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i wanted my MTV


On this date in 1981, MTV made its debut. This was the playlist of the first day.

Why in the hell did we ever think this was cool, if this was what they played at first? All that REO Speedwagon should have made us run away, and fast. Sure, Blotto and Iron Maiden are cool, but Juice Newton? Andrew Gold? The only reason I can fathom being so excited about the start of MTV is I was stoned and not thinking straight.

Yes, they got better. The channel had some cool shows in its time – Remote Control, Headbangers Ball, 120 Minutes, Yo, MTV Raps, to name a few. And they did bring us The Young Ones and Liquid Television, Sifl and Olly and Beavis and Butthead. But does any of that make up for My Super Sweet Sixteen, The Hills or TRL?

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
10. “Rockin’ the Paradise” by Styx
11. “When Things Go Wrong” by Robin Lane and the Chartbusters
12. “History Never Repeats” by Split Enz
13. “Hold On Loosely” by 38 Special
14. “Just Between You and Me” by April Wine
15. “Sailing” by Rod Stewart
16. “Iron Maiden” by Iron Maiden
17. “Keep On Loving You” by REO Speedwagon
18. “Message of Love” by The Pretenders
19. “Mr. Briefcase” by Lee Ritenour
20. “Double Life” by The Cars
21. “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins
22. “Looking For Clues” by Robert Palmer
23. “Too Late” by Shoes
24. “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
25. “Surface Tension” by Rupert Hine
26. “One Step Ahead” by Split Enz
27. “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty
28. “I’m Gonna Follow You” by Pat Benatar
29. “Savannah Nights” by Tom Johnston
30. “Lucille” by Rockestra
31. “The Best of Times” by Styx
32. “Vengeance” by Carly Simon
33. “Wrathchild” by Iron Maiden
34. “I Wanna Be a Lifeguard” by Blotto
35. “Passion” by Rod Stewart
36. “Oliver’s Army” by Elvis Costello
37. “Don’t Let Him Go” by REO Speedwagon
38. “Remote Control/Illegal” by The Silencers
39. “Angel of the Morning” by Juice Newton
40. “Little Sister” by Rockpile with Robert Plant
41. “Hold On to the Night” by Bootcamp
42. “Dreaming” by Cliff Richard
43. “Is it You?” by Lee Ritenour
44. “Tusk” by Fleetwood Mac
45. “He Can’t Love You” by Michael Stanley Band
46. “Tough Guys” by REO Speedwagon
47. “Rapture” by Blondie
48. “Don’t Let Go the Coat” by The Who
49. “Ain’t Love a Bitch” by Rod Stewart
50. “Talk of the Town” by The Pretenders
51. “Can’t Happen Here” by Rainbow
52. “Thank You for Being a Friend” by Andrew Gold
53. “Bring It All Home” by Gerry Rafferty
54. “Sign of the Gypsy Queen” by April Wine
55. “The Man with the Child in His Eyes” by Kate Bush
56. “Ashes to Ashes” by David Bowie
57. “Just Between You and Me” by April Wine
58. “Rat Race” by The Specials
59. “Once in a Lifetime” by Talking Heads
60. “Victim” by Bootcamp
61. “Tonight’s the Night” by Rod Stewart
62. “Cruel to Be Kind” by Nick Lowe

Seriously, that’s a few good songs mixed in with a boatload of crap. Hey, at least they played music.

Here is where we have a discussion about how much better MTV was when the “M” stood for Music. Or where you profess your undying love for Martha Quinn.

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