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Subject: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: Mishel on 04/16/12 at 8:35 am

Circa 1984-1985 most music videos had this soft focus, blurred look to them. Sharpness was not important and most videos had this dreamy feel to them. It diminished in the late 80s although it was still present in Maria Mackee's 'Show Me Heaven' video from 1990:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZfHdodi_uI

And here is a perfect example of the mid 80s soft look and vivid colors:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q9RebpKfVQ

Do you miss this? I sure wish they still made videos like that. Now everything is way too sharp, too HD and colors are generally too lifeless/fake/subdued (not to mention the blue/green/gray and even yellow tinted videos).

I think one of the earliest examples is this 1982 video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0gryfllhhI

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: wsmith4 on 04/19/12 at 9:22 am

.... I usually enjoy seeing things clearly...  :-\\

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: Mishel on 04/19/12 at 1:13 pm


.... I usually enjoy seeing things clearly...  :-\\

As I see you're a Madonna fan and I think she had some blurry videos, too. "Like A Virgin" comes to mind. I like the way things 'shine' when the videos are blurred. Such videos have this dreamy feel to them that's hard to be described.

To moderators: Please, convert the video links in my OP to links, thanks in advance!

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: Singer-Songwriter on 05/02/12 at 12:15 pm

ABC's "The Look Of Love"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcchCQuXrH8

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 05/02/12 at 12:55 pm

Aren't most of them "blurry" because the tape is 30 years old?
???

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: Henk on 05/02/12 at 2:30 pm


Aren't most of them "blurry" because the tape is 30 years old?
???


Ya know...I was thinking the exact same thing! ;D

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: Paul on 05/02/12 at 2:55 pm


I think one of the earliest examples is this 1982 video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0gryfllhhI



Aaaaarrrrggghhh!

Don't ever do that again!  >:(

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: Howard on 05/02/12 at 7:30 pm


Aren't most of them "blurry" because the tape is 30 years old?
???


Yeah of course.

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: Singer-Songwriter on 05/03/12 at 12:00 pm

Not really. Some 80's cameras (film cameras in general) filmed soft and kind of blurry images. While TV cameras had a sharp(er) image, but most often than not shiny objects left something like a trail. That's why most music videos were filmed with film cameras as opposed to TV cameras. However, in the 70's and early 80's a lot of cheap videos were filmed with TV cameras so shiny objects left trails and the image was sharp but corny looking as a whole.

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: Bobby on 05/03/12 at 5:28 pm


Aren't most of them "blurry" because the tape is 30 years old?
???


That's right. I presume pop videos were relying on analogue signals to broadcast their videos so the quality would suffer in comparison to digital 1080p HD. The NTSC is a little bit different to PAL video too (NTSC = 30 frames are transmitted each second. Each frame is made up of 525 individual scan lines. PAL = 25 frames are transmitted each second. Each frame is made up of 625 individual scan lines) and may cause the 'blurring' effect described?

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: Singer-Songwriter on 05/13/12 at 3:17 pm

An example of a movie-like music video from the 80's of a Hungarian band (it's fan-made as the full version no longer exists). It's somewhat blurry and soft, but there are no shiny 'trails' or a cheap VHS look:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q9RebpKfVQ
BTW, these scenes were used in "Money For Nothing" video by Dire Straits.

Same band. The lead singer is even wearing the same red sleeveless shirt. Obviously a cheaper video; less polished and has a cheaper TV/VHS look to it. It's still blurry (soft focus?) but shiny objects leave a trail or something:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FWEuOlyIEw

^
I use these to illustrate this post of mine:

Not really. Some 80's cameras (film cameras in general) filmed soft and kind of blurry images. While TV cameras had a sharp(er) image, but most often than not shiny objects left something like a trail. That's why most music videos were filmed with film cameras as opposed to TV cameras. However, in the 70's and early 80's a lot of cheap videos were filmed with TV cameras so shiny objects left trails and the image was sharp but corny looking as a whole.

