Best Music Movies of 1981


The Great Muppet Caper

7.1/10 IMDB

Kermit and Fozzie are newspaper reporters sent to London to interview Lady Holiday, a wealthy fashion designer whose priceless diamond necklace is stolen. Kermit meets and falls in love with her secretary, Miss Piggy. The jewel thieves strike again, and this time frame Miss Piggy. It's up to Kermit and Muppets to bring the real culprits to justice.

Starring: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Charles Grodin, Diana Rigg, John Cleese, Robert Morley, Peter Ustinov ..
Directed by: Jim Henson
Release date: 1981-06-26

Heavy Metal

6.6/10 IMDB

The embodiment of ultimate evil, a glowing orb terrorizes a young girl with bizarre stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror.

Starring: Rodger Bumpass, Jackie Burroughs, Joe Flaherty, Harold Ramis, John Candy, Don Francks, Caroline Semple, Richard Romanus, Susan Roman, Harvey Atkin ..
Directed by: Gerald Potterton, Pino Van Lamsweerde, John Bruno, Jimmy T. Murakami, John Halas, Paul Sabella, Harold Whitaker, Jack Stokes, Barrie Nelson, Julian Harris
Release date: 1981-08-07
Best Music Movies of 1981 : An Evening with Danny Kaye and the New York Philharmonic

An Evening with Danny Kaye and the New York Philharmonic

9.4/10 IMDB

A night of classical music,conducted by famous comedian actor Danny Kaye,is something for the whole family to watch. Danny puts his talents to use while conducting and makes it very special for people of all ages.

Starring: Danny Kaye, New York Philharmonic ..
Release date: 1981-09-23

This Is Elvis

7.6/10 IMDB

Though several actors portray Elvis Presley at different stages of his life, this documentary is comprised mostly of actual performance footage and interviews with Elvis, his fans and those close to him. This biographical docu-drama features rare footage of Elvis and dramatically recreated scenes from Elvis' life.

Starring: Elvis Presley, David Scott, Paul Boensch III, Johnny Harra, Linda Thompson, Dana MacKay, Lawrence Koller, Rhonda Lyn, Debbie Edge, Larry Raspberry ..
Directed by: Malcolm Leo, Andrew Solt
Release date: 1981-04-03
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Bob Marley: The Legend Live

Bob Marley: The Legend Live

8.2/10 IMDB

Recorded in California at the Santa Barbara County Bowl, this live concert appearance from Bob Marley and the Wailers was filmed on November 25, 1979. One of the last shows to be recorded before Marley's untimely demise, the gig is a scintillating mix of reggae classics and provides a fitting epitaph to the influential musician. Tracks include "I Shot the Sheriff," "Exodus," "Is This Love" and many more.

Starring: Bob Marley, Rita Marley, Bob Marley, Al Anderson, Aston Barrett, Carlton Barrett, Tyrone Downie, Earl Lindo, Junior Marvin, Judy Mowatt ..
Directed by: Don Gazzaniga
Release date: 1981-10-01

The Decline of Western Civilization

7.5/10 IMDB

The Los Angeles punk music scene circa 1980 is the focus of this film. With Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, Circle Jerks, Fear, Germs, and X.

Starring: Alice Bag, Claude Bessy, Black Flag, Don Bolles, Dinah Cancer, Exene Cervenka, Circle Jerks, Philo Cramer, Darby Crash, John Doe ..
Directed by: Penelope Spheeris
Release date: 1981-07-01

American Pop

7.1/10 IMDB

The history of American popular music runs parallel with the history of a Russian Jewish immigrant family, with each male descendant possessing different musical abilities.

