5. Take on Me
This innovative music video which paved the way for videos from Incubus’ “Drive”, and Shakira’s “Temptation Tango” features a story within a song about a woman who falls in love with a comic character and is sucked into his world where he attempts to save her from villains. This bittersweet video is set to Ah-Ha’s incredible song “Take on Me” and became one of the best music videos ever made as we watch the hero of the comic book battling the villains, racing and falling love with her panel by panel. Watch for the homage to “Altered States” as the lead singer bounces against the walls of the video heroine’s apartment struggling to remain whole as he switches from drawn to human over and over. Still one of the coolest videos to date.
4. We Are the World
What’s there to say about a song that features the singing talents of nearly fifty artists? Telecast around the world simultaneously, this beautiful and powerful song about helping one another features some great melodies sung by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Cyndi Lauper, and Stevie Wonder to name only a few. The video began numerous imitators with artists grouping together to sing for a cause and was later spoofed in a clever funny sequence in “The Simpsons”. This paved the way for uniting music artists to come together for one cause, and the song is very well performed. Neat game to play while watching the video: point out as many music artists as you can.
3. The White Stripes
Seven Nation Army
The White Stripes perfected the three chord songs, but three simple cords never rocked this hard before with a song that slows down and revs up constantly; the Whites Stripes top their previous hits with this electric and incredible song about the gossip regarding the two band members’ relationship and serves as a message to his fans who have turned into gossipers. Meanwhile, the video that plays is a dark and incredibly directed set of sequences in which each scene unfolds into another. Much of the scenes portray Jack and Meg in a sort of god-like demeanor striking awesome poses as they both chime out “Seven Nation Army”, one of their hardest rocking songs of all time.
Metallica, one of the best rock bands ever formed creates one hell of a montage of nightmarish sequences set to one of the most kick ass songs ever made. “Enter Sandman” is a song the taps into horror through nightmares and gives us a video which delves into the psyche of a small child who is experiencing the worst that music videos have to offer; something the “Nightmare on Elm Street” movies lost a long time ago. In an array of nightmarish sequences we’re given a glimpse into elements that make up a nightmare; snakes in the bed, falling down a building, the dark, waking up in the middle of nowhere and being chased by a phantom truck, this masterfully directed video shows its great sequences that come in sync with the music perfectly.
1. Michael Jackson
Scary, sleek, and entertaining, this quintessential music video that has never been topped by a modern artist is arguably the most innovative and creative music video of all time. Directed by cult filmmaker John Landis and featuring amazing makeup from Rick Baker, this nearly thirty minute music video/movie and homage to horror films has it all. A story featuring Michael Jackson and Ola Ray as a couple coming home from a horror movie only to walk right into a real life horror film. This circumstance paves the way for one memorable music video that you won’t forget and features a range of memorable scenes including the very scary opening segment paying homage to “I was a Teenage Werewolf.”
There’s also an ingeniously filmed sequence involving the undead rising from their graveyard and staggering through abandoned streets, dancing zombies performing in one hell of a dance number, strolling through the graveyard after a date (like everybody does), Michael Jackson as a zombie shockingly resembling his current appearance, a voice-over from horror legend Vincent Price as he recites one of the scariest poems ever told reminding us why he’s a horror legend, and one incredible catchy song that celebrates horror and the feeling and rush horror gives you. What more can you ask for? Michael Jackson made quite an impact back in the day.