The Rise of the Music Video

25 Jan 2015

By the middle 1970s, a new art form called the “music video” began to gain attention.  Although short promotional films for songs or albums had been produced for decades (they were once known as “soundies” and Scopitone films that were sometimes played in special video jukeboxes), they experienced a renaissance following Beatles projects such as Magical Mystery Tour.

The biggest step forward was Queen’s 1975 clip for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which they recorded in four hours on November 10, 1975.  Total cost? About £4,500.  From that point forward, it became standard practice for many artists to create these films and videos which allowed them to promote their songs on TV without actually having to appear in person (and perhaps being forced to lip-sync).  Music videos also helped artists gain a tighter control over their visual image when it came to television.

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