We Built This City: The Story Behind the Music Video

We Built This City: The Story Behind the Music Video is a blog post that tells the behind-the-scenes story of how the iconic music video was made.

The Story Behind the Music Video

We Built This City is a 1985 rock song by American band Starship. The song was written by Dennis DeYoung of the band Styx, Bernie Taupin, and Martin Page, and produced by Peter Wolf. It was the first single released from the band’s album Knee Deep in the Hoopla.

The song became a number-one hit in the United States, spending three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart in November 1985. It also peaked at number twelve on the UK Singles Chart and number one on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Outside North America, “We Built This City” topped the charts in Australia and New Zealand.

The music video for “We Built This City” was directed by Monty Python member Terry Gilliam and featured footage of the band lip syncing to the song intercut with shots of 1970s television commercials, vintage educational films about chickens, Soviet propaganda films, and stock footage of World War II fighter planes.

The Music Video Itself

The iconic 1985 music video for We Built This City by Starship has been praised and parodied in popular culture for years. The video features the band performing against a backdrop of various American cityscapes, intercut with shots of famous landmarks and everyday people going about their lives.

The video was directed by Joe Pytka, who also directed Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and was nominated for five MTV Video Music Awards. It is widely considered to be one of the most influential music videos of the 1980s.

The Band

We Built This City is a rock song written by Bernie Taupin and Martin Page, and recorded by US rock group Starship in 1985. The song was released as a single from their album Knee Deep in the Hoopla and became the band’s only number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it remained for two weeks in November 1985. The single was certified Gold by the RIAA.

The Song

We Built This City is a song by rock band Jefferson Starship. The song was released as a single in November 1985 and became a number-one hit on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in early 1986. Despite the success of the song, it received mixed reviews from critics. Some praised its anthemic music and positive message, while others criticized its synthesizer-heavy production and referred to it as a “sell-out” by the band.

The music video for We Built This City was directed by Pink Floyd collaborator Gerald Scarfe. It features the band members performing the song on top of a cityscape made out of cardboard, with various people and creatures walking around in the background. The video was nominated for four MTV Video Music Awards, winning two for Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction.

The Lyrics

“We Built This City” is a song written by Bernie Taupin, Martin Page, Dennis Lambert and Peter Wolf, and recorded by American rock band Jefferson Starship. The song was released as a single from the album Knee Deep in the Hoopla in November 1985 and became the band’s only number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100, spending two weeks at the top of the chart in early 1986. The song also peaked at number-one on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks for two weeks.

The lyrics of “We Built This City” tell the story of how a once great city has fallen into decay and ruin, and how its people have become jaded and cynical. The city in question is never explicitly named, but it is clear from the lyrics that it is meant to represent Los Angeles.

The Meaning Behind the Song

We Built This City was released in November of 1985 by Starship, a spin-off group from the Jefferson Airplane. The song was written by Bernie Taupin, Martin Page, Dennis DeYoung, and Peter Cetera. The music video was directed by Wayne Isham and features the band lip syncing the song while walking around Los Angeles.

The song is about Hollywood, CA and how it has changed over the years. In the opening verse, Taupin talks about how Hollywood used to be a place where “dreamers” would come to make their dreams come true. He talks about how Hollywood is now full of “people that are no good”. He then goes on to say how these “people” have taken over Hollywood and have turned it into a “city of dreams”.

The chorus of the song is very powerful and speaks to the heart of what Hollywood is supposed to be. The chorus goes like this:
“We built this city on rock ‘n’ roll / We’re not gonna take it anymore / We built this city on rock ‘n’ roll / We’re not gonna take it / We built this city on rock ‘n’ roll / And we’re not gonna take it anymore.”
This speaks to how Hollywood was founded on dreamers and on music. It also speaks to how Hollywood has changed and how the dreamers are no longer welcome. The video ends with the band walking into the ocean as the sun sets. This could be interpreted as them giving up on Hollywood or as them finding peace in nature.

Whether you like the song or not, there is no denying that it has a powerful message. It’s a message that speaks to the heart of what Hollywood is supposed to be and what it has become.

The Music Video Production

The music video for “We Built This City” was directed by Jeff Stein and produced by MCA Records. It was shot in December 1985 in Los Angeles, California, on a budget of $200,000. The video features footage of the band performing the song on a soundstage, intercut with footage of city landmarks such as the Hollywood Sign, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and the Santa Monica Pier.

The video was nominated for two MTV Video Music Awards in 1986, including Best Group Video and Best Special Effects.

The Reception of the Music Video

The “We Built This City” music video was received with mixed reviews. Some viewers loved the over-the-top, 80s style of the video, while others found it to be too campy and corny. The video was nominated for several MTV Video Music Awards, but did not win any.

The Legacy of the Music Video

When “We Built This City” by Starship was released in 1985, it was immediately met with criticism. The song was derided as one of the worst examples of 80s pop music, and the accompanying music video was no different. The video featured a group of white, middle-aged musicians lip syncing to the song while acting out a series of bizarre and confusing scenes.

Despite the initial negative reception, the video has since gone on to become a cult classic. It has been praised for its art direction and surrealist bent, and has been cited as an influence by a number of notable directors. In recent years, it has been included in retrospectives of the best music videos of the 1980s.

Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that “We Built This City” is one of the most iconic music videos of its era.

The Music Video in Context

On November 18th, 1985, We Built This City by Starship was released as a single. The song was written by Bernie Taupin, Dennis Lambert, and Martin Page, and produced by Peter Wolf. It was a number-one hit in the United States. The music video for the song was directed by Richard Lemon and features footage of the band performing in front of a live audience, as well as shots of lead singer Grace Slick walking through San Francisco.

We Built This City is considered to be one of the worst songs of all time, and the music video has been frequently cited as one of the worst music videos ever made. Despite this, the video won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Group Video in 1986.

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