Happy Birthday, MTV: 30 Videos to Celebrate 30 Years

Music Television turns 30 today, but the network doesn't look a day over 16 and Pregnant.

Well before MTV started exploiting the incredibly difficult lives of irresponsible teens expecting a first child and balancing high school algebra, the Viacom-network played music videos. Original programming like Yo! MTV Raps, 120 Minutes, even Total Request Live (TRL) was video-centric, predating today's "reality" driven shit shows MTV's become synonymous with (read Jersey Shore, Teen Mom).

On current-day MTV, you'll maybe catch a video snippet during the end credits of Real World, and it's usually from some shitty emo-pop group or Katy Perry. There's very little music on Music Television, and virtually no videos--blame the Internet.

Nevertheless, the network continues to host their annual Video Music Awards show, and like MTV, it has become a giant pop culture train wreck. This year's disaster strikes on Sunday, August 28 when the VMAs air live from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.

Okay, no more shitting on MTV--it's their birthday. To celebrate the big 3-O, we've compiled a list of our favorite music videos the MTV's aired between 1981 and 2011.

Happy birthday, Music Television.

Blondie - "Rapture" (1981)

I selfishly chose a Blondie video because Debbie Harry and I are both from Miami.

Human League - "Don't You Want Me" (1982)

This songs has one of the best narratives in music.

David Bowie - "China Girl" (1983)

David Bowies. That is all.

The Cars - "You Might Think" (1984)

Hello, CGI.

Dire Straits - "Money for Nothing" (1985)

Money for Nothing was the first video played on MTV Europe.

Paul Simon - "You Can Call me Al" (1986)

Anything with Chevy Chase is great, except Community. Wang Chung - "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" (1987)

Wang Chung = Best Band Name Ever.

N.W.A. - "Straight Outta Compton" (1988)

Raise your fists, y'all.

Depeche Mode - "Personal Jesus" (1989)

Did you know Elvis was behind this track?

LL Cool J - "Mama Said Knock You Out" (1990)

Before this song got turned into a stadium anthem, it was pretty hardcore.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Under the Bridge" (1991)

Red Hot Chili Peppers' best single.

Nirvana - "In Bloom" (1992)

"Smells Like Teen Spirit" was the obvious choice, but "In Bloom" is a much better video and song.

Beck - "Loser" (1993)

Fuck yeah, Beck!

Beastie Boys - "Sabotage" (1994)

Greatest use of faux moustaches in music video history.

The Notorious B.I.G. - "Big Poppa" (1995)

It's fun to see Diddy before he was Diddy.

Foo Fighters - "Big Me" (1996)

Dave Grohl!

Missy Elliot - "The Rain" (1997)

Missy through a fisheye lens freaks us out.

Fatboy Slim - "The Rockafeller Skank" (1998)

Right about now, Fatboy Slim's probably making sick beats.

Q-Tip - "Vivrant Thing" (1999)


Fatboy Slim - "Weapon of Choice" (2000)

I've gotta fever, and the only prescription is more Christopher Walken.

Outkast - "The Whole World" (2001)

Andre 3000 should be every circus' ring leader.

Queens of the Stone Age - "No One Knows" (2002)

Dave Grohl on drums!

White Stripes - "Seven Nation Army" (2003)

Black, white and red are my favorite colors.

Franz Ferdinand - "Take Me Out" (2004)


Gorillaz - "Feel Good Inc" (2005)

Wait, these dudes are animated?

Amy Winehouse - "Rehab" (2006)

Fuck yeah, Amy Winehouse.

Justice - "D.A.N.C.E." (2007)

Sick t-shirts, yo.

Gnarls Barkley - "Who's Gonna Save Your Soul" (2008)

This was before Cee Lo Green went crazy.

Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys - "Empire State of Mind" (2009)

We get it, New York's awesome.

The Black Keys - "Tighten Up" (2010)

Doesn't Patrick Carney look like Squints from The Sandlot ?

Tyler, the Creator - "Yonkers" (2011)

Swag. Don't forget Tyler's getting "Radical" in Tempe on November 8.

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Victor Gonzalez
Contact: Victor Gonzalez