Starring: Ron Thompson, Lisa Jane Persky, Jeffrey Lippa, Frank De Kova, Roz Kelly, Mews Small, Elsa Raven, Vincent Schiavelli, Richard Moll, Lynda Wiesmeier ..
Directed by: Ralph Bakshi
Release date: 1981-02-13
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Le Nozze di Figaro

Le Nozze di Figaro

7.7/10 IMDB

Le Nozze di Figaro at Drottningholm Court Theater

Starring: Per-Arne Wahlgren, Erik Sædén, Mikael Samuelson, Sylvia Lindenstrand, Georgine Resick, Ann Christine Biel, Karin Mang-Habshi, Torbjörn Lilliequist, Bo Leinmark, Karl-Robert Lindgren ..
Directed by: Göran Järvefelt
Release date: 1981-06-01

Johnny Cash: Christmas in Scotland

6.5/10 IMDB

The juxtaposition may seem strange, but the Cash clan’s roots are in Scotland—even if Johnny’s speculation about descent from the 12th-century King Malcolm may be more guesswork than genealogy. Andy Williams guest-stars.

Starring: Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Andy Williams ..
Directed by: Stan Harris
Release date: 1981-12-10

Pennies from Heaven

6.5/10 IMDB

During the Great Depression, a sheet music salesman seeks to escape his dreary life through popular music and a love affair with an innocent school teacher.

Starring: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Jessica Harper, Vernel Bagneris, John McMartin, John Karlen, Tommy Rall, Christopher Walken, Francis X. McCarthy, M.C. Gainey ..
Directed by: Herbert Ross
Release date: 1981-12-11

Zoot Suit

6.7/10 IMDB

Part fact and part fiction, Zoot Suit is the film version of Luis Valdez's critically acclaimed play, based on the actual Sleepy Lagoon murder case and the zoot suit riots of 1940s Los Angeles. Henry Reyna is the leader of a group of Mexican-Americans being sent to San Quentin without substantial evidence for the death of a man at Sleepy Lagoon. As part of the defense committee, Alice Bloomfield and George Shearer fight the blatant miscarriage of justice for the freedom of Henry and his friends.

Starring: Edward James Olmos, Charles Aidman, Tyne Daly, John Anderson, Abel Franco, Mike Gomez, Alma Martinez, Lupe Ontiveros, Ed Peck, Robert Phalen ..
Directed by: Luis Valdez
Release date: 1981-10-02
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Genesis - Three Sides Live

Genesis - Three Sides Live

7.8/10 IMDB

Three Sides Live is a 1981 concert film of the Abacab tour by British rock band Genesis. It tied in with the double live album of the same name. The songs featured are mostly from the group's then most recent albums Duke and Abacab, plus a medley that comprises extracts from The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway ("In the Cage" and "The Colony of Slippermen") and Selling England by the Pound ("The Cinema Show"), leading into "Afterglow" from Wind & Wuthering.

Starring: Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, Daryl Stuermer, Chester Thompson, Tony Smith ..
Directed by: Stuart Orme
Release date: 1981-11-28

Dance Craze

8.2/10 IMDB

Rocksteady to both a visual and musical documentary of the big shot's of the English 2-Tone movement of the late 1970s that has the exhaustive, high-energy performances exploding onto stage. Jump, shout, twist and crawl and dance to the tunes of Ska and its anthems of its rough riders and three-minute heroes captivated in the moment of a generation of England's concrete jungles and razor blade alley's. No longer on your radio but now on stage, together, with the likes of Madness, The Specials and The Beat et al, this concert footage of an era is a must-see, rare and fascinating look into a once vibrant youth culture of working-class England and its musical dance craze

Starring: Buster Bloodvessel, Suggs, Terry Hall, Pauline Black, Dave Wakeling, Roger "Ranking Roger" Charlery, Neville Staple, Lynval Golding, Jerry Dammers, Rhoda Dakar ..
Directed by: Joe Massot
Release date: 1981-02-10
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Devo: The Men Who Make the Music

Devo: The Men Who Make the Music

8.7/10 IMDB

Part concert film, music video collection, and propaganda piece, The Men Who Make the Music was DEVO's first home video release. Features live footage from the band's 1978 "Duty Now for the Future" tour.

