The idea that music could be merged with motion pictures had been in existence for some time back in the 60s but only came to be a reality in the music videos of the 70s. In the 1940s, nightclub patrons could view Duke Ellington and Fats Waller soundies. The coming of television in the 1950s had a great impact on pop music, making it popular and accessible to a larger audience. This saw the evolution of epic pop music shows such as Soul Train, American Band Stand, and Top of the Pops. The music industry is very dynamic and with time, it evolved as technology advanced. By the early 70s, many artists were producing simple short promotional films. Some of these films, which went viral when they were released, were Rain and Paperback Writer.
Other musicians also followed suit. Television stations played a key role in the evolution of music videos, airing the clips between programs. The 70s not only gave us hits but also laid a foundation for music videos, whose format was later matured and proliferated by filmmakers in the latter decades. Indeed this was an era that saw massive innovation and creativity in the record business. Below is an exclusive roud up of some of the music videos of the 70s.
“Imagine” is a hit song that was performed and written by John Lennon. This song was not only the best selling single but also a major breakthrough for him in the music industry. Lennon designed the lyrics creatively, majorly focusing on peace and humanity. The song encourages one to imagine a world at peace, with no border barriers, national or religious division, and a life of humanity rather than a materialistic world. It was co-produced by Lennon and Yoko Ono and impressively managed to climb to number three on Billboard Hot 100. In addition to that, it topped the UK chart becoming most successful album for Lennon’s career commercially. In the video, Ono and Lennon walk through thick fog just before it begins. Later on Lennon sits at a white grand piano while Ono opens window curtains. It ends with both of them kissing.
This song was done even before music video production was underway. When it was written, the two artists were consoling each other after terrible heartbreaks, with Daryl having divorced from his wife while John was dumped on New Year’s Eve. This was the first song to be written as a collaboration by both members of the duo. In 1973, Hall and Oates created the music video for the song. The video was directed by Diane—Oates' sister—and shot at Philadelphia TV station. It features Oates in a sleeveless tuxedo as well as a guy on a devil suit. The clip was never aired, though Oates later leaked it on YouTube.
Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” is one of the best disco singles of a definitive taste. Besides having hit the top of the Hot 100, the song also incorporated an impeccable and iconic video, which went viral and was televised on disco monitors worldwide. In addition to that, the video was shot at disco Xenon in New York, where Gaynor is featured in the clip with The Village Wizards as a skater. Perhaps the most notable thing about the video is the depiction of Gaynor’s solitary nature when she is photographed alone. However, the song creates an image of the disco as a place of self-empowerment despite an electrified crowd of strangers.
“Third Reich ‘n Roll” is a 1976 song by a rock band group called The Residents. The same year they released an album which mostly parodied 1960s commercials. The video of this song mainly captures and conceptualizes the history of rock music. Moreover, the video also incorporates a mix up of stop-motion animation in addition to German Expressionist aesthetics.
“Making Plans for Nigel” is a song that was released by the rock band XTC back in 1979, written by Colin Moulding. The song did well, spending some time on UK Singles Chart at position 17. This was the first single off of XTC’s album, which was a major breakthrough for the band. The video is shot with unique visual styles, incorporating zooms, non-stop camera movements, and canted angles. Mainly, the story told in the film is about young man (Nigel) growing into boring adulthood as a mental patient. He meets with a nurse who is seemingly psychotic as played by Andy Partridge. All of this is crafted into a clever and incredibly hyperactive scene that put the song among the top music videos of the 70s .
“This Song” is the fourth single from George Harrison’s Thirty Three & 1/3. The song was able to hit number 25 on American pop charts but was not able to make charts in the UK. The song was written weeks after George Harrison had been involved in a controversial case in which he was accused of plagiarizing his 1970 song, “My Sweet Lord” from “He’s So Fine,” a song originally done by the Chiffons in 1963. Unfortunately he lost the lawsuit as well as half a million dollars. The video is set in a courtroom, which then turns into a faux concert with a pianist, a drummer, a bass-soloing bailiff, and a stenographer.
