Welcome to #ThrowbackThursday! Here’s where every week, we’ll reminisce on technologies past and get hyped for future innovations to come.
With MTV’s recent announcement that they would be bringing back Total Request Live (TRL), a staple of 90’s pop culture, we’re taking a look back at the Mojo’s team’s memories of TRL and the glory days of music videos.
Angela Leavitt, Founder & Chief Mojo-Making Officer
I can still remember the first music video I ever watched. I was in my uncle’s family room with my mom and cousin. My uncle Charles put on Michael Jackson’s Thriller and I was totally riveted to the screen. The costumes, the story, the music and the dancing…I was equally horrified and in love!
I remember the evil laughing voice at the end really scaring me (I was really young) and my mother getting a little upset that my uncle had shown this to us. But it made such an impression on me that I fell in love with music videos as an art form, and I’m so excited for the return of TRL!!
Juliana Kenny, Content Manager
My MTV memories are shrouded in forbidden intrigue. My parents blocked the MTV channel from our cable service, so I could never watch from home. (I don’t remember them explaining why they blocked it.) But, of course, I watched from friends’ houses, and felt scandalous doing so.
Surely, some manner of rakish behavior would weave itself into my life from having exposed myself to MTV. Alas, music videos (Madonna is super weird, am I right?) and “True Life” stories had no effect on my moral compass, and I turned out to be a contributing member of society. ::Sigh::
Justine Dolorfino-Thieman, Digital Strategist
I have blurry memories of watching music videos on MTV and VH1 when I was a child, but the first one I truly remember seeing was “… Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears. #Iconic When I was in middle school, TRL was in its heyday and it was so much fun waiting to see how many of my favorite songs were on the list.
Internet on-demand purchased and streaming music has taken away some of the excitement of waiting for your favorite song to play on the radio, seeing its video on TV, or buying an album so you can hear your favorites whenever you want. However, it’s also fun to be able to instantly have access to all of your favorites without the waiting. Double-edged sword?
Andrea McCarter, Project Coordinator
My memory of MTV mostly revolves around my daily rush home after school so I could be sure to see the entire episode of TRL that day. Before any type of music streaming platform, this was the only way (that I had access to at least) to discover new music and watch music videos.
One of the first music videos I fell in love with was Britney Spears “Oops I did it again” which she also performed live in 2000. It turned out to be one of the most talked about performances in TRL history.
I also remember Eminem taking over TRL for a day and calling it “EM TV”. He was dressed as Carson Daly and mocked many artists who regularly came on the show at the time. It seemed there were always artists trying to out-do one another on the show. I’m curious to see if the same over-the-top stunts will be a regular part of the new TRL as well.
Tom Ladeau, Social Media Manager
“Intergalactic” by the Beastie Boys was my introduction to the world of MTV and music videos. It was the first time I really understood what a music video was. The idea of creating a mini movie to go with a song was new to me. I hadn’t been in to MTV much and barely knew the world of music, but 10-year-old me could get in to robots and aliens fighting. Plus, I did like the song.
Watching this nearly 20 years later it looks exactly like I remember it, but I’m even more impressed now than I was then. Today’s music videos are heavily reliant on digital—and for good reason—but it is fun to see what the Beastie Boys did with limited special effects and a good sense of humor.
Michael McCarthy, Account Executive
My memory of when MTV actually played music videos was in the late 90’s. My favorite video of the time was Marilyn Manson’s ‘Sweet Dreams’. I liked his music at the time and the overall weirdness of his videos drew me in. I would leave the tv on while I was doing homework and if I heard that song come on would run into the living room to watch it.
This was before you could look up any music video online so it was exciting when your favorite videos got played. My taste in music these days has changed for the better but I still enjoy when I see people try new and different things with their art.