The Music Video
Music videos have been around a long time. They have been made for decades. At first, they were really only used to help promote the album that a song was from. The earliest form of music videos was actually a guy playing his music and showing pictures on a low quality projector. Then, in the 80s, music videos took off. When MTV showed the Buggles video, the first ever music video played on MTV, it was clear that music was moving into a new frontier.
Artists like Michael Jackson and Pink Floyd, saw music videos as more than just a way to promote their albums. They saw them as a way to extend their music from just audio, to visual art. Many artists of this time just used concert footage for their videos. Michael Jackson and Pink Floyd however, created mini movies to expand the music. Videos like "Comfortably Numb" and "Another Brick In the Wall" by Pink Floyd, and Michael Jackson's "Thriller" created storylines, characters, and unimaginable circumstances, like hundreds of schoolchildren being dumped into a meat grinder.
These days, music videos are becoming even more extreme. At a certain point, they could be called music movies, not just videos. Kanye West created a 35 minute short film called "Runaway", using all the songs from his album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy", to tell a story. TV On The Radio made a 59 minute film using all the songs from the album "Nine Types of Light". And today, Bon Iver released a 40 minute video to "compliment and enrich" the audio from their latest album.
It is all thanks to new technology that we can enjoy these videos to compliment the music. Thanks to MTV thirty years ago, thanks to websites like YouTube, and thanks to creative artists, we no longer have to just listen to music, we can watch creative and beautiful video extensions of the sounds. Some of the videos are very literal, some of them make no sense, and some of them scare the hell out of us, but they make listening to music an awesome experience.