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MTV Launched Aug 1, 1981- What Were The First Videos? Where Did Iron Maiden Rank?


This is a list of the first music videos broadcast on MTV's first day, August 1, 1981.


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The first video to air on MTV was one emblematic of MTV's concept, The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" which was then immediately followed by a brief message about music and television coming together and then "You Better Run" by Pat Benatar. 116 unique videos were played, spanning 209 spins over the first 24 hours; from the beginning, MTV used the rotation system and repeated popular videos throughout the day. "You Better You Bet" by the Who, which was also the first video to be repeated, "Just Between You and Me" by April Wine, and "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins were each played five times. Rod Stewart made the most total appearances that day with 16, with 11 of his videos being played.


Due to being a brand new cable network, the first day featured numerous errors including playing clips at the wrong times, moments of dead air, videos that wouldn't play correctly and other technical difficulties.

First music videos aired on MTV


1 "Video Killed the Radio Star" The Buggles

2 "You Better Run" Pat Benatar

3 "She Won't Dance With Me" Rod Stewart

4 "You Better You Bet" The Who

5 "Little Suzi's on the Up" Ph.D.

6 "We Don't Talk Anymore" Cliff Richard

7 "Brass in Pocket" The Pretenders

8 "Time Heals" Todd Rundgren

9* "Take It on the Run" REO Speedwagon .

10 "Rockin' the Paradise" Styx

11 "When Things Go Wrong" Robin Lane and the Chartbusters

12 "History Never Repeats" Split Enz

13 "Hold on Loosely" 38 Special

14 "Just Between You and Me" April Wine from Live in London

15 "Sailing" Rod Stewart

16 "Iron Maiden" Iron Maiden 1st Heavy Metal song to be played on MTV

17 "Keep on Loving You" REO Speedwagon

18 "Bluer Than Blue" Michael Johnson

19 "Message of Love" The Pretenders

20 "Mr. Briefcase" Lee Ritenour

21 "Double Life" The Cars

22 "In The Air Tonight" Phil Collins

23 "Looking for Clues" Robert Palmer

24 "Too Late" Shoes

25 "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

26 "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" Rod Stewart

27 "Surface Tension" Rupert Hine

28 "One Step Ahead" Split Enz

29 "Baker Street" Gerry Rafferty

30 "I'm Gonna Follow You" Pat Benatar

31 "Savannah Nights" Tom Johnston 1/2

32 "Lucille" Rockestra

33 "The Best of Times" Styx

34 "Vengeance" Carly Simon

35 "Wrathchild" Iron Maiden

36 "I Wanna Be a Lifeguard" Blotto

37 "Passion" Rod Stewart

38 "Oliver's Army" Elvis Costello

39 "Don't Let Him Go" REO Speedwagon

40 "Remote Control / Illegal" The Silencers

41 "Angel of the Morning" Juice Newton

42 "Little Sister" Rockpile with Robert Plant

43 "Hold On to the Night" Bootcamp

44 "Dreamin'" Cliff Richard

45 "Is It You" Lee Ritenour

46 "Tusk" Fleetwood Mac

47 "He Can't Love You" Michael Stanley Band

48 "Tough Guys" REO Speedwagon

49 "Rapture" Blondie

50 "Don't Let Go the Coat" The Who

51 "Ain't Love a Bitch" Rod Stewart

52 "Talk of the Town" The Pretenders

53 "Can't Happen Here" Rainbow

54 "Thank You for Being a Friend" Andrew Gold

55 "You Better You Bet" The Who

56 "Bring It All Home" Gerry Rafferty

57 "Sign of the Gypsy Queen" April Wine from Live in London

58 "The Man with the Child in His Eyes" Kate Bush

59 "Message of Love" The Pretenders

60 "All Night Long" Rainbow 1/2

61 "Boys Keep Swinging" David Bowie

62 "Rat Race" The Specials

63 "Just Between You and Me" April Wine from Live in London

64 "Once in a Lifetime" Talking Heads

65 "Victim" Bootcamp

66 "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)" Rod Stewart

67 "Cruel to Be Kind" Nick Lowe

68 "A Little in Love" Cliff Richard

69 "Take It on the Run" REO Speedwagon

70 "Wild-Eyed Southern Boys" 38 Special

71 "Wuthering Heights" Kate Bush

72 "Celebrate the Bullet" The Selecter

73 "More Than I Can Say" Leo Sayer

74 "A Message to You, Rudy" The Specials

75 "In the Air Tonight" Phil Collins

76 "Heart of Glass" Blondie

77 "Oh God, I Wish I Was Home Tonight" Rod Stewart

78 "Kid" The Pretenders

79 "Wrathchild" Iron Maiden

80 "Come What May" Lani Hall and Herb Alpert

81 "I Got You" Split Enz

82 "Sister Disco" The Who From Concerts for the People of Kampuchea

83 "Fashion" David Bowie

84 "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

85 "Love Stinks" J. Geils Band

86 "Johnny & Mary" Robert Palmer

87 "Tomorrow Night" Shoes

88 "Lucille" Rockestra 2/3

89 "Rockin' the Paradise" Styx

90 "Prime Time" The Tubes

91 "One Step Ahead" Split Enz

92 "Hold on Loosely" .38 Special

93 "Cruel You" Shoes

94 "Little Sister" Rockpile with Robert Plant

95 "Calling All Girls" Hilly Michaels

96 "Keep on Loving You" REO Speedwagon

97 "I Was Only Joking" Rod Stewart

98 "You Better You Bet" The Who

99 "Time Heals" Todd Rundgren

100 "Let's Go" The Cars

101 "Just Between You and Me" April Wine from Live in London

102 "Mr. Briefcase" Lee Ritenour

103 "Fashion" David Bowie

104 "I'm Gonna Follow You" Pat Benatar

105 "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?" The Ramones

106 "Ridin' the Storm Out" REO Speedwagon

107 "Looking for Clues" Robert Palmer

108 "Little Suzi's on the Up" Ph.D.

