First music videos aired on MTV

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This is a list of the first music videos broadcast on MTV's first day, August 1, 1981. MTV's first day on the air was rebroadcast on VH1 Classic in 2006[1][2] and uploaded onto YouTube in 2010 (although only the first four hours were authentic; the rest were edited VH1 rebroadcasts).[3]


First music videos aired on MTV
1"Video Killed the Radio Star"The Buggles1/2
2"You Better Run"Pat Benatar1/2
3"She Won't Dance with Me"Rod Stewart1/2Phil Chen was the first non-white musician to appear on MTV, Stewart was the artist with the most videos played that day.
4"You Better You Bet"The Who1/5"You Better You Bet" was both the 4th and 54th video to be aired on MTV, making it the first video to be shown more than once.
5"Little Suzi's on the Up"Ph.D.1/3
6"We Don't Talk Anymore"Cliff Richard1/2
7"Brass in Pocket"The Pretenders1/2
8"Time Heals"Todd Rundgren1/3
9"Take It on the Run"REO Speedwagon1/3The video begins but ends after a few seconds due to technical difficulties.
10"Rockin' the Paradise"Styx1/3
11"When Things Go Wrong"Robin Lane and the Chartbusters1/2
12"History Never Repeats"Split Enz1/2
13"Hold on Loosely".38 Special1/3
14"Just Between You and Me"April Wine1/5"Just Between You and Me" was the first music video by a Canadian musical artist ever played on MTV.
15"Sailing"Rod Stewart1/2Stewart became the first artist to have two different videos played on MTV.
16"Iron Maiden"Iron Maiden1/2This was the first (taped) live recording to appear, it was taken from the band's "Live at the Rainbow" video
17"Keep on Loving You"REO Speedwagon1/3"Keep On Loving You" was the first Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit song to be played on MTV.
18"Bluer Than Blue"Michael Johnson1/2
19"Message of Love"The Pretenders1/4
20"Mr. Briefcase"Lee Ritenour1/2
21"Double Life"The Cars1/2
22"In the Air Tonight"Phil Collins1/5
23"Looking for Clues"Robert Palmer1/3
24"Too Late"Shoes1/1
25"Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers1/4
26"Da Ya Think I'm Sexy"Rod Stewart1/2Screen is blank while the audio still plays, stops after 15 seconds.
27"Surface Tension"Rupert Hine1/2
28"One Step Ahead"Split Enz1/3
29"Baker Street"Gerry Rafferty1/2
30"I'm Gonna Follow You"Pat Benatar1/3
31"Savannah Nights"Tom Johnson1/2
33"The Best of TimesStyx1/3
34"Vengeance"Carly Simon1/1
35"Wrathchild"Iron Maiden1/4
36"I Wanna Be a Lifeguard"Blotto1/1
37"Passion"Rod Stewart1/2
38"Oliver's Army"Elvis Costello1/2
39"Remote Control / Illegal"The Silencers1/2Two songs combined into a single video
40"Angel of the Morning"Juice Newton1/1
41"Little Sister"Rockpile with Robert Plant1/4From Concerts for the People of Kampuchea
42"Hold On to the Night"Bootcamp1/2
43"Dreamin'"Cliff Richard1/2
44"Is It You"Lee Ritenour1/3
45"Tusk"Fleetwood Mac1/1
46"He Can't Love You"Michael Stanley Band1/2
47"Tough Guys"REO Speedwagon1/2
48"Rapture"Blondie1/2"Rapture" was the first rap music video ever played on MTV.
49"Don't Let Go the Coat"The Who1/2
50"Ain't Love a Bitch"Rod Stewart1/1
51"Talk of the Town"The Pretenders1/3
52"Can't Happen Here"Rainbow1/3
53"Thank You for Being a Friend"Andrew Gold1/1
