Origins of the Video Killed the Radio Star original version
At 12:01am on 1 of August 1981, “Video Killed the Radio Star” became the first music clip aired on MTV. Although English new wave band the Buggles released the song in 1979, the song became an anthem of the 1980s. However, former Buggles member, Bruce Woolley, with his new band, the Camera Club, recorded the “Video Killed the Radio Star” original.
In the 1970s, Italian musicians Umberto Tozzi and Giancarlo Bigazzi wrote a love song called “Gloria”. In 1979, Tozzi recorded the original version of “Gloria”, a song where the protagonist longs for a woman named Gloria. A few years later, New Yorker Laura Branigan recorded an English cover. Unlike the “Gloria” original, Branigan addresses Gloria, who’s all messed up over some guy, directly. Tozzi’s version was very popular, especially in Europe. But Branigan’s 1982 single sold over two million copies in the United States alone.
Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” is a 1980s feminist pop anthem accompanied by a Grammy-winning music video. It has close to 40 cover versions, including Weird Al Yankovic’s parody “Girls Just Want to Have Lunch”. But the unknown original version of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” was sung by a man. This put a completely different slant on girls wanting to have “fun”.
Kim Carnes’ version of “Bette Davis Eyes” came out in 1981. It was the lead single from Carnes’ sixth studio album Mistaken Identity. The song was US Billboard’s biggest hit in 1981. It also topped the charts in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, South Africa, Spain and Switzerland. In addition, “Bette Davis Eyes” won two Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 1982. It was the third-best-selling single of the 1980s, after Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” and the Diana Ross/Lionel Richie duet “Endless Love”.
But did you know that “Bette Davis Eyes” original version was first recorded back in 1974 by 60s hit singer Jackie DeShannon? It was written and composed by DeShannon and singer-songwriter Donna Weiss for DeShannon’s 1975 album New Arrangement. They came up with the idea to write the song after seeing Bette Davis in the 1942 film Now, Voyager.