Do you remember when MTV played music videos?

I want your best of the 80’s.

The Cars.

The Go-Go’s.

Michael Jackson “Thriller”. I don’t know if this is the original, but my YouTube-Fu is weak.

I adored MTV when it first came out. After it had been around for a few years and musicians really had the $$ to do some cool videos it was really amazing. I’d watch every afternoon when I came home from school as I did my homework… I remember the first video I ever saw was Talking Head’s Once In A Lifetime.

However, the first video I thought of was this one, which was seriously cool and cutting edge at the time: Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer.

We first got cable in the late 80s, heyday of hair metal. I was about 9 or 10 and I remember watching Hard 60 in the afternoon after school and sneaking out of bed on Saturday night to watch Headbanger’s Ball.

I think this may have been the first video I saw on MTV back in 1980. Or maybe it was “Vacation.”

There is always, of course, AHA’s “Take on Me.”

And I fondly remember Tom Petty’s Alice-in-Wonderland inspired “Don’t Come Around Here No More.”

My first exposure to music videos was through HBO’s “Video Jukebox” in the late 1970’s. When MTV came along a few years later, I wondered whether one could build a whole channel around music videos. Turned out you could, and I liked having it on during exercise or for background noise. When they got away from showing videos, I quit watching. I haven’t had MTV/VH1 on in over a decade.

It took our cable company several years to finally add MTV to the channel line-up – of course, this was 1983, when the channel selector on the cable box was a slider, and there was an absolute limit of 36 channels.

Some of my favorites:
Thomas Dolby – She Blinded Me With Science
Yes – Owner of a Lonely Heart
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – You Got Lucky (I loved the “Road Warrior” opening)
Queen – Radio Ga Ga

MTV pretty much raised me.

Bjork, Human Behaviour (and pretty much any other video of hers)

Jamiroquai, Virtual Insanity

Blur, Coffee & TV

Radiohead, Street Spirit:

Aphex Twin, Windowlicker:

No wonder I turned out so well.

I not only remember when MTV played videos, I remember that I already considered myself too old to be in the target demographic. I was in my twenties.

I very vividly remember the day we got our cable installed, summer of '82, I believe. As soon as the installer left, I plopped down on the couch, turned directly to MTV (channel 34), and there I sat until dinner time some hours later.

The very first video played when I turned it on: Split Enz - Six Months In A Leaky Boat

Other favorites from that era:

Squeeze - Black Coffee in Bed
The Stray Cats - Stray Cat Strut
The Fixx - Red Skies
Modern English - I’ll Melt With You

It’s funny, I think most people from my generation mourn MTV’s decision to change to a reality programming format instead of music videos. I know I did. But I recently read a book about the first ten years of MTV, which contains interviews with a lot of the execs, directors and artists who helped shape it. Many of them agreed that by 1992, music videos had become way too expensive, bombastic and corporate to sustain any real creativity. Rap videos in particular were all the same. And I was surprised to hear how many artists absolutely hated having to make videos - bands like The Police, who had hugely successful videos but really hated all the b.s. that came with filming them.

Here’s a fun look back at the original group of MTV VJs. Martha Quinn was such a doll.

I watched it a lot - and I was in mt 30s, and I probably still would if they returned to that format. Of course my admitting that guarantees they never will because their advertisers want me nowhere near that channel!

Exhibit A under “Videos that were better than their songs deserved, and somehow stuck in my mind even though I only saw them a couple of times”:
Rick Springfield’s “Bop Til You Drop.”

I remember the Country music videos on CMT. Never watched MTV

the best one was Reba McEntire’s Fancy. Lights Went Out in Georgia was another of my favorite. Reba’s videos were always well made.

I ADORED MTV. First video I ever saw: Once In A Lifetime by Talking Heads. some of my fondest favorites:
Life During Wartime - Talking Heads
Whip It (actually, anything they did) - Devo
Stand and Deliver, AntMusic - Adam Ant
The Man With the Child In His Eyes - Kate Bush
Synchronicity II - The Police
Safety Dance - Men Without Hats
Weird Science - Oingo Boingo
Der Kommissar - ?
Wild Boys and Hungry Like The Wolf - Duran Duran
Born In The USA - Bruce Springsteen
Cars - Gary Numan
Shake it Up - The Cars
Billy Jean - Michael Jackson
Anything by Weird Al Yankovich!

It’s easier to leave out the ones I didn’t like, of which there were a few…some of those videos were so beautiful, some were downright elegant. I miss the 80’s. The world is an uglier, sadder place now.

Yes I do. And I get all my music videos from YouTube which reduces the time I spend wasting, waiting for the shitty videos that I DON"T want to see.

It makes me feel older than dirt to not see music on MTV so I never watch that channel any more.

Sabotage -Beastie Boys

Smiths - How Soon Is now

Lush - Superblast!

Crowded House - Distant Sun

Crowded House - Don’t Dream it’s Over

Split Enz- I Got You

Midnight Oil _ Beds Are Burning

Bananarama -Cruel Summer

Lush - Sweetness and Light

Controversial back up band:
Robert Palmer - Addicted to Love

Before she became a celebrity judge:
Paula Abdul - Opposites Attract

I don’t think the Madonna’s career would have gone anywhere without MTV:
Madonna – Like a Virgin

And where she ticked off the whole conservative Christian community:
Madonna – Like a Prayer

Cyndi Lauper was another made-for-MTV star:
Cyndi Lauper – Time after Time

And finally, the most culturally significant MTV video hit of all time:
Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up.

OMG! Someone else who likes Lush! (Sorry, it’s just that this so seldom happens.)

I never realized MTV played any of the 4AD bands.

I only ever saw the Bob Dylan video for “Jokerman” on EmptyTV once but since I did, I’ll link it. As Rolling Drone magazine said, it made other videos look like cheesy cereal commercials.

The only thing I really liked about it was the Saturday concerts where you could see things you would not get anywhere else. like the one time where they had Roxy Music “Live at Frejus” followed by King Crimson. But as Frank Zappa said when he put some songs he recorded for MTV on one of his “You can’t Do That on Stage” CD releases "They put us on once and they will never repeat that mistake again.

You did get coverage of the Live Aid concerts although you had to put up with frequent cutins to the vidiot djs rocking to the music.

I didn’t find Lush until I saw them on VH1 Classic, and the band had been broken up for awhile.

I don’t know how much they WERE on MTV because I could only watch so much when I had to wait my turn for the tv.

i was watching MTV before they played videos 24-7. Back when they had to play filler stuff so they didn’t have to play Video Killed the Radio Star again. The 20 minute version of the moon man video was very compelling.