Grammy Award for Best Concept Music Video

The Grammy Award for Best Concept Music Video was an award that was presented to recording artists at the 30th Grammy Awards in 1988, and the 31st Grammy Awards in 1989, for quality, concept music videos. The Grammy Awards (Grammys) is an annual ceremony that was established in 1958 and was originally called the Gramophone Awards;[1] awards are presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".[2]

Grammy Award for Best Concept Music Video
Awarded forQuality concept music videos
CountryUnited States
Presented byNational Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
First awarded1988
Last awarded1989

Beginning in 1982, the Academy began to honor quality music videos with the Video of the Year category, which was discontinued with the establishment of the MTV Video Music Awards in 1984 and was replaced with two awards; Best Video, Short Form and Best Video Album. Criteria changes for the 1988 and 1989 ceremonies resulted in the Best Concept Music Video award being presented alongside the award for Best Performance Music Video. Best Concept Music Video award recipients were the English rock band Genesis for "Land of Confusion" and the American singer "Weird Al" Yankovic for "Fat". The Academy returned to the previous format in 1990, though the categories are now known as Best Short Form Music Video and Best Long Form Music Video.


The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences began to honor quality music videos with the Grammy Award for Video of the Year category in 1982. The first two award recipients were former member of The Monkees Michael Nesmith for the hour-long video Elephant Parts (also known as Michael Nesmith in Elephant Parts) and Olivia Newton-John for Olivia Physical.[3][4] The Video of the Year category was discontinued in 1984 when MTV established the MTV Video Music Awards[5] whose top award is also presented for Video of the Year.[6] For the 26th Grammy Awards the Academy replaced the category with awards for Best Video, Short Form, and Best Video Album. For the awards held in 1988 and 1989, the criteria changed and awards for the categories Best Concept Music Video, and Best Performance Music Video were presented. The Academy returned to the previous format in 1990, though the categories were renamed Best Music Video, Short Form, and Best Music Video, Long Form.[5] In 1998, the categories were retitled Best Short Form Music Video, and Best Long Form Music Video, respectively.


Year Video Artist(s)
Land of Confusion Genesis
Control - The Videos Part II Janet Jackson
David Lee Roth David Lee Roth
Day-In Day-Out David Bowie
The Whole Story Kate Bush
Fat "Weird Al" Yankovic
Get a Job Hampton String Quartet
Storytelling Giant Talking Heads
This Note's for You Neil Young
When We Was Fab George Harrison
The 1988 award-winning band Genesis performing in 2007

For the 30th Grammy Awards (1988), Best Concept Music Video nominees included David Bowie for "Day-In Day-Out", Kate Bush for The Whole Story, the English rock band Genesis for "Land Of Confusion", David Lee Roth for David Lee Roth, and Janet Jackson for Control – The Videos Part II .[7] The music video for Bowie's "Day-In Day-Out", directed by Julien Temple, included "offending" scenes such as a man urinating on Ronald Reagan's Hollywood Walk of Fame star, which was edited out for television broadcast.[9] Bush's "imaginative" video sampler accompanies her greatest hits album of the same name and includes music videos for songs throughout her career to that point.[10][11] The music video for "Land of Confusion", a song included on the band's 1986 album Invisible Touch, contained Spitting Image puppets of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and other notable individuals.[12] David Lee Roth's self-titled video consisted of promotional clips created for his debut solo EP Crazy from the Heat and album Eat 'Em and Smile.[13] Jackson's video collection, which was certified gold in the United States, contained six promotional videos recorded for singles from her album Control.[14] Awards were presented to members of Genesis (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, and Mike Rutherford) as the performing artists, Jim Yukich and John Lloyd as the video directors, and Jon Blair as the video producer.

