Extensive quoting from the book "Money for Nothing"1927: Al Jolson's "The Jazz Singer" - First notion of image and sound link together in a musical.
The Early Years
The Early Years
1930: Fischinger's motion experiment shorts were tighty synchonized film movements to accompany music (usually new recordings of short classical pieces.)
1940: Fischinger sought to collaborate with composer Leopold Stokowski on a hybrid project of sound & animation but stokowski ended up taking the idea to Walt Disney. Who laid the groundwork for "Fantasia". Which is described as the first unintentional long form music video.
1941 - 1946: The Soundie was a new piece of technology which allowed for projection of moving image onto a screen that combined music with short movie clips. Usually found in nightspots and charging ten cent a throw, the soundie's were able to imitate their cultural superiors (films). Soundies were primary concerned with selling the female image (could be classed as the first case of the male gaze). Classed as the first dance videos.
1950 - 1954: Snader Telescriptions, named after director George Snader, were filmed musical performances sold in blocks to television stations to fill gaps in their programming. Usually consisting of just one set piece.
The Start of Music Videos as we know it
1964: As with so many other things, The Beatles were innovators in the music video format. Intended as a quick cash in on their overnight success, The Beatles first film, "A Hard Day's Night" directed by Richard Lesterr was an accidental comic classic and a key precursor to the music video. Lester turns the musical numbers into discrete short films less about the stately strumming of guitars then dazzling, unhinged expressions of male camaraderie, clever hijunks, and Marxian physical humour. "Can't Buy Me Love" is the most brilliant of all, a series of crane shots swooping over the four Beatles running and leaping through a field. Needless to say, these qualities, in many ways made Lester the godfather of music videos.
1966 - 1968: The influences of a "Hard Day's Night spread beyond the Beatles and into the work of their imitators. Turn on any episode of the Beatles - biting rock and roll sitcom The Monkees, which ran on american television from 1966 to 1968 and almost inevitably, they would be a montage set to one of their songs in which the band would prance around to music tracks. These tv music videos laid the foundation for the future intersection of television and music video.
1968 - 1970: The musical promotional film came into being in a form similar to the contemporary music video, with The Doors, The Animals and The Byrds plus others making mostly utilitarian clip.
1967: Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" was the first video to build on, rather then imitate, Lesters and the the Beatles triumphs.
Music videos + Television
- Major corporations having invested in the burgeoning cable - television industry, found themselves starved of content. Music, still an overwhelmingly non - television friendly medium, had to be shop horned into cable TV, and promotional music videos were the safest bet. It was television, and not the music industry, that made the initial push for a music video channel.
- Beside the corporate investors (who included Warner Brothers and American Express (the initial inventors in MTV), the other group of dreamers who believed in music videos were the artists themselves. The musicians of the late 1970's used the promotional music videos as another canvas to paint on.
Early 1980's: The music video had its era of possibility, surging in cost, production values, star quality, and skillfulness. Performers lived and died on the strengths of their videos, and it is no coincidence that many of the era's biggest stars were also its savviest videomakers. Madonna, Michael Jackson Bruce Springsteen, U2. This format was perfect for Artists and record labels to sell themselves, to create a additional revenue as well as use the videos to promote the band and up the revenue in merch, tickets and album/ single sales.
1981: MTV debuted in 1981, the channel was intended as a visual equivalent to the album - rock radio stations. Back then MTV was designed to serve an almost exclusively white audience with its musical selection determined and limited by genre.
1983: MTV debuted in New York and Los Angeles, and in a attempt to fill in the holes in its schedule, it turned to Britain where bands had been making videos for a number of years to be played on countdown programs such as Top of the Pops.
1983 - 1985 - MTV leapfrogged the moribund music industry, crowning its own stars and leaving the mainstream scrambling to catch up.Thus in this early phase, and continuing on into the mid 1980's. Videos went from trifles to blockbusters with more money, more effort and greater professionalism marking the music videos graduation to pop culture's major leagues.
1983: With MTV sticking to its guns about its self declared genre limitations, it took a force of nature to move the channel from its quasi- racist ban on African American performers. It required the impact of Michael Jackson's twenty nine times platinum Thriller, perhaps the last album to attract so sizeable a percentage of American record buying public. In Jackson's wake came Prince, Tina Turner and all the black artists left out in the cold.
1984 - Present: Madonna became the queen of music video to Michael Jackson's King, using the video as a marker of her every changing moods, phases and modes. It was always easy to place her videos chronologically, because they served as a moving photo album of her stylistic restlessness.
- As music videos grew respectable, the ranks of it directors expanded and fashion photographers, filmmakers and artists began to take up the video's reins. Major hollywood filmmakers began to moonlight as videomakers, offering a touch of their sensibility to sympathetic artists.
1986: A collection of hip hop clips fought their way into MTV rotation and national recognition. Aerosmiths' "Walk This Way" with Run D.M.C. and Beastie Boys "Fight for Your Right to Party" joined by the Fat Boys and the Beach Boy, Opened the doors to hip-hop on television, leading to Yo! MTV Raps, the video jukebox and other tools of rap's ascent to cultural prominence.
Mid 1980's: Even with the fashion - plate video ascendant the notion of the video as short story survived with two of its primary practitioners being the old fashioned rock starts David Bowie & Bruce Springsteen. They mingled narrative and punk - rock attitude which were crucial in crystalizing a more conservative take on the music video.
1986: No other video symbolized the forms growth into maturity, and its concomitant embrace of seriousness, like Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer", Sledgehammer was as FX intensive as its predecessors, if not more so, but it was less self deprecating. With its surrealist swirl of imagery, time-lapse photography, and over arching sensation of operating according to a mysterious but coherent logic.
While Madonna, Bowie used their glamorousnes as a selling point in their videos, musicians with less physical charm turned towards a workaday brand of surrealism in order to glam up their own drab surfaces. "You Might Think" (1984) directed by Jess Stein and Charlex ventured deep into the realm of surrealism. The video was crowned MTV's first video of the year over MJ's Thriller
- MTV continued to produce and create stars in every genre possible on a varierty of shows on the channel. Music videos had reached a highpoint with videos being created by huge named directors with higher budgets such as MJ's Scream. Music videos in TV was at the peak of its existence with more and more channels popping up across TV representing a variety of different styles & genres.
The Rise of the Internet
The world wide web really kicked off in 1993 with the first web browser from here the ability to share knowledge skyrocketed, pointing out all the key stages in the www history and its relevance to the history of music video would take too long so i have summed it up. The world wide web gave its users the option to share everything from photos to videos around the globe, this was a huge stage in music videos because this globalisation was causing videos to move around the globe.
During November 2005, Youtube fully launched. Youtube become a global phenomenon with it becoming one of the top visited web sites in the world. The reason why Youtube is a huge part of music videos is now nearly every video is uploaded to YouTube and it can be argued that the majority of music videos now are consumed mainly on Youtube (the survey i did on "My consumption of music videos" proves this).
For example Justin Bieber's song "Baby" has now reached record high amount of hits on YT with 480 million views.
Music video's have now reached a peak in its existence i believe. Now its unusual for a artist to not create a music video, the norm is to release a video with a new single and now artists have many videos released in there careers. Videos on TV is as popular as ever with many new tv stations popping up dedicated to playing the latest and the best music videos as well as regular tv stations dedicating time to music video charts. The videos themselve have reached a stage where videos are being created in every shape and sizes with the videos moving up with the technologies that create them.