Can You Name These ’80s Music Videos From a Screenshot?

By: Lauren Lubas
Estimated Completion Time
6 min
Can You Name These ’80s Music Videos From a Screenshot?
Image: Warner Bros.

About This Quiz

The 1980s defined a generation with music and wild fashion (not to mention the hairstyles). This decade was all about artists expressing themselves and encouraging others to do the same. Gone were the '70s where music told us to question authority. The '80s ushered in music that told us authority had no right to question us. Music freed us, and the backlash from the government couldn't touch popular opinion. We loved rap, pop, rock and punk. We began listening to music for fun and fight. It was glorious.

It was when we took the popular, inspiring music of the 1980s and paired it with basic cable that something even more glorious happened. The marriage of video and music broadcast across the airwaves gave us lessons in fashion, dancing and art. MTV was the outlet for those who needed to know, wanted to find out and had to learn about the music we loved so much. 

If you grew up in the 1980s or you just have fond memories of New Kids on the Block dancing around on your television screen, this is the quiz for you. We've selected 40 popular music videos from the 1980s, and we want to see if you can identify them from a screenshot. Here's your chance to prove your '80s knowledge. 

Dire Straits Money For Nothing Which video included some play with colors?
Poison: "Nothin' But a Good Time"
Robert Palmer: "Simply Irresistible"
Dire Straits: "Money For Nothing"
Dire Straits made an impact beyond that of the music video. They actually brought in the idea that people were addicted to television, and thus when music was introduced to television, not much else was necessary. If you wanted your MTV, you related to this song.
The Cars: "You Might Think"

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Prince 1999 Do you recognize this video with the ultimate entertainer?
Peter Gabriel: "The Book of Love"
Prince: "1999"
Prince was all about freedom of self and freedom of personality. He didn't mind expressing himself, and he really brought the heat with his 1982 classic, "1999." He brought it to the world, and 18 years later, we were obsessed with it again. Now we look at it like a time capsule.
Aerosmith: "Angel"
Sting: "We'll Be Together"

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DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince Parents Just Don't Understand Can you name this video that includes Will Smith?
Men at Work: "Down Under"
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince: "Parents Just Don't Understand"
The 1980s were a golden age for Will Smith (actually, his whole career was pretty golden). Back then he was at the top of his game with a hit single and a hit television show. He's come pretty far, but he still loves to sing.
George Michael: "Faith"
Janet Jackson: "When I Think of You"

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Janet Jackson Nasty In which music video does Michael's sister show her girl power?
Teena Marie: "Toy Soldiers"
Janet Jackson: "Nasty"
Not only does Janet Jackson show off her girl power, but she also delivers some of the coolest dance moves around (all while wearing a blazer). She shows us that women can have an opinion, and those nasty boys don't mean a thing.
Cyndi Lauper: "Time After Time"
Heart: "Alone"

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Madonna Papa Don't Preach In which video do we see a girl telling her dad to lay off?
Herbie Hancock: "Rockit"
Sting: "We'll Be Together"
Cyndi Lauper: "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"
Madonna: "Papa Don't Preach"
Madonna made some intense waves in the pop world in the 1980s. While the majority of the masses couldn't get enough of her, some wanted her banned from the airwaves for her style and the topics of her songs.

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Run DMC and Aerosmith Walk This Way Can you name the music video that mixed rock and rap?
Bon Jovi: "Never Say Goodbye"
Heart: "Alone"
Madonna: "Like a Virgin"
Run DMC and Aerosmith: "Walk This Way"
While some might call this the most annoying song of the 1980s, it was ahead of its time. It mixed rap and rock, giving us a new sound (granted, we weren't looking for a new sound at the time, but it was still nice to see).

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Bon Jovi You Give Love a Bad Name Known as the smiling rocker, this video is all about his concert. What music video is it?
Bon Jovi: "You Give Love a Bad Name"
Bon Jovi somehow bridged heavy metal and pop music, but this wasn't really defined back in the 1980s. As a matter of fact, he was considered a rock star ... though if you've read "The Dirt" by Motley Crue, you probably know how Nikki Sixx felt about him.
Robert Palmer: "Addicted to Love"
Aerosmith: "Angel"
Prince: "1999"

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David Bowie & Mick Jagger Dancing in the Street This cheesy video should be locked away. Do you know what it is?
Simple Minds: "Don't You (Forget About Me)"
UB40: "Red Red Wine"
David Bowie & Mick Jagger: "Dancing in the Street"
We aren't sure how this even happened. One would think that pairing these two rock legends would give us something unbelievably grand, but what we really got was something completely unbelievable.
INXS: "Devil Inside"

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Tina Turner What's Love Got to Do With It She was one of the original divas. Can you name this video?
Whitney Houston: "I'm Every Woman"
Madonna: "True Blue"
Teena Marie: "Toy Soldiers"
Tina Turner: "What's Love Got to Do With It"
This song has quite a bit of backstory, but before we knew about all of that, the song itself was just perfect for the time and how love and life changed with 1980s culture. Besides, there's nothing like watching Tina walk down the street in a leather skirt with a jean jacket on.

