This is a little more mainstream than what we usually cover, but it’s hard to deny the significance: Thirty years ago today, on Aug. 1, 1981, MTV went on the air (“Ladies and gentlemen, rock ‘n’ roll…”), changing the course of music in the ’80s and beyond.
In the playlist above, courtesy of YouTube user dalekenbuck, you can watch the full first hour of MTV’s broadcast, complete with original VJs and cheesy dawn-of-an-era videos by the likes of REO Speedwagon and Rod Stewart. Things would get better in the ensuing years, with shows like “I.R.S. Records Presents The Cutting Edge,” “PostModern MTV” and, of course, “120 Minutes.”
But for now, enjoy the birth of MTV.