This would become a popular form of entertainment known as the illustrated song , the first step toward music video. Talkies, soundies, and shorts[ edit ] In , with the arrival of " talkies " many musical short films were produced. Vitaphone shorts produced by Warner Bros.
Animation artist Max Fleischer introduced a series of sing-along short cartoons called Screen Songs , which invited audiences to sing along to popular songs by "following the bouncing ball", which is similar to a modern karaoke machine.
Early s cartoons featured popular musicians performing their hit songs on-camera in live-action segments during the cartoons. The early animated films by Walt Disney , such as the Silly Symphonies shorts and especially Fantasia , which featured several interpretations of classical pieces, were built around music. The Warner Brothers cartoons, even today billed as Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies , were initially fashioned around specific songs from upcoming Warner Brothers musical films.
Live action musical shorts, featuring such popular performers as Cab Calloway , were also distributed to theaters. Blues singer Bessie Smith appeared in a two-reel short film called St.
Louis Blues featuring a dramatized performance of the hit song. Numerous other musicians appeared in short musical subjects during this period. Soundies , produced and released from to , were musical films that often included short dance sequences, similar to later music videos. In the mids, musician Louis Jordan made short films for his songs, some of which were spliced together into a feature film, Lookout Sister. These films were, according to music historian Donald Clarke , the "ancestors" of music video.
Several of Michael Jackson 's videos show the unmistakable influence of the dance sequences in classic Hollywood musicals, including the landmark " Thriller " and the Martin Scorsese -directed " Bad ", which was influenced by the stylised dance "fights" in the film version of West Side Story.
Early music clips[ edit ] In his autobiography, Tony Bennett claims to have created " Most music numbers were taped in-studio on stage, and the location shoot "videos" were to add variety.
The short film clip he produced and directed to promote the single has a striking visual style that predates Queen's similar " Bohemian Rhapsody " video by a full decade. It also predates what the Beatles did with promotional films of their singles " Rain " and " Paperback Writer ", both released in Shot in black-and-white and presented as a mock documentary , it interspersed comedic and dialogue sequences with musical tones. The musical sequences furnished basic templates on which countless subsequent music videos were modeled.
It was the direct model for the successful US TV series The Monkees — , which similarly consisted of film segments that were created to accompany various Monkees songs. The title track sequence, filmed in black-and-white, is arguably one of the prime archetypes of the modern performance-style music video, employing rhythmic cross-cutting, contrasting long shots and close-ups, and unusual shots and camera angles, such as the shot 50 seconds into the song, in which George Harrison's left hand and the neck of his guitar are seen in sharp focus in the foreground while the completely out-of-focus figure of John Lennon sings in the background.
In , the Beatles began making promotional clips then known as "filmed inserts" for distribution and broadcast in other countries—primarily the USA—so they could promote their record releases without having to make in-person appearances. By the time the Beatles stopped touring in late , their promotional films, like their recordings, had become highly sophisticated.
The colour promotional clips for " Strawberry Fields Forever " and " Penny Lane ", made in early and directed by Peter Goldman ,  took the promotional film format to a new level. They used techniques borrowed from underground and avant garde film, including reversed film and slow motion, dramatic lighting, unusual camera angles and color filtering added in post-production. At the end of the group released their third film, the one hour, made-for-television project Magical Mystery Tour ; it was written and directed by the group and first broadcast on the BBC on Boxing Day Although poorly received at the time for lacking a narrative structure, it showed the group to be adventurous music film makers in their own right.
The Beatles in Help! Concert films were being released in the mids, at least as early as , with the T. Eschewing any attempt to simulate performance or present a narrative, the clip shows Dylan standing in a city back alley, silently shuffling a series of large cue cards bearing key words from the song's lyrics.
Many "filmed inserts" were produced by UK artists so they could be screened on TV when the bands were not available to appear live. Pink Floyd were pioneers in producing promotional films for their songs including " San Francisco: Film ", directed by Anthony Stern , " Scarecrow ", " Arnold Layne " and " Interstellar Overdrive ", the latter directed by Peter Whitehead , who also made several pioneering clips for The Rolling Stones between and In the UK The Kinks made one of the first " plot " promotional clips for a song.
For their single " Dead End Street " a miniature comic movie was made. The BBC reportedly refused to air the clip because it was considered to be in "poor taste". Their plot clip for " Happy Jack " shows the band acting like a gang of thieves. The promo film to "Call Me Lightning" tells a story of how drummer Keith Moon came to join the group: The other three band members are having tea inside what looks like an abandoned hangar when suddenly a "bleeding box" arrives, out of which jumps a fast-running, time lapse, Moon that the other members subsequently try to get a hold of in a sped-up slapstick chasing sequence to wind him down.
Roy Orbison appeared in promotional clips, such as his hit, "Walk On. Jagger's girlfriend Marianne Faithfull appears in the trial scenes and presents the "judge" Richards with what may be the infamous fur rug that had featured so prominently in the press reports of the drug bust at Richards' house in early When it is pulled back, it reveals an apparently naked Jagger with chains around his ankles.
The clip concludes with scenes of the Stones in the studio intercut with footage that had previously been used in the "concert version" promo clip for "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby". In , they collaborated with Jean-Luc Godard on the film Sympathy for the Devil , which mixed Godard's politics with documentary footage of the song's evolution during recording sessions.
During late —73 David Bowie featured in a series of promotional films directed by pop photographer Mick Rock , who worked extensively with Bowie in this period. It shows Bowie and band miming to the record intercut with footage of Bowie's dancers The Astronettes dancing on stage and behind a back-lit screen. The clip was turned down by the BBC, who reportedly found the homosexual overtones of the film distasteful, accordingly Top of the Pops replaced it with footage of bikers and a dancer.
