You know them, you love them. They just might be the epitome of the Music Video art form. They are the “Tour Diary” music video. Every band in the 1980s had one, usually for their ballad song. To be considered a true pioneer of the “Tour Diary” genre you have to hit all the cliches – the bus pulling away, the backstage party, the empty venue before the show, the exhausted band giving their fans all they have to give – and these five basically wrote the blueprint of how to do the “Tour Diary” video.
The one thing you absolutely CAN NOT have in a “Tour Diary” video is the pre-fab warehouse no fans stage set – I’m looking right at you Poison. This unfortunately also discounts Warrant’s “Heaven” which is basically half tour/half warehouse set. Too bad. So sad. On to the real contenders:
Hi-Top Top 5 Greatest 80s Rock Band “Tour Diary” Music Videos
5. Tesla “Love Song”
Tesla caught a bad break. Their vocalist had some epic throat problems that derailed their career but for a brief shining moment they rocked with the best of them and “Love Song” captured it all.
4. Bon Jovi “Wanted Dead or Alive”
The Lil’ Dogg is absolutely NOT a Bon Jovi guy. No thank you. But respect where respect is due. The Jersey boys not only did a “Tour Diary” video but they went one step further and did the whole damn song about the trials and tribulations of tour life. Plus the black & white photography is just so classy.
3. Def Leppard “Pour Some Sugar on Me”
Okay so this one is more “Day in the Life” on show day but it hits just enough of the overall cliches – backstage antics, pre-show set up, adoring fans – that it more than meets the criteria.
2. Motley Crue “Home Sweet Home”
Give me the 1987 version only folks. The 91 remake is all designer suits and artistic lighting. No thank you. I want all the “Rockin and Rollin” bus shots. The flashing girls. Vince’s pin-ups. Tommy doing that weird thing when he hits the cymbal. It’s all classic. But just like in life the Crue is always second best…
1. Guns N Rose “Paradise City”
I’m on a mission to see how many different ways I can place “Paradise City” at #1 on a Top 5 list. This may be the easiest. This here is just pure cinema folks. Guns hits all the marks as the play an opening set for Aerosmith at Giants Stadium then takes it across the pond to do it even better in England. Every single thing in this video is perfection. I could do a Top 100 Things Happening in “Paradise City” and not break a sweat. Just might have to.