“Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles

Welcome to a new weekly feature at Lyriquediscorde – NEW WAVE ON MONDAYS. Here we will feature a New Wave Song, or Playlist, every Monday. We will also feature a bit of New Wave History about the Songs, the Bands, the Artists, and the Genre. There will also be a little waxing nostalgic along the way. Please feel free to recommend a New Wave Song, Band, Artist, or Story for consideration. Email your recommendations and ideas to lyriquediscordesubmissions@gmail.com

New Wave On Mondays at Lyriquediscorde

Our first installment starts out with the Song that started MTV, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles. Although New Wave came around before the start of MTV, MTV did help to introduce me to many New Wave Bands, Artists, and Songs, along with Record Stores, Music Magazines, friends, and KROQ.

For me, the Song would always trigger early MTV memories. Me in my bedroom sitting close to my small TV, watching endless hours of Music Videos. I kept notebooks where I logged Songs/Videos that played, checking off frequency, and putting stars or hearts by my Favorites.

Some nights I would sit on the phone with a friend for hours, both of us watching in our respective rooms. Often we would discuss the Video, the Song, the Artist, pumping up our Favorites, and our Music Crushes. Other times we would sit there silent, each on the other end of the phone, watching and listening together.

“Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles
from the Album, The Age of Plastic (1980)

Video Killed the Radio Star” was written by Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes, and Bruce Woolley, in 1978. It was originally recorded by Bruce Woolley and The Camera Club, with the help of Thomas Dolby on keyboards, for their Album English Garden.

“Video Killed the Radio Star” by Bruce Woolley and The Camera Club

Later, the Song was recorded by The Buggles, a band that consisted of Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes. They recorded and mixed the Track in 1979, and released it as The Buggles debut Single in September of 1979, off of Island Records. The Song was included on their debut Album, The Age of Plastic.  (from Wikipedia)

Age of Plastic LP New Wave on Mondays

Trevor Horn has said he wrote, “Video Killed the Radio Star” after reading a science fiction story about an opera singer in a world without sound. She was said to be rendered obsolete. Horn went on to say:

“Before I started Buggles I was a sort of loser record producer, I spent four years producing records for various people without ever making any money out of it or having any success at all. Mainly I just produced unsuccessful records because I couldn’t seem to lay my hands on a good song. Eventually, I got so fed up doing things that weren’t successful I decided that if I couldn’t find a good artist and a good song then I’d write it myself and become the artist, so I wrote this song called ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ with Bruce Wooley. I know the name’s awful, but at the time it was the era of the great Punk thing. I’d got fed up of producing people who were generally idiots but called themselves all sorts of clever names like The Unwanted, The Unwashed, The Unheard… when it came to choosing our name I thought I’d pick the most disgusting name possible. In retrospect, I have frequently regretted calling myself Buggles, but in those days I never really thought much about packaging or selling myself, all that really concerned me was the record.”

Video Killed the Radio Star New Wave on Mondays Lyriquediscorde

“Video Killed the Radio Star” was the first video to air on MTV. The network launched August 1, 1981, and this provided the first evidence that MTV was going to make it. The song was a big hit in England in 1979, but pretty much unknown in America. When MTV went on the air, it was on only a few cable systems, but record stores in those areas started selling lots of Buggles albums. Since radio stations weren’t playing this song and almost no one in the US had heard of the Buggles, it was clear that MTV was selling records and was an early indication of the network’s influence. (from Songfacts)

“Video Killed the Radio Star” (live, 1979) by The Buggles

The female singers on “Video Killed the Radio Star” were Linda Jardim (now Linda Allan) and Debi Doss. The Buggles asked Debi and Linda to perform in the video with other band members, keyboard player Hans Zimmer and drummer Warren Cann (from Ultravox). Debi was on tour with Hot Chocolate in 1979 when the song went to #1 and Errol Brown gave Debi a bottle of champagne and the day off to rush off to London to perform on Top Of The Pops with the Buggles.

Linda Jardim explained:

“The singer on Video Killed the Radio Star and on the album was me (on the album there was also input from Joy Yates and Debbie Doss). The females in the video were NOT models. One of the other girls was an Australian model who we all called Sydney Australia, but I was present.”

Back up singers Video Killed the Radio Star

“Video Killed the Radio Star” (live, Top of the Pops, 1979) by The Buggles

“Video Killed The Radio Star” was #1 in 16 different countries and was Australia’s best-selling record for 27 years. I was never a huge fan of the Song, nor the Album, though over the years I have grown fond of the Song, and the Album, I’ve started to rediscover it and get into other Songs on it, especially “Clean, Clean”.

“Clean, Clean” by The Buggles
from the Album, The Age of Plastic (1980)

Clean Clean The Buggles New Wave on Mondays

Hope you enjoyed the first edition of New Wave on Mondays. What do you think of “Video Killed the Radio Star”? What about other Songs on The Buggles Album, The Age of Plastic? Do you have any “Video Killed the Radio Star” memories?

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