Edinburgh has appeared in numerous music videos spanning just about every genre since the medium gained fame in the 1980s.
Showcasing the early MTV era the efforts of The Proclaimers, Josef K and even Celine Dion, the capital has served as the setting for promotional videos from some of the world’s best-known bands over the decades.
From the iconic to downright cheesy, let’s take a closer look at some of our favorites as they appeared in our beautiful capital.
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Scars – All About You (1981)
Filmed 40 years ago, this rather left-handed effort by Edinburgh post-punk band Scars is as deliciously nostalgic as it is bizarre.
It all starts out innocently enough, with the quartet filmed walking around Waverley Station, but quickly turns into a surreal mishmash of random city scenes, featuring female workers at a G Georgie sausage factory and an exterior shot. from Saughton Prison.
The video ends with the group in make-up fighting against a giant bird-like creature atop Calton Hill.
The Publishers – Letter from America (1987)
The Proclaimers’ anthem to the Scottish diaspora and deindustrialization struck a chord enough when it was released in the middle of the Thatcher era in 1987.
Footage filmed around Leith’s Victoria Quay features prominently in the video, giving an example of an area that was suffering in the 1980s due to industrial decline.
Celine Dion – Lolita (1987)
It looks like 1987 was a busy year for the capital appearing in promotional videos.
This retro gem of a 19-year-old Celine Dion, still predominantly French, is embellished with many postcard-worthy shots of downtown Edinburgh.
As one of Celine’s first clips, it’s, admittedly, a bit of a cheese party, but it’s an utterly fascinating viewing if you’re from the capital.
This video reappeared in July of this year after it was posted on Reddit.
The Magic Numbers – You Don’t Know Me (2012)
English indie rockers The Magic Numbers raised eyebrows in 2012 when they chose one of the city’s traditional watering holes as the location for the music video for their single You Don’t Know Me.
The clip unexpectedly gave some of the regulars at Leith’s Strathie bar on Iona Street five minutes of fame.
The video includes a scene of two men fighting outside the pub, which is so far-fetched …
Josef K – Chance Encounter (1979)
Having inspired Franz Ferdinand and The Futureheads, Josef K is often cited as one of the most influential bands to ever emerge from Edinburgh.
Their first single Romance / Chance Meeting was released in 1979, shortly before they signed with Scottish pop label Postcard Records. The single was accompanied by a do-it-yourself style video, shot entirely in 8mm and showing the sights of central Edinburgh, including Calton Hill National Monument and the Lawnmarket closures.
Nina Nesbitt – Boy (2012)
With a string of best-selling singles and albums to her credit, Livingston-born singer Nina Nesbitt has been one of the most exciting talents in Scottish pop over the past decade.
Nina’s first single, Boy, was shot in Edinburgh and features exterior shots of Victoria Street in the heart of the Old Town.
Mark Knopfler – What Is It (2000)
Released as the first single from the second solo album by Dire Straits legend Mark Knopfler, What It Is pays homage to Edinburgh in its lyrics and music video.
The video begins under dull skies at the Forth Bridges, before taking us on a journey through the dark fences of the Old Town.