Benny Mardones, “Into the Night”


MTV debuted in 1981, but there were lots of music videos before that (after all, MTV had to have videos to put on the air). They mostly aired as filler on cable and late night TV, or looped on monitors at bars and nightclubs. That said, the record labels weren’t into spending a whole lot of money on an untested, strictly promotional format. What I’m saying is that early music videos were really cheap and delightfully corny. Take the clip for Benny Mardones’ 1980 hit “Into the Night.” Now, he says the song was inspired by the precocious but poorly parented teenage girl who lived next door; he wrote the song to be about a misunderstood love affair between a man and a teenage girl. The video is pretty much a literal interpretation of the song, from a guy saying “she’s just 16 years old” to Benny and the girl flying a magic carpet “into the night.”

Brian Boone

From the middle of nowhere in the Pacific Northwest, I contribute to the Retroist, write for trivia publications, and blog about music in a humorous fashion. I feel about "Back to the Future" the way you feel about "Star Wars." Also, I'm married and have a child (sorry ladies, orphans).

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