Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Top Ten Favorite Music Videos of All Time

A lot of people will complain that MTV doesn't play music videos anymore. But I'm pretty sure that's BS, because I've seen that awful 'Lil Wayne video where he rips off both Inception and that table scene in Beetlejuice at least three times. And I hardly EVER watch MTV. So, yeah, they still play videos. Maybe not with the same frequency that they once did, but the network still showcases what the young people around the world are listening today. But so what? Those videos suck. The true art of making videos has pretty much disappeared, and that's a shame because music videos can be beautiful. To prove it, I've put down my top ten music videos below. See if any of yours make the list, and leave a comment below telling me some of your favorites of days old.

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10. Virtual Insanity by Jamiroquai

Really, the idea was simple. Have the lead singer, Jay Kay, wear a silly looking hat (Which was actually the fashion of the day. Can you believe it?) and have the floor move. But oh, what an arresting visual it portrayed. Yeah, sure, the lyrics didn't have much to do with the video, but just seeing Jay Kay dancing around while the floor pulled him toward the screen was absolutely classic. And the song wasn't too bad, either. Take a gander.

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9. Joints and Jams by The Black Eyed Peas

It may be hard to believe now, but The Black Eyed Peas DID exist without Fergie. And they produced this awesome video to boot, which had them all break dancing in the end and showcasing a side of themselves that you NEVER see from them anymore: The side with talent. Yeah, the group has made some catchy music since then and some very, very funky music videos, but this will always be my favorite by them. It's in your face. Literally.

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8. Star Guitar by The Chemical Brothers

Genius through simplicity is what I love, and you won't find another video more complex, and yet simple, as this magnificent video from The Chemical Brothers. I actually used to do this when I was a child and tried to link the music that I was listening to on the train with the landscape that was passing by. But I never imagined that anybody else did this, too. It just goes to show you how connected we all really are.

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7. Sabotage by The Beastie Boys

This video is just too much fun. Cop shows in the 70s were the shit, and the Beastie Boys, with the help of genius, Spike Jonze just nailed it with this one. Believe it or not, it's actually not one of my favorite BB songs, but this is definitely their best video. No question about it.

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6. Criminal by Fiona Apple

Music videos, if done right, should make you FEEL something, and this video by Fiona Apple did. It made me feel dirty. It made me feel like a perv, and that was a very good thing for me back then as a teenager who couldn't get enough sleaze in my music videos. But this video actually felt like a classy kind of sleaze. I mean, it was almost an innocent kind of sleaze, and THAT'S what made it feel so dangerous. Fiona Apple had a lot of songs that were better than this, but none were as provocative as "Criminal." Man, oh man. To be young again.

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5. Hey Ya by Outkast

Speaking of fun videos like "Sabotage." There have been very few videos that I can remember that always got me out of my seat and doing karate chops in the air. But this one did. Always. Andre 3000 plays all of the roles in this playful video mimicking the Beatles and it did a great job of winning the crowd over. Me included. I probably would have bought the album anyway, being a big fan of the group, but I rushed to the store after seeing this video. Definitely the best from the eclectic group.

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4. King of Rock by Run-D.M.C.

What balls. This one goes on my list purely for the fact that Run-D.M.C. are awesome and stepped on Michael Jackson's white glove because "This is not Triller!" You're damn right it ain't. And while this may sound like sacrilege, I don't care. "King of Rock" is BETTER than "Thriller." Yep, I went there. It's just so raw and powerful. Run-D.M.C. were an indomitable force of nature. There was nothing like them. And nothing since.

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3. Come To Daddy by Aphex Twin

Definitely the scariest video I've ever seen in my entire life. I remember seeing this for the first time at night, and I seriously couldn't go to sleep. I also kept the lights on. I have no idea what the video is meant to symbolize, but the woman getting screamed at in the end is bonkers. I. Love. This.

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2. Triumph by The Wu-tang Clan

Believe it or not, but I wasn't in love with the group until this video, which has got to be the most elaborate and kick ass rap video ever. ODB (RIP) was jumping off a building, the RZA had wings, and Ghost and Rae were rapping in a cage. The Killer Bees were never more entertaining, or deadly.

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1. Prison Sex by Tool

The whole reason why I decided to do this article in the first place, Tool's "Prison Sex," is one of the most disturbing and evocative videos I've ever seen. It's said that this video is about when the lead singer, Maynard James Keenan, was molested as a child, and it shows. It's very hard to watch, even today, but you can't look away from it. It's a masterpiece. A sheer masterpiece.


Scott said...

Bless you for reminding me of this Fiona Apple video.

You've got a great list here, especially the Chris Cunningham work. His video for Portishead's "Only You" and Radiohead's video for "Just" would have to be on my top ten list, though I mainly agree with what you've got going here.

Rich Knight said...

I know. That Fiona Apple video is just TOO good.