Monday, August 8, 2011

MTV: Video Made The Radio Star

A belated tribute to MTV on their 30th annivaersary.

I was reminded by posts at Retrospace and Go Retro! blogs that MTV was celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Indeed, MTV was launched on August 1, 1981. According to Wikipedia :

 MTV launched with the words "Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll,"
spoken by John Lack, and played over footage of the
first Space Shuttle launch countdown of Columbia
(which took place earlier that year) and of the launch
of Apollo 11. Those words were immediately followed by the original
MTV theme song, a crunching classical tune composed by Jonathan
Elias and John Petersen, playing over photos of the Apollo 11
moon landing, with the flag featuring MTV's logo changing
various colors, textures, and designs.

The innovative music channel would become a central part of life in the '80s, especially if you were young and into the vibrant music of that era.

I remember these colorful "I Want My MTV" commercials well.

According to Wikipedia the first music videos played on MTV were:

  1. "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles
  2. "You Better Run" by Pat Benatar
  3. "She Won't Dance with Me" by Rod Stewart
  4. "You Better You Bet" by The Who
  5. "Little Suzi's on the Up" by Ph.D.
  6. "We Don't Talk Anymore" by Cliff Richard
  7. "Brass in Pocket" by The Pretenders
  8. "Time Heals" by Todd Rundgren
  9. "Take It on the Run" by REO Speedwagon (the video begins but ends after a few seconds due to technical difficulties.)
  10. "Rockin' the Paradise" by Styx

Ironically, notwithstanding the name of the song, MTV probably brought more vibrancy and life to early and mid '80s radio, as it opened up the media to newer music groups


  1. There are 4 songs on this list that I really don't remember. My brother is a big Styx fan, I'll have to tell him about this.I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I like that REO Speedwagon song. I do remember those commercials. I didn't really get into MTV though. Caught some - not many- vids on Vh1 in the 90s. I can't believe it's been that long already. That makes me feel kind of old.

  2. LaraAnn- It definitely seems like time has passed quickly. I remember when all this '80s stuff was brand new. Those MTV commercials with Billy Idol and Cyndi Lauper were a clasic part of being young in the '80s.

  3. Man.. those were the glory days of MTV. I sure do miss them!

  4. Darrin: Me too! I think there was a certain vibrant, colorful, quirky energy about the '80s. MTV was part of it all.