WATCH THE TOP 100 MUSIC VIDEOS of all-time CLICK the LINK and watch them all! by George Waters
100. Things Have Changed – Bob Dylan - Directed by Curtis Hanson, 2000. An Academy Award winning song from the movie Wonder Boys. Footage of Bob singing the songs in a dark room as well as using actual footage from the movie. In the video Dylan and Michael Douglas are switched in and out with Dylan being Michael Douglas in the movie and Douglas singing the song.
99. Drop – Pharcyde - Directed by Spike Jonze, 1996. The band performs the song backwards. It is then replayed backwards as well. Considered to be one of the most creative rap videos of all time.
98. Keep Me In Your Heart – Warren Zevon - Directed by Nick read, 2003. Recorded as Zevon was battling terminal cancer, the video shows Zevon recording his final album, the fellow musicians and friends that were guesting on the album and Zevon’s family.
97. Above The Bones – Mishka - Directed by Alex Walker, 2009. A video that is part real footage, part animation part rotoscoped. Bright colours, soft shots and soothing music make you long for the beach. Or wonder if it’s an acid flashback. Either way, it’s well done.
96. Must Be Santa – Bob Dylan - Directed by Nash Edgertaon, 2009. A polka style rendition of the Christmas classic. The video features Bob complete with a strange wig but that’s only where it begins to get weird. He walks through this bizarre Christmas house party singing the song while everybody else sings the repeated lines and more shimmy and sway than actually dance. Naturally, a brawl breaks out and the one guy dives through a closed window to safety as Bob and Santa are standing side by side taking it all in.
95. Soul Singing – The Black Crowes - Directed by Liz Friedlander, 2001. The band is featured performing the song in a field. As they are performing, more and more people appear before everybody is dancing together. The colours are so vibrant you can’t help but think of the sun shining on a beautiful summer day.
94. Everybody Hurts – REM - Directed by Jake Scott, 1993. The band is stuck in a traffic jam. The video shows other people stuck in their cars and their thoughts appear on the screen. At the end, everybody gets out of their cars and start walking before vanishing.
92. Pictures Of You – The Cure - Directed by Tim Pope, 1990. The band performs the song at some remote snowy and cold location. The sense of isolation and loneliness perfectly echoes the sentiment of the song.
91. London Calling – The Clash - Directed by Don Letts, 1979. Features the band performing the song in the rain on a boat. For anybody that wasn’t aware of The Clash, they were after this came out.
90. The ‘59 Sound – Gaslight Anthem - Directed by Kevin Custer, 2008. Intercut footage of the band performing in a room with a young boy that is taking pictures of people at a wake. The appearance of the departed keeps appearing in the photos taken but nobody sees the spirit.
89. Sleeping Sickness – City and Colour - Directed by Vinvent Morisset, 2008. The video opens on Dallas Green singing the song while “sleeping.” It continues on to people’s houses and their lives all shown as aerial shots straight down from overhead. Gord Downie (Tragically Hip) also appears in the video and duets on the song.
88. Next Girl – The Black Keys - Directed by Chris Mars Piliero, 2010. A video with beautiful women in bikinis all lounging by a pool on a sunny day. The real star of the video? A little toy puppet dinosaur named Frank. The text at the bottom of the screen must be read to fully appreciate the genius of the whole thing.
87. Wiser Time – The Black Crowes - Directed by Jon Reiss, 1995. A song about being on the road and a video to match. Footage of the band performing the song is intercut with footage of the United States as seen from a car and footage of the band in a car, traveling. The line “tired but wiser for the time” makes complete sense on the context of the video.
86. Fake Plastic Trees – Radiohead - Directed by Jake Scott, 1995. The video takes place in a grocery store with the band and other people being pushed around in shopping carts. People are buying things and doing everyday shopping. Part of the video has somebody watching the goings on, on a security camera as well.
