This stalled at #103 in February 1981, but when MTV launched that August, they played the video a lot, giving the song much more exposure.
David Byrne's choreography in the video was done by the Toni Basil, who had a hit as a singer with "Mickey
." It was a very odd video, and for many viewers it was the first look they got at the Talking Heads (or at least Byrne - the full band didn't appear in a video until "Burning Down the House
" two years later).
As you watch David Byrne spasm like a malfunctioning robot interspersed with gesturing in Martian sign language, ponder this excerpt from the book MTV Ruled the World - The Early Years of Music Video
, in which Toni Basil fills in some details about the choreography for this video: "He [Byrne] wanted to research movement, but he wanted to research movement more as an actor, as does David Bowie, as does Mick Jagger. They come to movement in another way, not as a trained dancer. Or not really interested in dance steps. He wanted to research people in trances - different trances in church and different trances with snakes. So we went over to UCLA and USC, and we viewed a lot of footage of documentaries on that subject. And then he took the ideas, and he 'physicalized' the ideas from these documentary-style films."
Basil adds: "When I was making videos - whether it was with Devo, David Byrne, or whoever - there wasn't record companies breathing down anybody's neck, telling them what to do, what the video should look like. There was no paranoid A&R guy, no crazy dresser that would come in and decide what people should be wearing, and put them in shoes that they can't walk in, everybody with their own agenda. We were all on our own."
Basil also directed and choreographed the video for the Remain In Light
track "Crosseyed And Painless
," which features dancers from a crew called The Electric Boogaloos. None of the band members appear in it.