The 12th music video to play on MTV on August 1st, 1981, their first day of broadcast, was the video for History Never Repeats by Split Enz.
This video feels much more like a “typical” MTV video than some of the other videos that were aired on that day. Though the emphasis is on Split Enz performing, there’s still a slight narrative. In the 80s, there were several music videos that were set up to appear as if they might the lead singer dreaming about a song. As well, the video celebrates the nerd chic that would dominate MTV’s early rotation before being replaced by hair metal (which, itself, was later replaced by grunge which was replaced by pop which was replaced by hip hop which was replaced by reality programming).
Director Noel Crombie was a member of Split Enz. Following the band’s break-up, he’s gone on to have a successful career as a freelance designer.
The First Videos Shown on MTV:
- Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles
- You Better Run by Pat Benatar
- She Won’t Dance With Me by Rod Stewart
- You Better You Bet By The Who
- Little Suzi’s On The Up by PH.D
- We Don’t Talk Anymore by Cliff Richard
- Brass in Pocket by Pretenders
- Time Heals by Todd Rundgren
- Take It On The Run by REO Speedwagon
- Rockin’ in Paradise by Styx
- When Things Go Wrong by Robin Lane & The Chartbusters