85. No Rain – Blind Melon - Directed by Samuel Bayer, 1993. The video opens with a “Bee girl” doing a short tap dance routine at the end of which she’s literally laughed off stage. Footage of the band performing the song in a field is intercut with the bee girl as she wanders through town before finding a group of other “bee people” where she can dance and be herself. Apparently, the singer Shannon Hoon admitted to being on acid during the shoot.
84. It’s Like That – Run DMC vs Jason Nevins - Directed by Nick Schofield, 1984. The video starts a guy walking carrying a boombox on his shoulder. There are two groups of people that start to dance together , breakdancing, once the boombox is placed on the ground. Video of the group is intercut throughout. The video and song were important for their time as they were considered to introduce an important new group (Run DMC) of hip hop artists.
83. Do The Evolution – Peal Jam - Directed by Kevin Altieri, 1998. This animated video seems Pearl Jam keeping their philosophy of not appearing in their own videos going. The video quickly goes through the history of the planet earth and keeps going into the future, perhaps showing our destiny?
82. God’s Gonna Cut You Down – Johnny Cash - Directed by Tony Kaye, 1996. The single released posthumously features nearly 40 different celebrities ranging from Dennis Hopper to Rick Rubin to Jay-Z. Filmed entirely in black and white.
81. The Next Movement – The Roots - Directed by Charles Stone, 1999. The band performs the song. They perform the song normally, backwards, lying down, on their sides and every which way.
80. I Don’t Wanna Grow Up – Tom Waits - Directed by Jim Jarmusch, 1992. Tom Waits in a red cape, devil like horns, etc riding a tricycle. Tom Waits crouched in a tiny space playing a miniature guitar. Tom Waits running around a tree. It’s Tom Waits as directed by Jim Jarmusch.
79. Tighten Up – The Black Keys - Directed by Chris Marrs Piliero, 2010. Two young boys take turns serenading a cute girl in the playground and naturally a brawl breaks out. Two grown men take turns enjoying the appearance of a beautiful woman and naturally a second brawl breaks out.
78. Hunger Strike – Temple of the Dog - Directed by Paul Rachman, 1991. A surprise hit single on a song written by Chris Cornell for his deceased friend and fellow musician Andrew Wood as part of a tribute album. The video (and the band) feature members of both Soundgarden and Pearl Jam and was filmed at Discovery park in Seattle.
77. Sleep Now In The Fire – Rage Against The Machine - Directed by Michael Moore, 2000. The video, which was filmed in front of the New York Stock Exchange, actually caused the NYSE to lock their doors mid day (though trading did continue). Intercut footage of the band performing with footage of a spoof on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” Truly, an inspired video.
76. Too Legit To Quit – MC Hammer - Directed by Rupert Wainwright, 1991. The video features many celebrities, mainly athletes. An elaborate production that cost $2.5 million.
75. I’m Afraid Of Americans – David Bowie - Directed by Dom & Nic, 1997. The video features, in addition to Bowie, Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails. In the video, Reznor stalks Bowie throughout New York City.
74. Express Yourself – Madonna - Directed by David Fincher, 1989. Another one of Madonna’s huge budget videos. A cool $5 million (which was the most ever spent on a music video at that time). It is based on the film Metropolis by David Lang.
73. Estranged – Guns N Roses - Directed by Andy Morahan, 1993. The third installment and final part to a series of videos from the Use Your Illusion albums. Cost $4 million and didn’t make a whole lot of sense as Axl’s real life girlfriend ended the relationship and she refused to be in this video though she had been in the previous two
72. November Rain - Guns N Roses - Directed by Andy Morahan, 1992. The second video in a trilogy. This is really the epic landmark of the three. Has Axl marrying then real life girlfriend Stephanie Seymour. At the end of 1992 it was voted as the year’s top video on MTV.
71. Beat It – Michael Jackson - Directed by Bob Giraldi, 1983. Michael Jackson paid for the video himself after his label refused to pay the $150’000 price tag. The video is about gang violence that Michael resolves by getting everybody to dance with him. Won 7 Billboard Video awards.
