Sure, it's the apocalypse, but at least there's plenty of hairspray
March 14, 2014 8:06 AM   Subscribe

I need more cheesy, overblown, post-apocalyptic music videos from the '80s!

I am looking for a specific type of music video from the '80s: ridiculous, high concept, post-apocalyptic/sci-fi/fantasy craziness. You know, where the musician hardly features at all (e.g., Billy Ocean's "Loverboy"), or where they are intrepid explorers/adventurers (e.g., Duran Duran's "Wild Boys" or Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky"). I know there must be many more -- what are they?

Extra points if the videos *don't* borrow their SF-themes from an associated movie (like Tina Turner's video for "We Don't Need Another Hero").
posted by Janta to Media & Arts (30 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

If the very early 90s will work for you, there's "Shock to the System" by Billy Idol.
posted by jbickers at 8:14 AM on March 14, 2014

Jaunting further into the 90's, we have 2Pac's California Love.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 8:22 AM on March 14, 2014

The Hype Williams video of Tupac's California Love was a riff on Beyond Thunderdome. I remember it being really dumb.
posted by selfnoise at 8:24 AM on March 14, 2014

More gothic horror than apocalyptical, but Total Eclipse of the Heart
posted by Mchelly at 8:27 AM on March 14, 2014

Of course, there's always Total Eclipse of the Heart, the video that inspired a question I asked here a while back that probably has several videos that you'd be interested in, but scattered between a lot of non post-apoc/sci-fi gems.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 8:28 AM on March 14, 2014

[damn it; really should use the preview button]
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 8:29 AM on March 14, 2014

I can't think of a more preposterously over the top yet low budget sci fi hair metal video than Queensr├┐che's Queen of the Reich.
posted by usonian at 8:36 AM on March 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Billy Idol - Dancing With Myself, although it's possibly a bit more of a straightforward performance video than you're looking for.
posted by bcwinters at 8:42 AM on March 14, 2014

Another cheesy post-apocalyptic one with lots of dirtbike action: Deep Purple's Knocking at your Backdoor.
posted by usonian at 8:53 AM on March 14, 2014

Alphaville, "Forever Young."
posted by LinnTate at 9:17 AM on March 14, 2014

Rick Springfield Human Touch
posted by Malla at 9:35 AM on March 14, 2014

No one's mentioned This Corrosion by Sisters of Mercy yet? Really?
posted by dortmunder at 9:44 AM on March 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Think about destruction! World Destruction by Time Zone (Johnny Rotten & Afrika Bambaataa).
posted by Rob Rockets at 10:29 AM on March 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Jacksons' "Torture" is less post-apocalyptic wasteland and more nightmare hellscape, but it's pretty awesome.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:46 AM on March 14, 2014

I'm on a mobile and linking is tough, but would Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky" qualify?
posted by easement1 at 11:14 AM on March 14, 2014

I am delighted to introduce you to the joys of Ultravox.

Nuclear apocalypse! Dancing with Tears in My Eyes
The horrors of creeping fascism! The Voice, The Thin Wall
Swashbuckling adventures! Reap the Wild Wind, Love's Great Adventure
Foreboding central European mystery! Vienna, Passing Strangers, Visions in Blue (briefly NSFW)
All of the above, plus guest appearance by Satan! Hymm
posted by scody at 11:21 AM on March 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, and filmmaker Russell Mulcahy directed several of those Ultravox videos, as well as a number of other videos mentioned upthread (including Duran Duran and Bonnie Tyler), so this list might be useful for you, too.
posted by scody at 11:24 AM on March 14, 2014

Rick Springfield Bop Til You Drop.
posted by Malla at 11:26 AM on March 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Art of Noise: "Close (to the edit)"
posted by sexyrobot at 12:10 PM on March 14, 2014

The Fixx - Stand or Fall
posted by Mchelly at 12:41 PM on March 14, 2014

Sad that there appear only to be crap 240p resolution versions of this, but I must add Planet P Project's epic What I See / Behind the Barrier. Gave me nightmares forever.
posted by mykescipark at 12:43 PM on March 14, 2014

And for an anime example from 1994, the PV for X Japan's "Rusty Nail" is something like Fist of the North Star with an alien invasion. The main characters are animated versions of the group members.
posted by sukeban at 2:05 PM on March 14, 2014

Loverboy - Queen of the Broken Hearts

(wow, I didn't realize how many apocalyptic videos there were back then!)
posted by NoraCharles at 2:16 PM on March 14, 2014

Sorry, one more Ultravox video, in which a sorrowful breakup song is inexplicably dramatized by the romantic life of a Scottish fisherman.
posted by scody at 2:49 PM on March 14, 2014

KLF ft. Tammy Wynette - Justified and Ancient It's got a good beat; you can dance to it. Masonic imagery. Queen of Country Music, Tammy Wynette.
posted by otherchaz at 3:26 PM on March 14, 2014

Seriously. I feel like I write this in every 80s music post, but Nemesis by Shriekback.
posted by Sophie1 at 4:50 PM on March 14, 2014

Although there was no accompanying music video, I feel like I should give an 'honorable mention' nod to Frank Zappa's Be in my Video, which provides some apt commentary.
posted by usonian at 7:21 AM on March 15, 2014

What about Synchronicity II by The Police?
posted by Francis7 at 9:04 PM on March 19, 2014

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