Various Artists

MTV 20: Pop

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In the span of two decades, MTV has served as a conduit for up-and-coming bands while pulling double-duty as a mirror of pop music trends. Although this single-disc compilation could have easily run to box set length there's an even-handed sampling of artists whose careers can be traced to a symbiotic relationship with MTV. Madonna, the grand dame of video, appropriately kicks off the proceedings with "Borderline" and from here you get a timeline of pop divas. Included are old-schoolers Whitney Houston ("I Wanna Dance With Somebody [Who Loves Me]") and Janet Jackson ("That's The Way Love Goes"), proto-grunge princess Alanis Morissette ("You Oughta Know") and millennial newbie Christina Aguilera ("Genie In A Bottle").

MTV also served as a bridge from the alt-rock underground to greater crossover success for a number of groups including R.E.M. ("Losing My Religion"), the Red Hot Chili Peppers ("Higher Ground") and the Goo Goo Dolls ("Slide"). Most of all, MTV has served as the springboard for new bands with funny names including the Beastie Boys, Weezer, and No Doubt.

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