Idiots Guide: Best of the Original MTV Music Videos / 1980’s (Full Videos)

Aaaah…the 1980’s. What a uniquely interesting decade for American society in basically all aspects of our culture. Music, especially pop music, was no exception, in fact the advent of the music video help spurn the proliferation of a 24 hour music video channel we knew then as ‘MTV’. Although the channel called MTV still exists today, it is a very far cry from what it originally was in terms of programming prerogatives. Back in the 1980’s MTV played music video after music video with commercial breaks and some music news, and I for one, loved the hell out of it. Sure, MTV was notorious for not playing R&B (i.e. ‘Urban’ content) on it’s rotation, but as a kid I barely noticed. In fact Michael Jackson, the ‘King of Pop’ himself had to bring legal action against MTV for them to finally agree to air his ‘Billie Jean’ video. True story. Nevertheless, the early days, months, and years of MTV were a wonderful time for this fledgling music fan. There is something about a music video that transforms the song into something more than the sum of it’s parts. Something better, even if the video made little sense in terms of musical context, which happened surprisingly often, it was still cool. So cool in fact that years later I would end up directing my own professional music videos for more than several groundbreaking Hip-Hop talents. (See: “Nuthin But The DSC” by the Darkside Crooks) Guide has compiled a short list of 10 original videos from MTV’s early years rotation for your enjoyment and/or walk down the lane of memories…

MTV Cover



#10.  “Video Killed the Radio Star”   /    The Buggles   (1980) 


#9.  “You Better you Better you Get”   /   The Who   (1981) 


#8.   “Brass in Pocket”   /    The Pretenders  (1979-80) 


#7.   “In the Air Tonight”   /    Phil Collins  (1981) 


#6.    “Tusk”   /    Fleetwood Mac   (1979-80) 


#5.   “Change”   /   John Waite   (1982) 


#4.   “You Got Lucky”   /   Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers  (1982) 


#3.   “Kiss on My List”   /   Hall & Oates  (1980) 


#2.   “Shadows of the Night”   /   Pat Benatar  (1981) 


#1.   “Mr. Roboto”   /   Styx  (1983)