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Billy Idol White Wedding What is the name of this video with an expressive rock star?
Bryan Adams: "Summer of '69"
Billy Idol: "White Wedding"
Tight leather pants, big hair and motorcycles — who could ask for more in an '80s video? Of course, watching the bleach blonde with Elvis lips was always entertaining; he didn't need everything in this video, but we got it all, really.
Living Colour: "Cult of Personality"
ZZ Top: "Gimme All Your Lovin'"

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Peter Gabriel Sledgehammer Do you recognize this video that utilized stop motion graphics?
Robert Palmer: "Addicted to Love"
Peter Gabriel: "Sledgehammer"
Not only did this music video have special effects that were next to unheard of at the time, but it also gave us a really odd way to look at how things were done. Of course, looking back at it, we might laugh, but it was an amazing video nonetheless.
Bruce Springsteen: "Born in the U.S.A."
Genesis: "Land of Confusion"

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Michael Jackson Thriller This is one of the most famous music videos of all time. Can you name it?
Michael Jackson: "Thriller"
What happens when you mix the king of pop with one of the most famous directors of the 1980s? The "Thriller" video showed us that music and movies could be one ... as long as you had the right choreography.
A-Ha: "Take on Me"
Cyndi Lauper: "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"
Dire Straits: "Money For Nothing"

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INXS Need You Tonight This video had a few video collages. Do you know the name?
Genesis: "Land of Confusion"
Dire Straits: "Money For Nothing"
INXS: "Need You Tonight"
The '80s had plenty of artsy videos, but this one wanted to make a statement, and it did. With layered playback and visual effects that may have looked like mistakes, this video was pretty genius.
Robert Palmer: "Addicted to Love"

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A-Ha Take On Me What is the name of this animated music video?
Aerosmith: "Dude Looks Like a Lady"
Don Henley: "The Boys of Summer"
A-Ha: "Take On Me"
This is one of the most celebrated music videos of all time. It's a song about love and passion, and the black and white animation in the video delivers those feelings as you enjoy the music.
Bruce Springsteen: "Born in the U.S.A"

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Bon Jovi Wanted Dead or Alive Do you remember this video about a modern day cowboy?
Motley Crue: "Home Sweet Home"
Bon Jovi: "Wanted Dead or Alive"
Bon Jovi made a lot of songs about cowboys, but that wasn't until later. "Wanted Dead or Alive" gave us a taste of his country-rocker start, and he looked really good in tight jeans on the back of a motorcycle.
ZZ Top: "Le Grange"
Guns 'N' Roses: "Sweet Child O' Mine"

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Van Halen Jump Do you remember this rock video?
Don Henley: "The Boys of Summer"
Van Halen: "Jump"
The 1980s were both an excellent and terrible decade for Van Halen. They had some great hits and some massive flops. While many like "Jump," there are others who really find it to be a black eye on the band's history.
Def Leppard: "Hysteria"
ZZ Top: "Sharp Dressed Man"

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ZZ Top Sharp Dressed Man Bearded men with guitars ... can you name this video?
ZZ Top: "Sharp Dressed Man"
How's about some old cars and stiff dancing? While "Sharp Dressed Man" may have been a great song, the music video left quite a bit to be desired. Additionally, we had tons of questions, like "How did they get their beards so long?"
Bruce Springsteen: "Dancing in the Dark"
George Michael: "Freedom"
Robert Palmer: "Simply Irresistible"

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Guns 'N' Roses Welcome to the Jungle This video is all about moving to LA to become a star. Can you name it?
Guns 'N' Roses: "Welcome to the Jungle"
Everyone thought LA was all glitz and glamour ... well, everyone who didn't live there and had never been there. This video showed us that the cops were brutal, the industry was corrupt and nothing was easy in the jungle.
Motley Crue: "You're All I Need"
Skid Row: "18 and Life"
Aerosmith: "Angel"

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Robert Palmer Addicted to Love Can you guess the name of this video that is classic '80s?
Peter Gabriel: "Sledgehammer"
Duran Duran: "Hungry Like the Wolf"
Robert Palmer: "Addicted to Love"
The makeup ... the clothing ... the guitars ... they were all so serious while this was going on, and these days, you can't help but laugh. However, back then, it really spoke to a generation.
U2: "Pride"

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Talking Heads Burning Down the House This video starts off innocent enough but gets weird quick. What is it?
INXS: "Devil Inside"
Talking Heads: "Burning Down the House"
Talking Heads was a quintessential '80s band that gave us one of the most memorable synthesized songs that we still love today. Who doesn't belt out this song when it pops on a random playlist?
Devo: "Whip It"
Madonna: "Borderline"

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Paula Abdul Opposites Attract In this video, you can see Paula Abdul dancing with a cartoon. What video is it?
"Opposites Attract"
These two were direct opposites, as one of them was a live-action human and the other was a cartoon cat. It was a nice throwback to the Disney films in which animation was mixed with live-action. However, the subject matter was a little different than Disney.
"Cold Hearted Snake"
"Straight Up"
"On or the Other"

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Madonna Open Your Heart This video is full of dance and expression. What is it?
Cyndi Lauper: "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
Paula Abdul: "Straight Up"
Pebbles: "All Shook Up"
Madonna: "Open Your Heart"
The signature pointy nipple bra that we all remember Madonna wearing is front and center in this video. It caused rage across the conservative world, but if you watch the video, you realize there's a little more to this song.

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Steve Winwood Higher Love Can you name this video that includes terrible dancing and feathered hair?
Peter Gabriel: "Shock the Monkey"
Elton John: "Tiny Dancer"
Bonnie Tyler: "Total Eclipse of the Heart"
Steve Winwood: "Higher Love"
"Braaaaang me a higher love, oh oh" ... eh hem, sorry about that. This song is basically half of an argument about higher love existing. It begins by asking the audience to "Think about it."

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David Lee Roth California Girls What cheesy '80s video is this?
Duran Duran: "Rio"
George Harrison: "Got My Mind Set on You"
Heart: "Alone"
David Lee Roth: "California Girls"
He's wearing overalls, no shirt ... and an ascot (when he's talking about those Midwest girls). Need we say more? Oh, and every other outfit he's got on in this video. We bet the Beach Boys were regretting sharing the rights to that song. Whoa. This goes down in history as one of the biggest mistakes of the 1980s.

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Don Henley Boys of Summer It's in black and white but it is one of the most fun songs of the 1980s. What is it?
Bryan Adams: "Summer of '69"
Don Henley: "Boys of Summer"
This video may have some of the worst lip-syncing in the entire world, but it was made during a time when people actually sang their songs, so we kind of understand that Henley thinks he's supposed to talk the lyrics rather than fake sing them.
Peter Gabriel: "Shock the Monkey"
Eddie Money: "Take Me Home Tonight"

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Def Leppard Photograph In which '80s video do we get to see rockers share a microphone?
Beastie Boys: "Licensed to Ill"
Bruce Springsteen: "Glory Days"
Steve Winwood: "Roll With It"
Def Leppard: "Photograph"
The young rockers of the '80s stole our hearts. They were gorgeous, young and British ... and they made some pretty kick-butt music. When they shared a microphone in this video, life just got better for us all.

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Michael Jackson Bad What is the name of this video in which Michael Jackson gets into a dance fight?
Michael Jackson: "Black or White"
Michael Jackson: "Smooth Criminal"
Michael Jackson: "Billie Jean"
Michael Jackson: "Bad"
If you ever want to see some amazing choreography, watch anything with Michael Jackson in it. This music video showed what it's like when two rival gangs meet up in the subway ... but when it's between Michael Jackson and Wesley Snipes, life just gets so much better.

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Madonna Like a Prayer Do you know which Madonna video the Vatican condemned?
"True Blue"
"Like a Virgin"
"Like a Prayer"
The sound of the song strayed from Madonna's norm, but burning crosses, self-inflicted stigmata and making out with black Jesus enraged some people. This video even led to Madonna losing a deal with Pepsi.
"Papa Don't Preach"

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Poison Every Rose Has Its Thorn Rock ballads from the 1980s gave the strongest rocker the chance to cry. Which of these is a rock ballad?
Guns 'N' Roses: "November Rain"
Motley Crue: "Home Sweet Home"
Poison: "Every Rose Has Its Thorn"
Poison had some of the most emotionally compelling ballads of any rock band, and "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" reminded us that nothing was perfect ... even if we were talking about love.
Skid Row: "I'll Remember You"

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Duran Duran Hungry Like the Wolf What is the name of this adventurous video?
Toto: "Africa"
Journey: "Worlds Apart"
The Police: "Every Breath You Take"
Duran Duran: "Hungry Like the Wolf"
If you could pick one song that defined the '80s, you'd probably go with "Thriller" (1982), but if you could pick two songs, the second one would be Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf" (1982).