70. Run-Around – Blues Traveler - Directed by David Hogan, 1995. The video has a Wizard Of Oz theme to it but what makes it stand out is the fact that the band’s singer John Popper performs the song hiding behind a curtain while a good looking, energetic, young “singer” lip synchs the song to the audience. Good statement.
69. Devil’s Haircut – Beck - Directed by Mark Romanek, 1996. The video touches on the film Midnight Cowboy as Beck is shown wandering all throughout NYC and some of its most famous landmarks as he is shown carrying a boombox throughout.
68. Turn The Page – Metallica - Directed by Jonas Akerlund, 1991. In the video for this song (a cover of Bob Seger), real life porn actress Ginger Lynn Allen stars as the video tells the story of a stripper who enters a life of prostitution while trying to raise a child.
67. Stinkfist – Tool - Directed by Adam Jones, 1996. Strange video. Stop animation techniques, a race of sand people who swallow sharp spikes and wires and keep flesh in jars. MTV refused to show the video based on the name of the song.
66. Baby One More Time – Britney Spears - Directed by Nigel Dick 1998. The video has Britney (then underage) dancing around provocatively in a Catholic school girl uniform with the shirt tied in a seductive manner. The costume has since become an iconic look for Britney. This video is somewhat responsible for the public’s acceptance of underage girls dressing as though they are over the legal age with (many) parents seeming to be oblivious to there being anything wrong with it.
65. Men’s Needs – The Cribs - Directed by Diane Martel, 2007. A naked woman dances for the band and performs mundane household tasks before abusing the band, throwing knives and severing appendages of the band.
64. Mr Roboto – Styx - Directed by Brian Gibson, 1983. Robots as the band, the band as robots. Being experimented on by said robots (does that mean experimenting on themselves?).
63. Freedom – George Michael - Directed by David Fincher, 1990. The video features several super models such as Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford. George Michael actually refused to be in the video and features the destruction of several items that were a sort of signature of George Michael at this point in his career.
62. California Love – Tupac Shakur - Directed by Hype Williams, 1995. The video is a take off on the movie Mad Max Beyond Thurderdome, complete with George Clinton, Chris Rock and Dr Dre. An alternate version was done which was very similar to a remix of the song.
61. Coma White – Marilyn Manson - Directed by Samuel Bayer, 1999. Footage of the band performing interspersed with footage of Marilyn Manson as JFK and then girlfriend Rose McGowan as Jackie Kennedy loosely acting out the JFK assassination.
60. Karma Police – Radiohead - Directed by Jonathan Glazer, 1987. The video opens to an empty car that starts driving. Thom Yorke appears in the car as it is about to run down a man running on the side of the road. As the car eventually reaches the man, he collapses, at which point the car reverses. As it reverses, a trail of fluid is left from the car. The man lights it, it follows the trail of fluid to the car which has stopped. The car explodes and Thom Yorke was never there. What?
59. Welcome To The Jungle – Guns N Roses - Directed by Nigel Dick, 1987. The second single from their debut album Appetite For Destruction. The video opens with Axl Rose exiting a bus as a small time country boy in the big city (the Jungle). He takes in the sights and sounds and by the end of the video has become the opposite of what he once was, as he has become hardened by what he’s seen and done. Quite an autobiographical song by a kid from Indiana.
58. Star Guitar – The Chemical Brothers - Directed by Michael Gondry, 2002. The video seems to be one continuous shot out of the window of a train showing the countryside, the towns and factories that it passes.
56. Pagan Poetry – Bjork - Directed by Nick Knight, 2001. Featuring distorted and altered footage of the singer having sex, dancing half naked with visible nipples, body piercing a spectrum of emotions the singer goes through.
55. Learn To Fly – Foo Fighters - Directed by Jesse Peretz, 1999. The band Tenacious D is featured in the video. The video itself is a loose parody of the movie “Airplane.” Sleepin powder is hid in the coffee maker and everybody that has some becomes incapacitated. Thankfully, the crew (the Foo’s) consumed alcohol instead of coffee and they are forced to land the band. The band portrays multiple characters throughout, look for Dave Grohl to flirt with Dave Grohl.