Kraftwerk had already been at the top of the charts for three years earlier with their song “Autobahn” when they created this video. “The Man-Machine” was another creatively woven strand, clearly depicting a pop-structured image and style that the group was working to undertake. The song that landed Kraftwerk on the list of the best music videos of 70s is “The Robots.” The video was creatively acted out with humans playing automatons that have taken over human labor thus bringing out the cyborg ideology. The band wore black and red ties, creating an image of the Soviet Union in the 1920s, which still embraced human workers amid industrialization. This video was not only a hit but also an inspiration to other pop innovators.
It was quite unlikely that Michael Jackson would succeed in a solo career after alienating himself from his famed family. However, after meeting with the legendary Quincy Jones and frequenting Studio 54 in Manhattan he was greatly inspired and did finally have a breakthrough. In 1977 he managed to shoot The Wiz in which he mainly cited science fiction films merging them with the club scenarios. The hit video “Rock With You” did cost Michael Jackson a whooping $3,000, having been shot by Bruce Gowers. It featured Jackson as an alien landing on earth as well his stylish polyester jumpsuit, wide collars, and the popular afro hairstyle. It also introduced the art of kinesthetic performance, which later transformed into a trademark for Michael Jackson. This is truly among the best music videos of the 70s.
“Life on Mars?” is a song by David Bowie with lyrics creating imagery of the futility of man’s existence. Bowie was a great stage performer and created a visual language in most of his videos. The video for this song was filmed backstage of Earl Court of London back in 1973 with Mick Rock as the director. Bowie is phenomenal in the film, rocking an ice-blue suit with matching eye shadow and red hair.
ABBA was a four-member group from Sweden that was renowned for being the first music video pop stars. They were especially predominant in mid-70s. The genesis of their career was when they won the 1974 Eurovision competition. The quartet quickly rose to stardom globally through their hits “Dancing Queen” and “Take a Chance on Me.” Their videos depicted simple ideas, which made them unique.
What is considered the best music video of all time? ›
1. 'Thriller' by Michael Jackson.What is 70s biggest hit? ›
- HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE by Bee Gees.
- I JUST WANT TO BE YOUR EVERYTHING by Andy Gibb.
- YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE by Debby Boone.
- LE FREAK by Chic.
- STAYIN' ALIVE by Bee Gees.
- Y.M.C.A. by Village People.
- SHADOW DANCING by Andy Gibb.
- HOT STUFF by Donna Summer.
Internet Archive is known for its archive of all sorts of internet content, and the Music Video Bin is one example of its music video collection. Videos span from the mid-1900s to the present year.How do I find an old song I can't remember? ›
Hum it into a song ID app like SoundHound.
On your phone, you can hum the melody into SoundHound, which is available for free. The app will analyze the melody you sing and give you a list of possible options.
- “Thriller” Michael Jackson (1983) This iconic music video featuring the King of Pop, cost a half a million dollars to make. ...
- “Sledgehammer” Peter Gabriel (1986) ...
- “Take On Me” A-Ha (1985) ...
- “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Nirvana (1991) ...
- “Like A Prayer” Madonna (1989)
- Ciara - One Two Step.
- Beyoncé and Jay Z - Drunk in Love.
- Chris Isaak - Wicked Game.
- Enrique Iglesias - Escape.
- Fountains of Wayne - Stacy's Mom.
- Rihanna - S&M.
- Selena Gomez - Can't Keep My Hands to Myself.
- The White Stripes - I Just Don't Know What to do with Myself.
"Blinding Lights" by the Weeknd (pictured) is the most-streamed song of all time on Spotify, with over 3.4 billion streams as of March 2023.What was the #1 song of 1970? ›
- Layla - Derek and the Dominos.
- Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon and Garfunkel.
- Let It Be - The Beatles.
- Your Song - Elton John.
- Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine - James Brown.
- Lola - The Kinks.
- Who'll Stop the Rain - Creedence Clearwater Revival.
- Fire and Rain - James Taylor.
What were the first 10 music videos? ›
- Buggles - "Video Killed The Radio Star" ...
- Pat Benatar - "You Better Run" ...
- Rod Stewart - "She Won't Dance With Me" ...
- The Who - "You Better You Bet" ...
- Ph.D - "Little Susie's On Top" ...
- Cliff Richad - "We Don't Talk Anymore" ...
