Sunday, August 1, 2021

MTV Debuts :You'll Never Look At Music The Same Way Again

The Buggles : Video Killed The Radio Star

On August 1, 1981, MTV, Music Television, makes its cable debut with VJ Mark Goodman promising “starting right now you will never look at music the same way again”. Most of the bigger bands were filming low budget “in concert” music videos already, but very quickly the visuals would become more and more important. And bands who thought it was a pain in the ass to make a video wouldn't last.

What did MTV want from musicians? Something way out there, like the Buggles video for "Video Killed The Radio Star". The British were way ahead on promoting music with video and MTV's popularity would lead to a new wave British invasion in the early 80's. 

The plan was to do for television what FM did for radio. In fact the VJ's spent the first day hyping the fact that their broadcasts were in stereo. Not sure how many people really cared about the sound though.

These were Billboard's Top 10 hits the day MTV made its debut on  August 1, 1981. 8 American acts (some country) and 2 Australians.

In August of 1982 The Human League has just lost the #1 position, a hit that was in heavy rotation at MTV. 

In August of 1983, MTV is peaking. There are four acts from the UK and all four of dynamic music videos. actually by now all of these acts have dynamic music videos. And Billboard Magazine devotes page after page of congratulations

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