8 Music Videos From The 1980s That Featured Movie Stars - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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8 Music Videos From The 1980s That Featured Movie Stars

How many of these do you remember?

In the 1980s the music video was becoming quite an art form. Artists like Michael Jackson were blurring the lines between big budget Hollywood productions and the early days of the three-minute promo from the likes of Madness who essentially just jumped up and down whilst lip-syncing (not that there's anything wrong with that). Many music videos even featured Hollywood movie stars, and we've gathered a collection of them for you below.

Firstly, what's not included in our list? Well we've only gone for music videos where the movie star has come on set and been part of the production, so although Neutron Dance by The Pointer Sisters features Eddie Murphy it is solely in clips edited in from Beverly Hills Cop, hence it does not make the cut, nor does any other video like that and there are a lot that fall into that category. Also excluded is the music video for Always On My Mind by Pet Shop Boys. Yes tt features Joss Ackland, but the video is lifted almost exactly from their 1988 film It Couldn't Happen Here rather than being specially shot for the single. So that's out too. And if you think that was Tom Cruise at the end of Berlin's Take My Breath Away, it wasn't! Lookalike's definitely do not count.

What we do have though is an eclectic collection of 1980s hit songs featuring specially recorded appearances or scenes by some of Hollywood's biggest names from the era. Take it away Mr McCartney...

Paul McCartney - Take It Away
Not only does this 1982 track from Paul McCartney's Tug Of War album feature both Ringo Starr and George Martin performing and appearing in the music video, said video also includes the late, great John Hurt as the "important impresario" who, in the words of the song, has a message for the band.

Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy
The first a cappella song to reach no #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart was entirely created by Bobby McFerrin overdubbing his vocals with other sounds made by his body (stop it!). The music video features both Bill Irwin and another sorely missed actor Robin Williams. Given his losing battle with depression, I find it quite moving to now watch the close up shot on William's face and his expressions within this video.

Paul Simon - You Can Call Me Al
This is possibly the most famous example of a music video featuring a movie star. Chevy Chase was, of course, a major film star at the time. His year's on Saturday Night Live coupled with National Lampoon's Vacation, Caddyshack, Fletch and other comedy films, made him the perfect performer for this comedic promo. But, Chase was not as big of a star in the UK; SNL didn't make it to our shores and most of his films went straight to V/H/S, meaning there was a good chance that if you were British born and bred you may not have known who he was. Case in point, I've known two different people who thought the guy singing the song in the video was Paul Simon but never understood who the short dude was with him!

Michael McDonald - Sweet Freedom
Sweet Freedom gave Michael McDonald his biggest solo UK hit, peaking at no #12 in 1986. The theme song from the film Running Scared included many different excerpts from the film before McDonald is joined in a beach-side bar by the two stars, Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines, who after some cocktails harmonse with McDonald toward the end of the video.

Huey Lewis & The News - The Power Of Love
Recorded especially for Back To The Future (we looked at how that came about here), with a version of this 1985 hit played by Michael J Fox in-character as Marty McFly during the film (although Fox's guitar was actually dubbed), the music video for The Power Of Love shows the band performing in a nightclub (Uncle Charlie's, a frequent stop for the band in their early career) with Christopher Lloyd BTTF character Dr. Emmett Brown showing up in his DeLorean, apparently after time-traveling.

Michael Jackson - Bad
Giving Wesley Snipes his big break, the music video for Michael Jackson's 1987 single Bad was directed by Martin Scorsese and used a different version of the song than that played on the radio or included on the album. With a running length of 18-minutes (although a shorter version was more commonly played) the promor had a production schedule that might rival some films, being shot in Brooklyn over a 6-week period during November and December 1986.

Madonna - Papa Don't Preach
Madonna's fictional boyfriend (and father of her child) in this 1986 video was played by actor Alex McArthur who Madonna had spotted in a small role as a naive youth in the 1985 film Desert Hearts. But its the actor playing her father who you most likely know. You may recognise Danny Aiello from The Godfather Part II, Moonstruck, Hudson Hawk, and as Salvatore "Sal" Frangione in the Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing.

Ray Parker Jr - Ghostbusters 
Donning full Ghostbusters uniform, Bill Murray, Dan Akyroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson joined Ray Parker Jr dancing down the streets of New York. If it wasn't enough to have the stars of the film turn up for the video shoot, they all seemingly called in every favour they had as the 1984 hit also includes cameos from many celebrities of the day; Chevy Chase, Irene Cara, John Candy, Melissa Gilbert, Ollie E. Brown, Jeffrey Tambor, George Wendt, Al Franken, Danny DeVito, Carly Simon, Peter Falk, and Teri Garr; all of whom exclaim the song's "Ghostbusters!" refrain when shown.


Can you name any other music videos from the 1980s that feature specially shot appearances from movie stars? Let us know in the comments below.

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