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If you’re a child of the 80s, this music video might make your head explode

New Kids on the Block needed to make a music video for their new single, “Bring Back the Time,” which comes ahead of their Mixtape Tour 2022. How many references to old 80s music videos do you recognize? Name the song and artist.

Here’s the key:

  1. Journey, Separate Ways
  2. Devo, Whip It
  3. A Flock of Seagulls, I Ran
  4. Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime
  5. Robert Palmer, Addicted to Love (Is that En Vogue, too?)
  6. Twisted Sister, We’re Not Gonna Take It
  7. Billy Idol, Rebel Yell (I think)
  8. Salt n Peppa
  9. No clue. (I’m ashamed. I should recognize the guys with the suits and hair.)
  10. Toni Basil, Mickey (With En Vogue again?)
  11. Art of Noise feat. Max Headroom, Paranoimia
  12. No clue. (Again, I feel shame. Is one of those guys Rick Astley? I know he’s in the video somewhere.)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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14 thoughts on “If you’re a child of the 80s, this music video might make your head explode

  • Number 9 is Duran Duran.

  • For #9 I’m thinking it’s Duran Duran, Rio (the boat is just a little smaller!)

  • And #12 is Michael Jackson, Beat It. As for Rick Astley, it looks like he’s playing David Byrne.

  • The last one is a play on a Michael Jackson video.

  • 12. Is Micheal Jackson, Beat It

    8. Is Vogue by Madonna (with Salt n peppa)

    Pretty Sure it’s Rick Astley in the Once in a Lifetime bits. (Pretty sure he’s singing too.)

  • Simon Le Bon never wore lipstick! Guy left of center looks exactly like John Taylor!!!!

  • Toni Basil also did the choreoraphy for “Once In A Lifetime”, so she is part of two segments.

  • Cool little homage to LL Cool J. During Salt-N-Pepa’s rap, they mention bikini small, heels tall, which is a reference to “Going Back to Cali” by Ll Cool J. The song is featured on the soundtrack to the ultimate in 80s movies, “Less Than Zero”.

  • I’m thinking Mullet keyboard guy is Rick Springfield.
    Don’t forget Max Headroom.

    Is that Cory Feldman channeling Byrne from Talking Heads?

  • Astlety not Feldman.
    You’re right.

  • There is also a nice homage to LL Cool J in the song. During the Salt-N-Pepa rap, they mention bikini small, heels tall. That part of the rap is from LL Cool J’s “Going Back to Cali,” which was featured on soundtrack to the iconic 80s film, “Less Than Zero”.

  • “Mullet keyboard guy” reminded me of Howard Jones.

  • I think mullet keyboard on the wall is referring to INXS – Don’t Change


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