MTV was a boon for many artists when it appeared and proceeded to completely dominate the music of the early to mid-’80s. What a wonderful new medium! Check out all of this exposure for all of these great artists!
But its power was enough to destroy completely some ’70s hangers-on. Plenty of artists who had known some significant degree of success only a few years earlier tried to do the MTV thing and immediately faced Waterloo.
Exhibit A: “Baby Makes Her Blue Jeans Talk,” Dr. Hook.
Now there is a lot that is correct about this song and video. It’s undeniably catchy, with a great, um, hook (sorry). And a pretty posterior in form-fitting denim is always in fashion. But there were some key assumptions that did it—and Dr. Hook—right in:
Bad assumption #1: The artist must appear in the video. (Yipes, guys. Come on.)
Bad assumption #2: The artist, upon appearing in the video, must move in time with the music. (This is the greatest sustained chuckle for me. I particularly like the tortured efforts to keep it up while they’re walking backwards and singing to her.)
Bad assumption #3: Aforementioned classic visual of a great butt in tight jeans is enough to overcome #1 and #2.