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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

25 Years of MTV

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Music Television, or better known by its three-letter-acronym, MTV. There was an article featured on last week highlighting the 10 ways the upstart channel changed the world.

Here in Malaysia, we get the sort of a lite version of it called MTV Asia, which is pretty much the same content as the American counterpart, minus some programs and videos deemed not appropriate for ‘Asian values’. In it’s place there are locally or regionally produced shows like MTV Jus and request programs.

One of the biggest gripe that the younger generation have with MTV these past few years is that they have actually killed the very content that they are supposed to glorify, the music video itself. Gone are the days in the early 80’s through the late nineties when they actually showed videos for hours and hours on end. Produced shows like ‘Real World’ and ‘Laguna Beach’ were few and limited to a certain time in the day. Those days you could see the hot video of the day played at least once every hour, I remember when La Isla Bonita by Madonna and Unskinny Bop by Motley Crue where those hot videos. Want to see it? Just keep watching. It’ll pop up before long.

Nowadays, they show too many of these produced shows like Pop Inc and TRL, and the slew of reality shows like Making The Band, Newlyweds and the Osbournes (although with ‘Real World’, MTV can lay a serious claim to inventing the genre).

Of course, on the subject of the type of music they play, is a general reflection of music tastes of their key 18-25 demograph – these days rap and hip-hop are the big money spinners and they play it predominantly and if you’re the type who doesn’t like, you don’t watch a lot of MTV. Similarly, back in the late 80’s, Headbanger’s Ball was THE most popular show on MTV, mirroring young America’s obsession with glam hair bands and darker heavy metal. Then in the early nineties, grunge killed the metal dinosaur and ‘Unplugged’ was the top show of the day.

Nowadays, After School Rock is the only representation of rock or metal, but it’s just pathetic, recycling the modern rock tracks they play all the time anyway. (Headbanger’s Ball was recently been resurrected on MTV2, but we don’t get it.)

These days, I only regularly watch 2 shows on MTV – Cribs and Pimp My Ride (ironically both non-music related). There’s another one is technically MTV – it’s those VH1 shows like “Behind The Music” and “Top 40 Most Awesomely Bad…” shows. I just love them...


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