From 1986 until 2013, MTV’s 120 Minutes, and its spinoff, MTV2’s Subterranean, exposed middle America to new, revolutionary styles of music. The shows played bands and genres of music that never would have made it on the air at any other time, and are arguably at least partially responsible for turning grunge into a national phenomenon.
A guy named Tyler has taken the liberty of tracking down all the playlists from all 27 years of 120 Minutes and Subterranean and recreating them by finding the videos on YouTube. So, if you want to see what was bubbling up from the underground during the dying days of the first Bush presidency, you can click on July 7, 1991—when the show was being guest-hosted by Bernard Sumner—and see that the playlist included Camper Van Beethoven, Soup Dragons, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, and Sumner’s own band at the time, Electronic. If you were curious to see what was on the first ever episode of 120 Minutes, back in April 1986, you could do that. (The answer, by the way, includes Lou Reed, The Hoodoo Gurus, and Platinum Blonde.) Want to know what was on the first 120 Minutes of the 21st century? Buckcherry, Crazytown, solo Chris Cornell, and Incubus. Bet you wished you hadn’t asked now, huh?