Do you remember who sang the first videos ever shown on MTV in 1981?

Hey, remember when they played music videos?! Forty years ago, it was a lot of classic rock and new-wave.

Image: The Everett Collection

On August 1, 1981, MTV switched on its signal and changed television forever. Music, too, for that matter. Suddenly, what musicians looked like mattered just as much — if not more — than how they sounded.

On MTV's first day, the channel played 116 unique music videos, many of them repeated. (Yes, kids, that's all they did — show music videos!)

We gathered the first dozen. Frankly, they're pretty weird, surprisingly and in places obscure. For some of the really hard ones, we made up fake bands to give you a hand.

Can you match the music video to the artist?

  1. "Video Killed the Radio Star"
  2. "You Better Run"
  3. "She Won't Dance With Me"
  4. "You Better You Bet"
  5. "Little Suzi's on the Up"
  6. "We Don't Talk Anymore"
  7. "Brass in Pocket"
  8. "Time Heals"
  9. "Take It on the Run"
  10. "Rockin' the Paradise"
  11. "When Things Go Wrong"
  12. "History Never Repeats"

Do you remember who sang the first videos ever shown on MTV in 1981?

Your Result...

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AndreaZ 2 months ago
Only 9 out of 12 and I thought I'd get 12 out of 12. Good selection of videos by someone who obviously experienced those years. Also, didn't know Tesla's "Little Suzi's on the Up" was a cover.....LOL
JenniferSweitzer 2 months ago
And Cliff Richard's. I know darn well he sang it. So, I should've gotten 10 out of 12. But for some reason, my choice was Rick James. IM CALLING SHENANIGANS.
JenniferSweitzer 2 months ago
Big Who fan. There's NO WAY I'd miss that one. But, it shows I picked Pink Floyd's and I know darn well, that's wrong. I would NOT nor did I choose any band other than the Who. (Not that 8 out of 10 was bad but, darn. That's just wrong.)
AndreaZ JenniferSweitzer 2 months ago
Well in fairness that song was released at the end of their run and not at the height of the Who's dominance.
TonyClifton 2 months ago
Never heard of half of these songs, and I grew up in the 80s.
Greg 13 months ago
10/12 Absolutely loved MTV in the 80s. I had such a crush on Martha Quinn
L 15 months ago
No. 6.

For your information, Cliff Richard is STILL rocking at the age of 80.
KathrynJordan 15 months ago
12 out of 12. For someone who hasn't watched MTv in a long time, that score is not bad.
bnichols23 15 months ago
Eh, too easy.
Coldnorth bnichols23 15 months ago
I’m impressed I only got 4 right. Good job
bnichols23 Coldnorth 15 months ago
Tnx. "It's just 80s." :)
Morella72 15 months ago
8/12; not bad considering I grew up in a very rural area and we didn’t have cable tv. Cable tv still isn’t an option at my childhood home.
FLETCH 16 months ago
You got 11 out of 12
Impressive. Very impressive.

Why, thank you
JimmyD 16 months ago
10/12. It's a shame what happened to MTV, and all of "music" television for that matter.
Gingergirl1 16 months ago
Missed 2. Have to admit, I never heard of a few of those bands/songs.
eyegor 16 months ago
6/12. I just wasn't into '80s music.
SashaPayneDiaz 16 months ago
8/12 I should have done better.....I missed 3...5...6...& 8......and who the hell is Ph.D. ?
BobDonovan 16 months ago
12/12. I just watched the first 2 hours on YouTube on Sunday
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJtiPRDIqtI
Oldielover 16 months ago
10/12...."She Won't Dance With Me" by Rod Stewart doesn't ring a bell,and I have absolutely no idea who the group PH.D. is--.....I thought I knew EVERYTHING 80's,but I'm a boomer!
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