54"You Better You Bet"The Who2/5
55"Bring It All Home"Gerry Rafferty1/1
56"Sign of the Gypsy Queen"April Wine1/2
57"The Man with the Child in His Eyes"Kate Bush1/1
58"Message of Love"The Pretenders2/4
59"All Night Long"Rainbow1/2
60"Boys Keep Swinging"David Bowie1/2
61"Rat Race"The Specials1/2
62"Just Between You and Me"April Wine2/5
63"Once in a Lifetime"Talking Heads1/1
65"Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)"Rod Stewart1/1
66"Cruel to Be Kind"Nick Lowe1/1
67"A Little in Love"Cliff Richard1/2
68"Take It on the Run"REO Speedwagon2/3
69"Wild-Eyed Southern Boys".38 Special1/2
70"Wuthering Heights"Kate Bush1/1
71"Celebrate the Bullet"The Selecter1/2
72"More Than I Can Say"Leo Sayer1/2
73"A Message to You, Rudy"The Specials1/1
74"In the Air Tonight"Phil Collins2/5
75"Heart of Glass"Blondie1/1
76"Oh God, I Wish I Was Home Tonight"Rod Stewart1/2
77"Kid"The Pretenders1/1
78"Wrathchild"Iron Maiden2/4
79"Come What May"Lani Hall and Herb Alpert1/2
80"I Got You"Split Enz1/1
81"Sister Disco"The Who1/2
82"Fashion"David Bowie1/2
83"Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers2/4
84"Love Stinks"The J. Geils Band1/1
85"Johnny & Mary"Robert Palmer1/2
86"Tomorrow Night"Shoes1/1
88"Rockin' the Paradise"Styx2/3
89"Prime Time"The Tubes1/1
90"One Step Ahead"Split Enz2/3
91"Hold on Loosely".38 Special2/3
92"Cruel You"Shoes1/1
93"Little Sister"Rockpile with Robert Plant2/4From Concerts for the People of Kampuchea
94"Calling All Girls"Hilly Michaels1/1
95"Keep on Loving You"REO Speedwagon2/3
96"I Was Only Joking"Rod Stewart1/1
97"You Better You Bet"The Who3/5
98"Time Heals"Todd Rundgren2/3
99"Let's Go"The Cars1/1
100"Just Between You and Me"April Wine3/5
101"Mr. Briefcase"Lee Ritenour2/2
102"Fashion"David Bowie2/2
103"I'm Gonna Follow You"Pat Benatar2/3
104"Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?"The Ramones1/1
105"Ridin' the Storm Out"REO Speedwagon1/1
106"Looking for Clues"Robert Palmer2/3
107"Little Suzi's on the Up"Ph.D.2/3
108"Is It You"Lee Ritenour2/3
109"You're in My Heart"Rod Stewart1/1
110"Talk of the Town"The Pretenders2/3
111"The Best of Times"Styx2/3
112"So Long"Fischer-Z1/1
113"In the Air Tonight"Phil Collins3/5
114"I Don't Want To Know"Robin Lane and the Chartbusters1/1
115"Don't Let Go the Coat"The Who2/2
116"Go Back Home Again"Andrew Gold1/1
117"Message of Love"The Pretenders3/4
118"Remote Control / Too Illegal"The Silencers2/2
119"Time for Me to Fly"REO Speedwagon1/1
120"Wrathchild"Iron Maiden3/4
121"She Won't Dance with Me"Rod Stewart2/2
122"Rough Boys"Pete Townshend1/1
123"History Never Repeats"Split Enz2/2
124"Dangerous Type"The Cars1/1
125"Turn It On Again"Genesis1/1
127"Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers3/4
128"Can't Happen Here"Rainbow2/3
128"We're So Close"Carly Simon1/1
129"Tough Guys"REO Speedwagon2/2
130"Passion"Rod Stewart2/2
131"Kid Blue"Louise Goffin1/1
132"Little Sister"Rockpile with Robert Plant3/4From Concerts for the People of Kampuchea
134"Sign of the Gypsy Queen"April Wine2/2
135"(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding"Elvis Costello and the Attractions1/1
136"Don't Let Him Go"REO Speedwagon1/2
137"I Won't Let You Down"Ph.D.1/1
139"You Better You Bet"The Who4/5
