top of page

Flashback Video: 'You Belong to the City' by Glenn Frey

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 "You Belong to the City" by Glenn Frey. The song was used in the TV series Miami Vice in the 1985 season 2 episode "The Prodigal Son." In the first season of Miami Vice, Frey acted in an episode that was based on his song "Smuggler's Blues." Both songs were used on the first Miami Vice soundtrack album which was hugely successful selling over 4 million copies. "You Belong to the City" peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November of 1985.

There are actually two versions of the music video for "You Belong to the City", one with the Miami Vice intercuts and one without. Cinematographer on the music video is Edmund Cupcupin who is quite prolific (to say the least) within the music video industry. In the '80s alone, some of his work includes Michael Jackson "Rock With You", Depeche Mode "Just Can't Get Enough", Queen & David Bowie "Under Pressure", Foreigner "Waiting For a Girl Like You", Billy Idol "Hot in the City", Laura Branigan "Gloria", Toto "Africa", Survivor "Eye of the Tiger", Journey "Faithfully", Spandau Ballet "True", The Police "Every Breath You Take", Lionel Richie "All Night Long", Van Halen "Jump", Billy Joel "Uptown Girl", The Cars "You Might Think", Wham "Careless Whisper", Stevie Wonder "I Just Called to Say I Love You", Chicago "Hard Habit to Break", Kenny Loggins "Footloose", Cyndi Lauper "Time After Time", Tina Turner "What's Love Got to Do With It", Phil Collins "Against All Odds", Howard Jones "Things Can Only Get Better", USA for Africa "We Are the World", A-ha "Take On Me", Mr. Mister "Broken Wings", Starship "We Built This City", Whitney Houston "How Will I Know", Dire Straits "Money For Nothing", Aretha Franklin "Freeway of Love", Simply Red "Holding Back the Years", John Parr "St. Elmo's Fire", Madonna "Live to Tell", Berlin "Take My Breath Away", The Human League "Human", Bon Jovi "Livin' on a Prayer", Atlantic Star "Always", Janet Jackson "Let's Wait Awhile", Richard Marx "Don't Mean Nothing", Michael Jackson "Bad", George Michael "One More Try", When In Rome "The Promise", Debbie Gibson "Lost in Your Eyes" and Guns N Roses "Sweet Child o' Mine" among countless others in that decade and the decades to follow. What an impressive list and to think Cupcupin was involved in creating all of them and many more.

In the music video for "You Belong to the City" it features Glenn Frey, though he is never shown singing at all. He leaves his apartment and walks the streets of New York City where he repeatedly crosses paths with a woman played by model Lisa Parker. One interesting note is that anytime a television appears within the video it is shown playing Miami Vice on it. Eventually, the woman catches Frey as he hails a taxi and the two decide to walk back to her place together. The video then cuts to Frey leaving her building the next morning. In the final shot of the video, Frey gazes out at New York City from Carl Schurz Park while tossing a cigarette into the East River. Here is the music video for "You Belong to the City" by Glenn Frey...

Glenn Frey was a natural actor and, in addition to his music videos and Miami Vice, he appeared in several other television series as well as a role in 1996's Jerry Maguire.

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



bottom of page