MTV might not be your go-to for finding the best new music videos anymore (or music for that matter, we've got you covered there), but the Music Television channel did have its glory days. This week on Teenage Kicks, Program Director and your host Jim McGuinn features tracks with the best videos from the first five years of MTV's broadcast infancy.
Take a look at these highlights, and tune in to Teenage Kicks Saturday, August 3 at 8 a.m. to hear the whole 2 hour playlist and commentary.
Buggles - "Video Killed the Radio Star" (1979)
We both know radio is still alive and well, but this song and video made a bold statement to kick off the MTV years. It was the first video broadcasted on new channel on August 1, 1981.
The Human League - "Don't You Want Me" (1981)
After the low-budget "Open Your Heart" video flopped, Virgin recognized the changing landscape thanks to MTV and put in a few more dollars to film this murder mystery mini-movie.
Billy Idol - "White Wedding Pt. 1" (1982)
Billy Idol's real-life girlfriend gave her hand in marriage in this gothic wedding themed music video. MTV cut the shot of the barbed wire wedding band on the bride's finger.
Michael Jackson - "Thriller" (1983)
Who can forget "Thriller?" Directed my John Landis, the 14 minute video (almost 3 times the length of the actual song) had an unheard of $500,000 budget and changed the way artists approach making music videos to this date.
A-ha - "Take on Me" (1985)
In one of two versions for "Take On Me," creators used rotoscoping, an animation technique where artists trace over shot footage frame by frame which results in a live-action visual. In the video, the 2D and 3D meet for a romantic fantasy.
Peter Gabriel - "Sledgehammer"
In 2011, Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" music video, which uses stop motion production, was named MTV's most played video of MTV's broadcast history.
Run DMC - "Walk This Way" (1986)
This rock-hip-hop hybrid video featuring Joe Perry and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith was the first of its kind. The two groups duel for their share of practice space and later join each other for an on-stage performance.
What were your favorite videos from MTV's Heyday?
Drop 'em in the comments below.
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