This month, MTV celebrates its 40th anniversary. And while they don’t play videos anymore, they played ton on August 1, 1981. Here are the best ones.

  • The Buggles "Video Killed The Radio Star"

    The first video ever played on MTV. Iconic.

  • Pat Benatar "You Better Run"

    The second video ever played on MTV. And the first of many great Pat Benatar clips to make it into rotation.

  • The Who "You Better You Bet"

    The Who were in the mix early on that first day of MTV.

  • 38 Special "Hold On Loosely"

    We tend to remember a lot of the new wave videos from the early days of MTV, but there was plenty of straight-up rock in the mix, too.

  • Iron Maiden "Iron Maiden"

    The first heavy metal band to be played on MTV.

  • Phil Collins "In The Air Tonight"

    Who would’ve thought one of the first memorable music music videos of the MTV era would just be a close-up of Phil Collins’ big head?

  • Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"

    Stevie AND Tom bringing the star power to MTV Day One.

  • Blondie "Heart of Glass"

    If anyone had a face custom-made for MTV, it was Debbie Harry.

  • Talking Heads "Once in a Lifetime"

    Another first-day clip that has reached iconic status 40 years on.

  • J. Geils Band "Love Stinks"

    How cool was it as a Boston music fan to see one of our own on the first day of MTV?

  • The Cars "Let's Go"

    And they weren’t the only Boston band to crack the rotation on Day One. The Cars had a couple of clips in the mix.

  • Ramones "Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio?"

    It would’ve been sacrilege to not have a Ramones video on MTV’s first day.

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