The Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star (1979)

The Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star (1979) On WLCY Internet Radio
 '70s One-Hit Wonderson WLCY Radio




"Video Killed the Radio Star" is a song written by Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes and Bruce Woolley in 1978. It was first recorded by Bruce Woolley and The Camera Club (with Thomas Dolby on keyboards) for their album English Garden, and later by British group The Buggles, consisting of Horn and Downes. The track was recorded and mixed in 1979, released as their debut single on 7 September 1979 by Island Records, and included on their first album The Age of Plastic. The backing track was recorded at Virgin's Town House in West London, and mixing and vocal recording would later take place at Sarm East Studios.

Like all the other tracks from the LP, "Video"'s theme was promotion of technology while worrying about its effects. This song relates to concerns about mixed attitudes towards 20th-century inventions and machines for the media arts. Musically, the song performs like an extended jingle and the composition plays in the key of D-flat major in common time at a tempo of 132 beats per minute. The track has been positively received, with reviewers praising its unusual musical pop elements. Although the song includes several common pop characteristics and six basic chords are used in its structure, Downes and writer Timothy Warner described the piece as musically complicated, due to its use of suspended and minor ninth chords for enhancement that gave the song a "slightly different feel."

Commercially, "Video Killed the Radio Star" was also a success. The track topped sixteen international music charts, including the official singles charts of the group's home country of the UK and other nations such as Australia, Austria, France, Italy Ireland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, as well as the Japanese Oricon International Chart. It also peaked within the top 10 in Canada, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa, the top 20 in Belgium and the Netherlands, and barely in the top 40 in the United States.

The song's music video was written, directed, and edited by Russell Mulcahy, and is well-remembered as the first music video shown on MTV in the United States at 12:01am on 1 August 1981, and the first video shown on MTV Classic in the United Kingdom on 1 March 2010. The song has received several critical accolades, such as being ranked number 40 on VH1's 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the '80s. It has been covered by many recording artists. Trevor Horn has done performances of the song, both at Buggles reunion performances and with The Producers, since 1998.

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