Most people associate this with the best music videos ever or the best music ever turned into music videos. I, however, chose these because they are actually fun to watch or otherwise worth seeing, based more on their visual presentation and entertainment value, and less on their music (otherwise this would be the top 10 best songs ever). It’s also important to note how most of these videos stand the test of time or incorporate the new features of their time.
10. Queen Bohemian Rhapsody
This one seems to be the second most popular one out there. It incorporates visual styles uniquely belonging to Queen, while honestly showcasing the group and their abilities. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see Freddie Mercury in tight pants? Even if this video eschews a visual story in the music video, it will always be a crowd pleaser.
9. Ok Go! Here it goes again
Even if the sole gimmick of this video is the choreography, that in itself deserves an award. This video is genuinely fun to watch, even if it is a little silly.
8. Gnarls Barkley Crazy
I hope the irony of Crazy is not lost on people. This digital wonder uses Rorschach (inkblot) tests as the sole means of showing off the group. With excellent pacing, this video kept me watching and thinking: am I crazy?
7. The White Stripes Fell in Love with a Girl
Who ever thought of using Legos to make a music video? Jack and Meg’s able performance goes a step further with this unique presentation of a music video.
6. Emilie Simon Fleur de Saison
What’s that you say? A good music video made outside of America? Nonsense! Believe it or not, this catchy French pop song proves that not all good music comes from the US or Britain. With excellent computer graphics, this music video shows what the imagination is capable of thinking. I’ll also admit, she is kinda cute, even if I can’t understand a word she says.
5. A-ha Take on me
This quintessential piece of the 80′s is continually ranked among people’s favorite music videos. While some of their contemporaries were putting out cheap music videos for the record companies, A-ha’s unique animation set’s it apart from the pack and fuses it with live action and a story to boot. Even if we get to listen to the lead singer’s awesome, if not ear-piercing, falsetto, this one is a testament of time to the fickle world of music videos.
4. Peter Gabriel Sledgehammer
Another crowd pleaser, Peter in his solo career continued to put out some impressive works. Sledgehammer is one of those works. This quirky video merges scenes of life with stop motion film and claymation into something devilishly fun to watch. Along with A-ha, the uniqueness of this music video puts in on many favorite music video lists so much that it also withstands the test of time.
3. R Kelly Trapped in the Closet (All 22 episodes)
This narrative of epic proportions elevates the simple music video into a near full-length movie. With a complex storyline nearly an hour long, there are so many “Did that just happen?” and “No way!” moments, viewers are left wanting to see what will happen next. Even if it is heavy handed with the gun play, this is true modern musical entertainment. The clip above includes the first 5 chapters.
2. Johnny Cash Hurt
Be careful, this one is a tear-jerker. However, the late Mr. Cash is still at his peak even in his later years. With powerful imagery, Mr. Cash takes us along for the ride that was his life and evokes a deep respect and appreciation for him and life in general. Even the most hardened heart should be misty-eyed by the end.
1. Michael Jackson Thriller
You guessed it. This little gem was revolutionizing for its time and still is today. With amazing choreography, setting, and costumes, Thriller cements itself in music video history, so much so that many spoofs have since been made (including Indian Thriller and Philippine Prison Thriller). With Vincent Price narrating, Michael Jackson showed us why he was called “The King of Pop”.
Contributor: Elliot Rowe