September 1987: Peter Gabriel Smashes the MTV VMAs with "Sledgehammer"

SLEDGEHAMMER
Photo Credit
(Geffen)

No music video would have nearly the impact on MTV and the medium as a whole in the year 1987 than Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer." Released as the lead single from his blockbuster 1986 album, So, the song's video was a visual riot featuring claymation, pixilation, and stop motion animation by Aardman Animations and the famous Brothers Quay.

RELATED: May 1986: Peter Gabriel Releases "So"

"It took a lot of hard work," Gabriel recalled to Philadelphia radio station WMMR in 1986 about making the clip, which required the singer to lay under a sheet of glass for 16 hours while filming the video one frame at a time . "I was thinking at the time, 'If anyone wants to try and copy this video, good luck to them.'"

"Sledgehammer" earned a whopping 10 nominations at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year and Best Overall Performance in a Video. Gabriel won nine of the ten nominations. The only category that "Sledgehammer" missed out on was Viewer's Choice, which went to U2's "With or Without You." Including a pair of nominations for the "Big Time" video, Gabriel's 12 nominations in a single year was an MTV VMAs record until Lady Gaga scored 13 nods in 2010.

FUN FACT: The big dance party scene towards the end of the clip features Peter Gabriel's daughters Anna-Marie and Melanie, the animators themselves and director Stephen Johnson's girlfriend.

 

Artist Name

Read More

Album cover
Following 1984's 'Like A Virgin,' Madonna returned to the charts with sophistication, strongarmed with five Top 10 singles and the bestselling album on the planet in 1986.
Ferris Bueller
The 1986 John Hughes classic was one of the top-grossing films of the year, pulling in $70 million. Here are 9 fun facts about the flick featuring Ferris Bueller's devious ditch day.
One band break-up and 23 record label rejections later, Joan Jett broke through against all odds with a solo No. 1 hit.

Facebook Comments