99 StellaVista: Ballardian themes in 'Buggles' Lyrics
99 stellavista

"How I First Discovered J.G. Ballard"

Remember that group the Buggles? Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes, 'Video Killed The Radio Star'-the first video ever played on MTV? A friend of mine read in an interview somewhere that Trevor Horn was a Ballard fan and that lots of the lyrics were drawn from Ballard stories. Being such a Buggles fan that I own the second album, I immediately went in search of Ballard fiction to see if this was true. Read the short story "The Sound Sweep" and then go listen to VKTRS one more time. For those of you without the album, I've listed the lyrics below.

Anyway, there are ways to interpret many Buggles songs in ways to make them seem related to Ballard story themes. Check out the two albums if you are curious for yourself.

"Video Killed The Radio Star"
(Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes, Bruce Wooley)

I heard you on the wireless back in '52
Lying awake intent on tuning in on you
If I was young it didn't stop you coming through
They took the credit for your second symphony
Rewritten by machine -- a new technology
And now I understand the problems you can see
I met your children -- what did you tell them?

Video killed the radio star, video killed the radio star
Pictures came and broke your heart

And now we meet in an abandoned studio
We hear the playback and it seems so long ago
And you remember the jingle used to go
You were the first one, you were the last one

Video killed the radio star, video killed the radio star
In my mind and in my car
We can't rewind, we've gone too far

Pictures came and broke your heart
Put the blame on VTR
You are a radio star

Ballard's Futures Imperfect
j.g. ballard

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j.g. ballard