Starring: Bob Casale, Gerald V. Casale, Mark Mothersbaugh, Robert Mothersbaugh, Alan Myers, Devo ..
Directed by: Mark Mothersbaugh, Chuck Statler, Gerald V. Casale
Release date: 1981-01-01
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Purlie


8.9/10 IMDB

Based on Davis' 1961 play Purlie Victorious (which was later translated into the 1963 film Gone Are the Days! and which included all of the original Broadway cast, including Ruby Dee, Alan Alda, Beah Richards, and Godfrey Cambridge), Purlie is a musical with a book by Ossie Davis, Philip Rose, and Peter Udell, lyrics by Udell, and music by Gary Geld. It won two Tony Awards and was also nominated for Best Musical. This 1981 television adaptation is directed by Rudi Goldman and stars Broadway cast members Guillaume, Moore, Hemsley, and Hopkins, with Brandon Maggart as Cotchipee, Clarice Taylor as Idilla, and Don Scardino as Charlie. The production won a CableACE Award.

Starring: Robert Guillaume, Melba Moore, Sherman Hemsley, Clarice Taylor, Don Scardino, Linda Hopkins, Rhetta Hughes, Brandon Maggart, Loretta Abbott, Brenda Braxton ..
Directed by: Rudi Goldman
Release date: 1981-10-12
Best Music Movies of 1981 : The Cramps: Live at Napa State Mental Hospital

The Cramps: Live at Napa State Mental Hospital

8.2/10 IMDB

The concert was recorded with a black-and-white video camera and a single microphone on June 13, 1978.

Starring: Lux Interior, Poison Ivy ..
Directed by: Joe Rees
Release date: 1981-01-01

Urgh! A Music War

7.9/10 IMDB

Urgh! A Music War is a British film released in 1982 featuring performances by punk rock, new wave, and post-punk acts, filmed in 1980. Among the artists featured in the movie are Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), Magazine, The Go-Go's, Toyah Willcox, The Fleshtones, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, X, XTC, Devo, The Cramps, Oingo Boingo, Dead Kennedys, Gary Numan, Klaus Nomi, Wall of Voodoo, Pere Ubu, Steel Pulse, Surf Punks, 999, UB40, Echo & the Bunnymen and The Police. These were many of the most popular groups on the New Wave scene; in keeping with the spirit of the scene, the film also features several less famous acts, and one completely obscure group, Invisible Sex, in what appears to be their only public performance.

Starring: Sting, Stewart Copeland, Andy Summers, Devo, Gang of Four, Dead Kennedys, Jello Biafra, Oingo Boingo, Danny Elfman, Toyah Willcox ..
Directed by: Derek Burbidge
Release date: 1981-11-07

Shock Treatment

5.7/10 IMDB

Janet and Brad Majors, unhappily married, are separated after appearing on a game show. Janet becomes a superstar while Brad is thrown into a mental hospital. But what does fast food magnate Farley Flavors have up his sleeve?

Starring: Jessica Harper, Cliff DeYoung, Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Charles Gray, Ruby Wax, Nell Campbell, Rik Mayall, Barry Humphries, Manning Redwood ..
Directed by: Jim Sharman
Release date: 1981-10-30
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Pippin


7.3/10 IMDB

The musical uses the premise of a mysterious performance troupe, led by a Leading Player, to tell the story of Pippin, a young prince on his search for meaning and significance. In 1981, a stage production of Pippin was videotaped for Canadian television. The stage production was directed by Kathryn Doby, Bob Fosse's dance captain for the original Broadway production, and David Sheehan directed the video adaptation, with Roger O. Hirson in charge of the music. Ben Vereen returned for the role of Leading Player, while William Katt played the role of Pippin. However, this version was a truncated adaptation and several sections of the play were cut. An extended version running 135 minutes is also available.

Starring: Ben Vereen, William Katt, Martha Raye, Chita Rivera, Benjamin Rayson, Lesley denniston, Christopher Chadman, Leslie Denniston, Carmine Rizzo, Joanie P. Oneill ..
Directed by: David Sheehan, Kathryn Doby
Release date: 1981-01-01

The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia

5.9/10 IMDB

An aspiring country singer and his feisty younger sister/manager struggle to reach their dreams of Nashville stardom-as long as she can keep her brother out of trouble with the ladies and the law-in this drama "inspired by," but not really connected to, the hit '70s ballad.

