The aboriginal anytime music video played on MTV was Video Killed the Radio Ablaze by The Buggles, at 12:01am on 1st August 1981 – and we absolutely achievement the irony of that appellation isn’t absent on you.
The longest anytime music video? That’d be Blessed by Pharrell Williams, certified by the Guinness Apple Records in November 2013 as 24 hours connected exactly. It actualization the four minute track, played on bend 360 times, with assorted bodies (including Pharrell himself at the top of every hour) dancing and singing along. So, now you’ll never accept to shrug, “It’s allegedly Michael Jackson” aback that catechism comes up at the pub quiz.
And yet neither video has fabricated it assimilate this list. What follows is our aces of the best music videos of all time. Don’t see your favourite? Chuck a animadversion at the end of the allotment – you allegedly won’t change our mind, but we do so adulation a acceptable music video.
Partly filmed in Kim’s Café (now alleged Savoy Café) on Wandsworth Road in Lambeth, about 3,000 pencil-traced and free-sketched frames were bare for the video, which took over 16 weeks to complete. And it’s now been remastered in beauteous 4K, hasn’t it?
Fun fact: the adolescent woman in the video was played by Bunty Bailey, lead-singer Morten Harket’s real-life adherent at the time.
It’s over 13 account and 40 abnormal long, but Michael in both his werewolf and crank guises and throwing all kinds of shapes artlessly can’t be bargain bottomward and packaged into a standard-length video.
Best bit: no eventually has Michael appear himself as a zombie, the undead bandage (who’d looked appealing alarming up ’til that point) artlessly accumulate in a absolute pyramid abaft him. All they absolutely bare was a bit of a ball afterwards all.
The fifth-most big-ticket music video anytime fabricated aback it hit TVs in 1992, alike now November Rain sits at cardinal 25 in agreement of costliest music videos. Apparently, abundant of the amount was lavished on Stephanie Seymour’s bells dress (Seymour was Axl Rose’s adherent at the time) as able-bodied as the helicopter for those aeriform shots of Slash.
Fun fact: in July 2018, November Rain became the aboriginal video fabricated afore YouTube to beat one billion views.
Indisputably the Stripes’ advance song, this stop motion action is a charge for Lego-lovers. The boy architecture numbers with the blocks at the top of the clue is the son of Michel Gondry, the video’s director.
Fun fact: Jack White said he contacted Lego afterwards the video was completed, hoping to bang a accord area a babyish Lego set could be packaged with anniversary distinct of the record, including all you’d charge to anatomy Lego versions of Jack and Meg. Lego refused, saying: “We don’t bazaar our artefact to bodies over the age of twelve”. The video became a hit and Lego contacted Jack again, accepting absitively that it was in actuality a abundant abstraction afterwards all. Jack White refused.
Jack Black and Kyle Gass (from Tenacious D) comedy the airline’s abortive mechanics, and the actuality that they aren’t the best affair in this video is absolutely all you charge to know. Dave Grohl et al portray every added actualization on the driver airline flight, from babies to FBI agents. Alone their real-life personas administer to abstain the in-flight coffee, which has been aback acicular by Tenacious D’s “World Domination cast ‘Erotic’ Sleeping Powder”. Honestly, you’d accept anticipation Dave ‘Fresh Pots’ Grohl would accept been the aboriginal to succumb.
If you charge added Foo: Big Me – the best Mentos ad apology you’ll anytime see.
Seldom will you see such aerial assembly affection for a music video, and with absolute acceptable reason. When the Sun Goes Down – which capacity a prostitute aggravating to escape her bad-natured pimp in Sheffield’s Neepsend commune – was additionally appear as a abbreviate film, Scummy Man. Who’s that babe there? Nina, played by approaching BAFTA champ Lauren Socha, alongside This Is England and The Irishman star Steven Graham as George.
Best bit: Graham cutting both a blush calamus boa and the adverse smile of addition about to allow in a atom of ablaze torture. He’s a scumbag, don’t you know…
Alicia Silverstone was article of an Aerosmith basic by the time she filmed Crazy – it marks her third actualization in the band’s videos. It was, however, the aboriginal time Steven’s then-teenaged daughter Liv Tyler appeared in one, and appropriately the aboriginal time we all went “wow, they attending alike”. If application your feminine artifice to abduct from a petrol base on a Thelma and Louise-style roadtrip sounds like fun, this is the video for you.
Fun fact: Crazy was one of MTV’s best requested videos of 1994.
The late, great, adorable Alan Rickman in a suit, abating advantageous babe Sharleen Spiteri in a chauffered Bentley Azure. If this weren’t maddening accomplishment abundant for one video, the car pulls in for petrol and Rickman reveals himself as a milonguero to boot, arch her through a tango on the base forecourt. And this man allegedly dumped her, and alone wants her aback because she’s popular?! We debris to accept it.
Best bit: the absolute end. As swipes at your above clasp go, this is appropriate up there with Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me a River.
OK, anybody remembers Freddie Mercury as Bet Lynch, Brian May as Hilda Ogden, Roger Taylor as Suzie Birchall and John Deacon as Ena Sharples, all from Coronation Street. But do you bethink Freddie sans brand ‘stache, bare-chested, pointy-eared and sat aloft a askew accumulation of dancers from the Royal Ballet? No. So watch it again.
Best bit: Freddie in abounding Nijinsky faun mode, actuality propelled beyond the date by a accumulation of dancers rolling on the floor.
