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While Nirvana's appearance in 1994 made headlines and won awards, MTV Unplugged debuted in 1989 with not-Nirvana artist Squeeze, Syd Straw and Elliot Easton. Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, LL Cool J and Alanis Morissette would later have appearances during the show's run. Still, nothing can top one of Kurt Cobain's last taped performances and his chilling cover of "Where Did You Sleep Last Night." Ever.
Reality killed the video star
Some would say that 1992 saw the start to MTV's fall. The premiere of The Real World and it's spin-off Road Rules brought reality TV into the mainstream, good or bad, and although the still ongoing series documented young people and current issues, it can be to blame for guilty pleasures The Real Housewives series on Bravo and Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
Beavis and Butt-Head and Daria
Semi-endearing but always hysterical assholes Beavis and Butt-Head were introduced to the hearts of the MTV Generation in 1993. The catchphrases were timeless ("I am the Great Cornholio," "Cool," "This sucks"), the animation was crude and the humor was sophomoric, but it, in my opinion, was the best cartoon on TV next to the Simpsons. Creator Mike Judge went on to create King of Hill, but B&BH started it all. Popular MTV spin-off Daria was the anti Beavis and Butt-Head, as the monotone heroine was the voice to a generation of disenchanted and angsty girls.
The New Millennium
The 2000s marks the final stages of music decay to bring forth MTV's current dictator - reality television. Although the bulk of new programming is culturally significant, there's no relation to the musical foundations. Wildly popular hits such as Jackass, MTV Cribs, The Osbournes, Pimp My Ride, Punk'd, True Life, The Hills and it's spin-offs along with other hit TV shows, sparked a reality Renaissance. It was a golden age that will never happen again, even with newer attempts to recreate the thunder with Teen Mom, Jersey Shore and Catfished.
Because of an over-saturation of music media, like YouTube, Spotify and iPods, MTV didn't sellout, they adapted. And to celebrate the 35 years of MTV and the decades of entertainment it's gifted to us, Brass Monkey is throwing a dance party in the channel's honor next month.
Throughout the changes, I still want my MTV.