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Authenticity, artifice, ideology: Heavy metal video and MTV’s ‘Second Launch’, 1983–1985

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Music video scholars have identified a ‘second launch’ of MTV during 1983–1985, a period when, as Andrew Goodwin writes, ‘MTV programmed heavy metal with a vengeance’. My article expands on the research of Goodwin, Lisa Lewis, Carol Vernallis and others in exploring the question of why metal emerged during this particular MTV era in the wake of British-based new pop, which had dominated the ‘first launch’ of MTV since August 1981. Central to my research is a more nuanced analysis of the metal subgenres that dominated programming between 1983 and 1985 – videos that are quite distinct both from the non-realist British new pop of bands such as ABC, Ultravox and Duran Duran and from the ‘hair metal’ that proliferated in the late 1980s.
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Keywords: 1980s; MTV; gender; metal studies; music video; popular music

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Dayton

Publication date: 2016-09-01

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  • Metal Music Studies is the journal of the International Society for Metal Music Studies.

    The aims of the journal are:
    • To provide an intellectual hub for the International Society of Metal Music Studies and a vehicle to promote the development of metal music studies;
    • To be the focus for research and theory in metal music studies – a multidisciplinary (and interdisciplinary) subject field that engages with a range of parent disciplines, including (but not limited to) sociology, musicology, humanities, cultural studies, geography, philosophy, psychology, history, natural sciences;
    • To publish high-quality, world-class research, theory and shorter articles that cross over from the industry and the scene;
    • To be a world leader in interdisciplinary studies and be a unique resource for metal music studies.
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