Skip To Content

    "120 Minutes" Changed Your Life

    Before the internet, the best way to find out about cool music was watch MTV after midnight on Sundays. Or, you know, set your VCR to tape it.

    If you were a cool teen in the mid-'80s through the late '90s, MTV's 120 Minutes was there for you.

    You would either stay up very, very late on Sunday nights to watch it...

    ...or set the VCR to tape it, because your parents would not let you be up so late on a school night.

    In a time before the internet, when truly alternative and indie music could only be found on college radio and in poorly distributed zines, 120 Minutes was an oasis in the middle of a vast desert of mainstream pop.

    It was a show that launched the careers of musicians who would go on to become superstars...

    ...and the one place on TV where you could catch a glimpse of indie-rock stars like Pavement.

    It was also a show weird and daring enough to do completely inexplicable things like have Henry Rollins interview Jerry Lee Lewis.

    Or invite Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails to decorate a Christmas tree.

    120 Minutes introduced you to the force of nature known as Courtney Love...

    ...the enigma of Beck Hansen...

    ...and the gorgeous voice of Jeff Buckley.

    It was where you first learned that Radiohead were more than a one-hit wonder...

    ...and that no one on Earth sat at a piano quite like Tori Amos.

    It's also where you probably first heard about these dudes.

    You can watch this GIF and clearly hear the opening chords of "Stars" ringing out in the back of your mind.

    And the same thing goes for Matt Pinfield and his gravel voice.

    It was almost certainly the way you first saw any of these videos.

    There is no question about it: 120 Minutes made you a cooler, more sophisticated music fan.

    It was the best show to ever air on MTV.