In 1987, MTV faced a problem. It wanted to devote more time to launch a new game show "Remote Control" and dance extravaganza Club MTV. However, the time it wanted to use was already alotted to an hour-long video segment devoted to hard rock and heavy metal, which was very popular at the time.

The solution? Headbanger's Ball hosted by then-VJ Adam Curry. The show occupied an enormous, if not very accessible time-slot: Saturday night, 12am - 3am. Due to the popularity of the genre the response was tremendous. Hosts changed from Curry to Rikki Racktman (who brought instant burnout-cred to the show due to his co-ownership of L.A. nightclub "The Cat Club" with then Faster Pussycat frontman Taime Downs) in 1990.

     Headbanger's Ball was the proud owner of many "firsts," including the world-premiere of Metallica's first video, "One"1 in 1989, and the first network television appearance of Marilyn Manson in 1995. Due to the waning interest in metal and the launch of MTV2, the show was canceled in 1996.

1 At the time of its release, the now notorious drummer for Metallica, Lars Ulrich, claimed that the video for One would be the only video ever produced by the band.

I feel I should point out that when I started watching the show on MTV Europe back in 1995, it was hosted by an individual known as Vanessa Warwick, who was mostly notable for having long and funny hair. Back then, the show still had some balls, and featured videos from artists such as Cannibal Corpse. As the years went by, and Vanessa's hair grew shorter, the more aggressive elements were showed aside to the very last half hour of the show, and were dubbed "Into The Pit". It was clear that a Heavy Metal based show was not something the very trendy MTV wanted, and the whole show was replaced in 1998, I think, by a horrid and malevolent creation known as "Superock", which is still aired on MTV Europe as of writing of this node.

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