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: Foo Bar on 05/16/12 at 10:42 pm


That's right. I presume pop videos were relying on analogue signals to broadcast their videos so the quality would suffer in comparison to digital 1080p HD. The NTSC is a little bit different to PAL video too (NTSC = 30 frames are transmitted each second. Each frame is made up of 525 individual scan lines. PAL = 25 frames are transmitted each second. Each frame is made up of 625 individual scan lines) and may cause the 'blurring' effect described?


That might be a part of it.  I think another reason for motion blur in early cameras was due to the switch between camera tubes to CCDs.  The vidicon and other image pickup tubes were prone to these sorts of effects.  Either that, or if the camera used a color separator (to save the cost of using three tubes, one for each color), doing so by definition sacrificed resolution (i.e. signal/bandwidth) for cost.

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: amjikloviet on 05/23/12 at 6:27 pm


Circa 1984-1985 most music videos had this soft focus, blurred look to them. Sharpness was not important and most videos had this dreamy feel to them. It diminished in the late 80s although it was still present in Maria Mackee's 'Show Me Heaven' video from

Yes they did! So true, and what's funny is that back then I never noticed how blurry all the music videos were...I do notice it today though.

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: singer on 05/24/12 at 3:17 pm

What I find strange is that a lot of videos circa 1984-1986 are blurrier than videos from 1981-1983.

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: dell on 05/24/12 at 3:22 pm


What I find strange is that a lot of videos circa 1984-1986 are blurrier than videos from 1981-1983.

Haha! That is SO true

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: singer on 07/24/12 at 9:37 am

Is it me or videos shot in dark rooms or/and during nighttime were the thing in the early 80's? "Billie Jean", Madonna's "Burning Up" and a lot more videos from 1982-1984 were shot during nighttime. There are exceptions to that rule, however -- Elton John's 1983 hit "I'm Still Standing" was shot during a sunny day in Cannes. However, it *did* end during sunset.

That trend was not abused, however. As a whole I think in the 1980's there was a lot more variety of concepts and creative ideas in music videos than during the 90's, the 00's and the 10's. Since the 1990's videos are becoming more and more generic.

Music videos from the 1980's were more creative and varied a lot more.
As a whole I think the early-mid 80's had more variety, more experiments were done while in 1988-1989 most video directors started copying one another. Nowadays most videos look the same, while in 1982-1987 you had all kind of stuff. Some videos were colorful and others were shot in black and white (with or without blue/purple tint), some videos were shot like movies, while others (most notably "I'm Still Standing" and First Floor's "Baby Baby" from "Money for nothing") featured a lot of split screens (a small fad at the time), some were wacky and over the top, while others were classy and clean-cut. Some were sexy and trashy, others were conservative. The 80's had music videos for every taste.

I wasn't alive then, but I guess that much variety should've been a bit puzzling? :D

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: bryan_adams_fan on 02/20/13 at 5:32 pm


Aren't most of them "blurry" because the tape is 30 years old?
???

While I agree that might be true for some videos, a lot of videos in the 80's used the so-called soft light effect on purpose. It's quite obvious in Run To You by Bryan Adams:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCBASt507WA
^
The video is mostly blurry but at one point when they show the leaves the image is sharper/clearer and it then goes back to blurry/soft.

Maria McKee's Show Me Heaven is the perfect example as it's from 1990. By 1990, most music videos had a sharper, cleaner look than the 1980's ones. Yet, that one looks more like it's from 1987 or 1988, not 1990 as it's very 'blurry'. It's obvious they used some soft light effects on that.

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: Mushroom on 02/21/13 at 3:36 pm

Also you have to look at the early days of Music Videos, especially their influences.

Now these were not really new, both The Beatles and The Monkees used this format.  But the original videos tended to be in one of either 2 styles.

First was the "recorded concert" concept, where basically it was (or was to look like) the video was recorded in front of an audience, or in some cases a studio.  These were the most simple typically.

