practically pioneered the form - or should I say pioneered the form of the cheesy 80s video.
In his early career, Mulcahy worked with edgy pop acts like The Tubes (where he first gained notoriety producing their Grammy nominated long form video), XTC, the Vapors, the Human League, even the Stranglers (pictured, as moody pastors in "Duchess" - a harbinger of disturbing video imagery to come). However, his most famous early work is the over-played non-hit "Video Killed the Radio Star", which explored every available video effect of 1979, but is mostly known for being the first video MTV ever played.
Mulcahy's everything and the kitchen sink style came to help popularize the "new wave" aesthetic, and soon he was co-opted by the mainstream to do many of the defining videos of the decade. His iconic (and insanely gay) video for Elton John's "I'm Still Standing" spearheaded an 80s Elton comeback, and he also directed such burned-in-your-retina videos as Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf" (as well as most of their early videos), Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes", Spandau Ballet's "True", Rod Stewart's "Young Turks", Billy Joel's "Allentown", Fleetwood Mac's "Gypsy", and in a more scandalous move, Berlin's "Sex (I'm a...)".
A long and devoted exegesis of the "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" video follows. Look: I'm just linking, okay?
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.