Video Killed the Radio Star
Sunday, 7.30pm, ABC2 It’s from long ago 2009, but for those interested in the reeling trajectory of pop music, this delivers great insight into the way the video clip changed everything. In tonight’s episode, Divas and Directors, we are promised the truth of what went on behind the singing and dancing. First cab off the rank is Aretha Franklin’s 1985 hit Freeway of Love. We meet clip director Brian Grant who went to Detroit with an idea in his head for dancers to prance about in the motor city’s Ford factory. He brought a choreographer with him from England, brought his vision to life, then received a phone call from Aretha saying she would not appear. Apparently Franklin doesn’t like to be under the open sky, day or night. Who knew? She did agree to appear to perform the song in her own Detroit nightclub. This left Grant with footage he had already created of dancers at the car factory and of Aretha performing in a nightclub with absolutely no way to bring the two together. It did not matter. Propelled by the video the song was a gigantic hit. Nobody seemed to notice the inconsistency. Next up is Franklin and George Michael’s 1987 hit I Knew You Were Waiting, followed by Russell Mulcahy and Kim Carnes who tell the story of Bette Davis Eyes.