List of 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 and again in 2011 (the latter celebrating the channel's 30th anniversary). The first hour on the air was broadcast again on August 1, 2016 and was called MTV Hour One, as part of VH1 Classic's planned re-launch as MTV Classic, MTV itself, and additionally streamed on the channel's Facebook page.
The first video to air on MTV was one emblematic of MTV's concept, The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star." 116 unique videos were played, spanning 208 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.
- Hoye, Jacob. MTV Uncensored. Pocket Books, 2001. ISBN 0-7434-2682-7.
- Boston Globe: MTV's first 10 music videos
- "VH1 Classic to show MTV's first day on air", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 31, 2006.
- Daniel Rubin, "Blinq: After 25 years, do you still want your MTV?" Philadelphia Inquirer, August 1, 2006 – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
- "MTV Launches 'Classic' Channel Dedicated to 1990s". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
- 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.
- MTV Yearbook: 1981 from the MTV website