Gone are the glory days of MuchMusic, but we want to take a minute to remember how important the station was in cultivating music fans in Canada. In 2017, the music video landscape, like music in general, is fractured, but let’s remember 10 great music video shows that aired on the monolithic institution that was ‘Much.’
The annual year-end show on MuchMusic featured the worst/cheesiest music videos of the year and was hosted with typical acerbic candour by everyone’s favourite cantankerous puppet, Ed the Sock. The show always unearthed some absolute gems, showing the most ridiculous videos that would never air on MuchMusic otherwise. Ed the Sock’s running commentary on the videos was always a pleasure for those of us who like to get a little hate on every once and a while.
CHUM 30 Countdown
The “OG” of music video shows on Toronto television, hosted by Roger Ashby. The weekly show aired in the early eighties and introduced a generation of Torontonians to the music video. Classic videos by artists such as Madonna, Prince, The Talking Heads, The Rolling Stones, and Culture Club were all seen on this program first.
In the early nineties, we had the emergence of grunge and the alternative music scene was at the pinnacle of popular culture. Canadian music video station MuchMusic’s The Wedge (1992-2014) was dedicated to the fringes of the genre focusing on Indie and Alternative with hosts Simon Evans and later Sook-Yin Lee. Before the birth of the internet and online music sharing, The Wedge was a weekly source for the best indie and alt music with a Canadian focus.
The New Music
The New Music was a staple of Chum and MuchMusic and began in 1979. The show was intended to resemble a music magazine, discussing and featuring music in the broader cultural context, tackling the issues of the day. The show contained videos and also interview segments. From 2000-2004 the show was hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos, which introduced Strombo to a generation of Canadians for the first time.
A staple of any 00s youth’s TV watching, MOD was MuchMusic’s flagship show and aired live every day at 5 p.m., featuring the biggest bands in Canada and the world. The show began with Rick Campanelli and allowed viewers to request videos as well as live interactions in the MuchMusic Environment.
The later incarnation of the Power Hour, the Power 30 was a daily show on MuchMusic dedicated to the harder edges of music. The show was hosted by Teresa Roncon in the nineties, who was the TV crush of many teenage boys at the time. The show featured metal bands including Pantera, Danzig, and early Metallica.
MuchMusic first aired RapCity in 1984 as the birth of hip hop evolved into infancy and eventual maturity. Featuring artists like LL Cool J and Run-DMC, the show continued on into the 90s with hosts Michael Williams and eventually Master T. RapCity originally aired once a week, then expanded to five half hour episodes a week. 90s kids used the show to discover and watch music videos from their favourite artists including Dr. Dre, Snoop, Nas, OutKast, and the Notorious B.I.G. — all considered legends in the golden era of hip hop.
A VH1 show, Pop-Up video explored the pop cultural and trivial side-stories of music videos through humorous on-screen pop-ups containing text. Beginning in 1997 the show featured the day’s most popular videos in a new context that many users found enjoyable. It’s annotative format was an innovation (and also amusing) addition to the music video format. The show wasn’t without detractors and some people found the format annoying.
Much East / Much West
Respect for MuchMusic repping the coasts back in the day with programming highlighting the best from the right and left coasts.