Starring: Kristy McNichol, Dennis Quaid, Mark Hamill, Don Stroud, Sunny Johnson, Arlen Dean Snyder, Barry Corbin ..
Directed by: Ronald F. Maxwell
Release date: 1981-05-29
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Jethro Tull: Slipstream

Jethro Tull: Slipstream

8.4/10 IMDB

Slipstream is a video by Jethro Tull, recorded during the 1980 'A' tour.

Starring: Ian Anderson, Martin Barre, Dave Pegg, Mark Craney, Eddie Jobson ..
Directed by: David Mallet
Release date: 1981-01-01
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Elephant Parts

Elephant Parts

7.6/10 IMDB

Winner of the first video Grammy Award, Michael Nesmith (The Monkees) wrote and starred in Elephant Parts, a collection of comedy and music videos using money he inherited from his mother, the inventor of Liquid Paper. Elephant Parts is one hour long and features five full length music videos, including the popular songs "Rio", and "Cruisin'", which featured wrestler Steve Strong and Monterey-based comic "Chicago" Steve Barkley. An off-beat collection that is very entertaining to view while in an altered state.

Starring: Michael Nesmith, Bill Martin, Lark Geib, Robert Ackerman, Katherine McDaniel, Paddy Morrissey, William Dear, Chicago Steve Barkley, Jon Richard, Rita Herbst ..
Directed by: William Dear
Release date: 1981-07-01
Best Music Movies of 1981 : James Brown: Live at Montreux

James Brown: Live at Montreux

6.6/10 IMDB

"Soul Brother No.1", "The Godfather Of Soul", "Mr Dynamite" are all titles that have been applied to James Brown over the years. A hugely influential figure in black American music, he was a driving force in the development of soul music in the early sixties and funk in the early seventies. He has had more R&B hits in the US than any other artist, and has charted singles in countries around the world. One of the defining elements of James Brown’s career has always been his electrifying live show and his performances at Montreux give ample evidence of this. This DVD focuses on his choice as the best of them all from 1981. It’s a string of hits from start to finish delivered with all the flamboyant style and showmanship for which he is rightly famous.

Starring: James Brown ..
Directed by: François Jaquenod
Release date: 1981-07-07
Best Music Movies of 1981 : The Muppets Go to the Movies

The Muppets Go to the Movies

7.2/10 IMDB

In this one-hour special taped between March 9-17, 1981, Lily Tomlin and Dudley Moore join the Muppets in a tribute to film classics. Kermit the Frog hosts the program, which begins with an all-cast rendition of "Hey a Movie!" from The Great Muppet Caper.

Starring: Dudley Moore, Lily Tomlin, Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson ..
Directed by: Peter Harris
Release date: 1981-05-20
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Death in Venice

Death in Venice

6.2/10 IMDB

Gustav Von Aschenbach, a passionate composer, arrives in Venice as a result of wanderlust and there meets a young man by whose beauty he becomes obsessed.

Starring: Robert Gard, John Shirley-Quirk, Vincent Redmon, Deanne Bergsma, James Bowman ..
Directed by: Tony Palmer
Release date: 1981-08-11

Urban Struggle: The Battle of the Cuckoo's Nest

8.2/10 IMDB

Locals formed vigilante groups to fight it, Police used legal force to repress it, City officials wanted to ban it entirely. This never before released feature length documentary was filmed in the early 80's and exposes the punk rock scene that was going on at the infamous Cuckoo's Nest club owned by Jerry Roach.

Starring: Pat Brown, Chuck Dukowski, Jack Grisham, Keith Morris, Jerry Roach, Mike Roche, Henry Rollins, Casey Royer, Derf Scratch ..
Directed by: Paul Young
Release date: 1981-06-01

Take It or Leave It

7.2/10 IMDB

Autobiographical account of the cult 80's British pop group 'Madness (II)' , with members of the group playing themselves, charting their rise from humble beginnings as pub band The Invaders to chart success and their first overseas tour. The film follows the ups and downs of individual members of the group, and features all of their early hits including "The Prince", "One Step Beyond", "Baggy Trousers" and "Night Boat to Cairo"

Starring: Suggs, Mark Bedford, Lee Thompson, Carl Smyth, Dan Woodgate, Chris Foreman, Mike Barson, John Hasler, Simon Birdsall, Andrew Chalk ..
Directed by: Dave Robinson
Release date: 1981-10-08
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Imagine the Sound

Imagine the Sound

7.1/10 IMDB

An examination, shown through both interviews and performances, of the avant-garde free jazz movement which reigned during the 1960s.