54. One – Metallica - Directed by Michael Salomon, Bill Pope. The first song Metallica ever cut a video for. It is shot almost completely in black and white, shows the song performing in a warehouse and has dialogue and scenes from the film “Johnny Got His Gun.” There were three cuts of the video altogether, this is the original.
53. Y Control – Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Directed by Spike Zonze, 2004. The video opens with little children causing havoc with weapons like baseball bats and axes. Towards the end a young boy on a suit slashes open his stomach and his intestines spill out. No blood, completely fake and not really visually horrifying, though still mentally disturbing.
52. Die Another Day – Madonna - Directed by Traktor, 2002. The video has repeated references from old Bond films. Noteworthy mainly because of its’ price tag, $6.1 million (US)
51. Virtual Insanity – Jamiroquai - Directed by Jonathan Glazer, 1996. Nominated for 10 MTV VMA’s. Shows the singer Jay Kay dancing and performing in a white room where the floor seems to move but the rest of the room stays still.
50. It’s Oh So Quiet – Bjork - Directed by Spike Jonze, 1995. The video itself goes into slow motion and speeds back up based on the tempo of the song. As Bjork strolls down the street, she is joined in singing and dancing by the people she encounters along the way. A Bjork video will pretty much always be different. A Spike Jonze video will pretty much always be great.
49. Jesus Christ Pose – Soundgarden - Directed by Eric Zimmerman, 1991. The band’s first single off Badmotorfinger never took off as it was banned immediately by MTV. The video features the band walking around a desert with images of a girl, a skeleton and fruit crucified as well as rapid shots of crosses. Lead singer Chris Cornell said, “it’s challenging to people because women basically have been persecuted since before recorded history and it would almost make more sense than seeing a man on it.”
48. Heart Shaped Box – Nirvana - Directed by Anton Corbijn, 1993. The video begins and ends with the band in a hospital with the majority of the video taking place in a bizarre world with a Jesus Christ like figure strapped to a cross wearing a Santa hat.
47. Without Me – Eminem - Directed by Joseph Kahn, 2002. The video features Eminem and Dr Dre as parodies of comics with them playing superheroes (Batman and Robin) trying to save a child who bought Eminem’s album with a parental advisory sticker. Like him or not, Eminem knows how to entertain.
46. Come Into My World – Kylie Minogue - Directed by Michael Gondry, 2002. The video has four different Kylie Minogues in it and was shot in France. The video features her strolling around a city block and each time she emerges from one of the stores, it is a different her. Interesting video that is near the top of many best of lists.
45. Vogue - Madonna - Directed by David Fincher, 1990. Filmed in black and white, the video recalls the look of films and photography from the Golden Age of Hollywood. The video and Madonna’s dancing movements have become heavily parodied in pop culture.
44. Losing My Religion - REM - Directed by Tarsem Singh, 1991. The video is inspired by the short story “A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The term “losing my religion” is an expression from the southern United States that means being at the end of one’s rope. The video was nominated for 9 MTV VMA’s and won 6.
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43. Testify - Rage Against the Machine - Directed by Michael Moore, 2000. The video features the band, aliens, George W. Bush and Al Gore saying the same things in regards to policies, clips of the Gulf War, modern industrialization, etc. Like watching a Michael Moore (though it shows neither side was very different)movie with a kick ass soundtrack.
42. Sledgehammer – Peter Gabriel - Directed by Stephen R. Johnson, 1986. The video won nine MTV Video Music Awards. NINE. The video contains claymation, pixilation and stop motion animation, in 1986. NINE MTV awards, still holds the record. Besides, it’s from his “SO” album. Nothing more needs to be said.
41. Where’s Your Head At? – Basement Jaxx - Directed by Traktor, 2001. A man wants to learn about the “latest thing in pop music.” It doesn’t turn out the way he thought it would but then again, whatever really does. A bizarre, just awesome video.
