MTVs First Ten Videos Aired: Can You Name Them?

This weekend marks the 29th anniversary of MTV firing up its engines and rocketing and rocking off the launch pad. The music industry and pop music has never been the same (for better or for worse) since.

The Sound FMs (100.3) "Ten at 10:00" this morning, my favorite radio station in Los Angeles at the moment, featured the first ten songs that MTV aired back in August, 1981. Most Pop Culture geekoids between the ages of ten and twenty, circa 1981, can probably name the first song/video MTV played with ease (I could) but recalling the first ten I doubt not even the most genius nostalgic geekoids could list. I thought it'd be cool to list the songs here.

(Note to self, and to my literally single digits of readers -- Hi, Becky! Hi, Piero!; Hi, whomever-you-are-from Fullerton and Mountain View, CA, respectively **waves** -- add links and video clips to these songs and clips of the original VeeJays (Martha Quinn, J.J. Jackson, Nina Blackwood, Alan Curry, who was the 5th one?) when you get home. And add the commentary too, that you wrote down: only 300 or so videos in existence at the time, dozens by Rod Stewart; Blondie had a ton out at the time, like Hanging on the Telephone or Sunday Girl (why weren't they included in the first 10?); Journey did not release any videos for their megaseller, Escape, released in June of '81. Huh? Who was the genius that advised they not make any videos for Escape? As HUGE as that album was, had there been videos for "Don't Stop Believin'," "Open Arms," and "Who's Crying Now?" good God, that album might have put up Thrilleresque or Rumourish type sales figures; and write down that mock blather skewering Styx & R.E.O. and their feathered-banged fans with their hair parted down the middle, wearing brown corduroys and plaid with humongo collars -- they were sure hip and cutting edge back then weren't they? ...

01. Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles

02. You Better Run by Pat Benatar. Smokin' hot: Pat Benatar: Yeahhhh.

03. She Won't Dance with Me by Rod Stewart (not sure if this is the right clip aired)

04. You Better You Bet by The Who

05. Little Susie's on the Up by Ph.D (Ph.D? I had no idea that this band - or song - existed as an original. I thought Tesla wrote it for their debut album, "Mechanical Resonance" in '86 I also thought it was Tina Turner before the DJ named the track).

06. We Don't Talk Anymore by Cliff Richard

07. Brass in Pocket" by The Pretenders (Kid would have been a better choice off their kick ass debut).

08. Time Heals by Todd Rundgren (great song completely forgotten about)

09. Take it on the Run by R.E.O. Speedwagon (gag me, I don't care how many records "Hi Infedility" sold! They sucked then and they still suck now.)

10. Rockin' the Paradise by Styx (with a spoon! Full Disclosure: I owned the 8-track of "Paradise Theater," ... I'm so ashamed. :( )


  1. *she sniffs* Where's the love, 'Rique!

  2. I'm so sorry, Tani, my Ore-gon follower-friend. How dare I not mention your name too!

  3. Seriously, Sunday Girl is one of the most beautiful songs of the era. Shoulda been one of the first.


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