- The Pretenders "Brass in Pocket" ...
- Todd Rundgren - "Time Heals"
In 1894, sheet music publishers Edward B. Marks and Joe Stern hired electrician George Thomas and various artists to promote sales of their song "The Little Lost Child". Using a magic lantern, Thomas projected a series of still images on a screen simultaneous to live performances.What is the most controversial music video of all time? ›
Though it might feel tame now, the imagery in Madonna's “Like A Prayer” video touched a nerve with pretty much everybody in 1989. Burning crosses and sexual overtones with a Black Christ-like figure caused widespread controversy among religious organizations and advertisers alike.
- “Video Killed the Radio Star,” The Buggles.
- “You Better Run,” Pat Benatar.
- “She Won't Dance With Me,” Rod Stewart.
- “You Better You Bet,” The Who.
- “Little Suzi's on the Up,” Ph. ...
- “We Don't Talk Anymore,” Cliff Richard.
#1 "Thriller" - Michael Jackson.What was the first song to have a music video? ›
Some suggest that the first music video was created in 1894 by Joseph Stern and Edward Mark, who set a recording of their song “The Little Lost Child” to a moving slide show and marketed it as an “illustrated song.” Though the average American did not yet own equipment to play a recording of the song, over 2 million ...How do I find a song if I don't know the name? ›
- Google Assistant.
- Siri & Alexa.
- Typing Lyrics vs. Listening Programs.
- What If I Want to Download the Song?
Popular music-identification apps such as Shazam and SoundHound are valuable tools that quickly name unknown songs as they play.How do you find a song if you only know the melody? ›
Ask Google Assistant to name a song
Ask "What's this song?" Play a song or hum, whistle, or sing the melody of a song. Hum, whistle, or sing: Google Assistant will identify potential matches for the song. Select one of them to view the Search results page and listen to the song, read lyrics, or view the music video.
- Electric Six - Danger! ...
- The Cure - Never Enough. ...
- Björk - Army of Me. ...
- The Avalanches - Frontier Psychiatrist. ...
- Talking Heads - Road To Nowhere. ...
- Devo - Whip It. ...
- R.E.M. - It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) ...
- Peter Gabriel - Big Time.
What is the most beautiful music video? ›
- "Apeshit" by The Carters. ...
- "California Love" by 2Pac feat. ...
- "Kiss" by Prince. ...
- "Take on Me" by A-ha. ...
- "This Is America" by Childish Gambino. ...
- "Vogue" by Madonna. ...
- "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye feat. Kimbra. ...
- "Freedom! '90" by George Michael.
|2.||"The Twist"||1960, 1961 ( re )|
|4.||"Mack the Knife"||1959|
"Old Town Road" holds the record for the longest stretch at No. 1 with 19 weeks.Who is the biggest solo artist of all time? ›
Elvis Presley, recognised as the best-selling solo music artist of all time by Guinness World Records, sold over 400.How do you find a song you don't know the name? ›
An other way is to use an app Use the app Shazam to find songs, just have a recording of the songs that you maybe got of tik tok and set in in the app. Now you'll now the name!How do I find the audio track in a video? ›
- Open the online audio converter.
- Click Open Files.
- Select the video file you want to extract the audio from and start the extraction process.
- Choose the format you want to convert the sound into.
- If there's no particular format you want to convert to, use the default settings.
Shazam will identify any song in seconds. Discover artists, lyrics, videos & playlists, all for free.Is there an app that will identify a song? ›
How does Shazam work? Shazam, which first launched in 2002, is the most popular song identification app out there. It's free for both Google Android and iPhone users.Can I extract the audio from a video? ›
One of the quickest ways to extract the audio from a video file on a Windows PC is to use the VLC Media Player. Although VLC is a free media player app, it has some secret features, including conversion options built into it as well. You can use those conversion options to convert your video file into an audio file.How do I search an audio track? ›
- On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google app .
- In the search bar, tap the mic. Search a song.
- Play a song or hum, whistle, or sing the melody of a song.
Why is location important in music videos? ›
When shooting a music video, the film location hire is extremely important. It's where all the action will take place of course! It needs to be a space – or spaces – that work visually for you as an artist.