40. Praise You – Fatboy Slim - Directed by Spike Jonze, 1999. The video actually starred the director Jonze under a pseudonym, dancing around with a fictional dance troupe. The video was shot without any permission (guerrilla style) and for allegedly only $800. The video won 3 MTV Video Music Awards.
39. Like A Prayer – Madonna - Directed by Mary Lambert, 1989. Madonna witnesses a crime and runs and hides in a church for safety. While in the church she kisses as statue of a saint who comes to life crying tears of blood. The video included Madonna dancing with a gospel choir in the church and her dancing in front of burning crosses. The video was quite controversial and Pepsi, with whom Madonna had a tie-in was less than impressed.
38. Jeremy - Pearl Jam - Directed by Mark Pellington, 1992. This is actually the second video for the song as the first was rejected by the record label. This video has clips of Eddie Vedder singing and loosely tells the true story of a 16 year old teen named Jeremy Wade Delle who took his own life in front of his classmates in 1991. The “money shot” which included the character Jeremy actually taking his own life was not allowed to be in the video by the standards and practices department at MTV. The video did win 4 MTV Video Music Awards.
37. From The Cradle To Enslave – Cradle Of Filth - Directed by Alex Chandon, 1999. Where to start…the video takes place in a satanis church. There’s deformed dwarves, plenty of weird creatures, the chase and murder of a girl, suicide by violin bow and it just goes on.
36. Womanizer – Britney Spears - Directed by Joseph Kahn, 2008. Following one of her several mental breakdowns (this was the big one), her people knew she needed a big bang to return to her successful ways and this video did it. In additionto playing several characters and following her boyfriend around all day, we get Britney all oiled up without much more than a smile. It was successful in making that big bang.
35. Freak On A Leash – Korn - Directed by Todd McFarlane, 1999. The video features both footage from the band performing live as well as animated scenes. The video won several awards and was so popular that MTV’s Total Request Live actually “retired” the video.
34. Just - Radiohead - Directed by Jamie Thraves, 1995. The video looks old and has the band playing the song inside an apartment while a middle aged man lies down in the middle of the road. People gather around to find out what’s wrong, he finally tells them but we never find out. Eventually everybody is lying down with him. The why is never answered.
33. Closer - Nine Inch Nails - Directed by Mark Romanek, 1994. The video shows events in what appears to be a 19th century-style mad-scientist's laboratory that deal with religion, sexuality, animal cruelty, politics, and terror. It was controversial due to its imagery, which included a nude woman with a crucifix mask, a monkey tied to a cross, a pig's head spinning on some type of machine and other assorted pleasantries. The video was heavily edited and is still Nine Inch Nails’ biggest hit.
32. Smack My Bitch Up – The Prodigy - Directed by Jonas Akerlund, 1997. The original unedited version is told from a first person perspective and includes drinking and driving, cocaine and heroin use, violence, vandalism, nudity and sex. Interesting little twist at the end.
31. Weapon Of Choice – Fatboy Slim - Directed by Spike Jonze, 2001. The video features Christopher Walken dancing and is widely considered one of the greatest videos of all time. An interesting side note, Walken claims to dance in every single movie he’s done. Named the top video of all time as compiled from a music industry survey by VH1. Sure is fun to watch.
30. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson - Directed by Steve Barron, 1983. The video that truly helped MTV go mainstream. One of the first videos from a black artist to get heavy airplay. Inspired in part by the film Somebody Up There Likes Me. One of Michael Jackson’s biggest hits, really pushed him over the top and the video is just legendary. Besides, Michael seems to be telling a female fan that the baby isn’t his. Hmmm.
29. This is Radio Clash – The Clash - Directed by Don Letts, 1981. The Clash take Manhattan. A dub reggae, rap/funk/punk song, heavily influenced by old NYC hip hop acts and completely unlike anything else on the radio at the time. Shows footage of the band live, dancing in NYC and actual footage of what was going on in the world at the time. “The only band that matters.”
