For many of us life just seems a whole lot better when we're surrounded by sun, sand and of course a great big ocean. Salt life is a real thing and it has been featured in music videos almost since the very start of MTV. Some of the most memorable visuals by music artists have featured the ocean as a backdrop. Since it's the unofficial start of summer I thought it would be fun to revisit some old MTV favorites. Each of these videos has a beach theme and really stands out in my memory (hopefully yours too). So here we go and in NO particular order...
Debbie Gibson- "Only In My Dreams"
Every time I'm telling secrets
I remember how it used to be
And I realized how much I miss you
And I realize how it feels to be free
This was actually Gibson's debut single. It was released in late 1986 but was written by the then-young star herself two years earlier. The video was shot at Asbury Park beach in New Jersey and helped to launch Gibson's career.
Belinda Carlisle- "Circle In The Sand"
Sundown all around
Walking thru the summer's end
Waves crash baby, don't look back
I won't walk away again
Oh, baby, anywhere you go,
We are bound together
I begin, baby, where you end
Some things are forever!
The Fat Boys- "Wipe Out"
For three years straight we toured the nation
When we get through we needed a vacation
We wanted to party and get a little rest
So we packed our things and headed out west
We got our surfboards took the beach ball out
Jumped in a limousine ready to "Wipe out"
The Fat Boys were a hip hop trio from Brooklyn that first emerged in the early 80's. Their 1987 cover of "Wipe Out" was one of the biggest songs of the summer and this video was in heavy rotation on MTV.
Huey Lewis And The News- "Stuck With You"
Yes, it's true, (yes it's true) I am happy to be stuck with you
Yes, it's true, (yes it's true) I'm so happy to be stuck with you
'Cause I can see, (I can see) that you're happy to be stuck with me
(yes it's true) I'm so happy to be stuck with you
I'm happy to be stuck with you
I'm happy to be stuck with you
Happy to be stuck with you.
What guy wouldn't want to be stuck on a deserted island with Keely Shaye Smith circa 1986? Huey Lewis was probably thrilled to get to play in the sun and sand with the then-model for hours while filming "Stuck With You". The song itself spent 3 weeks at number one on Billboard's Hot 100 and the video was one of the biggest of the year. The desert island in this is actually about ten miles from Paradise Island in Nassau.
Bow Wow Wow- "I Want Candy"
I know a girl who’s tough but sweet
She’s so fine, she can’t be beat
She’s got everything that I desire
Sets the summer sun on fire
If you're going to have a one-hit-wonder then you can only hope that the video that accompanies it also leaves a lasting impression, right? Well, Bow Wow Wow managed to do just that with "I Want Candy". I think when a lot of us think of the song we instantly picture the band buried up to their necks in sand!
Duran Duran- "Rio"
Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand
Just like that river twisting through a dusty land
And when she shines she really shows you all she can
Oh Rio, Rio dance across the Rio Grande
While Duran Duran was picking up momentum in the early 80's their second studio album, Rio didn't really click here in the states- until their flashy video for the title song. "Rio" eventually became a visual example of all of the excesses that the decade became synonymous for. This features the band is slick suits speeding through the Caribbean on a yacht surrounded by beautiful women. Once the video was picked up by MTV then people realized what a great song this really was.
Britney Spears- "Sometimes"
Sometimes I run
Sometimes I hide
Sometimes I'm scared of you
But all I really want is to hold you tight
Treat you right, be with you day and night
Baby, all I need is time
Baby One More Time was the album that launched Britney Spears' career way back in 1999 and it just wouldn't have been complete without one sugary sweet ballad, right? "Sometimes" was met with mixed reviews in the spring of 1999. Even then not too many people were buying Spears as a virginal girl wanting to take things super slow with her squeaky clean guy but the beach-y backdrop is stunning.
Bon Jovi- "In And Out Of Love"
Young and wired
Set to explode in the heat
you won't tire
Cause baby was born with the beat
Do you guys even remember this video from 1985? I had actually forgotten it but it has to be included here because it features the original Jersey boys playing on the boardwalk and in the sands of Seaside Heights!
David Lee Roth- "California Girls"
Well, East coast girls are hip,
I really dig those styles they wear;
And the Southern girls with the way they talk,
They knock me out when I'm down there,
The mid-west farmers daugh-ters
Real-ly make you feel alright,
And the northern girls with the way they kiss
They keep their boyfriends warm at night.
Not long after leaving Van Halen in 1984 David Lee Roth returned to the airwaves with 1985's Crazy From The Heat. All four songs on the EP were covers of already established hits from the past. "California Girls" was kind of a no-brainer and the video loaded with chicks in bikinis became a summer staple.
Expose`- "Seasons Change"
Seasons change feelings change
It's been so long since I found you
Yet it seems like yesterday
Seasons change people change
I'll sacrifice tomorrow
Just to have you here today
In 1987 Expose` took their Miami freestyle sound and delivered it to the masses, with great success. Hits like "Come Go With Me" and "Let Me Be The One" landed in Billboard's top ten and solidified their run as a great dance band but that wasn't all that they were capable of. Their ballad "Seasons Change" earned the girl group their first number one single and just as the song was a bit of a departure, so was the video. Instead of being a flashy, fun live performance "Seasons Change" was set in a beach house. The girls are seen packing up their summer house while singing and eventually a run on the beach is of course in order.
Chris Isaak- "Wicked Game"
What a wicked game you played to make me feel this way
what a wicked thing to do to let me dream of you
what a wicked thing to say you never felt this way
what a wicked thing to do to make me dream of you
Take a sultry, haunting song, a topless Helena Christensen in Isaak's arms and film it in black and white. The result? Perfection, the kind that even 27 years after its' original release still makes you stop to watch.
Wreckx-N-Effect- "Rump Shaker"
All I wanna do is zoom-a-zoom-zoom-zoom
And a poom-poom - Just shake ya rump!
The year was 1992 and Teddy Riley's production and guest vocals made "Rump Shaker" a club classic for Wreckz-N-Effect. The visual of a hot chick walking in the sand playing a saxophone is probably still cemented in the minds of many men out there.
Cherish the thought
Of always having you here by my side
(Oh baby I) cherish the joy
You keep bringing it into my life
(I'm always singing it)
Cherish the strength
You got the power to make me feel good
(And baby I) perish the thought
Of ever leaving
I never would
This was the third single off of Madonna's 1989 Like A Prayer release. After two controversial songs in a row it was nice to see Madonna take on something as simple as love. Watching her play in the surf in "Cherish" was a nice reminder that while the diva was certainly issues-oriented, she still had a fun side.
Don Henley- "Boys Of Summer"
I can see you,
Your brown skin shining in the sun.
You got that top pulled down,
And that radio on, baby.
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong,
After the boys of summer have gone
Can you believe that this song is 32 years old? Well it is and I think that "Boys Of Summer" might be one of the most timeless videos around. The black and white imagery flashes through the different stages of a man's life, from boyhood to middle age adulthood and you can feel the major flashback unfolding in front of your eyes. This is undoubtedly one of Henley's best songs, don't you think?
There is just a sampling of some of the best beach videos in old school pop culture history. What are your favorites?