1989 award recipient "Weird Al" Yankovic in 2007

Nominees for the 31st Grammy Awards were the Hampton String Quartet for "Get a Job", George Harrison for "When We Was Fab", the American rock band Talking Heads for Storytelling Giant, "Weird Al" Yankovic for "Fat", and Neil Young for "This Note's for You".[8][15] "Get a Job", a song recorded originally by the American group The Silhouettes,[16] appears on the Hampton String Quartet's album What If Mozart Wrote "Roll Over Beethoven", a collection of 1950s R&B and pop music songs performed in the styles of Beethoven, Debussy, Mozart, and other composers.[17] "When We Was Fab", a song from the album Cloud Nine, is constructed from quotations written when The Beatles were at the height of their fame and features Harrison playing a sitar.[18][19] The music video shows Elton John dressed as a walrus, a reference to the 1967 song "I Am the Walrus".[18] Storytelling Giants is a collection of Talking Heads' music videos and additional material linking them together.[20] Two of the nominated music videos had connections to Michael Jackson; "Fat" is a parody of Jackson's song "Bad", and the video for "This Note's for You" depicts a Jackson look-alike's hair catching fire; a parody of an incident that occurred during a shoot for a Pepsi television advertisement in 1984.[21][22] In the "Fat" video, Yankovic becomes a "grossly overweight guy" through the use of cosmetics and special effects, and leads a group of overweight people on a parade.[23] The award was presented to Yankovic as the performing artist, along with Jay Levey as the video director and Susan Zwerman as the video producer.[24]

See alsoEdit


  • "Past Winners Search". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved March 4, 2010. Note: User must select the "Music Video" category as the genre under the search feature.
  1. ^ "Grammy Awards at a Glance". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  2. ^ "Overview". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  3. ^ Robbins, Wayne (February 24, 1982). "Grammy gains a little more viewer respectability". The Beaver County Times. Beaver, Pennsylvania. p. C10. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
  4. ^ Arar, Yardena (February 25, 1983). "Toto takes home 7 Grammy awards". Anchorage Daily News. Anchorage, Alaska. p. C-10. Archived from the original on January 3, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Have the Grammys ever celebrated music videos?". Vibe. Vibe Media Group: 58. March 2008. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
  6. ^ Pareles, Jon (September 8, 2008). "At the MTV Video Music Awards, a Big Draw, a Punch Line and, Now, a Winner". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Grammy Nominations". The San Diego Union-Tribune. San Diego, California: Platinum Equity. January 15, 1988. Archived from the original on August 8, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  8. ^ a b "Complete list of Grammy nominees". Times-News. Vol. 114, no. 13. Hendersonville, North Carolina. January 13, 1989. p. 14. Archived from the original on March 13, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  9. ^ "Choice bits of Bowie video cut from finished version". Spokane Chronicle. Spokane, Washington. March 30, 1987. p. B2. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  10. ^ "Musicians Strut Stuff on Tapes". The Milwaukee Journal. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. November 17, 1987. p. 7. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  11. ^ "Kate Bush: The Whole Story". Allmovie. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  12. ^ "Genesis: Biography". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2011. Note: This biography originally appeared in The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001).
  13. ^ "David Lee Roth". Allmovie. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  14. ^ Halstead, Craig; Cadman, Chris (2003). Jacksons Number Ones. Authors On Line Ltd. p. 34. ISBN 9780755200986. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  15. ^ Montgomery, James (June 26, 2009). "Mariah Carey, Fall Out Boy, More Score Hits With Michael Jackson Covers". MTV. Archived from the original on December 6, 2011. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  16. ^ "Hampton String Quartet: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
  17. ^ Schwann compact disc catalog. Vol. 3. Schwann Publications. 1988. p. 18. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
  18. ^ a b Bowling, David (August 24, 2010). "Music Review: George Harrison – Cloud Nine". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  19. ^ Holden, Stephen (November 8, 1987). "Rock Grows Up, Gracefully And Otherwise". The New York Times. p. 2. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
  20. ^ "More from the Talking Heads". The Mount Airy News. No. 81. Mount Airy, North Carolina. April 22, 1988. p. 9. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
  21. ^ Campbell, Lisa D. (1993). Michael Jackson: The King of Pop. Branden Books. p. 185. ISBN 9780828319577. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  22. ^ Doucette, Conrad (July 17, 2009). "Michael Jackson, Pepsi and Fire... Not Good Together". Maxim. Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  23. ^ Van Matre, Lynn (May 30, 1998). "'Weird Al' Yankovich couldn't resist 'Fat' parody of 'Bad'". The Vindicator. Youngstown, Ohio. p. 12. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
  24. ^ "McFerrin and Chapman Top Grammys". The New York Times. February 24, 1989. Retrieved January 13, 2011.

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