MTV c. 1983

My partner and I have, at times, discussed the reconstruction of music from the 1980s. She knows a lot of music that just never made my radar, and vice-versa. And neither of our understandings of what constitutes “80s music” corresponds directly with what is now considered “oldies” collections. (I still get a kick out of the idea that some of the undergrads coming into school weren’t even born in the 80s.)

We hypothesize that this is because, at the time, I was in Southern California listening to new wave & punk stuff on KROQ (“Rock of the 80s”), while she was in the more House-influenced Chicago area. It may have just been what we were into, though.

The reconstruction is much more interesting when it is contextualized, and there is something especially fascinating about this three-hour chunk of MTV loaded onto Google Video, commercials and all. Of course, there’s the Police and Prince, and Brian Setzer doing an MTV promo, and then there’s gems like The Tubes’ “Monkey Time,” which I remember when I see it, but otherwise would never think to include in my 80s collection. It’s too easy to forget that the “Best of the 80s” really does allow us to conveniently forget “The Rest of the 80s.”

“…and, the way it looks now, Pink Floyd is pretty much on break…”

Oh, and how many images of Mickey Mouse show up in this short chunk? Today, we’d just assume it was product placement. Now, you don’t see Mickey unless it’s clearly making money for Disney.

(Originally posted here, and you can find the second half of the broadcast there, which includes a Sansui ad with KITT doing the voiceover.)

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