MTV: The Millenial’s Choice

MTV is a television channel that targets people of all ages through entertaining and nostalgic shows. By providing music to all generations, they sure tackle the hearts of all nationalities.

From the constant improvement of technology, MTV showcases how modern artists produced their music by providing captivating stories and inspiration that targets the young dreamers of today. With an international audience of almost 800 million people, MTV provides unique programs that are sure to enchant the millennial generation to watch.

TVInfo is here with vital info on how MTV affected the lives of many music artists.

The beginning of MTV

History was filled with discoveries, advancements and innovations, but alongside them is music. People’s music taste changes as soon as they hear a globally trending song from the radio. Music affects everything. Their fans will follow them wherever the artists are. They influenced people’s food choice, haircuts and even in terms of fashion. That’s how powerful a bop song could be.

Now, well-known and indie artists are blooming everywhere with their new singles and albums. Popular music changes daily as soon as a new song becomes a hit. These songs are then ranked through the number of votes they get daily, with the top 1 as the most influential. 

On August 1, 1981, Robert Pittman, the first president and CEO of Music Television or MTV, aired their first-ever song in national TV. MTV played Video Killed the Radio Star by Buggles which was their hit song. The music talks about how new and blooming technologies can affect the music as it is now. Ironically, the budget allotted was limited because both the investors and the artist doubted how profitable music on TV is. 

Since many music televisions had the same concept as MTV, record companies hesitated to invest in them. They don’t know how it could be any different compared to other companies that have attempted a music TV but failed to attract an audience. 

Therefore, the music video created was really simple with standard backdrops and effortless effects. However, the audience loved it. By providing new programs and conceptual presentation, MTV captured the heart of everyone. This leads to other artists asking MTV to air their music videos. It might seem that the music video really killed the radio star that night.

Before MTV started, Robert Pittman released trials and an earlier version of MTV which was called Album Tracks. Album Tracks were aired in a station located at New York City back in the late ’70s. From these trials, he rearranged and created a new concept. He provided a captivating opening with the words ‘ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll’ with a video of Apollo 11 moon landing, but the flag raised was that of the MTV logo.

How MTV affected the music industry

From listening to radios, music is now being watched at home. MTV influenced every household in the US back in the 1980s. Music was not rated based on the quality of their voice or how unique their music is, rather it is how influential they are with their creative music videos and how captivating their live performances are.

MTV became the symbol of success for artists that have just established their music career. As a result, good music was accompanied by creative choreography and unique fashion style. Music artists must be able to carry a characteristic or a signature that only they can carry. Due to how visuals can affect the music’s popularity, record labels now funded music videos to make them more captivating.

MTV had an important role in helping the career of many artists like David Bowie, Madonna, Rod Steward and many others. Even internationally-known individuals and bands like Billy Idol and A Flocks of Seagulls caused the new wave of British bands to be known in the US.

However, one of the most important artists that they had was the Dire Straits. Their song, Money For Nothing, had the line ‘I Want my MTV’ which replaced MTV’s tagline ‘ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll’ to ‘I Want my MTV’.The changing of MTV’s tagline helped the company encourage many artists to air their videos on their show.

Money For Nothing, at the same time, was one of the first music videos that included a computer-generated animation as their intro. Their song won the MTV Video Music Award for the category Video of the Year in 1986. Due to its vital part in saving MTV, it was the first music video aired on MTV Europe.

The First Ten Videos of MTV

Without the presence of MTV, mainstream music and sensational artists could not have influenced the society as it is now. Some of the greatest hits from famous artists could still have remained unknown till now. Let’s travel back in time as we look at MTV’s first ten music videos.

  1. Video Killed the Radio Star

What more could be more appropriate music video debut compared to the Video Killed The Radio Star. The Buggles’ hit song from their album The Age of Plastic talks about how music has evolved from radio airings to music videos shown on TV.

  1. You Better Run

You Better Run sang by Pat Benatar was originally composed by The Young Rascals lead vocals Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati in 1966. In Benatar’s version of the song, the gender connotation where reversed, which leads to her becoming the first female American artist to be featured on MTV. 

  1. She Won’t Dance with Me

From his 1980 album, Foolish Behavior, She Won’t Dance With Me was the first rock and roll song that Rod Stewart had. He was known first as a disco icon with his hit song Da Ya Think I’m Sexy, before changing genres.

  1. You Better You Bet

You Better You Bet from The Who’s album Face Dances in 1981 was the first black and white video that aired on MTV. In the promo video, The Who is accompanied by John Bundrick, famous keyboardist, who is known for his collaborations with many artists and Kenney Jones who takes the place of the late Keith Moon, who died from an accidental overdose of a prescribed drug Heminevrin, known to have combat alcoholism.

  1. Little Susie’s on the Up

Little Susie’s on the Up is the first single of the Ph.D.’s self-titled album. The song has a unique approach to music by combining pop and hard metal. Also, the band’s name was formed by combining the first letter of the members’ last name which was Phillips, Hymas and Diamond. The song was later remade with Tesla’s own version of the song.

  1. We Don’t Talk Anymore

We Don’t Talk Anymore was one of the iconic British songs that have greatly influenced the American audience. Cliff Richard’s hit single climbed the top of the UK and many other European countries’ chart in August 1979, then, later on, became part of the Top 10 U.S. single in 1980. The video was also directed by Brian Grant, who was part of the success of Little Susie’s on the Up by the Ph.D.

  1. Brass in Pocket

Brass in Pocket by The Pretenders was written by Chrissie Hynde and James Honeyman-Scott. This is the band’s first single that scored number one in the UK Singles chart that lasted for two weeks in January 1980. It was also number 14 on US’ Billboard Top 100. Hynde said that she got her inspiration from someone during an after-show dinner where a person asked, ‘Picked up the dry cleaning? Any brass in the pocket?’.

  1. Time Heals

Time Heals was composed and sung by the famous artist Todd Rundgren. He believes that music videos will be significant to the music industry as time passes by. Before the launch of MTV, Todd Rundgren has been producing videos at the Utopia Video Studios located at Woodstock, New York. He has also produced for artists like Janis Joplin, Hall & Oates, and Alice Cooper.

  1. Take It on the Run

Take It on the Run hit the Billboard’s Top 100 on May 30, 1981, which was a month before MTV’s first air of Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles. REO Speedwagon shot their concert video, directed by Jay Dubin, which was given to MTV for airing. Shortly, after the video started, the tape was cut short due to a glitch. The concert video was then replaced by a new concept video of the song.

10. Rockin’ the Paradise

Rockin’ the Paradise was from Styx’s 10th album, Paradise Theatre. The song was named after the closing of Chicago’s Paradise Theatre where it signifies the advancement of 1970s song to the 1980s.

MTV is still one of the world’s leading entertainment networks that exist. Many other forms of music channels rose but MTV still remained the number one.