famous music videos in history

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  1. 1. Famous Music Videos in History
  2. 2. Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime (1980) The Talking Heads Once in a Lifetime video is so odd and so 80s, you cant look away. Thirty years later, its still an iconic video for a band that was never commercially successful or had huge radio hits. But when MTV debuted a year after its 1980 release, Once in a Lifetime became one of its most rotated and popular clips, giving many music fans their first look at Byrnes brilliant bizarreness. In the video, the singer dances around like a demented marionette, jerking his arms and crouching into a ball, then swimming through a fake blue sea. The video was later exhibited at New Yorks Museum of Modern Art.
  3. 3. Michael Jackson, Thriller (1984) Directed by: John Landis
  4. 4. Godley and Creme, Cry (1985) Their most significant achievement might have been the self-directed video for their own track Cry. Certainly the most simple premise on this list, it was a pioneering example of morphing, the technique behind (in this case) blending two faces.
  5. 5. a-Ha, Take On Me (1985) Directed by: Steve Barron
  6. 6. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Dont Come Around Here No More (1985) Directed by Jeff Stein the prolific early-80s music-video director who also helmed the Who biodoc The Kids Are Alright. Stein sets this song in a creepier-than-Carroll Wonderland, with Petty in an outsize mad hat. The single was a big hit, and the video is one of the most memorable from a decade that defined the form.
  7. 7. Run-DMC, Walk This Way (1986) Directed by: Jon Small
  8. 8. Peter Gabriel, Sledgehammer (1986) Those horns kick in, and were transported into breathtaking music-video territory. Stop-motion animation was the name of this new game, with Peter Gabriel allowing himself to lie under a sheet of glass for 16 hours while filming Sledgehammer one frame at a time. Director Stephen R. Johnson is clearly having the time of his life, matching up lyrics to images Gabriel sings about a bumper car bumping, and thats what happens to our hapless star. Its one of MTVs most important videos ever: not only did it win nine Video Music Awards in 1987 (a feat still unsurpassed); its also the most played clip in the history of the channel.
  9. 9. Madonna, Express Yourself (1989) Directed by: David Fincher
  10. 10. Sinad OConnor, Nothing Compares 2 U (1990) Its one of the simplest music-video concepts ever: a close up of Irish singer Sinad OConnor, sporting a crew cut and a black turtleneck, singing directly to the camera. Its also the most heartbreaking.
  11. 11. Nirvana, Heart-Shaped Box (1993) Directed by: Anton Corbijn
  12. 12. Nine Inch Nails, Closer (1994) Director Mark Romanek stages a living picture from a horror movie, its film quality aged and distressed, a disembodied heart pulsates on a chair; a pigs head whirls on a spike; Trent Reznor hangs from a chain in black leather.
  13. 13. The Beastie Boys, Sabotage (1994) Directed by: Spike Jonze
  14. 14. Weezer, Buddy Holly (1994) One of the most creative music videos of the 90s, Spike Jonzes take on Weezers Buddy Holly onto an episode of the 1970s sitcom Happy Days. The band plays a show at Arnolds for the rest of the cast.
  15. 15. Jamiroquai, Virtual Insanity (1997) Directed by: Jonathan Glazer
  16. 16. Missy Elliott, The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) (1997) There are enough signifiers here to identify this as a turn-of-the-century hip- hop video, from the use of the fish-eye to the stutter-step choreography to Missys unforgettable garbage-bag jumpsuit.
  17. 17. Pulp, This Is Hardcore (1998) Directed by: Doug Nichol
  18. 18. Blur, Coffee & TV (1999) The video by Hammer & Tongs director Garth Jennings and producer Nick Goldsmith follows a milk carton on the search for guitarist, Graham Coxon (whose missing image is on the side). Happily for Milky (the carton of milk), he finds Coxon playing the track with his bandmates. Coxon leaves the band to return home. Primarily this video is about a milk carton falling in love with a strawberry milk carton.
  19. 19. Chemical Brothers, Let Forever Be (1999) This video puts you at the heart of a young ladys recurring nightmare, which starts as her alarm clock makes her late for work at a department store. The clip then alternates between dancing women, to Busby Berkeley, and a homeless drummer, and its shot on either beautiful film or a grainy handheld camera. This idea was then later copied by Spike Jonze, who directed Praise You for Fatboy Slim, which also employed the inexpensive cameras too.
  20. 20. Fatboy Slim, Praise You (1999) Directed by: Spike Jonze
  21. 21. Fatboy Slim, Weapon of Choice (2001) Spike Jonze not only directed this video but also rented out a Marriott hotel and instructed Christopher Walken to dance and fly around the building. What elevates the video above mere novelty are the small touches Walken eyeing up some laundry, ringing a bell, slipping on the elevator.
  22. 22. Johnny Cash, Hurt (2003) Directed by: Mark Romanek
  23. 23. The White Stripes, The Hardest Button to Button (2005) One of several videos Michel Gondry directed for the White Stripes (including Fell in Love with a Girl, which rendered the Whites as computerized Lego figures), The Hardest Button to Button deploys a live-action form of stop-motion animation to transform the bands instruments into semiautonomous beings. Megs drum kit clones and reclones itself as it marches across the platform of a New York City subway station; Jacks amp undergoes mitosis, and its replicants pile atop each other.
  24. 24. OK Go, Here It Goes Again (2006) Directed by: Trish Sie and the band
  25. 25. Gnarls Barkley, Going On (2008) Director Wendy Morgans video for this track from Gnarls Barkleys second album is a brillaint. Morgan takes Barkleys three-minute piece of percussive pop and matches it to a story about a group of young men and women who discover a magical door to another dimension. Filmed in Jamaica and incorporating dancehall-inflected choreography, the video finds power in the movement of its Doc Martenswearing local stars, who clap, sway, leap, slide and stomp across the screen with abandon. The push and pull between their synchronicity and wild free-for-all dancing make this clip dynamic in a way few others are.
  26. 26. Lady Gaga, Bad Romance (2009) Directed by: Francis Lawrence
  27. 27. Kanye West, Runaway (2010) The plot Kanye falls in love with a supermodel phoenix and tries to assimilate her into the human world, only to learn that she cant stay with him because, shes a phoenix is told through a series of visually stunning set pieces that in a more traditional world would probably serve as stand- alone videos for their accompanying songs. The scenes are connected by occasionally comedic interludes.
  28. 28. Arcade Fire, We Used To Wait/The Wilderness Downtown (2010)