10 Classic Rock Legends That Went Huge When MTV Started

10 Classic Rock Legends That Went Huge When MTV Started | Society Of Rock Videos

via Queen Official/YouTube

MTV was an absolute game-changer for artists. It was a new way of reaching out to fans and promoting music. Not everyone was eager to jump on the bandwagon, especially the old rockers. But it was either subscribe to the MTV trend or be left out.

The following artists took advantage of MTV, and it paid off big time for them.

1. REO Speedwagon

REO Speedwagon’s “Take It On the Run” was one of the first videos that aired on MTV. More than that, they were also featured in the first concert video on MTV. It was interrupted for a few seconds due to technical problems. Shot in Denver, the band was on tour at the time to promote “High Infidelity.”

2. Pat Benatar

It’s the second music video MTV aired, after “Video Killed the Radio Star”. Originally by the Young Rascals, Pat Benatar took the song and made it her own. For the MV, it premiered on August 1, 1981. Guitarist and Benatar’s husband Neil Giraldo wasn’t too crazy about it initially.

“I didn’t think it would revolutionize the music industry, so to speak,” he told SongFacts. “I didn’t realize that they were going to play those five videos over and over again for 24 hours.”

3. Robert Plant

Still riding high from the success of Led Zeppelin in the ’70s, Robert Plant teamed up with British rock band Rockpile for a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Little Sister”. When he got comfortable churning out his videos, he followed it up with “Burning Down One Side,” “Big Log,” “In the Mood,” and “Little By Little”.

4. The Pretenders

“Brass in Pocket” was one of MTV’s first releases. Chrissie Hynde and her bandmates had pretty much what MTV was looking for – the rock ‘n roll edge and attitude.

5. Rod Stewart

By the time MTV launched, Rod Stewart was far from being a nobody. But without a doubt, MTV helped propel him to greater success. “She Won’t Dance With Me” was the third music video aired on MTV, and he also released several other videos like “Sailing,” “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy,” “Passion,” “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” to cement his legendary status.

6. The Police

When the ’80s rolled in, The Police already released three studio albums. The thing is, they took full advantage of MTV and fans couldn’t get enough of their good looks and charisma.

7. Queen

Freddie Mercury fit right in the MTV era. His creativity knew no bounds, and so it came as no surprise that people still love their music videos today.

8. Phil Collins

From “In The Air Tonight” to “Another Day in Paradise”, it wasn’t long before Phil Collins’ mastered the art of making music videos.

9. The Who

Following the death of drummer Keith Moon, The Who continued making music. They recorded two albums with drummer Kenney Jones, one of which was “Face Dances”. To help promote the LP, they had clips for “You Better You Bet” and “Don’t Let Go the Coat”.

10. Todd Rundgren

Todd Rundgren is an artist through and through. His “Time Heals” was the eighth video aired on MTV. He also filmed videos for other singles.

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