“Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles was one of my favorite songs when I was in high school. I loved it because of its sweet poignancy, not because I think it’s kitschy. Browsing YouTube, I found a zillion video clips of the song. Here are some of the best.

First, the original:

Here, 25 years later after the original, a liver version from The Buggles (in which the opening sounds very Spandau Ballet-esque!). This version is actually very good. Uptempo!:

Here’s the version by The Presidents of the United States of America, used in the film The Wedding Singer:

I like this live cover by a band called The Feeling:

Here’s a remixed dance version:

This guy calls himself Duke Special. Apparently he has a little following. He sounds promising. (Here’s Duke singing “Tainted Love”.

“Video Killed The Radio Star” played on the theremin by Jon Bernhardt at the Ethermusic 2005 festival in Asheville, NC, August, 2005. Video shot by Jason Barile of thereminworld.com:

Finally, here’s my favorite version of the bunch. I’ll quote smileypen, who posted it to YouTube:

I was roaming Balboa Park before a wedding and this three piece band caught my attention. A small boy with an upright bass, a bespectacled giant with a mandolin, and an unassuming girl with a harp. They call themselves The Wrong Trousers. Talk about odd choices in musical instruments. But they have tremendous talent. Their style won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s no denying they know their instruments and are comppletely unique. These kids are still in high school! A good size crowd had formed and they were getting lots of cash donations.

I agree. I love these kids.

7 Replies to “Video Killed the Radio Star”

  1. Amy Jo says:

    Love the Wrong Trousers!

  2. B says:

    I have to believe that this post was constructed in reverse.

    Wrong Trousers has a myspace account with a few original songs: http://www.myspace.com/thewrongtrousers

    Finally a group that can rock the mandolin and hit that high note.

  3. Nikchick says:

    Oh my god, The Wrong Trousers! Rock out with that mandolin! Love it.

    Thanks for the pointer to Duke Special, too. I’m a sucker for a Tainted Love cover.

    Like you, I find Video Killed the Radio Star sweet and poignant, not kitchy. A sign of our age?

  4. J.D. says:

    B, doggone it, I’m never able to reply to you via e-mail because of your fake address. I often want to write back to you.

    I have to believe that this post was constructed in reverse.

    Yup. You are correct. I found The Wrong Trousers on YouTube, loved that version, and then when searching for other Wrong Trousers videos, also found the Buggles covers. This entry was, essentially, built from the bottom up.


  5. AdamD says:

    I do love covers, but I also like parodies.

    Internet Killed the Video Star:

  6. Joel says:

    Man, those kids rock- in an entirely acoustic, no-doubt-very-respectful-of-hotel-property kind of way.

    Not to get all political, but this clip is why we need art and music in our schools! Bee-YAAaaaah!

  7. B says:

    Sorry about that. I got burned once when the auto-fill function of Safari attached my personal information to a GWB rant.

    I’ll probably stay anonymous on the internet until I get tenure or a secure job elsewhere. Plus it helps in segregating the serious, snarky, wonky, and just plain dumb divisions of my brain.

    BTW, I’m a sibling of a fellow Williamette alum and I heard about your blog from them. I enjoy your writing and hearing about a little piece of Oregon.

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