Love it or hate it, MTV’s “Total Request Live,” or TRL as it became more popularly known, was probably the last real link the network once known as Music Television had to actual music.

And now, it too is gone. After ten years, MTV will broadcast it’s final episode of the video countdown show in November.

That’s it. Party over, oops, out of time.

Serious music fans have long had a love-hate relationship with MTV. When the network first launched in the eighties, initially playing videos by then “new wave” bands like Duran Duran and Culture Club (because that is all that the record labels had to give them), they made overnight stars out of the fancily dressed, but previously poorly selling bands. Music fans complained long and loudly about the lack of substance, and about how the music video “fad” was trivializing music because of the reliance on visuals over the music itself.

When this passed, the complaints turned to the lily white playlist, and the lack of African American performers. MTV responded first by playing Michael Jackson and Prince, and eventually opening the door to hip hop videos. By the time of this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, you’d never know that the channel was once accused of being racist, with the steady stream of artists like Lil’ Wayne occupying near every inch of air-space that wasn’t devoted to the Britney Spears lovefest.

Still, VMAs aside, MTV hasn’t been about music for a very long time, and pulling the plug on TRL represents the last nail in the coffin. Some might say good riddance. With all the emphasis put on artists like Britney, Mariah, N’Sync, and the Jonas Brothers over the years, TRL was relentless in its promotion of what was once derisively called bubblegum music anyway, right? If video killed the radio star, didn’t TRL help kill rock and roll?


Still you can’t help but feel a little sadness. The relevance of music videos – the promotional tool that once helped save the music industry’s ass back in the post disco early eighties – appears to be all but finished. Oh well, I guess there’s always the FUSE network.

So goodnight MTV. Don’t forget to turn out the lights.

Blended From Around The Web


Hot Topics


Gateway Blend ©copyright 2017