28. This Ain’t No Picnic – The Minutemen - Directed by Randall Jahnson, 1984. This black and white video was made for only $600 and was the first video for the legendary punk group. The video has the band performing the song and then being bombed by Ronald Reagan with footage from a film he had starred in. The band raise their fists in defiance to Reagan. Pure punk.
27. Walk This Way – Run DMC feat. Aerosmith - Directed by Jon Small, 1986. One of the first demonstrations of hip hop and rock & roll together, not just sampled. Run DMC was convinced by Rick Rubin to cover this song. Run DMC had no idea who Aerosmith was at the time. It put Aerosmith back on the map and was a huge hit for Run DMC. The video starts with Run DMC on one side of a wall and Aersomith on the other. Aerosmith playes their version, then Run DMC plays theirs before the wall gets broken down and they perform together.
26. Take On Me – A-Ha - Directed by Steve Barron, 1985. This video won 6 awards at the MTV Video Music Awards. A partly animated, partly filmed video which shows a girl dragged into a comic strip. Pretty ahead of its time and showed the many possibilities of this form of media.
25. Around The World – Daft Punk - Directed by Michael Gondry, 1997. Really not much of a song though it did hit the #1 spot on Dance Charts. The video features a variety of people in costumes dancing in time with the song’s drum pattern. The lines “around the world” are the only lyrics and are looped 88 times in the song.
24. Try, Try, Try – Smashing Pumpkins - Directed by Jonas Akerlund. 2000. The video follows two homeless drug addicts in a quasi documentary style film that shows prostitution, a drug overdose and some shop lifting. The video was banned very quickly by MTV and does feature lead singer Billy Corgan singing the song in some shots. There is also a fifteen minute version available.
23. Hurt - Johnny Cash - Directed by Mark Romanek, 2002. A heartbreaking song and video by The Man In Black. Shows J.C. through the years getting older, the Johnny Cash Museum and his beloved June. Originally written and performed by Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails, the song really found its purpose when sung by Johnny Cash (Trent Reznor himself agrees). The images of Johnny at the end of his life and reflecting back on the choices he had made are as haunting, beautiful and moving as any music video you will ever see.
22. Fell In Love With A Girl – The White Stripes - Directed by Michael Gondrys, 2002. This Lego animation video won several MTV Video Awards. There was almost a tie in with Lego to build Jack and Meg figures with each single purchased. It never happened, unfortunately.
21. 99 Problems – Jay-Z - Directed by mark Romanek, 2004. Shot entirely in black and white, it is a celebratory depiction of life in the streets. Has Jay-Z getting shot at the end which garnered a bit of controversy, causing Jay-Z to say is symboliz
20. Relax – Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Directed by Bernard Rose, 1984. The S&M nature of the video had it banned by both the BBC and MTV. The debut single from the band did slowly reach number 1 in the UK and the top ten in the U.S. An alternate version was directed by Brian DePalma to coincide with the relaes of his film Body Double.
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19. Stan - Eminem - Directed by Philip Atwell, 2000. The video depicts a fan and his descent into madness while reaching out to his favourite artist. The video shows how artists are often through no intent of their own, given far too much power in the lives of their fans. Also introduced Dido to the world as her song is sampled throughout and she plays the role of Stan’s girlfriend in the video.
18. Rabbit In Your headlights – UNKLE - Directed by Jonathan Glazer, 1998. Won the MVPA’s best International Video of the year. The video is shot in real time with the sounds of the characters and various objects being heard above the music. Not just a promotional video but a short film itself.
17. All Is Full Of Love – Bjork - Directed by Chris Cunningham, 1998. Came in at number one on MTV2’s top 100 best videos ever. Also won two MTV Video music awards. The video features two intimate robots and is on permment display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
16. Bombs Over Baghdad (alternate version)– OutKast - Directed by Dave Meyers, 2000. The alternate version is opens with George W. Bush speaking, then with service men and women yelling they want to hurt somebody, followed by a series of fighter planes in the sky flying around, dropping bombs and causing mass destruction.
