When I needed an idea for this week's installment of Blast from the Past, my friend Tracy suggested early MTV videos. Since the MTV Video Music Awards just happened, and MTV doesn't play much in the way of actual music anymore, I thought perfect! Plus, I was the perfect age (class of 1984) for the original incarnation of Music Television, and it was highly influential in my generation's pop culture. So, let us begin. . .
1. "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles - I don't think this song made much of a splash on radio at the time, but it was the very first video played on MTV in 1981.
2. "Money For Nothing" by Dire Straits - MTV goes meta. A tv-ready video with Sting in the background crooning "I want my MTV!"
3. "Love is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar - I love Pat Benatar, but even I have to laugh at her dancing in this one.
4. "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper - Cyndi (much like Pat) got unfairly pigeonholed as an 80s act, thanks in large part to this iconic video.
5. "Centerfold" by J. Geils Band - This one was a biggie. And I'll never forget the snare drum full of milk.
6. "The Warrior" by Scandal- Patty Smythe with weird makeup in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future. . .with hot guys.
7. "Black or White" by Michael Jackson - By the 1990s, MTV was already well on its way to ditching music videos as a format (which still makes no sense to me). Leave it to Michael Jackson to revitalize the medium with this clip, at least for a while.
8. "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood - But we've got to go back to the 80s, for one of the earliest cases of censorship on MTV. Here's the banned version that you probably don't remember.
I'm thinking this set is going to need a sequel. . .