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BY FELICE LAZAE Y ouTube is king. Its practically replacing regular TV and redefining success for artists of all mediums but this is a fairly new phenomenon. 10 years ago you had to turn on MTV or VH1 to watch your favorite music videos. Some of us who are older than 20 remember Total Request Live with Carson Daly on MTV or 106th Park on BET. I remember sitting trying to watch my favorite music on those top 10 countdowns always crossing my fingers that they wouldnt cut short the video I wanted to watch due to the shows time constraints. It was beyond my comprehension or imagination that one day Id be able to watch music videos on demand any time of day not only on my computer but on my cell phone So it mustve been completely alien when the music video age actually began back in the good ol 1980s. Yes yes music videos existed long before the 80s but their prominence didnt rise until the MTV era. Oh the good old days when MTV was filled with hours of music video content instead of reality TV fillers and fluff. The kids cried I want my MTV and they delivered. Michael Jackson ruled as both a stellar vocalist and a moonwalking god on film. He changed the game and brought a cinematic revolution to music video storytelling in his video Thriller. But MJ didnt hold the monopoly on innovative video viewers were dazzled by artists pushing the limits of visual song interpretation through special effects and creative story lines like Peter Gabriels Sledgehammer and A-has Take On Me. And artists like Madonna used video to send strong social messages as in her song Like A Prayer where she touched on racism and religion. Music videos became a new way for artists to tell a story that might not come across just by listening to the song. It was a whole new world and most artists embraced the new medium but for some it was a career breaking turn of events. Video killed the radio star...Pictures came and broke your heart so put all the blame on VCR. No words rang so true about the music video revolution as this song by The Buggles in 1979. Ironically it was the first video to air on MTV when the network began at 1201am on August 1 1981 expressing the conflict this new media brought to an art form that previously mainly judged its final product based on the quality of the music and not necessarily the looks of the artist. Sure artists of the 50s 60s and 70s were also judged based on their looks and sex appeal as well but it was a lot easier to hide a less traditionally beautiful artist in societys eyes before videos came along. More likely than not listeners would hear a song before they ever saw what the artist looked like therefore judging the artist solely on the quality of their music instead of their looks. Some of my favorite legendary artists of all time like Janis Joplin Bob Dylan Patti Smith and Ric Ocasek of the Cars may never have had a chance in todays market because of all of the visual media exposure lurking around every corner. One of the best examples of an artists looks not meeting audience expectations was found in the music video for Informer by Canadian reggae artist Snow in 1993. Most audiences expected a black Jamaican artist and when faced with a white Canadian artist they just werent convinced of his authenticity even though he grew up around Jamaicans and even had street cred having just finished a stint in jail for assault when Informer hit it big. But fans couldnt get past his looks and he never experienced that same commercial success in the music industry again. An artists superficial looks arent the only way a music video can cause damage to a career. A badly executed music video can destroy a career as seen in the case of Billy Squiers 1984 video for Rock Me Tonight. Bad artistic direction poor choreography and a rather effeminate performance by an artist who was seen more as a hunky ladys man completely decimated poor Billys career. His fans never took him seriously again and he went from playing stadiums to performing at venues of less than 10000 not too shabby for an indie artist today but certainly a sudden death for an artist in the 80s golden age of the music industry. Video Killed the Radio Star - When The Visual Killed The Ear 6 WWW.FLIPMAGAZINE.NETAUGUST2015