Chris Molanphy on the billboard hits of 1982.

How MTV Worked Its Magic on the Pop Charts

How MTV Worked Its Magic on the Pop Charts

A daily news and culture podcast with Mike Pesca.
Aug. 18 2017 7:17 PM

The Year MTV Took Over the Charts

In 1982, synth-pop came in strong, Hall and Oates crossed over into R&B, and Paul McCartney learned about racial harmony.

The former MTV logo.

Daniel Huntley/Flickr

Listen to Episode 810 of Slate’s The Gist:


In 1982, MTV started guiding Billboard’s taste in music. The year was filled with elaborate videos and cheesy ballads. Chris Molanphy takes us through all the hand claps and synth vibes of that year’s Billboard hits. Molanphy writes Slate’s Why Is This Song No. 1 column and hosts the podcast Hit Parade.

In the Spiel: The last time anything good happened to Donald Trump.

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Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.