Do you remember who sang the first videos ever shown on MTV in 1981?

Hey, remember when they played music videos?! Forty years ago, it was a lot of classic rock and new-wave.

Image: The Everett Collection

On August 1, 1981, MTV switched on its signal and changed television forever. Music, too, for that matter. Suddenly, what musicians looked like mattered just as much — if not more — than how they sounded.

On MTV's first day, the channel played 116 unique music videos, many of them repeated. (Yes, kids, that's all they did — show music videos!)

We gathered the first dozen. Frankly, they're pretty weird, surprisingly and in places obscure. For some of the really hard ones, we made up fake bands to give you a hand.

Can you match the music video to the artist?

  1. "Video Killed the Radio Star"
  2. "You Better Run"
  3. "She Won't Dance With Me"
  4. "You Better You Bet"
  5. "Little Suzi's on the Up"
  6. "We Don't Talk Anymore"
  7. "Brass in Pocket"
  8. "Time Heals"
  9. "Take It on the Run"
  10. "Rockin' the Paradise"
  11. "When Things Go Wrong"
  12. "History Never Repeats"

Do you remember who sang the first videos ever shown on MTV in 1981?

Your Result...

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque nec ante ipsum. Mauris viverra, urna et porta sagittis, lorem diam dapibus diam, et lacinia libero quam id risus.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Post a comment
Greg 8 months ago
10/12 Absolutely loved MTV in the 80s. I had such a crush on Martha Quinn
L 10 months ago
No. 6.

For your information, Cliff Richard is STILL rocking at the age of 80.
KathrynJordan 10 months ago
12 out of 12. For someone who hasn't watched MTv in a long time, that score is not bad.
bnichols23 10 months ago
Eh, too easy.
Coldnorth bnichols23 10 months ago
I’m impressed I only got 4 right. Good job
bnichols23 Coldnorth 10 months ago
Tnx. "It's just 80s." :)
Morella72 10 months ago
8/12; not bad considering I grew up in a very rural area and we didn’t have cable tv. Cable tv still isn’t an option at my childhood home.
FLETCH 11 months ago
You got 11 out of 12
Impressive. Very impressive.

Why, thank you
JimmyD 11 months ago
10/12. It's a shame what happened to MTV, and all of "music" television for that matter.
Gingergirl1 11 months ago
Missed 2. Have to admit, I never heard of a few of those bands/songs.
eyegor 11 months ago
6/12. I just wasn't into '80s music.
SashaPayneDiaz 11 months ago
8/12 I should have done better.....I missed 3...5...6...& 8......and who the hell is Ph.D. ?
BobDonovan 11 months ago
12/12. I just watched the first 2 hours on YouTube on Sunday
Oldielover 11 months ago
10/12...."She Won't Dance With Me" by Rod Stewart doesn't ring a bell,and I have absolutely no idea who the group PH.D. is--.....I thought I knew EVERYTHING 80's,but I'm a boomer!
JHP 11 months ago
10/12 - was easy - love the 70's and 80's music

now where are my platform shoes? (that would put me over 6ft:))
gockionni 11 months ago
7/12 and mostly guesses - I plead Rip Vanwinkle during the 80’s
MrBill 11 months ago
10/12; I do not remember #3 or #5 - never heard of those songs.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?