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The Buggles

United Kingdom (1977 – 1981)

The Buggles were a UK electropop / new wave group that formed in 1977, consisting of Trevor Horn (bass guitar, guitar, percussion, and vocals) with Geoff Downes (percussion and keyboards).

The Buggles’ sound was characterised by a deliberately synthetic quality in keeping with the technological subject matter of their songs. The group had a smash hit with the first single from their debut album, ‘The Age of Plastic’. Song “Video Killed the Radio Star” famously provided the 1st music video ever played on MTV (on August 1, 1981).

The novelty value of their most popular song has led to the Buggles being perceived as being a one-hit-wonder. They did release three further singles, but none came close to emulating the success of their debut track. Specifically, “The age of plastic” reached #16 in the UK, “Clean Clean” stalled at #38, and “Elstree” failed to enter the top 40. Still, they’ve been well received by the later cult audience of new wave revival devotees.

After joining progressive rock group Yes for their 1980 ‘Drama’ album and tour and then recording the second Buggles album, ‘Adventures in Modern Recording’, in 1981, The Buggles members parted ways to explore other projects. Horn has been a highly successful record producer while Downes has served as a key member of the supergroup Asia. Both of them have revisited their Buggles material to enthusiastic audiences.


The Buggles were a British new wave performing and record production duo consisting of Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes. They are best known for their 1979 debut single "Video Killed the Radio Star" that was No. 1 on the singles charts of sixteen countries. The music video for that song was the first to be shown on MTV; it aired in the U.S. at 12:01am on 1 August 1981. It was the lead single of the Buggles' first album, The Age of Plastic, which also had three other UK-hit singles. In addition to their fame from "Video Killed the Radio Star", the Buggles also handled production for other popular tracks such as "Back of My Hand" by The Jags and "Monkey Chop" by Dan-I, as well the song "Film Star" by Tom Marshall.

In 1980, both Horn and Downes joined progressive rock band Yes. However, following the release of the album Drama, Yes disbanded in 1981; Yes then reformed with Horn as producer, and Downes went on to create Asia with fellow former Yes member Steve Howe. After Downes' move to Asia and the commercial failure of the Buggles' second album Adventures in Modern Recording, The Buggles came to an end in 1981. However, Downes and Horn have been occasionally performing Buggles' songs together since 1998. Additionally, they collaborated again on the album Fly From Here by Yes (which Downes re-joined in 2011). The album, produced by Horn and with Downes on keyboards, used songs originally recorded as demos for the Buggles as a basis for most of the material.

The Buggles was a New Wave band formed in 1977 consisting of Trevor Horn (bass guitar, guitar, percussion, and vocals), Geoff Downes (percussion and keyboards) and Bruce Woolley.
Video Killed the Radio Star", released in late 1979, was the 444th number one in the UK charts, spending one week at the top and shooting The Buggles to fame. At the time of the single's original release, The Buggles did not actually have an album's worth of material to record, and so they wrote most of the other tracks for their debut album The Age of Plastic (1980) while travelling around Europe promoting "Video Killed the Radio Star".
Horn's current band, The Producers, have covered "Video Killed the Radio Star" at all of their performances so far. A clip of one of these performances at Camden Town can be seen on the website for ZTT Records.


80's Hits

Video Killed the Radio Star

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