Starring: Paul Bley, Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor, Kenny Werner, Archie Shepp ..
Directed by: Ron Mann
Release date: 1981-08-24
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Stand by Your Man

Stand by Your Man

6.5/10 IMDB

The rags-to-riches tale of country western queen, Tammy Wynette, from her impoverished childhood to country's First Lady and her two rocky marriages to fellow superstar George Jones, who had been her childhood idol.

Starring: Annette O'Toole, Tim McIntire, Cooper Huckabee, James Hampton, Helen Page Camp, John Van Horne, Monica Parker, Ivy Bethune, Rudy Bond, Dorothy Butts ..
Directed by: Jerry Jameson
Release date: 1981-05-13
Best Music Movies of 1981 : From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China

From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China

7.5/10 IMDB

A beautiful expression of two differing cultures brought together by the warmth and dedication of a great musician and humanitarian. In 1979, as China re-opened its doors to the West, virtuoso Isaac Stern received an unprecedented government invitation to tour the country.

Starring: Isaac Stern ..
Directed by: Murray Lerner
Release date: 1981-02-23

America Is Waiting

6.7/10 IMDB

Stock footage edited with music to comment on American culture.

Directed by: Bruce Conner
Release date: 1981-03-31
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Blonde Ambition

Blonde Ambition

6.2/10 IMDB

The rise to fame and fortune of the Kane sisters, arguably one of the worst vaudeville acts ever inflicted upon a paying audience, from their humble beginnings in Coyote Fang, Wyoming, right up to their becoming the toast of the Great White Way.

Starring: Suzy Mandel, Dory Devon, Robert Kerman, George Payne, Jamie Gillis, Molly Malone, Pat Finnegan ..
Directed by: Lem Amero, John Amero
Release date: 1981-03-01
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Black Sabbath & Blue Öyster Cult: Black and Blue

Black Sabbath & Blue Öyster Cult: Black and Blue

8.1/10 IMDB

BLACK SABBATH and BLUE ÖYSTER CULT - Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York - October 17, 1980. Track Listing: The Marshall Plan [BOC; promo], War Pigs, Neon Knights, N.I.B. [Sabbath], Dr. Music, Cities On Flame, Divine Wind [BOC], Iron Man, Guitar Solo, Paranoid [Sabbath], Godzilla, Drum Solo, Roadhouse Blues [BOC], Heaven And Hell [Sabbath], Born To Be Wild [BOC], Die Young [Sabbath] Professionally filmed for the movie, BLACK AND BLUE. 3 Sabbath songs from this movie were first shown on the 12/6/80 episode of DON KIRSHNER’S ROCK CONCERT. The movie itself premiered in NYC on 12/19/1980. BLACK AND BLUE made the rounds on the 'Midnight Movie' circuit during the early 80's. It was released on VHS in Jan. 1981 and went out of print within a short time. It could only be found for many years as a Japanese import or bootleg.

Starring: Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geoff Nicholls, Geezer Butler, Vinny Appice, Eric Bloom, Donald Roeser, Allen Lanier, Joe Bouchard, Albert Bouchard ..
Directed by: Jay Dubin
Release date: 1981-10-01
Best Music Movies of 1981 : The Leprechauns' Christmas Gold

The Leprechauns' Christmas Gold

6.2/10 IMDB

Sent in search of a Christmas tree, cabin boy Dinty Doyle lands on a mysterious, uncharted Irish island where he accidentally releases a bad-tempered banshee from her pine tree prison. Leprechaun Blarney Kilakilarney knows that in order to survive, the banshee will try to swipe his clan's pot of Christmas gold. With some magical assistance from Lord Patrick, the king of the wee folk, Dinty and Blarney make a plan to outwit the gold-hungry hag before Christmas morning dawns.

