10 Best Hard Rock Music Videos Of The 80s

A time for dry ice, hair spray and every rock star cliché in the book...

We Are Twisted Sister
Andrew Horn Filmproduktion

During this era there wasn't too much room for serious artistic ventures. Hard rock was about power chords, outrageous fashion, squeezing as much fun up your nose as possible, and looking as 'cool' as you could while doing it. And the music videos reflected this sentiment.

You can spot an '80s music video from a mile away, but each genre had its checklist. For rock, it was something like this: leather jackets, as much smoke as it's safe to pump onto a set, at least one tangle teased hair cut, and as many scantily clad women as the budget would allow.

If you could hit at least two of those requirements, your video was onto a winner.

It's a fact that the amount of hair spray used on 1980s video sets was enough to raise our planet's global temperature by half a degree. With that in mind, it's probably fair to start channeling the 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 every now and then it's fun to dip a toe back in that sordid mire of debauchery and questionable fashion choices.

10. Walk This Way - Run-D.M.C. Ft. Aerosmith (1986)

Having the pouty mouthed, silk scarf wearing Steven Tyler team up with the effortlessly cool guys from Run-D.M.C. doesn't immediately scream hit single. But it turned out a new-school hip-hop act musically duelling with a classic hard rock band would lead to more then just a career restart for Aerosmith.

It symbolised a shift in the mainstream consciousness when it came to rap. Rock was the domineering genre during the '80s, with rap still very much part of the underground. When rock fans got hold of this particular number, MTV audiences began to ask for more.

Of course, the musical mediator Rick Rubin helped facilitate this collaboration. Initially, neither Aerosmith or Run-D.M.C. were too hot on the idea. Run-D.M.C. had been sampling the intro to the original 1975 version of the song at freestyle events, and had planned to use it on their new album. Rubin floated the idea out that they rerecord it as a collaboration. According to Darryl McDaniels, the hip hop group originally referred to Tyler's vocals as "country bumbkin gibberish".

Rubin managed to work his magic, though, resulting in one of the most enduring rap/rock mashups going. The frosty atmosphere continued onto the video shoot, but in an instance of life intimidating art, by the end of the shoot all parties were getting down with each other.


Before engrossing myself in the written word, I spent several years in the TV and film industry. During this time I became proficient at picking things up, moving things and putting things down again.