The First Ten Videos MTV Ever Aired

Closing out this week of celebration, and a little mourning, on the occasion of MTV's 30th anniversary , we reached back into the YouTube vaults to present to you the first 10 videos Music Television ever aired. On August 1, 1981, The Buggles' awfully prophetic "Video Killed the Radio Star" batted leadoff.

The first 100 so clips on the channel would feature six stellar, campy sexual Rod Stewart promo videos, plenty of REO Speedwagon, The Who, .38 Special, Iron Maiden, and our favorite, Cliff Richard. Strangely enough, for a man who would become such a big part of MTV's early days, David Bowie wouldn't show up until No. 61 with "Boys Keep Swinging" from his Lodger album.

Looking around the list, we see some of the bands that would end up shaping teen culture for the next few years. The Specials and The Selecter show up to teach the suburban kids to dress rude-boy, the Talking Heads were there for the art majors, and Kate Bush was your Earth Mother idol.

No telling how many boys were turned into manly metal men by the Maiden and Rainbow clips.

"Video Killed the Radio Star," The Buggles

"You Better Run," Pat Benatar

"She Won't Dance with Me," Rod Stewart

"You Better You Bet," The Who

"Little Suzi's on the Up," Ph.D.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Man, did I ever have a crush on Alan Hunter back then... I tuned in a few days after the station launched.  I was 13.  I feel old now.

Clinton Lewis
Clinton Lewis

brings back memories...never thought id get old.


Let's not start that old shit. I was glued to the TV at 12 and watched MTV for days on end, non-stop. I used my VCR (it was the size of a small car) to record tons of early shows.

Oh, and I like Tesla's version of Little Suzi better. :)

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault