On September 14, 1998, MTV aired the first episode of TRL, which was originally called Total Request Live at the time. Hosted by Carson Daly, the show counted down the top music videos of the day as determined by fan votes. It was a simple concept but boy did it work. No one could have anticipated how huge the show would become. It was responsible for the success of acts like Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Destiny’s Child and even Limp Bizkit. And it was mandatory after school viewing. TRL represented an era of pop culture and music videos that sadly is long gone. So on the 15th anniversary of it’s debut, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and revisit the original top ten on Total Request Live.
10. Monster Magnet, “Space Lord”
Does anyone remember this band or video? Yeah, neither do we. The band only survived a few days on the countdown.
9. Monica, “The First Night”
Baby, baby, tell me what’s up… What’s up is that this song was the jam back in ’98. The video was the first of several, including the “The Boy Is Mine,” to make its way onto TRL. We miss old school Monica.
8. Goo Goo Dolls, “Iris”
Oh man, the Goo Goo Dolls had a big year in ’98. “Iris” was featured on the City Of Angels soundtrack, which also included Alanis Morissette Sarah McLachlan. And it literally felt like you heard that song ever.
7. Usher, “My Way”
Oh man it’s baby Usher up against Tyrese in a dance-off. Though, Tyrese never actually dances in the video. It’s probably why Usher won the girl at the end. But let’s be real, this song was gooooooood.
6. Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show”
Say what you will about Manson, but he was huge on TRL. Thirteen-year-old me never fully understood the mannequin boobs and the colored contacts but he was entranced as were legions of fans who made him a regular fixture on the show.
Up Next: The top 5 music videos of September 14, 1998.
5. Will Smith, “Just the Two of Us”
What’s crazy is that Jada Pinkett Smith was pregnant with Jaden in this video. Jaden is too young to know TRL or how big his dad was on it. Even Willow put out music well after the TRL days.
4. Aerosmith, “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing”
This song. Diane Warren had to go pen the most sappy, addictive rock ballad ever. As if it wasn’t all too much to begin with, the video ends with a crying Liv Tyler resting her hand on the monitor of her dad performing the song. [Tear]
3. Aaliyah, “Are You That Somebody?”
This was the song in 1998. Babies crying, Timbaland dropping a few bars, and Aaliyah’s sultry voice. And then there was the video with that hawk. Did we ever find out what that hawk was doing there?
2. ’N Sync, “Tearin’ Up My Heart”
And now we get to JT and the boys. Little did we know how much ’N Sync and the Backstreet Boys would dominate the countdown. It was a battle between the two on who would land at number one. ’N Sync fell short on the premiere episode but would later take the top spot after just a few episodes.
1. Backstreet Boys, “I’ll Never Break Your Heart”
Man, do you remember this video? Each BSB had their own room and theme. Nick was in some Anime-inspired room and A.J. and his crazy glasses were in some modern, metallic room. Though the best one was Kevin’s. His had a tub. And who wouldn’t want to be bathed by him?!