140"All Night Long"Rainbow2/2
141"Video Killed the Radio Star"The Buggles2/2
142"You Better Run"Pat Benatar2/2
143"Surface Tension"Rupert Hine2/2
144"One Step Ahead"Split Enz3/3
145"Wild-Eyed Southern Boys".38 Special2/2
146"In My Arms Again"Shoes1/1
147"Is It You"Lee Ritenour3/3
148"Oh God, I Wish I Was Home Tonight"Rod Stewart2/2
149"Passing Strangers"Ultravox1/1
150"Just Between You and Me"April Wine4/5
150"Turning Japanese"The Vapors1/1
151"Rockin' the Paradise"Styx3/3
152"Bluer Than Blue"Michael Johnson2/2
153"Message of Love"The Pretenders4/4
154"Rat Race"The Specials2/2
155"Roll with the Changes"REO Speedwagon1/1
156"In the Air Tonight"Phil Collins4/5
157"Hold On to the Night"Bootcamp2/2
158"Double Life"The Cars2/2
159"Take It on the Run"REO Speedwagon3/3
160"We Don't Talk Anymore"Cliff Richard2/2
161"Sister Disco"The Who2/2
162"Celebrate the Bullet"The Selecter2/2
163"More Than I Can Say"Leo Sayer2/2
164"I Hope I Never"Split Enz1/1
165"Talk of the Town"The Pretenders3/3
166"Hold on Loosely".38 Special3/3
167"Blondes Have More Fun"Rod Stewart1/1
168"Wrathchild"Iron Maiden4/4
169"Savannah Nights"Tom Johnston2/2
170"I'm Gonna Follow You"Pat Benatar3/3
171"Don't Let Him Go"REO Speedwagon2/2
172"Never Let Her Slip Away"Andrew Gold1/1
173"Time Heals"Todd Rundgren3/3
174"Brass in Pocket"The Pretenders2/2
175"Little Sister"Rockpile with Robert Plant4/4From Concerts for the People of Kampuchea
176"A Little in Love"Cliff Richard2/2
177"Da Ya Think I'm Sexy"Rod Stewart2/2
179"Baker Street"Gerry Rafferty2/2
180"He Can't Love You"Michael Stanley Band2/2
181"Looking for Clues"Robert Palmer3/3
182"Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers4/4
183"Keep on Loving You"REO Speedwagon3/3
184"When Things Go Wrong"Robin Lane and the Chartbusters2/2
185"Little Suzi's on the Up"Ph.D.3/3
186"The Best of Times"Styx3/3
187"Sailing"Rod Stewart2/2
188"You Better You Bet"The Who5/5
189"Iron Maiden"Iron Maiden2/2
190"Can't Happen Here"Rainbow3/3
191"Oliver's Army"Elvis Costello2/2
192"Just Between You and Me"April Wine5/5
193"Come What May"Lani Hall and Herb Alpert2/2
194"Tattooed Love Boys"The Pretenders1/1
195"In the Air Tonight"Phil Collins5/5
196"Peter Gunn Theme/Remote Control"The Silencers1/1
197"Dreamin'"Cliff Richard2/2
199"Boys Keep Swinging"David Bowie2/2
200"Johnny & Mary"Robert Palmer2/2
201"Only the Strong Survive"REO Speedwagon1/1
202"Waiting for the Weekend"The Vapors1/1
203"You're Insane"Rod Stewart1/1
204"Kiss on My List"Hall & Oates1/1
205"Living in the Plastic Age"The Buggles1/1
206"Lonely Boy"Andrew Gold1/1

MTV Day One stats[edit]


  1. ^ "VH1 Classic to show MTV's first day on air", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 31, 2006.
  2. ^ Daniel Rubin, "Blinq: After 25 years, do you still want your MTV?" Philadelphia Inquirer, August 1, 2006  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
  3. ^
  4. ^ This column indicates how many times the video was played on MTV's first day, and for videos with multiple plays on that day, which play it was. For example, an entry of "1/2" means that this was the first time the particular video was played that day out of two total plays.

External links[edit]

Video links[edit]