Starring: Art Carney, Peggy Cass, Frankie Moronski, Bob McFadden, Ken Jennings, Gerry Matthews, Christine Mitchell, Glynis Bieg, Aidan Nicolle ..
Directed by: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin, Jr.
Release date: 1981-12-23
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Kate and Anna McGarrigle

Kate and Anna McGarrigle

6.2/10 IMDB

A short documentary about singers Kate and Anna McGarrigle made by animator Caroline Leaf.

Starring: Kate McGarrigle, Anna McGarrigle ..
Directed by: Caroline Leaf
Release date: 1981-01-01
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Moody Teenager

Moody Teenager

5.3/10 IMDB

A teenager's quest for a new look leads to a new personality. Music by Suicide, The Andrew Sisters, James White & The Blacks, Los Microwaves.

Starring: Susan Pedrick ..
Directed by: Richard Gaikowski
Release date: 1981-01-15
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Mea Culpa

Mea Culpa

6.5/10 IMDB

In his first collaboration with David Byrne and Brian Eno, Conner used footage from educational films to create a rhythmically austere image-track for music from their pioneering “sampling” album “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” (1981).

Directed by: Bruce Conner
Release date: 1981-06-12
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Totally Go-Go's

Totally Go-Go's

8.2/10 IMDB

Concert and backstage footage of the Go-Go's at the height of their career.

Starring: Charlotte Caffey, Belinda Carlisle, Gina Schock, Kathy Valentine, Jane Wiedlin ..
Directed by: Mick Haggerty, C.D. Taylor
Release date: 1981-01-01
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Mike Oldfield: Live at Montreux, 1981

Mike Oldfield: Live at Montreux, 1981

8.6/10 IMDB

Despite the enormous success of his 1973 debut album TUBULAR BELLS, Mike Oldfield's first concert tour wasn't until 1979. His second, the European Adventure Tour in 1981, stopped in Switzerland for the Montreux Jazz Festival. The show sold out, the crowd was alive, and the atmosphere was electric!

Starring: Mike Oldfield, Maggie Reilly ..
Directed by: François Jaquenod
Release date: 1981-07-05
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Grateful Dead: Dead Ahead

Grateful Dead: Dead Ahead

8.4/10 IMDB

Recorded October 30th and 31st, 1980, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Dead Ahead showcases the recently reformed Grateful Dead lineup in acoustic and electric splendor.

Starring: Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Brent Mydland, Brent Mydland, Bob Weir ..
Directed by: Len Dell'Amico
Release date: 1981-01-01
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Lynda Carter's Celebration

Lynda Carter's Celebration

8.2/10 IMDB

Lynda Carter's third musical TV special.

Starring: Lynda Carter, Jerry Reed, Chris Evert, Ray Charles, Jean Carter ..
Directed by: Stan Harris
Release date: 1981-05-11
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Frank Sinatra: The Man and His Music

Frank Sinatra: The Man and His Music

8.3/10 IMDB

Though it was taped 16 years after the first A Man And His Music special, this final installment continues to uphold the high standards of the series, thanks in no small part to the accompaniment of the legendary Count Basie and his orchestra.

Starring: Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Don Costa, Antônio Carlos Jobim ..
Directed by: Clark Jones
Release date: 1981-11-22
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Concerts for the People of Kampuchea

Concerts for the People of Kampuchea

8.2/10 IMDB

Organized by Paul McCartney and the United Nations, these concerts were in response to the 1975-79 Khmer Rouge’s reign, where three million persons perished in Cambodia. During the concerts, McCartney brought three generations of popular musicians together. The older generation included McCartney and the Wings, The Who and members of Procol Harum. The middle generation was represented by Queen and members of Led Zeppelin. Most notably, there was the new generation of mainly New Wavers and Punk Rockers, such as The Pretenders, Elvis Costello and The Attractions, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, The Clash, and The Specials.

