Join us as we take a look back at one of the most iconic music videos of the 80s – Rock the Cradle of Love by Billy Idol.
The history of the song “Rock the Cradle of Love”
“Rock the Cradle of Love” is a song written by Eddi Grant and recorded by his band The Equals. It was released as a single in 1968, peaking at number 24 on the UK Singles Chart.
The song was later covered by Billy Idol in 1987. His version reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
The music video for Idol’s version, directed by David Mallet, was ranked number four on VH1’s 50 Greatest Videos of All Time list.
The making of the classic music video
The 1980’s was a time of big hair, spandex, and classic rock. One of the most popular bands of that era was Poison. Their song “Rock the Cradle of Love” was a huge hit, and the music video that accompanied it was iconic.
In the video, lead singer Bret Michaels is seen singing in a crib, surrounded by baby dolls. The rest of the band is in a nursery, playing with toys. The video was playful and lighthearted, and it perfectly matched the tone of the song.
The “Rock the Cradle of Love” music video was directed by Nigel Dick, who went on to direct videos for artists such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Ricky Martin. It was filmed in Los Angeles in 1989.
The video was an instant success, and it helped to make Poison one of the most popular bands of the 1980’s. It is still remembered fondly by fans today.
The influence of the video on popular culture
The “Rock the Cradle of Love” video was one of the first popular music videos. It featured a then-unknown Eddie Murphy lip synching to the song while doing a comical dance. The video became a huge hit, and helped propel Murphy to stardom. It also popularized the “cradle rock” dance move, which was imitated by many people around the world.
The video has been credited with helping to bring MTV to prominence in the early 1980s. It was one of the first videos played on the network, and its success helped convince other record labels to produce music videos for their artists. The “Rock the Cradle of Love” video is now considered a classic, and is often included in lists of the greatest music videos of all time.
The legacy of the video today
When “Rock the Cradle of Love” was released as a single in October 1989, the video was an instant classic. Filmed in New York’s East Village and directed by David Fincher, it featured a young Edie Sedgwick look-alike (played by Kelly Lynch) voguing and rolling around on the pavement. The video helped make the song a smash hit, and it has since been hailed as one of the best music videos of all time.
Today, the legacy of “Rock the Cradle of Love” lives on. The song has been covered by numerous artists, including Guns N’ Roses, Sheryl Crow, and Jennifer Lopez. The video has been spoofed by everyone from Mike Myers to Katy Perry. And it remains an iconic part of pop culture history.
How the video helped to launch the career of its director
The video for “Rock the Cradle of Love” was directed by David Fincher, who would go on to become one of Hollywood’s most successful directors. The video helped to launch his career, and he has said that it was one of his favorite projects to work on.
The video is a parody of a 1950s educational film about the birds and the bees, with a rock and roll twist. It features a young woman (played by actress Jennifer Beals) who is trying to learn about the birds and the bees from her mother. However, her mother is more interested in listening to music than in giving her daughter a sex education.
The video was a big hit when it was released, and it helped to make Fincher a household name.
The video’s place in the history of music videos
In the early 1980s, the music video was relatively new and MTV was just beginning to take off. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was one of the first music videos to truly capitalize on the format and make something that was both entertaining and artistically ambitious. At the time, it was the most expensive music video ever made, with a budget of $800,000. It went on to become the most successful music video of all time, and influenced many other artists in the years that followed.
The “Rock the Cradle of Love” video is significant not only because it was one of the first real attempt at making a “movie” out of a music video, but also because it helped to legitimize the format as an art form. Music videos had been around for a few years prior to “Rock the Cradle of Love,” but they were mostly just promotional tools used to sell records. With this video, Eddie Murphy and Rick James were able to show that music videos could be something more than just advertisements. They could be actual entertainment unto themselves.
The “Rock the Cradle of Love” video is often cited as one of the earliest examples of what would later come to be known as hip-hop culture. The video features Murphy and James rapping over a hard-hitting beat, while dancers performedbreakdance moves in the background. This combination of rap music and breakdancing would go on to become one of the defining elements of hip-hop culture in the years that followed.
While it may not be remembered as one of Eddie Murphy’s or Rick James’ best work today, “Rock the Cradle of Love” remains an important part of both musical and pop culture history.
The fashion and style seen in the video
The fashion and style seen in the video is widely remembered and iconic of the late 80s. The high Contrast black and white video features Punky Brewster actress Soleil Moon Frye in a babydoll dress with her signature pixie cut. She is shown playing with an oversized teddy bear, bouncing on a bed, and fountain near the end of the video. The style is youthful, carefree, and epitomizes 1980s popular culture.
The video’s use of special effects
The video’s use of special effects was very advanced for its time. It featured a combination of animation and live action, and was one of the first music videos to use computer-generated imagery. The video was directed by Jim Blashfield, who also directed the videos for “We Are the World” and “Billie Jean.”
The critical reception of the video upon its release
When the video for “Rock the Cradle of Love” was released in 1989, it was met with a mixed response from critics. Some praised the song’s catchy hook and fun, upbeat tone, while others felt that it was too simplistic and juvenile. The video itself was also criticized for its humor, which some felt was not appropriate for a song about teenage pregnancy. However, the video has since become a cult classic, and many fans consider it to be one of Poison’s best music videos.
The enduring popularity of the video
It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. In the case of the popular music video Rock the Cradle of Love, it could be argued that the video is worth a million words.
The video, which was directed by David Mallet and featured close-ups of the band members performing the song, was an instant classic when it was released in 1989. It quickly became one of the most iconic music videos of all time, cementing the popularity of the band in the process.
More than 30 years later, the video continues to be popular with fans old and new alike. It has been referenced and parodied in popular culture countless times, and its stature as a classic music video only seems to be growing with time.
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