At that time, there wasn’t too much room for serious artistic endeavors. Hard rock was all about power chords, outrageous fashion, having as much fun as possible, and looking as “cool” as possible while doing it. And the music videos reflected that sentiment.
You can spot an 80s music video from a mile away, but every genre had its checklist. For rock it was something like this: leather jackets, as much smoke as it’s safe to inject on a set, at least one tangled haircut and as many scantily clad women as the budget allowed. .
If you could meet at least two of these requirements, your video was a winner.
It’s a fact that the amount of hairspray used on 1980s video sets was enough to raise our planet’s overall temperature by half a degree. With that in mind, it’s probably only right to start funneling royalties from hair metal albums into a fund to help fight climate change…
The world of ’80s hard rock videos is something best left in the past, but once in a while it’s fun to dip a toe into this sordid quagmire of debauchery and questionable fashion choices.
Having the pouty mouth, silk scarf wearing Steven Tyler team up with the effortlessly cool guys at Run-DMC doesn’t immediately scream hit single. But it turned out that a new-school hip-hop musical duel with a classic hard rock band would lead to more than just a career reboot for Aerosmith.
It symbolized a change in the mainstream rap consciousness. Rock was the dominant genre in the 80s, with rap still part of the underground. When rock fans got that particular number, MTV audiences started asking for more.
Of course, music mediator Rick Rubin helped facilitate this collaboration. Initially, neither Aerosmith nor Run-DMC were too keen on the idea. Run-DMC had sampled the intro from the original 1975 version of the song at freestyle events and planned to use it on their new album. Rubin floated the idea of them re-recording it as a collaboration. According to Darryl McDanielsthe hip hop group originally referred to Tyler’s vocals as “bumbkin country gibberish”.
Rubin was able to work his magic, however, resulting in one of the most enduring rap/rock mashups. The chilling atmosphere continued on the set of the video, but in a daunting example of art, at the end of filming, all parties clashed.