Here are five classic videos from the era when rock ruled the airwaves -- ranked from my least to most favorite. Enjoy.
5. The Rolling Stones - She's So Cold (1980)
This mid-career Rolling Stones track shows Mick & the group at their playful best. TheRolling Stones had long since achieved millionaire and rock star status, but the 1980 video shows how much fun they had just playing rock and roll. Mick's energy is infectious.
4. Rainbow - Can't Happen Here (1981)
Part of the period's socio-political rock series, the video is a montage of the concerns, conflicts and threats of the era -- including an oil shock and the threat of thermo-nuclear war between the superpowers: the United States and Russia (then the Soviet Union).
Now fast-forward 30 years: note how many concerns mentioned in the video are concerns today? There is an element of truth in the saying: The more things change, the more they stay the same.
For tight, harmonized, heavy metal tracks with a sociological message, they don't get any better than Rainbow's Can't Happen Here.
3. The Clash - Train In Vain (1979) (montage)
In the late 1970s, rock appeared to be not only losing momentum on the airwaves -- it was in danger of being obliterated by the disco fad/trend until the second British invasion / New Wave breathed new life in to rock.
Sung by Mick Jones, Train In Vain shows the sheer intensity, energy, edge, harmony, and ballad power of The Clash. The first single from the The Clash to crack the U.S. Top 30 chart, it was a favorite at mixers and parties on college campuses and almost always got young undergrad men and women talking with one another and on to the dance floor.
2. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Call Me The Breeze (Live Version, 1976)
No, the plaudits and credits given to Lynyrd Skynyrd, led by the late, great lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, are not overstated.
Lynyrd Skynyrd was not only one of he best southern rock bands of all time, Skynyrd was one of the greatest bands, period.
In this 1976 live rendition of Call Me The Breeze, the group is at its best: Van Zant's story telling-oriented voice, Allen Collins' immortal lead guitar, and the group's trademark triple guitar attack - shine through.
Call Me The Breeze is a song that just keeps coming at you, and the fans attending this show are attracted to the song's elements the way metal is attracted to a magnetic.
Further, from the reaction of the summer crowd, you get the impression that the group is in its home in The South of the United States, or perhaps on the West Coast. Nope: the concert was held in England -- which only underscores the group's broad appeal.
1. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Rosalita (Live Version, 1978)
The year is 1978 and you're in Phoenix, Arizona. Yes, it's the classic Rosalita live version from Phoenix and the video is so rich, all the superlatives can not be listed in this space.
Briefly, it shows The Boss at his ballad crooning, and improvisational best. And Springsteen's introduction of the E Street Band's members -- including the late, great tenor saxophonist Clarence Clemons -- are worth the price of admission, itself.
And no, the young women who rushed the stage to kiss Springsteen were not plants -- that's the type of effect Springsteen had (has) on women. Near the of end the song, after two adventuresome young ladies grab and kiss Springsteen -- who only via the aid of concert security personnel manages to break free -- The Boss, who looks thankful for the female attention, but maybe not that much attention at that very moment -- holds his hands out as if to say, Easy now, let me get my bearings and then ends the classic rendition of the song.