Dancing in the Dark. MTV, Music Videos, Bruce Springsteen and the Aesthetics of Rock in the Eighties

Gianni Sibilla

Abstract


Although born in the seventies, music videos are considered one of the cultural and media symbols of the Eighties. This paper will focus on the aesthetics of music videos in the Eighties in a new perspective, that goes beyond the postmodern approach typical of its early studies.
It will consider the music video as a narrative device to build the image inch the aesthetics of a music star particularly in relation to music genres and their symbolic and cultural meaning. Therefore, the rock music videos of the Eighties are particularly interesting because of their relations to three main issues: television spectacularization, the needs for promotion of the recording industries, and the need to keep (or build) the consistency and credibility of the performer / musician.
The paper analyzes the production of a rock artist symbol of that decade: Bruce Springsteen, who experimented with different forms of music videos and aesthetics to promote his record on MTV visibility on MTV while preserving his image as a “authentic” rock performer.

Keywords


Music videos; Music Television; Television studies; Bruce Springsteen; Popular music; Music Industry

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2611-0563/9474

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