Screen Reviews

Pure 80’s: The DVD

Various Artists

UTV / Universal


If you’re in your late twenties or early thirties, chances are you grew up watching MTV – in fact, chances are it had a lot to do with shaping your musical tastes.

Capitalizing on both the fact that the MTV generation now has disposable income and the advent of DVD as a major home video format, Universal has created this little impulse item. Pure 80’s: The DVD collects 14 memorable videos from the ’80s on a single DVD.

And that’s it.

Which is kind of sad, really. There’s none of the extras DVD fans love, and a disc like this could have been rife with them. Imagine director’s commentaries (heck, imagine director’s CREDITS, or ANY credits, which are glaringly absent). Imagine artist commentaries. Imagine partnering with the folks at VH-1’s Pop-Up Video to create a “subtitles” feature that would mimic that show. Imagine lyrics. Imagine interviews with the artists. Imagine ’80s video karaoke.

Yep, you’ll just have to imagine those things, ‘cause they ain’t here, pal. What you get are the videos, looking sharp but unchanged from the thousands of times you saw them as a teen. And there’s absolutely nothing rare or out of the ordinary here, either – it’s all stuff you can easily catch by flipping on VH-1 Classic’s fantastic We Are the ’80s (which actually DOES show rare stuff); that is, except for ABC’s “The Look of Love,” which for some strange reason I don’t believe I’ve seen since the ’80s.

The song choices are mostly good, with only Dan Hartman, Night Ranger (“Sister Christian” will never be the same after Boogie Nights), and Asia ranking as embarrassing. The answer to the one trivia question everyone in the free world knows the answer to (that is, “what was the first video shown on MTV?”) is also the first thing here, and great videos from Dexy’s Midnight Runners (“Come On Eileen”), Big Country (“In a Big Country”), Berlin (“No More Words”), Swing Out Sister (“Breakout”), and a double-shot of Tears For Fears (“Shout” and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”) are the real standouts. All in all, a fairly pleasurable way to while away an hour or so.

But imagining what could have been makes me really sad – and really curious what the folks at Rhino could do with the idea of an ’80s videos DVD box set•

UTV Records:

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