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Tone Loc Wild Thing Can you name this '80s music video that includes an awesome dance?
The Rolling Stones: "Start Me Up"
Eazy-E: "Eazy Duz It"
Tone Loc: "Wild Thing"
When it came to dance music and rap in the 1980s, music videos were a great way to spread the music far and wide to audiences who might not have heard it. They made Tone Loc a famous face in those days.
The Beastie Boys: "Paul Revere"

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Def Leppard Pour Some Sugar On Me What is the name of the rock song in this video?
ZZ Top: "Legs"
Def Leppard: "Pour Some Sugar On Me"
Sweaty rock stars on stage, dancing jumping and one heck of a song (you could both dance and rock out to) were all ingredients in this perfect 1980s video. Oh, and did we mention the killer mullets?
Whitesnake: "Here I Go Again"
U2: "Pride"

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Mike and The Mechanics The Living Years What is the name of this incredibly sad video?
Scorpions: "Wind of Change"
Michael Jackson: "Billie Jean"
Mike and The Mechanics: "The Living Years"
This song is all about not getting along with a parent, and realizing what kind of mistake that was. However, it's more about hindsight and regret than it is about making amends later in life.
U2: "With or Without You"

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Cheap Trick The Flame A sound stage, big hair and lots of shadows define this video. What is it?
U2: "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
The Bangles: "Walk Like an Egyptian"
Def Leppard: "Love Bites"
Cheap Trick: "The Flame"
Of all the rock ballads that made their way into '80s music videos, Cheap Trick's "The Flame" is probably the most underrated. "You were the first to be the last," are some of the most impactful lyrics of the decade.

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Poison Nothin' But a Good Time Can you name this rock anthem?
Skid Row: "Youth Gone Wild"
Twisted Sister: "We're Not Gonna Take It"
Poison: "Nothin' But a Good Time"
Poison was the kind of band that everyone loved to watch and hear. They mixed some deep country sounds with rockin' lyrics and fun topics. This song was perfect for the average worker who wanted to let loose.
Steve Winwood: "Higher Love"

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U2 With or Without You Do you remember this U2 music video?
"Pride"
"Helter Skelter"
"Sunday Bloody Sunday"
"With or Without You"
U2 had some excellent music videos. While Bono's political stance can be seen peppered throughout everything, this one focuses on the artistic aspect. It's shot mostly in black and white and moves slowly, much like the song.

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Def Leppard Love Bites Do you know the name of this video?
Eurythmics: "Sweet Dreams"
Whitesnake: "Is This Love"
Def Leppard: "Love Bites"
Def Leppard gave us young rockers that we loved to see on stage and on MTV. "Love Bites" was an excellent ballad about how difficult it was to be in love during the decade and the aftermath of the sexual revolution.
Yes: "Owner of a Lonely Heart"

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Whitney Houston How Will I Know Whitney Houston in an art house. Can you name this video?
"I'm Every Woman"
"How Will I Know"
Funhouse mirrors, bright pink lipstick and the comically huge bow in her hair should tell you that this video is straight out of the 1980s. If that doesn't help, just listen to the synthesized sounds in the song.
"I Wanna Dance With Somebody"
"Ain't No Mountain High Enough"

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Tears for Fears Everybody Wants to Rule The World Can you name this 1985 video?
The Rolling Stones: "Start Me Up"
Richard Marx: "Don't Mean Nothing"
INXS: "Devil Inside"
Tears for Fears: "Everybody Wants to Rule The World"
This song may have been overplayed on the radio and on MTV, but the fun cutaway shots in the video were nice to have around. Tears for Fears showed us that it was cool to wear a salmon-colored polo while singing on stage.

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Motley Crew Home Sweet Home Do you remember this Motley Crue music video?
"You're All I Need"
"Home Sweet Home"
This music video had sound effects and Tommy Lee listening to his own music. While the beginning of the video is funny, the song itself is quite the ballad and shows the range of his rock bands.
"Dr. Feelgood"
"Kickstart My Heart"

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