Toronto Mike

VH1 and MuchMoreMusic Killed the Video Stars

Before you read any further, here's a big slab o' caveat for ya. Yes, MTV came before MuchMusic. I'm sure MuchMusic copied a great deal of what was airing on MTV. But I lived in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and I watched MuchMusic. I never saw a minute of MTV. So as far as I was concerned, everything I enjoyed on MuchMusic was original shit, because it was my shit.

In the beginning, MTV and my MuchMusic played videos. Lots and lots of music videos. Sure, there were specialty programs, like the Pepsi Power Hour or Rap City or French Kiss, but most of what I saw was 3 videos with VJ intros. You might see a Beastie Boys video next to a Nirvana video next to a Maestro Fresh Wes video. Or maybe Def Leppard next to Madonna next to Faith No More. And yes, there were videos from stars from earlier decades, like Paul Simon or Genesis or George Harrison.

I loved George Harrison's "Got My Mind Set On You" after seeing the video on Much. Heck, I'd eventually see a second, completely different video for the cover. Did I mention it was a cover? When I first fell in love with the song back in 1987, I had no idea that it was a cover of a 1962 song by James Ray with Hutch Davie Orchestra & Chorus. But I digress...

We'd watch videos from various genres and generations all mixed up. Blue Rodeo was next to Bruce Springsteen who was next to Tone Loc. That's how we rolled.

Then, in response to VH1 in the USA, MuchMoreMusic showed up and certain artists were deemed legacy or classic and moved to that station so MuchMusic could remain for the kids. This kind of sucked, because it meant that new songs by non-new artists could be relegated to the uncool station I never watched. Had MuchMoreMusic always existed, would MuchMusic have played new Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Tina Turner or George Harrison?

There's no point to this post, it's just a brain dump of a thought I had during my bike ride today. Music is forced into silos today, based on genre and artist, and there's little potential for cross pollination. That's why, when a popular show like Stranger Things showcases an old 80s song, it has to potential to blow up. It's a rare example of cross pollination.

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