Top 10 Ridiculous 1980s Music Videos



Top 10 Ridiculous 1980s Music Videos

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Mimi Kenny
While many of these songs are excellent, their videos are truly absurd! For this list, we'll be looking at the craziest, goofiest and funniest shorts made for songs of that decade. Our countdown includes "She Blinded Me With Science”, “Rock Me Tonite”, “It's Raining Men”, and more!

Top 10 Ridiculous 1980s Music Videos

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Ridiculous 1980s Music Videos.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the craziest, goofiest and funniest shorts made for songs of that decade. While many of these songs are excellent, their videos are truly absurd!

What’s your favorite over-the-top 80s video? Let us know in the comments below.

#10: “She Blinded Me With Science” (1982)

Thomas Dolby
While Thomas Dolby’s classic new wave song was already plenty eccentric, the video brought things to a new level of weirdness. Apparently, he dreamed up this short before even writing the song. In the video, Dolby checks in at the “Home For Deranged Scientists,” a facility with bubbles, strange medical procedures, and a doctor who really likes to say "science." Silent film-style intertitles provide a loose kind of narrative throughline. However moments like Dolby playing a woman's back like a cello keep things surreal. This video is truly “poetry in motion.”

#9: "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" (1984)

Dead or Alive
Decades before Flo Rida offered his own - ahem - spin on it, Dead or Alive paired one of the best songs of the 80s with one of the decade’s most memorable videos. There aren’t many camera movements or set changes throughout the video. But that doesn't stop it from feeling like an expansive adventure. There are extravagant outfits, enthusiastic flag waving and a few golden arms. While the unique visuals don’t add up into a cohesive story, they are packed with an offbeat style that’s just mesmerizing. It is fitting that a song this extravagant and has a video that’s anything but low-key.

#8: “The King of Rock ‘N’ Roll” (1988)

Prefab Sprout
Sitting around the pool with your friends and having a few drinks is a normal way to pass the time. But Prefab Sprout’s time by the water is a bit stranger than normal. As they relax, frog waiters appear to serve them. They serve as living embodiments of the song’s jumping frogs. But that’s not the only element of the song's chorus that appears on screen. While a man prepares to jump into the pool, dancing hot dogs do a synchronized dance routine. It’s never explained why any of this is happening. While we don’t know why Prefab Sprout went in such a weird direction for their biggest hit, this video showed they could be both accessible and absolutely bonkers at once.

#7: “Obsession” (1984)

Looking for a great couples costume for an 80s-themed party? Try some of the outfits worn by Bill Wadhams and Astrid Plane in this amazing video. Where else are you going to see a music video with tributes to Amelia Earhart, Anthony and Cleopatra? If those aren’t weird enough of a mix for you, wait until you see the astronaut outfit. As they rotate outfits, the camera constantly cuts between random scenes and instrument close ups. The band seems to be having so much fun that it’s impossible to look away. We’re glad Animotion had the extensive costume budget to pull this quirky video off.

#6: “We Built This City” (1985)

“We Built This City” is an 80s song so cheesy, it might make you lactose-intolerant. And unsurprisingly, its video is completely ridiculous as well. Whoever edited this was clearly having a lot of fun playing with effects, as it’s full of backgrounds and layers that never stop being hilarious. The numerous 80s-tastic hairstyles are almost as astounding as the scene where the Lincoln Memorial literally comes to life. And if you love close ups of musicians or people running away from giant dice, this video will become your new favorite. While the “We Built This City” song isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, its completely off the wall video may have earned it a few extra fans.

#5: “Physical” (1981)

Olivia Newton-John
Music videos with actual plot lines weren’t common before Olivia Newton-John released her album “Physical.” The video for the title track is what got everyone talking. It shows Newton-John and various men engaging in aerobics and strength training. However, it's pretty clear, based on the lyrics and sensual shots, that she's referring to a different kind of exercise. What helps put this video really over the top is the ridiculous physical comedy like Newton-John's intense massage. And the lack of subtlety leads to some truly bonkers shots. This unique video definitely helped shake up Newton John’s previously squeaky-clean image. Decades later, we applaud how outrageous the video got.

#4: “I Ran (So Far Away)” (1982)

Flock of Seagulls
There are plenty of narratives about being infatuated with someone and feeling overwhelmed. However, they rarely do get quite as weird as this. The classic video for “I Ran (So Far Away)” finds Flock of Seagulls and their amazing hair in a room full of mirrors and aluminum. They’re accompanied by two girls in plastic dresses with striking rectangular eye makeup. Seeing frontman Mike Score try and fail to escape this reflective dimension is kind of nerve-wracking. Eventually, he’s joined by bandmates that look just as confused as he is. If you’ve ever had a crazy fever dream, this video should feel familiar.

#3: “Rock Me Tonite” (1984)

Billy Squier
Sometimes, a music video can make a career. But, in this case, it arguably broke one. "Rock Me Tonite'' went big in all the wrong ways. Viewers now and then become baffled as to why Billy Squier dances across the room solo, crawls on the floor and writhes around on satin sheets. Although he reunites with a band in the end, the damage was already done. The video became notorious and it was followed by declining sales and fans failing to show up to concerts. Ironically, it was directed by Kenny Ortega, who would go on to direct hits like “High School Musical.” Unfortunately, the director’s creative vision for “Rock Me Tonite” is directly connected with a big career setback for Squier.

#2: “Whip It” (1980)

Imagine tuning into then-new cable channel MTV and seeing a Western-set music video with a band all dressed in strange red hats. One member is also constantly cracking a whip. As bizarre as this setup is, would you be able to stop watching? That’s what Devo was counting on when one of their weirdest songs became a giant hit. The eccentricity of this video and its great cast, including cowboys and a wholesome mother holding a pie made it unlike anything else. Devo’s “Whip It” video doesn’t make any more sense the more times you watch it. But the lack of logical explanation is crucial to its appeal. Why make sense when you can make an awesome video?

#1: “It’s Raining Men” (1983)

The Weather Girls
When you have a song that’s about a downpour of men, you better deliver with your music video. Fortunately, The Weather Girls unapologetically give us visuals that we’ll never forget. The video’s narrative starts with urgent weather reports coming in. Suddenly, men in trenchcoats start falling from the sky. It’s not long before the “Weather Girls” go to see the precipitation for themselves. As the video continues to interpret the lyrics quite literally, we get the physical manifestation of mother nature, angels and tons of dancing men. We definitely didn’t expect The Weather Girls to lean so heavily into the absurdities of the song. But at the end of day, all we have to say about this video and its existence is Hallelujah.