15. Smashing Pumpkins
The Smashing Pumpkins were one of the best alternative rock bands to come out of the nineties and couldn’t be lumped in with everyone else simply for their sheer originality and odd appearance, but their music was great from songs like “1979” to “Bullets with Butterfly Wings”, no two songs ever really sounded alike, especially when talking about “Tonight, tonight”. This impressive rock song backed with an orchestra and sometimes sounding like Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”, about growing up and losing your precious youth recalls the classic silent films “From the Earth to the Moon” shot by shot with the young couple being marooned on the moon with aliens as the husband kills the aliens with his umbrella, meanwhile they fall into the sea and are greeted by Poseidon and his mermaids. Meanwhile, Billy Corgan and his band sing atop clouds like angelic ghosts. “Tonight, Tonight” is their best video and an ode to classic silent films with a bittersweet but memorable song.
14. The White Stripes
Fell in Love With a Girl
MTV burned this out when it first premiered and is a landmark video debut for this great group. Innovational and conceptual music videos are hard to come by these days in the line of manufactured rock bands, so when one rock band comes along that’s really original, I go ape wild. The White Stripes are one of them. In this truly original video we watch an entire video in the form of colored Lego blocks, even Jack and Meg White who we see run up a hill and play drums. The video is rather hectic in its form, but it’s also very original. With the catchy tune of a boy conflicted with his emotions for a girl he’s in love with, Jack and Meg succeed in creating an incredible video that’s not even related to the source material but is sure a lot of fun to watch over and over. Not to mention the tune is catchy.
13. John Lennon
Even years and decades after John Lennon’s death, his spirit is still very much alive in the young generation and old generation. From his prolific songs in the legendry band “The Beatles” to an equally praised solo career, John Lennon created a haunting and mellow music video starring he and his wife Yoko Ono. The video opens with heavy uses of white as we witness John and Yoko walking through a hedge maze until finally they go to their home. In the video, Yoko and John stand in an empty room, as John begins playing his piano, Yoko begins opening the shades as he sings his bittersweet melody about love, life, happiness and the current state of the world. Lennon’s anthem to peace is timeless and still remains resonant in this day and age as the world engages in a terrible war.
Not a band I could ever get into; in their entire career they’ve had three songs I’ve loved, and “Megalomaniac” is probably one of the most ear-shattering rock songs to come around in years. With a song hinting at a certain president, and a certain Iraqi dictator, “Megalomaniac” expresses the feelings and emotions for these people, and dares to strip them of their superiority complex and becomes one of the coolest protest songs that is so subtle within its symbolism though it never actually mentions names.
The video is even more eerie as we witness a range of scenes steeps in symbolism including an animated composite figure of Hitler, and two other politicians (whom were never revealed) as they raise their arm in the Nazi stance over a crowd of onlookers, a figure resembling uncle Sam getting his legs eaten, and, possibly one of the most heavily symbolic and eerie images, an American family drinking oil like it’s water as it enters their system corrupting them, obviously touching on the Iraqi war and the oil disputes. Though they didn’t directly come out and admit it, with a chorus like “Hey megalomaniac, you’re no Jesus, you’re no f–king Elvis”, it’s easy to figure out who they’re singing to.
11. Britney Spears
Slave 4 U
When it comes to Britney Spears’ “music” I’m one of the first out of the park to bash this wannabe singer with a bod. Sure, her voice sounds terrible, and she’s got talent like I got money (none), but her video “Slave 4 U” was actually very clever and one of the best directed videos I’ve seen in years. With masterful editing and numerous cuts, “Slave 4 U” was a great video featuring Britney Spears and a bunch of sweaty dancers suffering from a heat wave ravaging a city, so in an attempt to invoke rain, they begin dancing… hell, that’s what I would do!
With this very dance-able, very catchy, and well made song, “Slave 4 U” is one of the best with a very good dance sequence (though notice Spears hardly does any dancing), some memorable scenes including a dancer licking Spears, and of course Spears dressed in a really hot outfit emphasizing her looks. Though as hard as she tries, Spears will never be Madonna, but she still has made a very memorable music video like Madonna has many times before. Now, then, what has Spears done lately that was memorable…? Uh…uh, there was…never mind. Let’s move on.
10. Micheal/Janet Jackson
This outlandishly high-budget video is possibly one of the most nonsensical videos ever made, but within the senseless mood of the video, there’s also a bit of appeal. In one of the coolest teaming’s in years we watch brother and sister Micheal and Janet Jackson, both music legends in their right come together for a really funky, rockin’, and catchy song that expresses their great vocal abilities, sense of style, and amazing dancing abilities including the really good dance number in which the two dance in sync with one another. It’s a sight rarely seen between the two. With it, we grow a new sense of fondness for the two talented artists and we’re left in a daze from the random yet stylish and sleek sequences involving the two playing smashing clay vases, watching television, and playing video games.
Groove is in the heart
Dee-lite never had another hit after this great video that combines the feel of the sixties with the funkadelic music of Motown, and while the early nineties saw some of the worst music ever made, this enjoyable ode to the sixties era from Dee-Lite is pleasing to the eyes and ears for any music fan. Perhaps one of the rare credible one hit wonders who deserved to have another hit, we watch a groovy and funky video with psychedelic neon colors, a lava lamp background, the lead singer dressed as a go go girl dancing in front of the camera, and one entertaining, catchy, and dance-able song worthy of pumping up loud and dancing to during parties.
8. Van Halen
Hot for Teacher
Every boy’s fantasy is manifested in this excellent video and rocking tune, It’s a raucous ode to the really hot female teachers all the boys had in school during their childhood and always fantasized being with. Starting off in a dreary black and white sequence demonizing the first day of school as the geeky Waldo prepares to board the bus, it then goes into color as we watch the transformation of school go from monotonous, to exciting as the new hot teacher steps onto the classroom stage in a slinky outfit. Along with an excellent song that rocks hard and a great range of scenes, there’s also some great editing done, we watch Eddie playing a kick ass guitar solo while walking across a row of desks, and, the funniest scene of all, the uncoordinated Van Halen brothers dancing to a musical number. One of Van Halen’s best songs, one of Van Halen’s best videos.
One of the best modern bands of music has a lot of conceptual artistic music videos that spew creativity and “The Scientist” is probably their best example to date. With a video that goes in a constant backwards sequence, the song “The Scientist” tells the sad story about a man wishing he could go back in time to keep from finding the sad things life has to offer him. Meanwhile we watch front man Chris Martin sing the mellow and poignant song as the entire video goes backwards setting the way for a very sad heartbreaking and rather unexpected climax. It’s said he recorded the video forward and had to learn to sing the song backwards and when it was filmed, it was looped backwards and voila. One of their best truly interesting and fascinating videos to date.
6. Money for Nothing
The eighties, as terrible a decade it was, made way for some of the most groundbreaking and innovative music videos ever made and Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing” is a prime example of innovation and creativity. In this classic video comprised almost solely of computer animated characters, this features two moving men watching television complaining about the music video artists: “Look at them yo-yos, that’s the way to do it, they play the guitar on the MTV, that ain’t working, that’s the way to do it, money for nothing and the chicks for free”.
Though low-tech by today’s standards it cost a load of money to make as Dire Straits sings their song of dedication to the average working man. He’s said to have taken the idea for the song after hearing two moving men complaining about how easy the music video artists have it; and the lyrics are so funny and so true even today, Dire Straits set the way for many of today’s modern computer animated videos.