Pop Culture

We want our MTV! Our favorite music videos

Remember the good ol' days when MTV played a ton of music videos? We certainly do! When the topic of the network's 30th anniversary came up, we couldn't help but to reminisce and send each other links to favorite videos from our youth. So we thought: Why not share with our readers too?

'Hungry Like the Wolf,' Duran Duran

What's not to like? There's a mysterious tiger woman running around in the forest; hunky Simon LeBon running after her; a little tongue-kiss with Roger Taylor; and elephants! Sure, the story line was looser than skinny John Taylor's trousers, but it took me to an exotic locale and proved music videos don't have to be tired live-concert videos. And after all these years, it still stands up as a great little short film and song. -- Randee Dawn

'Photograph,' Def Leppard

My earliest memories of MTV coincide with the music I was listening to (and roller-skating to!) around seventh and eighth grade. Maybe the music on my record player made me appreciate the videos, or maybe the videos made me seek out the music. Either way, it’s tough not to hear an ‘80s soundtrack punctuated by the likes of Def Leppard when I think about the classic MTV. -- Kurt Schlosser

'After the Rain,' Nelson

Hey, don't judge! I was 11 or 12 at the time, and my two BFFs and I were totally crushing on the Nelson twins. (Team Gunnar!) The awesomely wild hair! The super tight pants and colorful shirts! The music! Yes, the music. Even after all these years, watching this video makes me want to bust out my Nelson CD and sing along at the top of my lungs. (Yes, I still remember all of the lyrics. I listened to the album a lot when I was in sixth grade, OK?!) -- Anna Chan

'Money for Nothing,' Dire Straits

How meta is this? A video about wanting to be on MTV, playing on MTV. The video itself had a bit of everything --  cartoony little appliance-delivery guys, oddly colorized shots of the band, tight close-ups of keyboards and frets and Day-Glo drumsticks. Playing over it all, the lament of anyone who’d ever watched the channel and longed for a bit of that fame and fortune that would surely make our lives so easy. “I shoulda learned to play the guitar, I shoulda learned to play them drums.” And for those of us for whom getting cable was still years away, the classic lament turned into one of the best commercial slogans ever: “I want my MTV.” Oh yeah we did. -- Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

'Alone Again Or,' The Damned

Although this video never saw as much airplay as it deserved, when it did pop up on MTV, it was a “Shhhh! It’s on!” occasion at my house. The film feel, the fully saturated colors, the brief glimpses of Zorro-masked Dave Vanian — it had everything required to keep teen-me glued to the set. (Well, everything except for brief glimpses of a nearly nude Dave Vanian lathering up in the shower. The Damned took care of that elsewhere.) -- Ree Hines

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'Sledgehammer,' Peter Gabriel

I was in high school when MTV was born. Up until that point, I had snacked on a pretty steady diet of top 40 radio (remember that?), only occassionally grazing on FM album rock. With the advent of music videos, and a channel that served them up 24 hours a day, my palate changed. I could not only savoir the auditory sensation but also the visual interpretation of the music. And Peter Gabriel offered an amazing display to behold with this song. It wasn't poofy-haired and leather-clad. It was an artist's vision. And it was different. I developed a taste for Gabriel and his music because of that video, one that continues to this day. -- Denise Hazlick 

'U Can't Touch This,' MC Hammer

Today, in 2011, you probably couldn’t pay me enough to sit through all of “Can’t Touch This.” But it sits atop my list of “most memorable videos” nonetheless. I mean, I still find occasion to make reference to “Hammer Pants,” and while I was never able to physically emulate that frenetic dance/foot-shuffle thing he does in the video, I can let my mind’s eye do the work, and 20+ years later, still see it perfectly. And when the elements of a video are just that memorable, and are proven to withstand the cultural reference test of time, that makes the video a keeper -- even if the song itself leaves something to be desired. -- Courtney Hazlett

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