Skip to content

TBT: Welcome Back MTV?

As some of you may have noticed, Monday was the 35th anniversary of the launch of MTV. With this, Viacom (their overlord) has rebranded VH1 Classic as MTV Classic. They are also bringing back MTV Unplugged as a regular feature and serving up new music programming (finally!) as well to entice viewers back to the network.


Will this all work? Does their prime demographic (those in their teens and 20s) even care about music television in the era of YouTube? Or will it just be us Gen-Xers and older millennials who watch out of habit and nostalgia? If so, will we watch MTV or just hang out on MTV Classic? Do any of us need Jackass reruns? All of this remains to be seen.

Frankly, I will miss VH1 Classic. Saturday mornings with Metal Mania, the endless reruns of Sound City and Metal Evolution, time spent pondering Eddie Trunk‘s amazing career as a mega-fan turned broadcaster and metal expert. Hopefully they make this up to us by bringing back Headbangers Ball (a girl can hope!).


Pretty Please, MTV!

But as I’ve been periodically going down memory lane on MTV Classic this week, an oldie but still goody caught my eye…

A-ha‘s seminal video for “Take On Me”. Remember how amazing it was the first time you saw it? The animation is still pretty darn cool! Barring the clothing choices, the video would make a valid music video today. It exemplifies how the music video was a new outlet for storytelling and tech experimentation. And the song is pop perfection that you are compelled to sing along to. At least the chorus–Morten’s accent sort of obscures the verse, not that it stops anyone (or at least me). Though one should only shoot for the falsetto high notes when in private. ;D

With over 286 Million views so far, I’m sure you’ve already seen this. But you know you want to see it and sing along again:

And before I go, one of my favorite Unplugged sessions was Queensryche’s (Nirvana’s goes without saying). The performances were impeccable and Geoff’s voice was transcendent in the spotlight. What I loved about Unplugged was how the acoustic environment really revealed who the good musicians were. And which of those who took it seriously and prepared appropriate arrangements versus those who just showed up. Queensryche definitely prepared! A quick taste of that session:

Are we going to be saying “I Want My MTV” again?  I wonder what Billy thinks…