15. Buddy Holly – Weezer - Directed by Spike Jonze, 1994. Using footage of the band performing at the original Arnold’s Drive-In Diner from the TV show Happy Days. Clips from the show Happy Days were combined with footage of the band. The video won the Best Breakthrough video and three other awards at the MTV Video Music Awards.
14. Scream – Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson - Directed by Mark Romanek, 1995. Michael enlisted the help of his sister to try to get back on top. The video is notable only really for the $7 million production cost. As a side note, the song debuted at number 5 on the Billboard top 100.
13. A Long Way To The Top – AC/DC - Directed by Paul Drane, 1976. This was the video that helped introduce AC/DC to the wa full bagpipe section. The only band that can make the same album over and over again and nobody complains.
12. Girls On Film – Duran Duran - Directed by Godara & Crème, 1981. One of the first music videos to have an alternate version. The “night version” was too much for the BBC and a “day version” was made to appease them and MTV. Apparently the band were disappointed that the notoriety of the video overshadowed their all too important “message” regarding fashion model exploitation.
11. Body Language – Queen - I can’t find who directed this but it’s from 1982 and has the distinction of being the first of many videos to be banned by MTV. Apparently the lack of clothing (on everybody but the band members) and the homoeroticism was a little too risqué for TV in 1982. Still considered to be one of the most controversial music videos of all time.
10. Every Breath You Take - The Police - Directed by Godley & Crème, 1983. Won best cinematography at the first MTV Video Awards. Won Song of the Year and a Grammy. Written during Sting’s marriage collapse.
9. Rockit – Herbie Hancock - Directed by Godley & Crème, 1983. One of the first pop singles to feature “scratching.” I’m not sure what the hell is going on but it is one of the front runners for a style of music that exploded shortly after.
8. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana - Directed by Samuel Bayer, 1991. The first video from Nirvana. It “introduced” “grunge music” to the world. Elements of punk, a non traditional front man and the music causing the kids to revolt and riot as the music fills them. An introduction to the attitude of many music fans and youth for the next five years or so.
7. Windowlicker - Aphex Twin - Directed by Chris Cunningham, 1999. A ten and a half minute parody of “American Gangsta Hip Hop” videos. The dialogue is quite extreme but as a parody, it does its’ job. There are over 125 uses of profanity. Not for the easily insulted.
6. Sabotage – Beastie Boys - Directed by Spike Jonze, 1994. Intro/extro interview directed by Sofia Coppola. Part parody, part homage to the cop shows of the 1970’s. The Beastie Boys have always been visionaries and working with Spike Jonze brought us one of the truly great videos of the ‘90’s. I still can’t watch it without smiling.
5. Dancing Queen - ABBA - Directed by Lasse Holstrom, 1976. In much the same way The Beatles would film a performance and send it to The Ed Sullivan Show (as opposed to performing live), ABBA used this song as an alternative to touring and performing live.
4. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen - Directed by Bruce Gowers, 1975. Due to the massive success of this video, it is one of the driving forces that helped record companies move forward in the whole practice of making a corresponding music video to accompany the artist’s single. It sure didn’t hurt Wayne’s World or maybe vice versa.
3. Thriller - Michael Jackson - Directed by John Landis, 1983. A 14 minute video that changed the whole “concept” of a music video as a promotional video. It is at the top of many lists as the “Most Influential Music Video” of all time and is also the most watched. I know it scared the crap out of me when I was 7 and it came out.
2. Video Killed The Radio Star – The Buggles - Directed by Russell Mulcahy, 1979. The first video aired on MTV and also the one millionth. A prime example of the early 80’s Brit Pop/ synth sound. It “celebrates the golden days of radio, describing a singer whose career was cut short by television.” Hmmmmm. Talk about ahead of its’ time.
1. Subterranean Homesick Blues – Bob Dylan - Directed by D.A. Pennebaker, 1965. Not only considered the first music video, considered the first rap song and the moment Dylan truly went electric. Also a “promotional video” for the documentary film Don’t Look Back. Dylan with the cards has become a legendary image. Note Allan Ginsberg in the background.