These 10 Videos from the Early ’80s Highlight How Awesome/Cheesy It All Was


Ask anyone that lived through the 1980s, and they’ll tell you that is was an amazing time to be alive. People looked at you when you spoke to them and not at their phones. Middle-class Americans could afford housing. Vince Neil actually sang into the microphone without getting winded. And Glenn Danzig was still considered cool.

And while the entire decade was pretty cool, the early 80’s were special because it was the dawn of the music video. MTV was the place to find them and every once and a while you’d get a metal video in rotation before Headbanger’s Ball changed the landscape in the latter part of the decade.

As we look back on the early part of the 80s, we’ve listed some of the best ,horniest Here are some of our favorites from the first part of the decade:

Motley Crue – “Live Wire”

The first time I saw this video on MTV as a kid, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Nearly 40 years later, it’s still one of the coolest things ever. The classic Crue expressions. The fire. Mick Mars with blood coming out of his mouth. Tommy Lee’s charisma. It’s all here. It’s a simple production because Crue themselves gives all the spice this video needs. Note the skull with the pentagram on it in the opening frames – scandalous!

Dio – “The Last in Line”

Sure I could have chosen “Holy Diver” just as easily, however, this particular video tells a story – and still features our beloved Ronnie James Dio, albeit in some mystical Egyptian-inspired getup.

In the 80’s parents were afraid of video games and this video takes on an imaginary world where young people play video games as a form of slave labor to help electrify some hellish underworld. Also notice Dio wielding a lightsaber-like device to nail one of the underworld goons right in the family jewels! Don’t ever fuck with Dio.

Iron Maiden – “Run to the Hills”

I would argue that Iron Maiden’s earlier videos are significantly better than their more recent ones, as these earlier ones relied much more heavily on the band performing on stage. You really get to feel band’s the energy and the band looks tremendous in their prime.

Def Leppard – “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak”

I already know I’ll get a bunch of complaints in the comments here for selecting Def Leppard (“they’re not metal!!”) but their first two records really do fall into the metal category. Like the Maiden video, this is another great performance video on a dark soundstage.

I always wanted to be in the audience on one of those soundstage shoots but since I was still in elementary school when most of these were produced, it just wasn’t really working out for me. This version of the band, with Steve “Steamin’” Clark and Pete Willis on guitar was formidable display of heavy riffage.

Ozzy Osbourne – “Bark at the Moon”

Ozzy manages to stay sober enough to play a role in this video shoot as a mad scientist who turns into a reject from the Muppet’s “Welcome to my Nightmare” performance with Alice Cooper.

Jake E. Lee tears it up on this track, and thankfully, the video gives him plenty of screen time. You can also catch glimpses of Bob Daisley on bass and Carmen Appice on drums, though the drums were actually recorded by future Whitesnake drummer Tommy Aldridge.

Grim Reaper – “See You in Hell”

Bandana around one leg? Check. Karate Kid style headband? Check! Leather studded gloves? Check! White shirt with Asian characters? Check! Union Jack guitar? Check.

This video just oozes 1983. So many pop culture memes in just one four minute video. They should be showing this in History class!

WASP – “I Wanna Be Somebody”

The original lineup of WASP that lasted just one record, this is the definitive WASP video that really started it all for the band. Chris Holmes is chugging a beer. Blackie Lawless is doing the precursor to the Abbath crabwalk.

Add in Randy Piper on guitar with his signature New York Dolls meets Nikki Sixx look. Ironic considering Lawless and Sixx were together in the LA glam band London before both made it big.

Twisted Sister – “We’re Not Gonna Take it”

Perhaps the greatest video of the early 80’s in terms of production values, this is the video for the ultimate American anthem. Dee Snider wreaks havoc on a heavy metal-hating parent and his 1984 style prototypical conservative family. If there’s a video out there defines the hard music scene in 1984, this video is it.

The Plasmatics – “The Damned”

Wendy O. Williams was a force to be reckoned with. Even though she was injured during the filming of this video, she pushed on with the shoot. Slapped with a “don’t try this at home” warning at the beginning, Wendy drives a school bus through a wall of TVs.

Of course, not being enough for Wendy, she also rides on the top of a school bus and jumps off right before the bus runs into a second wall of TVs and explodes.

Motorhead – “Killed By Death”

Lemmy. On a motorcycle, with a good lookin’ lady friend. Riding out of a grave. What else might you possibly need in a video? How about Lemmy getting the electric chair?! A rockin’ song that is 100% Motorhead. Initially banned by MTV for “excessive violence,” the video was produced by Rod Swenson who also did the Plasmatics video mentioned above.

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