If Your Life Is A Battlefield, You Need This Video You Deserve
It’s Monday, and it’s once again time for The Video You Deserve.
Now, maybe aside from the usual case of the Mondays, you’re feeling like your life is a battlefield. Well, if that’s the case, then this video might just be extra special to you, and by “extra special,” I mean it’ll make you laugh so hard you might just forget your troubles for the moment.
For there was a time, once we got past that initial era of video directors ripping a huge line of coke, saying “What the hell?” and throwing a white horse or strobe lights or smoke or pixies or some rando crapola into a video and calling it art, that video directors REALLY got pretentious and tried to turn music videos into little mini-movies.
Pretty campy, goofy, and cheeseball stuff.
Undoubtedly, the little stories that would be told would involve the artist involved playing some sort of rebel, or being in a position where they were the guardian angel to some person in trouble (oh, oh, don’t worry, just wait until you see next week’s video for those types of shenanigans… it’ll be worth it, believe me), and then there were times when the artist (or the band) was part of some rebellious underground movement against a repressive authority figure or several, because, you know, they’re ROCKERS, MAN, THEY’RE REBELS!
Such is the case with the shining piece of ridiculousness being featured this week.
This video is pretty much a countdown of these cliches.
Small-town girl coming on a bus to the big city? Check.
Flashback sequences showing her being thrown out of her house by her square, meanie of a father, and uptight mother? Check.
Vague reference to her becoming some sort of streetwalker or something like that upon arrival in the city? Check.
Her leading a rebellion of the streetwalkers against an evil pimp guy, and defeating him with a mighty synchronized dance number? Check.
Big hair and ripped up clothes in abundance? Oh you’d better believe it.
The video I’m talking about, of course, is Pat Benatar’s “Love Is A Battlefield.”
Now, Pat herself was a pretty huge star in the ’80s, and this song was one of her biggest among several hits. It was written by Holly Knight and Mike Chapman — Chapman having written a ton of hits in the ’70s and ’80s and having produced such mega-smashes as “My Sharona” by the Knack. “Battlefield” was Benatar’s biggest hit in the U.S., selling over a million copies and peaking at #5 on the Hot 100 in the fall of 1983, and going on to hit the top 10 across Europe, as well as in Australia and Canada.
Aside from the catchiness of the song, a big part of the the appeal of “Battlefield” was the Bob Giraldi-directed video, which was novel for the time, even though it ended up opening a Pandora’s Box of cliches that would be used ad nauseam after its release. Although it wasn’t the first video to tell a story, or utilize a running narrative (Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like The Wolf” was one of the first vids to be burning that ground… see what I did there? That’s the kind of clever repartee and writing you get from this column!), it was the first video to feature any dialogue outside of the song, and it built upon those videos that had come before it, and set out a story template that would invariably be copied by everyone from Guns N Roses (“Welcome To The Jungle”) to Madonna (“Papa Don’t Preach”) and more. Gee, thanks a lot, Bob Giraldi, ya bastard.
Anyway, here’s The Video You Deserve…