80sonVEVO GAMV Takeover Week 5 w/ FEATURED VIDEO: J. Geils Band’s “Freeze Frame”

80sonVEVO GAMV Takeover Week 5 w/ FEATURED VIDEO: J. Geils Band’s “Freeze Frame”


It’s that time again! THE GOLDEN AGE OF MUSIC VIDEO has partnered with the folks at VEVO (the world’s leading all-premium music video and entertainment platform) with our weekly curation of the 80sOnVEVO YouTube page. Each week, we’ll be dusting off the shelves of the VEVO video vault to spotlight all-time favorites, award winners and lost gems from the decade of decadence. We’ll also supplement the VEVO list with a rundown and info/commentary about our weekly batch of clips right here. Each week will also have a FEATURED VIDEO as a spotlight for one particular video from the era. So let’s go!


Our featured video this time is the J. Geils Band’s “Freeze Frame”, directed by Paul Justman, who just happened to be band member Seth Justman’s brother. “Freeze Frame” was the follow-up single to the band’s #1 hit “Centerfold,” for which Justman had also directed the video. Justman remembered, “Capitol Records were sort of in shock from the success of ‘Centerfold’ because it didn’t really look like the videos that were being made then. When it became this instantly legendary thing, they said, ‘Make another one like that.’ I went, ‘No. I’m going to make one with as many tricks as I can,’ as in, let’s not do the same thing, but use video for what it can do. It was the early days of compositing, and it was very difficult.”

Animotion – Obsession
directed by New York filmmaker Amos Poe. This weird poolside clip was directed by Poe, one of the leading figures of the No Wave Cinema movement (75-85) that grew out of the bustling East Village music and art scene. In 1975, Poe and Ivan Kral (Patti Smith Group, Iggy Pop) produced, edited and shot the now classic punk film, THE BLANK GENERATION. This film chronicles the seminal performances of Richard Hell, Patti Smith, Blondie, Ramones, Talking Heads, Television, Heartbreakers, Wayne County et. al.

Bryan Adams – Run to You
directed by veteran music video director Steve Barron, the man behind the lens for Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”, a-Ha’s “Take On Me”, and Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing”. Barron collaborated with Bryan Adams for many of his most memorable videos, such as “Heaven”, “Cuts Like A Knife” and “Summer of ’69”. Check out this 1993 MTV news report where Barron weighs in on the history of music video just at the tail end of the GOLDEN AGE OF MUSIC VIDEO.

The Tubes – She’s a Beauty
directed by Kenny Ortega, who had begun his transition from choreographer to director at this time. Ortega shot this for the Tubes, and it became their highest charting hit. Ortega would later be best known for directing the High School Musical movies and Michael Jackson’s posthumous concert film This Is It.

Heart – What About Love?
directed by David Mallet. Mallet spoke well of the experience, noting that the melting metal imagery and forging set called for lead singer Ann Wilson to swing a hammer. “Big girl, big hammer,” he said. Take a look at our interview with Ann Wilson where she remembers Heart’s big 1980s videos.

Michael Jackson – Thriller
directed by John Landis. Possibly the most documented music video to ever air, the clip cost $1 million to produce, and sits at the top of most critical lists of greatest videos of all time. Landis said here that “Thriller” still might make it to 3-D someday.

Rockwell – Somebody’s Watching Me
directed by Francis Delia, who shot Wall of Voodoo’s “Mexican Radio”. Delia said that Rockwell, aka Motown founder Berry Gordy’s son Kennedy, turned out to be truly as paranoid as the song that made him famous.

Janet Jackson – When I Think Of You
directed by Julien Temple, who was becoming known for his Broadway spectacle music videos, and this one was supposed to look like it was all shot in one take, but a few visible editing moments definitely betray that. Temple said, “she was sort of very young and naïve and innocent in the sense on one level, but she was very clear what she kind of wanted to do, and she was paranoid about, I mean, she’s certainly overweight and she didn’t like that.”

Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days
directed by indie filmmaking legend John Sayles. Sayles said that when he shot this third video from Born in the U.S.A., Springsteen’s fame was hindering the shoot. “By the time we made ‘Glory Days’,” Sayles said, “the only problem with making them was that Bruce had gotten so famous, there were TV crews, and telephoto lenses, and fans, and everybody trying to find out where we were shooting. Read more about the John Sayles trilogy of Springsteen videos here.

Missing Persons – Destination Unknown
directed by Simon Milne, the director who also shot Duran Duran’s “Union of the Snake” and Naked Eyes’ “Always Something There To Remind Me”. Catch up with Missing Persons here.