Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Gorge yourself on hundreds of hours of ’80s-era MTV, when it was all about the music, man

Illustration for article titled Gorge yourself on hundreds of hours of ’80s-era MTV, when it was all about the music, man
Photo: Allen Tannenbaum (Getty Images)

Once upon a time, long before The Real World, The Jersey Shore, and the endless parade of Teen Mom sequels and spin-offs, MTV made a better effort to live up to their name. As anyone over 33 will tell you, they actually played music, man. Now, you can relive those glory days that you may or may not actually remember thanks to the efforts of one benevolent Internet Archive user who has uploaded hours upon hours of vintage MTV programming.

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Since first being uploaded in early April, the collection has become overwhelmingly popular and administrators have made it so you have to create an account before viewing any of the videos. But, after accomplishing that very simple task, hours of grainy footage from 1981 to 1990 will be at your disposal.

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Original MTV VJs Martha Quinn, JJ Jackson, Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood, and Alan Hunter queue up videos and conduct interviews with some of the biggest stars of the day. There are also a number of Guest VJ sets from 1980s icons like Billy Idol, Phil Collins, and Dan Aykroyd, and some special holiday programs like the “MTV New Year’s Eve Rock ‘n’ Roll Ball” from 1985 and the “Headbanger’s Halloween” special from 1989.

The most striking thing about this footage, beyond the fact that they’re actually playing music videos, is how laid-back and off-the-cuff it all feels. For the last two decades, MTV has been so over-produced and artificial, it’s kind of refreshing to remember when the network’s entire programming schedule consisted of slightly buzzed fashionable people standing around on warehouse sets and giving half-hearted intros to Men At Work videos. Simple times.

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[via Brooklyn Vegan]

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Pay me to write for you, you coward.

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