5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Buggles's critique of much more than video and radio,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Age Of Plastic +3(Ltd.Reissue) (Audio CD)The Buggles have their place in music history because their quirky hit "Video Killed the Radio Star" has the distinction of being the first music video shown on MTV. But their 1980 debut album "Age of Plastic" deserves to be remembered on its own terms; not just for the "futuristic" music, but because the lyrics represent a coherent critique of the world of technology as being full of potential but fraught with peril. Even a cursory look at "Video Killed the Radio Star" shows the song is offering up less than subtle ironies about the medium of pop music, not to mention the fledgling MTV. The Buggles consisted of the tandem of Geoffrey Downes on percussion/keyboards and Trevor Horn doing bass/guitar/percussion/vocals, both of who were obviously more interested in producing. That same year they produced the Yes album "Drama," and the pair ended up joining the group and replacing Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman.
Pay attention to the lyrics on this album. "Kid Dynamo" is about the death of imagination in the age of mass media, a proposition that is clearly becoming more and more obvious with each year. "I Love You Miss Robot" is not kinky, despite its title, and is about the pitfalls of human dependence on technology. As for the music, it is pretty diverse. ""Video Killed the Radio Star" is upbeat and peppy while "Johnny on the Monorail" is the exact opposite, dark and brooding. Of course, at the time the use of electronic devices was considered cutting edge and the novelty of it all distracted from the potency of the lyrics. The Alan Parsons Project tried to do something along these lines with with 1977's "I Robot," but that effort seems ponderous and pretentious when compared to "Age of Plastic." I think I could make a compelling argument that this is one of the top ten, or at least top two dozen albums, from the decade (and you can go either way on that as the end of the 1970s or the start of the 1980s).