Then you have the "4 minute art film", where they were trying to present themselves as serious short features, telling a story about the song as it plays, typically in 4 minutes or less.  And because they were trying to be "artistic", many used such effects as the soft focus and the Dutch Angle to seem more like "serious film".

And a lot of this influence can be seen in the work of one of the originators of the genre, Michael Nesmith.  Most remember him as one of the Monkees, but he is also the father of MTV (he created some of the first Music Videos, as well as the 1979 cable show "PopClips", which 2 years later was repackaged as "MTV".

And Nesmith was a popular music video producer of the era, in addition to having 2 popular ones of his own songs (Rio, which won the first Grammy for a music video), but also Lionel Richie (All Night Long) and Michael Jackson (The Way You Make Me Feel).

These were the major influences through most of the 1980's, with "art videos" often being the most popular, from A-Ha's "Take On Me" through The Plasmatics "The Damned", which featured Wendy O. Williams crashing a bus through a wall of televisions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q401R0JtuFw

But it is true, one thing that music videos were not at the time was dull.

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: Bobby on 02/23/13 at 7:43 pm


That might be a part of it.  I think another reason for motion blur in early cameras was due to the switch between camera tubes to CCDs.  The vidicon and other image pickup tubes were prone to these sorts of effects.  Either that, or if the camera used a color separator (to save the cost of using three tubes, one for each color), doing so by definition sacrificed resolution (i.e. signal/bandwidth) for cost.


I've got to admit, Foo Bar, I only understood a small amount of what you described but I think that is more to do with my inexperience with media (and my drunken state of mind after a night out at a houseparty) than anything else, lol. I love the idea that people here like yourself on Inthe00s can take an idea as far as they can. :)

I think you are right when it comes to sacrificing resolution (which imo is what the blurring video effect is all about). I realised a long time ago that certain SKY channels, like VH1 Classics, are shown in a more compressed manner than normal and no matter what you do, either because of the quality of the original footage or the source at the end, the end result will look grainy or blurred.

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: Foo Bar on 02/25/13 at 11:20 pm


I've got to admit, Foo Bar, I only understood a small amount of what you described but I think that is more to do with my inexperience with media (and my drunken state of mind after a night out at a houseparty) than anything else, lol. I love the idea that people here like yourself on Inthe00s can take an idea as far as they can. :)

I think you are right when it comes to sacrificing resolution (which imo is what the blurring video effect is all about). I realised a long time ago that certain SKY channels, like VH1 Classics, are shown in a more compressed manner than normal and no matter what you do, either because of the quality of the original footage or the source at the end, the end result will look grainy or blurred.


For what it's worth, the vidicon thing wasn't done to sacrifice resolution for cost.  It was the only way the hardware manufacturers of the day could make a video camera cost less than $10000 (or some other unaffordable figure).  The video creators of the day did what they could within the limitations of the hardware they had, and without really knowing it, created an effect that today is regarded as "artistic".

That's different from the present-day tradition where a broadcaster cuts down on the bandwidth available for the signal (leading to more digital compression artifacts) in order to cram more channels into the pipe.  Video cameras of the 80s were fuzzy because if you could afford a better camera, film was cheaper.  Video compression of the '10s exists because most the consumer doesn't know, can't see, and/or doesn't care.  (If you're talking about BSkyB, as in the satellite broadcaster, I'll partially retract that.  The birds can only cram so many bits through the air at once, no matter how good the source material.)

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 02/26/13 at 10:46 am

Yes! I miss music videos in general because it gave me an idea on what was hot and what was not.  Now you'd be lucky to find any music on Much Music and MTV at all.  :P ::)

Subject: Re: Do you miss the blurry 1980s music videos?

Written By: Howard on 02/26/13 at 7:16 pm


Yes! I miss music videos in general because it gave me an idea on what was hot and what was not.  Now you'd be lucky to find any music on Much Music and MTV at all.  :P ::)



OR VH1 Classics.

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