On August 1, 1981, MTV, a new cable channel intended to bring music videos to the world, launched and for a few short years, did exactly what its name entailed. Of course, that all went to hell when music started sucking as hair metal came in, then the network started making awful reality shows and got rid of music altogether. But for a short time, MTV was the coolest thing around.
Above you see an embedded playlist that roughly recreates the first hour or so of MTV from thirty-five years ago. Some of the videos were hard to track down, and some have unwanted subtitles, but you will get to see The Buggles, Pat Benetar, Rod Stewart, The Who, The Pretenders and the other bands that helped launch Music Television, along with the very first moments as broadcast on August 1, 1981.
On August 1 this year VH1 Classic is being rebranded as “MTV Classic,” but before you get your hopes up, be warned that instead of showing classic music videos, the new channel intends to go back to MTV’s post-music programming of the 1990’s, with Beavis and Butthead, Daria and The Real World taking up most of its airtime. Of course, since Suddenlink doesn’t carry the Viacom channels anymore, not too many people in Charleston will notice.