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

(Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
The charity livestream benefits Black Lives Matter Global Network, The David Lynch Foundation, MusiCares, and WaterAid.
YouTube
The musical soulmates are back. The dynamic duo take to the stage to deliver a roaring rendition of John Lennon's "Isolation" in their new music video. Watch the performance here!
Grammys Twitter
Despite the Joey Kramer drama last week, Aerosmith took to the Grammy stage to deliver a rockin' two song set.

Facebook Comments