Thursday, September 11, 2014

Video Review: "Money For Nothing" Gives Us The History Of The Music Video

Do you remember when music videos ruled the airwaves? When songs were huge hits because of how creative their music videos were? Well, Virgil Films just released a new documentary entitled "Money For Nothing: A History Of The Music Video," based on the best-selling book of the same name written by Saul Austerlitz.
The seventy-nine minute documentary is directed by Jamin Bricker and narrated by Michael Charles Roman. It brings you back to the beginning of music videos with the arrival of Al Jolson's "The Jazz Singer" in 1927 and how The Beatles perfected the music video in 1964 with "A Hard Day's Night." Artists like Devo, Queen and David Bowie gave images to the their songs in some of the earliest true "music videos," but it would not be until MTV exploded onto the scene in 1981 that music videos would be the ultimate way to sell music. Early stars of the music video were Duran Duran, Billy Idol and Madonna, all of whom looked great through the television screen, but it would be Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video that took these mini-musicals to the next level.
The documentary touches upon all the different sub-genres of the music videos like female artists, artistic merit and the "made for screen" metal of the late-eighties. It also shows how some of these videos became mini-movies with grand film sets, actor or actresses telling the story of the song, almost as if the song was written for the music video instead of the other way around. It would not be until the early nineties when musicians perfected the music video with examples like Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" and Beastie Boys "Sabatoge" that videos would entertain as well as teach a lesson. The documentary breaks it down into parts to better understand the impact music videos had on our world. So, do yourself a favor and check out "Money For Nothing: A History Of The Music Video," even if just for nostalgia. Check it out on iTunes at

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