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Published on March 6th, 2010 | by Yellow Magpie


The Greatest Music Videos: Ten Of The Best

Ever since MTV was created, the music industry has placed an emphasis on having cutting-edge music videos. This journey has led to some of the greatest music videos being aired on television.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always follow that a spectacular song will have an amazing video or vice versa. Nonetheless, when a brilliant song accompanies an exceptional video something memorable happens. An instant relationship is forged between the entertainer and the viewer. A great music video can live long in the memory transforming an ordinary song into something truly wonderful.

Here is Yellow Magpie’s choice of  the greatest music videos.

Dramatic, spectacular, hilarious, creatively unique, original, imaginative – these are just some of the words that can be used to describe the following ten videos:

Take On Me (A-Ha) 1985

Perhaps one of the most widely acclaimed music videos of all time A-Ha’s Take On Me is a great blend of creativity and technical mastery. The brainchild of director, Steve Barron, the music video uses a technique called rotoscoping to animate live footage.

It took 16 weeks to complete the animation work alone to create what has become one of the greatest music videos of all time.

This Too Shall Pass (OK Go) 2010

Director James Frost and OK Go’s nod to cartoonist Rube Goldberg’s chain reaction machines makes an arresting video. Like many of OK Go’s videos the visuals dominate everything. This works out perfectly for the band as nearly all of their music video productions have a habit of going viral.

Thriller (Michael Jackson) 1982

Undoubtedly an addition that nearly always features on many people’s list of the greatest music videos, Michael Jackson’s Thriller is closer to a mini-movie than a music video. Employing lavish set design, expensive special effects and talented dancers, Thriller is one of the most instantly recognisable music videos of all time.

The World Is Not Enough (Garbage) 1999

An unusual entry for the normally bland James Bond music videos, Garbage’s The World Is Not Enough is a unique music video. The deconstruction and mechanisation of the human body creates an uneasy feeling in the viewer.

With superb visual effects that still haven’t dated and Shirley Manson’s exceptional ability to perform, The World Is Not Enough sucks your attention right from the very beginning and is a welcome member of our greatest music videos list.

Virtual Insanity (Jamiroquai) 1997

Jamiroquai’s head scratching Virtual Insanity is a music video that takes your preconceptions about space and time and completely subverts your expectations. An extremely creative effort by director Jonathan Glazer Virtual Insanity gives the impression that the floor is moving and uses numerous objects such as armchairs to cause further confusion.

Here It Goes Again (OK Go) 2006

Here It Goes Again is OK Go’s second entry on our greatest music videos list. Choreographed by Trish Sie, Here It Goes Again takes the familiar concept of treadmills and uses them to create a classic. The video is almost solely down to the creativity of Sie.

It’s Raining Men (Weather Girls) 1982

It’s Raining Men by the Weather Girls is a lively, colourful effort that instantly captures the fun nature of the duo. It wasn’t often that men were on the receiving end of sexual objectification in the 1980’s.

Earth Song (Michael Jackson) 1995

Michael Jackson’s Earth Song was another of his musical extravaganzas. Successfully creating a post-apocalyptic world in which most of our environment has been devastated, the Earth Song is  poignantly stunning. Directed by Nick Brandt the Earth Song is also one of the most expensive music videos ever produced.

If You Don’t Know Me By Now (Ricky Gervais as David Brent)

Ricky Gervais’s If You Don’t Know Me By Now sends up some of the ridiculously straight-faced romantic efforts from the 1980’s. It may not be one of the greatest music videos but it is certainly one of the funniest.

Weapon Of Choice (Fatboy Slim) 2001

Fatboy Slim with Weapon Of Choice is one of the most dramatic and entertaining music videos ever produced. Directed by Spike Jonze the video uses wires to great effect.

However, the star of the show is trained dancer and actor Christopher Walken who perfectly times his choreography to Fatboy Slim’s catchy music.

Have Your Say

These are our choices, however, please let us know about your own favourites.

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