CBC Music: The 20 best music videos of the '80s

Artist: Blue Peter
"Don't Walk Past"
Year: 1983

Highlights: Multiple martinis, a typewriter (what is that again?), a checkerboard floor, artsy lighting, mysterious authorities, David Byrne-like dancing.

Did you know? The video was once number 85 on a MuchMusic list of top videos of the century.


Gallery posted by Jennifer Van Evra

When the '80s hit, so did the relatively new phenomenon of the music video. As the form proliferated, so did the TV networks.

MTV was launched in 1981, MuchMusic launched a few years later in 1984, and suddenly, bands had to not only make great music, but they had to create unforgettable visuals, too.

So what are some of the very best clips from that fledgling era? The ones that have survived three decades? Here are 20 of the most memorable, starting with 10 Canadian, then 10 international. Open the gallery  above to begin.

Now Magazine: Blue Peter's promising push

Blue Peter's promising push
By Michael Hollett
May 26-June 1, 1983

Blue Peter burst on the Toronto music scene back in 1978 with a confident swagger and unique sound that wouldn't be denied. But it was, and now, five years later, Blue Peter has learned to function as a band whose potential has yet to be matched by their success.

Because of the initial publicity the band attracted, hopes were high and a lot was looked for from a band whose members were all in their teens. As a result, the band has done much of its development under the steely-eyed stare of an expectant public. And to some, this has meant Blue Peter has been viewed as a band that's stalling instead of merely going through the growing pains that others have experienced in the privacy or their rec rooms or half empty bars.

Music Express: Canadian Cold Cuts

Music Express Issue #76 '84
Canadian Cold Cuts
Blue Peter

The first impression on receiving this 4-song EP was "Oh jeez, here's Blue Peter milking a minor hit single (Don't Walk Past) for all it's worth." I mean, not only was the song a focal point of their Falling album but it was also released as a 12-inch single and now, hot on the trail of MTV pushing the video on medium rotation, we have a six-minute dance mix version.

But surprisingly, Version works because it allows us to discover a totally different aspect of Blue Peter, one that doesn't centre around the Ferryesque persona of lead man Paul Humphrey. By instumentalizing the arrangements, the onus is on the rest of the band to carry the tunes and this they do with zestful conviction. Keyboardist Jason Sniderman and guitarist Chris Wardman turn in performances that inject new life into Don't Walk Past and Unchained Heart while Real News is transformed into a hot instrumental piece.

Joni Gives Royal Nod To Blue Peter

Jonathan Gross - The Toronto Sun

Joni Mitchell didn't say whether she had popped into the Head Space Saturday night just to put a little money on the Maple Leafs, but her presence lent the warm buzz of celebrity to Blue Peter's album release party.

"No pictures please. I'm trying to keep a low profile," pleaded Mitchell, in town taking advantage of her citizenship to act in a feature film. "I like the band, though!"

Unsolicited endorsements aside, Blue Peter has become a formidable dance band that has matured steadily since their humble beginning two years ago as openers for lame outfits like The Battered Newsmen. Talk about paying your dues!

Like most young rockers singer Paul Humphrey started out borrowing heavily from a favorite for style. In his case it was David Bowie, and Humphrey played the 'thin white youth' role for all it was worth, working on a clever visual contrast of genteel poise against the primitive backdrop of a a semi-competent three chord cover band.

Blue Peter Displays A Wide Range Of Talent

Blue Peter Displays A Wide Range Of Talent
The Globe and Mail
FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 1984

BLUE PETER'S concert at the Ontario Place Forum last night amply demonstrated that the young Toronto band is one of the best live groups in the country and deserves to be reaching a wider audience outside Canada. The capacity crowd of about 12,000 must have been sufficiently inspiring, though, for the group was in excellent form, both with old songs and a few new and promising tunes.

Blue Peter: Falling In Love Again

Blue Peter: Falling In Love Again
by Carmen Mills
Gazette Staff
Friday October 7, 1983

Since its inception five years ago Blue Peter has worked its way to a familiar place on the Ontario club and concert hall circuit. Their 1981 lp Radio Silence garnered this four-man ensemble extensive national airplay. With the recent addition or Jason Sniderman on keyboards, Blue Peter's sound has been expanded and refined. This month a brand new album, Falling. was released by Ready Records. In an interview this week Sniderman spoke to The Gazette about changing, playing, Falling, and clothing.

Blue Peter showcases motivated talent

THE GAZETTE, Tuesday, Jan. 13,1981
Blue Peter showcases motivated talent
by Brendan Wycks
Gazette Staff

Blue Peter, that band from Toronto whose talent, if recognized, should promise a future of international renown, was in town last weekend for a three night stint at the Cedar Lounge. From the initial chord of the opening set Saturday night, the dance floor was overflowing.

Lead singer Paul Humphrey's natural aura of confident abandon won over people immediately; the usual routine of waiting for an inebriated introvert to break the ice was dispensed with on this occasion. Humphrey is both visually and vocally comparable to rock's brilliant chameleon, David Bowie. The beginning bars of 'Cloak and Dagger' saw Humphrey twisting, bending & gyrating and thrusting to the pulse of his musical support.

Collectively the band was incredibly tight. The sound was crystal clear and unmarred by any technical foul-ups. It was loud but not offensive.

FM Times Review: Up To You

Blue Peter: Up To You

At last there is a major release from Toronto-based band Blue Peter, and the six·song EP Up To You has been well worth the walt.

Like their previous releases. Up To You was produced by the band's songwriter and guitarist Chris Wardman, with the help of engineer Kevin Doyle. The production, like everything else about the band, has matured a great deal since the last album, Radio Silence.

The songs are more complex musically and the arrangements more sophisticated They no longer rely primarily on guitar, bass and drums alone but have added synthesizers and horns to some songs. This results in greater variety in the sound and mood of the songs: tho smooth. soaring synthesizer accompaniment in "Around You" contrasts sharply with the bright, bouncy horns in the funky title song.