doing music videos and we were very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him. Yes, it was very clear that he was going to go on to do well. It was one of those things that when we actually watched the videos back we were just delighted. The video really encapsulated the nature of the group.


Check out the rest of that interview to find out about creating "Shattered Dreams", how they named the band Johnny Hates Jazz and much more. Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!

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