25 Years ago today, MTV launched.
This taken from the chicagosuntimes.com
The good and bad of 25 years of MTV
August 1, 2006
BY DOUG ELFMAN TELEVISION CRITIC
Happy 25th anniversary, MTV. You used to be cool. Now you blow.
As a petri dish for pop culture, it's been surpassed by Comedy Central and YouTube.com, among other shenanigan complexes. But MTV sometimes is still somewhat influential as a stupid and crass promoter of music corporations and reality shows about hot young women with goo for brains. Congratulations for that, "Music" TV.
Ah, but over the years, it has changed America for the better (it was where Madonna made it OK for women to be dirty in public) and the worse ("Hammertime").
The following 25 highlights and lowlights track MTV's devolution:
WE HAVE LIFTOFF
AUG. 1, 1981MTV debuts with a spaceship and moon-man logo. It doesn't have many videos to play other than first one, the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star."
'GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN'
1982-83Cyndi Lauper skips down the street and makes everyone want to be MTV happy and free. Meanwhile, Duran Duran goes sailing in ties and suits, and somehow this appeals to kids. Maybe it's the hot models wearing almost nothing. Cyndi is feminism. Duran Duran is sexism. Which do you think MTV will use to sell ads in the future? Hmmm ...
SUMMER OF '84 MTV becomes the coolest station on TV as Prince steps out of a bathtub in "When Doves Cry," Madonna does not look like the virgin she feels like, Michael Jackson continues dancing like a ghoulish dork, the Police take a final bow with "Every Breath You Take," and Eddie Van Halen plays guitar under a woman's legs, because he's "Hot for Teacher."
'WALK THIS WAY'
1986 Run-DMC and Aerosmith play together. MTV finally realizes there may be something to this thing everyone's listening to called hip-hop. Starts "Yo! MTV Raps!"
1986Peter Gabriel shows musicians how to make a great video, as had been established previously by Herbie Hancock's "Rockit" and Art of Noise's "Close (to the Edit)." But for Bjork and some other mavericks, few interesting videos actually follow.
'WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE'
1987Guns N' Roses ushers in hair metal, the worst period in the history of rock. MTV is unwatchable for a few years (including the horrors of Tiffany and New Kids on the Block), except for some rap and a late-night, real-metal show, "Headbangers Ball." The situation doesn't resolve until Nirvana and "Aeon Flux" debut ... four years later.
1989 They were awful fake singers. Girl, you know it's true. Blame it on the rain.
1990None of us needs to remember what this was. Baggy pants were involved.
'SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT'
SEPTEMBER 1991Kurt Cobain saves music, MT and pop culture, becoming the biggest icon for Generation X merely by writing the classic alternative hit and screaming in front of goth cheerleaders. Inspecting a shotgun a few years later, he kills himself and the greatest movement in Gen-X's lifespan.
'THE REAL WORLD'
1992Six strangers give birth to the boom in reality TV. Thanks a lot, buttmunches.
SNOOP DOGGY DOG
1993Reminds viewers pot is tasty, kicks off Dr. Dre's producing skills for a generation of rap to come.
'BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD'
1993You said "butt."
BRIEFING THE PRESIDENT
APRIL 19, 1994 Bill Clinton addresses eligible voters and underage drinkers and tells them he wears briefs, not boxers, but he doesn't explain why, because women love a good mystery.
TUPAC AND BIGGIE
1996-97Dueling rappers capture hip-hop's heart until West Coast/East Coast feud ends with both men dead, punctuated by a funny Chris Rock joke about the definition of the word "assassinated."
1996-97 The Prodigy ("Firestarter") and the Chemical Brothers ("Setting Sun") energize electronica, and MTV bravely tries a hand at screening late-night techno music. Sounds like the wonderful future of music. Fizzles as a video format. The future will have to wait, except in nightclubs and car commercials.
1997Hanson leads to Britney. And "Total Request Live," a k a "TRL," begins, eventually making stars out of Carson Daly and 'N Sync and satisfying those who shriek with mouths wide open.
'... BABY ONE MORE TIME'
1998Britney and 'N Sync usher in boy bands and bubblegum crapop, the worst period in pop music history.
1999Eminem debuts. World suffers.
2000Was stupid, but unlike Eminem, was also entertaining.
2002Ozzy Osbourne becomes the biggest star in the world by cursing with his family on "The Osbournes."
2003Jessica Simpson becomes the stupidest star in the world by thinking tuna fish is chicken on "Newlyweds," aka the divorced-weds.
2003Ashton Kutcher pulls pranks on famous people. Ha, ha.
THE SAVE-MY-CAREER KISS
2003Madonna and Britney make out at the MTV awards, rescuing Madonna's fading star and further catapulting Britney's rise and fall.
'ALL EYES ON 50 CENT'
2003 No one's eyes were on 50 Cent yet, but MTV introduced Eminem's buddy rapper with this publicity show and title to try to make 50 Cent a star, which MTV did, even though his breakthrough album wasn't anything yet. This solidified the notion that MTV was dead. Now it is truly nothing but a publicity machine for rich girls' reality shows and record company promotions.
2004 Naughty, naughty, barely legal, rich morons. MTV is officially a high-class problem.