PDA

View Full Version : MTV in the early '90s


pannoni1
05-17-2015, 08:31 AM
Hello folks. I recently purchased a lot of old VHS tapes and most of them contained MTV from the early '90s, specifically from February 1990 to October 1993. As a result, even for those who never had a chance to watch the channel, I can give a good insider look at what some of the programming featured. The show that the recorder seemed to like the most was Headbangers' Ball, which featured a special guest and usually a band (originally of the Hair Metal genre, but increasingly became alternative/grunge as time passed on). Other shows I've found include Totally Pauly, MTV Prime, Dial MTV, Just Say Julie, the Ben Stiller Show, and Buzz Cut. I've also found an MTV in Rio special that shows that even during pre-shows, they can still sneak in some videos. You also still had many classic bumpers playing during the overnight/morning hours at this time.

It also represented IMO the peak of the channel's influence (not the '80s as most believe) as there was truly something for almost everyone. Of course country people went over to TNN/CMT, the R&B/hip-hop crowd to BET, and a somewhat older audience to VH1. That along with Unplugged, Rock Line, Top 20 Countdowns, part of a yearly countdown (1991) on another along with a special New Year's Eve concert showed how the channel could branch out and really allow folks in flyover country to experience the scene without heading to select big cities. Even the ads at the time were some of the most edgy that were ever produced, including some of the local ads (they were all LA-area ads BTW). It was neat seeing a segment from when grunge was only known as the "Seattle Sound" and seeing an early Soundgarden video from 1991. Some of the groups I see include Slaughter, LA Guns, Skid Row, Poison, Winger, Bullet Boys, Vain, Britny Fox, Extreme, Alice In Chains, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, D.R.I., Havana Black, Nuclear Assault, Lord Tracy, Grand Slam, and much more. Remember Ricki Rachtman?

Since this stuff was primarily targeted at Generation X when it aired, I highly recommend rediscovering this stuff to both Boomers who tuned out of pop music by this time yet today would find this stuff edgy enough to be fun (many stations that are billed as "classic rock" in fact play some of this stuff along with the '60s-'80s stuff), along with Millenials who may have been too young to appreciate what was going on while instead watching Nickelodeon's Snick, enjoying the latest TMNT item, or playing on the Nintendo/SEGA (a number of commercials for these systems are featured). That said, the tape with the later stuff on it (1993) does show evidence that even then, the channel was starting to go downhill, and it was definitely mentioned in one show (The Best of the Beach) how the MC keeps telling the same lame jokes and how one dude was relieved that he gig was gone because it felt so lame.

Some of the other tapes included a couple of ABC In Concerts, some Japanese music-type shows from 1989-91, a couple of first-run Wonder Years episodes from 1991-92, a Doogie Howser episode from 1992, and a Jimmi Hendrix documentary on Bravo back when it had a scripty logo.

In today's Internet/social media/post TV age, it just isn't the same given how apart people have drifted. The excitement just couldn't last forever, so what we should all do is keep expectations low, since this can bring along surprises and allow us to comprehend and get the most out of things.

Wesley
05-17-2015, 01:28 PM
I didn't know MTV existed until the mid 90s and I didn't get satellite TV until 2006. I didn't pay much attention to music back then anyway (I preferred video game soundtracks). I only became a fan of popular music a year ago.

I think there are some good classic music TV channels in the UK and Ireland nowadays like the Vault, MTV Classic and Bliss. I thought it was harder in the 90s to discover new music, as there was no Facebook, YouTube or iTunes.

Original TMNT Cartoon Fan
06-03-2015, 12:23 PM
I didn't know MTV existed until the mid 90s and I didn't get satellite TV until 2006. I didn't pay much attention to music back then anyway (I preferred video game soundtracks). I only became a fan of popular music a year ago.

I think there are some good classic music TV channels in the UK and Ireland nowadays like the Vault, MTV Classic and Bliss. I thought it was harder in the 90s to discover new music, as there was no Facebook, YouTube or iTunes.

There was something called radio! Regular broadcastings have been around since the 1920's.

Wesley
06-03-2015, 02:18 PM
There was something called radio! Regular broadcastings have been around since the 1920's.

I listened to radio alright. I just didn't pay much attention to songs back then. It was also hard to know at times what the name of the song was or who sang it, as sometimes that information wasn't given out.