Do you remember the golden days when MTV actually had something to do with music? Me neither. Thank you, reality TV, for taking that away from us. But anyway, all kidding aside, music videos used to be added avenues of creative expression for musicians, back before every video had some guy showing off how wealthy he was on a boat surrounded by scantily-clad women, which SNL's Andy Sandberg did a fantastic parody of (watch it, it's hilarious!). Music videos really came into their own in the 1990's, for me anyway, probably because I was a teenager back then. That's why most of the videos on this list come from that era. Each video will open in its own window, so grab yourself a tasty beverage (but not a glass of milk... you've been warned!), sit back, turn your speakers up, and let's take a look at what I consider to be ten of the best music videos ever made!
10. Metallica - The Unforgiven: From the last good album they've made, The Unforgiven is one of Metallica's best songs, in my opinion, and is certainly their best music video. It's creepy, moving, and surreal... everything I'd hope for from a heavy metal video.
9. Radiohead - Jigsaw Falling Into Place (thumbs down version): Warning, this video may cause motion sickness. But after you clean yourself up, you'll most likely admit that this extremely creative music video belongs at #9 on this list.
8. Fatboy Slim - Weapon of Choice: This video showcases Christopher Walken like you've never seen him before. You won't believe how much energy and dancing talent the Deer Hunter star puts on display during the music video. More cowbell!
7. Weezer - Buddy Holly: I was never a big fan of the TV show Happy Days, but the clever tie in and the Forrest Gump- style placement of Weezer made this the best video off of their Blue Album, and definitely one of the best videos of all time, in my humble opinion.
6. Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun: This was one of my favorite videos when I was younger. It's creepy, surreal, artistic, and innovative, earning it a #6 position on this list.
5. Michael Jackson - Thriller: It would be criminal, and not of the smooth variety, to not put Michael Jackson's classic Thriller video on this list. My parents tried to prevent me from watching this video when it was first released back when I was three or four years old, but what did I do? I stayed up late one night to watch it anyway. Nightmares for a month... seriously. This video made me afraid of the dark for much of my childhood, and probably caused some sort of psychological trauma I'm unaware of today, but still, I'm putting it at #5 on this list. Surely some of you will think the songs that topped it are undeserving... but watch them!
4. Blur - The Universal: This is easily one of my favorite music videos ever, and for a wide variety of reasons too, I should add. besides the fact that the song itself is one of my favorite songs by Blur, the video is nothing short of brilliant. Watch it closely, and look past the obvious Clockwork Orange references, and you could come up with at least ten different meanings from nearly every frame shown.
3. Beastie Boys - Sabotage: I struggled for two hours putting this list together, and "fun videos" caused the most grief. It was challenging sorting through all of the fun, upbeat, humorous music videos I've ever seen and trying to put them on this list, but one of those videos stood out above all others... Sabotage off of the Beastie Boys' album Ill Communication. It's one of their best songs, too, I should mention.
2. Blur - Coffee & TV: Rarely is a music video so drawing that fans end up naming characters that come to life in them. Coffee & TV is both the exception and the rule. In this incredible music video, our protagonist hero, "Milky," as fans have affectionately come to name him, sets out on a perilous adventure through the streets of London in search of Blur's lead guitarist, Graham Coxon. This video will make you laugh, smile, and cry. Wait, cry? Yes, cry! I've known several people who've literally watered up watching this video the first time, so if that happens to you, know that you aren't alone! It moves everyone in different ways, I suppose. Bon appetit! Oh, postscript... Milky has his own fan site, too. On that site, you can print out and assemble your very own Milky. Just thought I'd mention that.
1. Radiohead - Just: Without a doubt, the greatest music video of all time has to be Radiohead's Just. For a music video to inspire millions of people to yell "WHAT?!" at their televisions at the same time has to be some sort of accomplishment. The video is fun, energetic, thought-provoking, and has made amateur lip readers out of tens of millions of Radiohead fans all around the world. If you catch yourself not rewinding the video and trying to lip read, I'll be quite impressed, as you'll be the first person I've ever heard of who didn't do exactly that!