120 Reasons To Live: The Fall (“X-Ray” Segment)

Nothing did more to further the cause of Alternative Nation-building than 120 Minutes, MTV’s Sunday-night video showcase of non-mainstream acts. For nearly two decades, the program spanned musical eras from ’80s college rock to ’00s indie, with grunge, Britpop, punk, industrial, electronica and more in between. MAGNET raids the vaults to resurrect our 120 favorite and unjustly forgotten videos from the show’s classic era.

#85: The Fall (“X-Ray” segment)

Unless you’re really pining for a low-quality Dramarama video, now is a good time for a little siesta from the self-imposed rulebook of posting only music videos from 120 Minutes. In the early years, the program also featured a little segment called “X-Ray,” an attempt at giving the unwashed masses some cultural literacy where quasi-iconic artists were concerned. Basically, it was a history lesson for the Cure fans who never heard of Joy Division. That makes it sound dumb, but it was fairly admirable—after all, the alt-rock retrospective thing has been a prime directive for MAGNET’s editorial since the mid-’90s. We refused to explain the Fall to you in a previous post, so here’s the primer that Mark E. Smith would hate for you to see.