The end of the world isn't what it used to be. It isn't even what it is. Even after the great apocalypse there at least was plenty of hair mousse, pleather, and headbands. Life after World War III was a big subject for '80s music videos and most artists were looking towards the future (the one '80s exception is Adam Ant who always seem to be taking inspiration from museums). Here are a few classic visions of the future.
Sigue Sigue Sputnik - 21st Century Boy
All hype and some delivery (and a personal favourite). They touted themselves as the 'Fifth Generation Of Rock And Roll', ordered us to 'Fleece The World', put advertisements between every song on their debut album, and envisioned a shiny-plastic-ambiguously-sexual-guns-and-rockets-exploding-helicopters 'Blade Runner'-esque vision of the future. Some places they were right on the mark. They were the logical grandparents of 21st century artists like Lady Gaga, the Spice Girls, and even Kanye West.
Blondie - Atomic
Blondie can do no wrong (nope, I won't even bad mouth The Hunter). The video for Atomic shows that even after the bombs fall, if you can find a garbage bag to wear you can still party like it's just prior to 1999.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - You Got Lucky
What says end-of-the-world-1980s better than sepia sky washes, faux cowboy swagger, video games, pod cars, and dust? Absolutely nothing. Still among one of the best videos of the area and a surprise from the usually straight-rocking Heartbreakers. Sometimes it does pay to experiment.
Rick Springfield - Human Touch
Pop idol and daytime television heartthrob, Dr. Noah Drake had a vision of the future that landed him only about 6 years from the time I'm writing this post. If it plays out like he predicts in this video, then something went very wrong in the 2012 elections. At least spandex will stand the test of time.
Duran Duran - Wild Boys
YES! This is what the future was going to be like! Flying things, mild torture, spectacular escapes, things burning, easily defeated foes, victorious posing. This was 'Mad Max' played by the best band in the world. Telecasters kill, Andy, so use your powers for good!
Billy Idol - Dancing With Myself
Arguably in the top 10 of the all time best songs of the 1980's (even if it is a remake of his ex-band's song--Generation X, which also featured Tony James, the duder with the pink hair in Sigue Sigue Sputnik). Proto-Soviet stylings and dancing zombies. I can think of no more appropriate way to close out this post.