Starring: Paul McCartney, Nick Lowe, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor, John Deacon, Brian May, Elvis Costello ..
Release date: 1981-03-29
Best Music Movies of 1981 : The Marvelous Land of Oz

The Marvelous Land of Oz

8.1/10 IMDB

The Marvelous Land of Oz is a 1981 musical play by Thomas W. Olson, Gary Briggle, and Richard Dworsky, based on the 1904 novel by L. Frank Baum. Not long after the events in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a young boy named Tip is the unhappy servant of Old Mombi, a wicked Sorceress in the Land of the Gillikans (in the north of Oz). One day Tip escapes, after creating a walking stick figure with a jack-o-lantern head named Jack Pumpkinhead with a magic Powder of Life stolen from the witch. He goes to the Emerald City, now ruled by the Scarecrow, but unfortunately, a female Army of Revolt, 400 strong and led by General Jinjur, captures the city. The Scarecrow, Tip, Jack, and some other oddball characters flee the city and head west to the land of the Winkies, now ruled by the Scarecrow's old friend the Tin Woodman. They must recapture the Emerald City, defeat Old Mombi (who allies herself with Jinjur), and most of all, discover the true secret of unassuming young Tip.

Starring: Wendy Lehr, Christopher Passi, Carl Beck, Gary Briggle, Stephen Boe, Rana Haugen, Julee Cruise, Steve Huke, Kathleen Wegner, Tom Dunn ..
Directed by: John Driver, John Clark Donahue
Release date: 1981-01-01
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Musical Comedy Tonight II

Musical Comedy Tonight II

8.0/10 IMDB

A tribute to American musical theater, featuring scenes from "Show Boat", "South Pacific," "Sweet Charity," "Finian's Rainbow," and "Lady in the Dark", among others. There is also discussion of the various creative aspects of the plays.

Starring: Sylvia Fine, Annette Charles, Richard Crenna, Nancy Dussault, Sergio Franchi, Bonnie Franklin, Danny Kaye, Jack Lemmon, Joshua Logan, Juliet Prowse ..
Directed by: Tony Charmoli
Release date: 1981-02-11
Best Music Movies of 1981 : A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream

7.5/10 IMDB

The Glyndebourne Opera's 1981 production of the Benjamin Britten opera, based on Shakespeare's play.

Starring: Ileana Cotrubas, James Bowman, Ryland Davies, Dale Duesing, Cynthia Buchan, Felicity Lott, Curt Appelgren, Roger Bryson, Andrew Gallacher, Donald Bell ..
Directed by: Peter Hall, Dave Heather
Release date: 1981-08-24
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Rod Stewart: Tonight He's Yours

Rod Stewart: Tonight He's Yours

7.4/10 IMDB

Rod Stewart performs 20 full length songs in this concert special.

Starring: Rod Stewart, Tina Turner ..
Directed by: Bruce Gowers
Release date: 1981-12-19
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Mistaken Memories of Mediaeval Manhattan

Mistaken Memories of Mediaeval Manhattan

7.3/10 IMDB

Various videos of the Manhattan skyline, shot by Brian Eno in 1980-81. Music from his albums Ambient 1 and 4 accompany the footage. Presented in vertical format (the television or monitor needs to be turned on its side for proper viewing).

Directed by: Brian Eno
Release date: 1981-06-06
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Starstruck


7.0/10 IMDB

Aspiring teen folk singer is torn whether to continue her singing or to accept an educational scholarship.

Starring: Trini Alvarado, Joanna Merlin, Lee Curreri, Miriam Colon, Anna Maria Horsford, Jay O. Sanders, Francine Beers, Rita Karin, Terry Layman, Antonia Rey ..
Directed by: Claude Kerven
Release date: 1981-10-14
Best Music Movies of 1981 : Eurovision Song Contest 1981

Eurovision Song Contest 1981

6.8/10 IMDB

The Eurovision Song Contest 1981 was the 26th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Dublin, Ireland, following Johnny Logan's win at the 1980 contest in The Hague, Netherlands with the song "What's Another Year". This was the second time the contest had taken place in Ireland, after 1971. The contest was held at the RDS Simmonscourt on Saturday 4 April 1981, and was hosted by Irish television journalist Doireann Ní Bhriain.

Starring: Doireann Ní Bhriain ..
Directed by: Ian McGarry
Release date: 1981-04-04

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