We’ve all heard it a million times: MTV no longer shows videos and therefore sucks. It’s an extremely tired argument, especially since anyone can go on YouTube and watch whatever video they want at any time. MTV has always aimed their programming at teenagers. Back in 1983, teens wanted to watch Culture Club and Duran Duran videos all day long. Now they squeeze in viewings of Teen Mom and Teen Wolf during the precious few moments when they aren’t on their phones.
Today’s teenagers will probably find this video of random MTV footage from 1985 completely baffling, but to their parents it’ll be an amazing trip back to a time when Martha Quinn said things like, “You may remember Bob Dylan’s ‘Sweetheart Like You’ video…” The actual music videos have been drastically shortened in this clip, but there are great vintage commercials for 3 Musketeers candy bars, St. Elmo’s Fire and Camay Soap. Plus nice bits of videos from John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, Tom Petty and Survivor.
Mark Goodman promises us that we’re just five days away from “T.P. and the Heartbreakers” new video for “Make It Better,” his incredibly disappointing follow-up to “Don’t Come Around Here No More.” It all wraps up with Power Station’s cover of “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” by T. Rex. Some of this stuff has stood the test of time, while the rest of been completely forgotten.
It’s fascinating to watch all these years later, and it only pops up when someone posts their old VHS tapes onto YouTube. The MTV suits really should consider starting a cable channel of nothing but retro footage like this. There’s a huge audience out there for it.