The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" in Empire Records
Film Released: 1995
"Ah, we musn't dwell. But not today," Ethan Embry's stoner record clerk Marc sighs, as the fate of the record store he and his friends works at hangs in the balance of the day. And then: He laughs, high on life, and whatever else. The first notes of The Buggles floats through. And then: "I heard you on the wireless back in 52," kicks off one of film's most memorable musical moments: Liv Tyler shuttles a visiting rockstar cutout through the store as the other employees ready themselves for Rex Manning Day.
The song—the very first video to ever be played on MTV—was an apropos, knowingly ironic choice for both MTV and the film, which, despite flopping at the box office grew to be a crucial cult classic for The MTV Generation. It was one that basically said: There are fates far, far worse than working at a record store with other Young Hot Things. It's also a sad reminder of two things that are too far gone: The music in MTV, and record stores, both of which inspired far more than the numbing effect of Teen Mom 2 and the iTunes store certainly ever will.