The Ten Best Music Videos
10. November Rain
Guns N’ Roses
Guns N’ Roses had come onto the scene with hard rocking hits like Sweet Child o’ Mine and Welcome to the Jungle, but with their twin Used Your Illusion albums they really managed to find a new epic tone to their music. This epic quality was further shown through their video for the 9-minute November Rain, inter cutting one of the concerts with the story of a wedding which goes horribly wrong. The way the story plays out matches with the music and creates a fantastic, large-scale music video.
9. The Hardest Button to Button
The White Stripes
It may seem simple at a quick glance, yet this video is really a work of ingenuity and wonderful technical achievement. This fantastic editing works both with the music and to make it incredibly enjoyable to watch. And hey, it was even spoofed on The Simpsons!
Chances are you haven’t seen a video quite like Just. Radiohead sets out to state a message with this video, even if we’re not sure what that message is. However, the fact that its open to interpretation is perhaps a part of of its brilliance. Why is he lying on the ground? What does he know that keeps him immobilized? And more importantly, how is it that whatever he knows also affects everyone around him in the same way?
Most videos coming into the 1990’s were pop fluff or simple concert scenes, nothing very serious; that is until Pearl Jam came along. Pearl Jam is now notorious for shunning videos for their music, but they did make a couple in their early days, one of which was Jeremy. Jeremy dealt with a topic as serious as classroom shooting and violence and depicted it in an artistic manner in order to display its underlying roots. It was a video with a message, and will be remembered for a long time because of that.
Johnny Cash is responsible for one of the most emotional videos out there. It is a beautiful and artistic portrayal of his life. Cash gives a no-holds barred portrait of himself here, and he certainly doesn’t pretty it up at all. He looks old and weathered, worn by the harder years of his life. Cash is a legend of music and here he lays his life out for everyone to see.
The Smashing Pumpkins
There is a quality to the 1979 video which is hard to describe. Perhaps its nostalgia, for those whose carefree teen years are over, or perhaps its a confirmation for those who are currently in those years. Its a reminder of why its great to be young. Its a celebration of days when all you really worried about was where the next party was going to be and who was going to get the beer. Even if that was never your high school experience, you can still admire this video for looking great and having its own unique tone and feel.
4. Everybody Hurts
(No youtube available)
Ever been stuck in a traffic jam and wonder what other people are thinking? Now you can know! In Everybody Hurts, REM makes a statement about conformism and the rat race of modern life and how we become prisoners of our own thoughts, unable to break through the societal boundaries around us. As the music progresses and the video nears its climax, it reaches an emotional peak which is hard to top when it comes to the medium of music videos.
3. Buddy Holly
How much fun is this video? Spike Jones directs Weezer in a video which places them on the set of Happy Days. The special effects here are almost flawless and are reminiscent of those used in Forrest Gump. It may not necessarily have a message or a powerful statement, but then again neither does the song. Its a fun, fluff song with a wonderfully imaginative and fun video.
The Beastie Boys
Yet another Spike Jonze video. Sabotage plays out like a cheesy 70’s cop movie, and is highly entertaining as such. It is a video of pure fun; the music matches the action perfectly. Its light-hearted and certainly doesn’t take itself seriously. And its also one of the most memorable music videos to date.
The ultimate music video, taking the genre to a whole new level. This John Landis directed mini-movie ended up being a 13-minute epic which redefined the purpose and grandeur of music videos. It may seem a little dated now to some, but it has managed to draw legions of fans and is the grand-daddy of all music video.