It intercuts footage of Bowie and band in concert with contrasting footage of the group in a photographic studio, wearing black stage outfits and standing against a white background.
It also includes location footage with Bowie and Cyrinda Foxe a MainMan employee and a friend of David and Angie Bowie shot in San Francisco outside the famous Mars Hotel , with Fox posing provocatively in the street while Bowie lounges against the wall, smoking. Sam Lovullo, the producer of the television series Hee Haw , said his show presented "what were, in reality, the first musical videos,"  while JMI Records made the same claim with Don Williams ' song "The Shelter of Your Eyes.
However, some of our guests felt the videos took attention away from their live performances, which they hoped would promote record sales. If they had a hit song, they didn't want to play it under comic barnyard footage.
Beginnings of music television[ edit ] The Australian TV shows Countdown and Sounds , both of which premiered in , were significant in developing and popularizing what would later become the music video genre in Australia and other countries, and in establishing the importance of promotional film clips as a means of promoting both emerging acts and new releases by established acts. In need of material for the show, Webb approached Seven newsroom staffer Russell Mulcahy and asked him to shoot film footage to accompany popular songs for which there were no purpose-made clips e.
Harry Nilsson 's " Everybody's Talkin ". Using this method, Webb and Mulcahy assembled a collection of about 25 clips for the show. According to rock historian Paul Fowles, the song is "widely credited as the first global hit single for which an accompanying video was central to the marketing strategy".
The same year, the New Zealand group Split Enz had major success with the single " I Got You " and the album True Colours , and later that year they produced a complete set of promo clips for each song on the album directed by their percussionist, Noel Crombie and to market these on video cassette.
Billboard credits  the independently produced Video Concert Hall as being the first with nationwide video music programming on American television. Music videos go mainstream[ edit ] In , the U. With this new outlet for material, the music video would, by the mids, grow to play a central role in popular music marketing.
Many important acts of this period, most notably Adam and the Ants , Duran Duran and Madonna , owed a great deal of their success to the skillful construction and seductive appeal of their videos. Two key innovations in the development of the modern music video were the development of relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use video recording and editing equipment, and the development of visual effects created with techniques such as image compositing.
During the s, music videos had become de rigueur for most recording artists. The title was a spoof of a recent pop hit "Nice Legs, Shame About Her Face" In this period, directors and the acts they worked with began to explore and expand the form and style of the genre, using more sophisticated effects in their videos, mixing film and video, and adding a storyline or plot to the music video.
Occasionally videos were made in a non-representational form, in which the musical artist was not shown. One notable later example of the non-representational style is Bill Konersman 's innovative video for Prince 's " Sign o' the Times "  — influenced by Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" clip, it featured only the text of the song's lyrics.
In the early s, music videos also began to explore political and social themes. Examples include the music videos for David Bowie's " China Girl " and " Let's Dance " which both explored race issues. The MuchMusic music channel was launched in Canada in The inaugural event rewarded the Beatles and David Bowie with the Video Vanguard Award for their work in pioneering the music video.
Video Hits One" , featuring softer music, and meant to cater to the slightly older baby-boomer demographic who were out-growing MTV. This was a program which consisted entirely of music videos the only outlet many videos had on British TV at the time[ citation needed ] , without presenters. Instead, the videos were linked by then state of the art computer graphics. The show moved to ITV in The video for the Dire Straits song " Money for Nothing " made pioneering use of computer animation, and helped make the song an international hit.
The song itself was a wry comment on the music-video phenomenon, sung from the point of view of an appliance deliveryman both drawn to and repelled by the outlandish images and personalities that appeared on MTV.
In , Peter Gabriel 's song " Sledgehammer " used special effects and animation techniques developed by British studio Aardman Animation. In , the MTV show Yo! MTV Raps debuted; the show helped to bring hip hop music to a mass audience for the first time.
Rise of the directors[ edit ] In November , MTV began listing directors with the artist and song credits, reflecting the fact that music videos had increasingly become an auteur 's medium. Some of these directors, including, Gondry, Jonze, Sigismondi,  and F.
Gary Gray , went on to direct feature films. Two of the videos directed by Romanek in are notable for being two of the three most expensive music videos of all time: From this, "Scream" is the most expensive video to date.
MTV2 , originally called "M2" and meant to show more alternative and older music videos, debuted in From to , Billboard had its own Music Video Awards.
The Internet becomes video-friendly[ edit ] The website iFilm , which hosted short videos, including music videos, launched its service in Napster , a peer-to-peer file sharing service which ran between and , enabled users to share video files, including those for music videos. By the mids, MTV and many of its sister channels had largely abandoned showing music videos in favor of reality television shows, which were more popular with its audiences, and which MTV had itself helped to pioneer with the show The Real World , which premiered in Video , Facebook and Myspace 's video functionality use similar technology.
Such websites had a profound effect on the viewing of music videos; some artists began to see success as a result of videos seen mostly or entirely online. The band OK Go may exemplify this trend, having achieved fame through the videos for two of their songs, " A Million Ways " in and " Here It Goes Again " in , both of which first became well-known online OK Go repeated the trick with another high-concept video in , for their song " This Too Shall Pass ".
The video for Weezer 's " Pork and Beans " also captured this trend, by including at least 20 YouTube celebrities ; the single became the most successful of Weezer's career, in chart performance.
In , the RIAA issued cease-and-desist letters to YouTube users to prevent single users from sharing videos, which are the property of the music labels. After its merger with Google , YouTube assured the RIAA that they would find a way to pay royalties through a bulk agreement with the major record labels. In , Thirty Seconds to Mars ' music video " Kings and Queens " was uploaded to YouTube on the same day of its release, where it has garnered over one hundred million views.