The MTV 120 Minutes Digital Archive

Posted by: on March 3, 2016   |Comments (0)|Spotlights


120 Minutes 1995-98 logo

New to the online world is an extensive digital archive of MTV’s late night show, 120 Minutes. The show, which ran from 1986 through 2000 without cessation and later on MTV2 from 2001-2003, was a 2-hour after hours alternative music block that featured videos, interviews, and performances by alternative, underground, and fringe bands and artists. The show was canceled without formal announcement in May 2003, with the final episode co-hosted by Jim Shearer (the host at the time) and past hosts Dave Kendall and Matt Pinfield. 120 Minutes made a brief return to MTV2 under the name 120 Minutes with Matt Pinfield in 2011 but was canceled for good shortly after in 2013.

The 120 Minutes archive

The 120 Minutes digital archive is the product of a collaboration between its founder (identified as Tyler) and a team of volunteers. It doesn’t present each episode in its originally recorded form; it instead lists guest artists, hosts, and videos by episode and links out to the YouTube versions of all videos featured. Visitors can view listings by year or episode. The site is presented in tiered form, with years listed at the top of each page that expand down into episode listings and details.

The Cramps in 120 Minutes

During its tenure, 120 Minutes was hosted by a slew of notable guest artists, including Iggy Pop, Bob Mould, Lou Reed, Robert Smith (The Cure), Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman (Operation Ivy/Rancid), Superchunk, and Weezer. It featured interviews with the likes of Joe Strummer, the Cramps, John Lydon, Sonic Youth, and Mojo Nixon; spotlights on bands and artists like Bauhaus, the Jesus and Mary Chain, and Sisters of Mercy; and live performances by the Dead Milkmen, the Pixies, and Helmet. The show aired thousands of videos, featuring artists like the Pogues, Stone Roses, Hüsker Dü, Billy Bragg, John Doe, Big Audio Dynamite, PiL, the English Beat, X, Anti-Nowhere League, Descendents, the Mighty Lemon Drops, Ministry, the Smithereens, the Ramones, Nick Cave, Dinosaur Jr., Charlatans UK, and TSOL. Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” made its world premiere on 120 Minutes but quickly moved to daytime rotation due to popularity. To check out the archive, please visit the site here. (Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

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Posted by: on March 3, 2016   |Comments (0)|Spotlights