109 "Is It You" Lee Ritenour

110 "You're in My Heart" Rod Stewart

111 "Talk of the Town" The Pretenders

112 "The Best of Times" Styx

113 "So Long" Fischer-Z

114 "In the Air Tonight" Phil Collins

115 "I Don't Want To Know" Robin Lane and the Chartbusters

116 "Don't Let Go the Coat" The Who

117 "Go Back Home Again" Andrew Gold

118 "Message of Love" The Pretenders

119 "Remote Control / Illegal" The Silencers

120 "Time for Me to Fly" REO Speedwagon

121 "Wrathchild" Iron Maiden

122 "She Won't Dance With Me" Rod Stewart

123 "Rough Boys" Pete Townshend

124 "History Never Repeats" Split Enz

125 "Dangerous Type" The Cars

126 "Turn It On Again" Genesis

127 "Rapture" Blondie

128 "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

129 "Can't Happen Here" Rainbow

130 "We're So Close" Carly Simon

131 "Tough Guys" REO Speedwagon

132 "Passion" Rod Stewart

133 "Kid Blue" Louise Goffin

134 "Little Sister" Rockpile with Robert Plant

135 "Vienna" Ultravox

136 "Sign of the Gypsy Queen" April Wine from Live in London

137 "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" Elvis Costello and the Attractions

138 "Don't Let Him Go" REO Speedwagon

139 "I Won't Let You Down" Ph.D.

140 "Holiday" Nazareth

141 "You Better You Bet" The Who

142 "All Night Long" Rainbow

143 "Video Killed the Radio Star" The Buggles

144 "You Better Run" Pat Benatar

145 "Surface Tension" Rupert Hine

146 "One Step Ahead" Split Enz

147 "Wild-Eyed Southern Boys" .38 Special

148 "In My Arms Again" Shoes

149 "Is It You" Lee Ritenour

150 "Oh God, I Wish I Was Home Tonight" Rod Stewart

151 "Passing Strangers" Ultravox

152 "Just Between You and Me" April Wine from Live in London

153 "Turning Japanese" The Vapors

154 "Rockin' the Paradise" Styx

155 "Bluer Than Blue" Michael Johnson

156 "Message of Love" The Pretenders

157 "Rat Race" The Specials

158 "Roll with the Changes" REO Speedwagon

159 "In the Air Tonight" Phil Collins

160 "Hold On to the Night" Bootcamp

161 "Double Life" The Cars

162 "Take It on the Run" REO Speedwagon

163 "We Don't Talk Anymore" Cliff Richard

164 "Sister Disco" The Who From Concerts for the People of Kampuchea

165 "Celebrate the Bullet" The Selecter

166 "More Than I Can Say" Leo Sayer

167 "I Hope I Never" Split Enz

168 "Talk of the Town" The Pretenders

169 "Hold on Loosely" .38 Special

170 "Blondes (Have More Fun)" Rod Stewart

171 "Wrathchild" Iron Maiden

172 "Savannah Nights" Tom Johnston

173 "I'm Gonna Follow You" Pat Benatar

174 "Don't Let Him Go" REO Speedwagon

175 "Never Let Her Slip Away" Andrew Gold

176 "Time Heals" Todd Rundgren

177 "Brass in Pocket" The Pretenders

178 "Little Sister" Rockpile with Robert Plant From Concerts for the People of Kampuchea

179 "A Little in Love" Cliff Richard

180 "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" Rod Stewart

181 "Victim" Bootcamp

182 "Baker Street" Gerry Rafferty

183 "He Can't Love You" Michael Stanley Band

184 "Looking for Clues" Robert Palmer

185 "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

186 "Keep on Loving You" REO Speedwagon

187 "When Things Go Wrong" Robin Lane and the Chartbusters

188 "Little Suzi's on the Up" Ph.D.

189 "The Best of Times" Styx

190 "Sailing" Rod Stewart

191 "You Better You Bet" The Who

192 "Iron Maiden" Iron Maiden

193 "Can't Happen Here" Rainbow

194 "Oliver's Army" Elvis Costello

195 "Just Between You and Me" April Wine from Live in London

196 "Come What May" Lani Hall and Herb Alpert

197 "Tattooed Love Boys" The Pretenders

198 "In the Air Tonight" Phil Collins

199 "Peter Gunn Theme / Remote Control" The Silencers

200 "Dreamin'" Cliff Richard

201 "Lucille" Rockestra 3/3 From Concerts for the People of Kampuchea

202 "Boys Keep Swinging" David Bowie

203 "Johnny & Mary" Robert Palmer

204 "Only the Strong Survive" REO Speedwagon

205 "Waiting for the Weekend" The Vapors

206 "You're Insane" Rod Stewart

207 "Kiss on My List" Hall & Oates

208 "Living in the Plastic Age" The Buggles

209 "Lonely Boy" Andrew Gold


(Source Wikipedia)


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