Cover of English Garden
Is it really a trivia question when everyone and their grandmother knows the answer? If the question is “What was the first video played on MTV?” I would have to say the answer is no. Babies fresh from the womb could tell you that it was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles. The real trivia question is this: “Who recorded ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ first?” That’s right; it’s a cover tune, originally recorded by Bruce Woolley & The Camera Club for their album English Garden. The would-be Buggles, Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes, wrote the song for Bruce’s band, and while they had some success, Horn and Downes decided to make it their first single. The rest is history and music trivia. There wasn’t bad blood, though. Bruce Woolley was close with The Buggles, though never an official member. He even appears in The Buggles video for “Video Killed the Radio Star”, a friendly shout-out to the guy who tried to make a hit of it first, and joined them for a couple of The Buggles occasional one-off performances. The success of the cover version left The Camera Club’s lone album, English Garden to the dustbin of musical history. Thankfully, history has preserved video of the band performing on the Old Grey Whistle Test, and on BBC Midlands.