The First Day Of Videos On MTV

July 30, 2011

VH1 Classic celebrates the 30th anniversary of sister channel MTV this weekend by re-playing many of the videos and VJs that helped launch the network. The big highlight comes midnight on Sunday, July 31st (technically August 1st), when the network replays the first hour of MTV programming from August 1st, 1981.

Here are the first day of videos played on MTV:

  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 (Live)” by REO Speedwagon
  18. “Bluer Than Blue” by Michael Johnson
  19. “Message of Love” by The Pretenders
  20. “Mr. Briefcase” by Lee Ritenour
  21. “Double Life” by The Cars
  22. “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins
  23. “Looking for Clues” by Robert Palmer (the video never plays due to technical difficulties.)
  24. “Too Late” by Shoes
  25. “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  26. “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” by Rod Stewart
  27. “Surface Tension” by Rupert Hine
  28. “One Step Ahead” by Split Enz
  29. “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty
  30. “I’m Gonna Follow You” by Pat Benatar
  31. “Savannah Nights” by Tom Johnston
  32. “Lucille” by Rockestra
  33. “The Best of Times” by Styx
  34. “Vengeance” by Carly Simon
  35. “Wrathchild” by Iron Maiden
  36. “I Wanna Be a Lifeguard” by Blotto
  37. “Passion” by Rod Stewart
  38. “Oliver’s Army” by Elvis Costello
  39. “Don’t Let Him Go (Live)” by REO Speedwagon
  40. “Remote Control/Illegal” by The Silencers
  41. “Angel of the Morning” by Juice Newton
  42. “Little Sister” by Rockpile with Robert Plant
  43. “Hold On to the Night” by Bootcamp
  44. “Dreamin'” by Cliff Richard
  45. “Is It You” by Lee Ritenour
  46. “Tusk” by Fleetwood Mac
  47. “He Can’t Love You” by Michael Stanley Band
  48. “Tough Guys” by REO Speedwagon
  49. “Rapture” by Blondie
  50. “Don’t Let Go the Coat” by The Who
  51. “Ain’t Love a Bitch” by Rod Stewart
  52. “Talk of the Town” by The Pretenders
  53. “Can’t Happen Here” by Rainbow
  54. “Thank You for Being a Friend” by Andrew Gold
  55. “You Better You Bet” by The Who
  56. “Bring It All Home” by Gerry Rafferty
  57. “Sign of the Gypsy Queen” by April Wine
  58. “The Man with the Child in His Eyes” by Kate Bush
  59. “Message of Love” by The Pretenders
  60. “All Night Long” by Rainbow
  61. “Boys Keep Swinging” by David Bowie
  62. “Rat Race” by The Specials
  63. “Just Between You and Me” by April Wine
  64. “Once in a Lifetime” by Talking Heads
  65. “Victim” by Bootcamp
  66. “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” by Rod Stewart
  67. “Cruel to Be Kind” by Nick Lowe
  68. “A Little in Love” by Cliff Richard
  69. “Take It on the Run” by REO Speedwagon
  70. “Wild-Eyed Southern Boys” by .38 Special
  71. “Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush
  72. “Celebrate the Bullet” by The Selecter
  73. “More Than I Can Say” by Leo Sayer
  74. “A Message to You, Rudy” by The Specials
  75. “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins
  76. “Heart of Glass” by Blondie
  77. “Oh God, I Wish I Was Home Tonight” by Rod Stewart
  78. “Kid” by The Pretenders
  79. “Wrathchild” by Iron Maiden
  80. “Come What May” by Lani Hall and Herb Alpert
  81. “I Got You” by Split Enz
  82. “Sister Disco” by The Who
  83. “Fashion” by David Bowie
  84. “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  85. “Love Stinks” by The J. Geils Band
  86. “Johnny & Mary” by Robert Palmer
  87. “Tomorrow Night” by Shoes

Here’s the first ten minutes of MTV from that summer day in 1981.

{ 1 trackback }

Jeff and Jeremy » MTV is turning 30! Do you even care anymore?
August 1, 2011 at 2:42 pm

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Tintu July 31, 2011 at 4:11 am

MTV stopped being MTV a long time ago. One comedian likend it to calling a pizza place and ordering a pizza, only to have the guy working there tell you they only sell boat anchors. Maybe someday someone there will get a crazy idea to start up a channel that plays music videos 24 hours a day, stranger things have happened….


Paul July 31, 2011 at 8:27 am

That channel is called “You Tube.” 🙂


Jose November 11, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Man I WISH they still played videos. Let me rephrase that, I wish they still played good ones.


Paul November 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm

It’s the whole “TV Land” syndrome, where a channel starts out being one thing, and seems to end up being another thing.


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