If apery be the sincerest anatomy of flattery, afresh attestant 2005 flick Sin City prostrating itself at the anxiety of this red-white-and-black banger from Josh Homme and co. Featuring a rendered QOTSA assuming on the aback of an out-of-control Chevrolet auto barter on an acid-trip through the desert, it won Best Appropriate Effects at the 2003 VMAs. Driving into the spread-eagled bend of a ample alpha will do that to a anticipation panel.
If you like this: analysis out beheld artisan aggregate Shynola’s accomplished assignment on U.N.K.L.E.’s An Eye for an Eye. That’s what got them this gig.
Another accomplished archetype of Petty in abounding Mad Hatter regalia (only bettered, perhaps, by his efforts in Don’t Come About Here), the video for Into the Abundant Wide Accessible additionally actualization Johnny Depp as Eddie, showcasing his artist chops aboriginal on, additional Faye Dunaway as his coy manager. Attending a little harder and you should additionally be able to atom cameos by Terence Trent D’Arby, Chynna Phillips and Matt LeBlanc – a accumulation of aboriginal 90s stars.
Did you know? The video was attempt during the filming of absurdist comedy Arizona Dream, in which Depp and Dunaway were declared to be starring. Both were at a apart end though; the cine was on aperture as its director Emir Kusturica reportedly suffered a afraid breakdown.
A distinct attempt of Robert Downey Jr., pre-sobriety, walking through Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, lip-syncing the song. Director Sam Taylor-Wood shot 16 takes of the video, but Elton John insisted that the aftermost booty be acclimated because “The way he underplays it is fantastic”.
Best bit: remember, aback this was shot, Downey had aloof been axed from Ally McBeal afterwards abnormality about Culver City barefoot and had been larboard by his wife. His commitment of the aperture line, “I appetite love, but it’s impossible. A man like me? So irresponsible” is affective in the extreme.
A apple without Anchorman is an always poorer place, but that’s absolutely area we’d be if Mike D, MCA and Ad-Rock hadn’t dressed up as 1970s cops for this Spike Jonze-directed homage-cum-parody of Starsky and Hutch, Hawaii Five-O and The Streets of San Francisco. Jonze went on to win an Oscar for 2013’s Her – it’s not adamantine to see why. Music videos aloof aren’t declared to be this good.
Did you know? Trainspotting director Danny Boyle loved Sabotage’s mid-video in-character credits arrangement so much, he affected it for the aperture of his 1996 Brit flick classic.
Jamie Thrave was best by the bandage to absolute this video afterwards they saw several of his alpha abbreviate films. Filmed abreast Liverpool Street Base in London, a agent lies bottomward in the average of the pavement. A heated, subtitled chat (one that does not answer the lyrics of the song at all) ensues, and rather than actuality jarring, it’s absolutely brilliant.
Best bit: replaying the close-up of the man’s aperture afterwards the subtitles “God absolve me… and God advice us all… because you don’t apperceive what you ask of me” and still declining to assignment out what he said to agitated every added driver in London.
How does a milk carton feel aback you alcohol it? Wonder no longer, as a sentient, animal canteen of cow abstract goes in chase of the missing actuality (Blur guitarist Graham Coxon) displayed on his side, encountering motorcyclists, cold-shoulder adolescence and ladies of the night en route. The parallels with Coxon’s own activity – he wrote the song about his attempt with alcoholism and absence from the bandage – alone add to the anecdotal arc.
Best bit: his mission complete as our Graham allotment to the ancestors home, a adored Milky reunites in dairy heaven with adulation absorption Strawberry Milk. No, you’re crying.
A masterpiece of carve ‘claymation’ and stop-motion animation, the video won a almanac nine awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year, as able-bodied as Best British Video at the 1987 Brit Awards. In 2018, a remastered 4K adaptation of the video was premiered on Apple Music.
Fun Fact: Gabriel laid beneath a area of bottle for 16 hours while filming the video, one anatomy at a time. He said of the experience: “I was cerebration at the time, ‘If anyone wants to try and archetype this video, acceptable luck to them'”.
Whether he’s dressed as a pope in a cope, sat in Christ’s bench in Da Vinci’s The Aftermost Supper or artful a alacrity commercial, Kendrick’s award-winning anti-conformist exercise in irony is a august average feel to a alive age in which music videos accretion beneath traction.
Best bit: His arch is on fiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrre. (His arch is on fiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrre.)
The video that had us all babble “I didn’t apperceive Christopher Walken could dance!” was filmed in the dimly lit antechamber of the Marriott Hotel (now the L.A. Grand Hotel Downtown) in Los Angeles. It was directed by Spike Jonze, whom Walken had allegedly been aggravating to get authority of with the aim of filming his dancing anyway. Shoot a music vid instead? Yeah, sure.
Fun Fact: Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) had originally been appointed to do the aerial shots in accouter for the video, but was bare that weekend because his then-wife, Zoe Ball, was giving birth. Christopher Walken, eh? Acceptable sport.
Yes, it’s self-referential Kanye. Yes, it’s bisected an hour long. Yes, that abounding adaptation is technically nine songs from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy stitched together. No, none of that matters. Of course, you could aloof watch the four-and-a-half minute single Runaway – you still get a ballet affiliation and an boastful banquet affair – but where’s the fun in that?
Did you know? As able-bodied as throwbacks to accomplished Ye classics, there are cameos from Nicki Minaj and alike Bon Iver here. Nice.
Three of Madge’s music videos abode second, third and fourth in agreement of the best big-ticket music videos anytime made. And none of them is this video. Leon Robinson (best accepted for his advance role in Cool Runnings) plays a crying, bleeding and eventually active saint in bronze form. Although casts were taken of Robinson’s face, easily and anxiety to appearance the statue, it allegedly didn’t attending like him, so he was asked to re-shoot the scenes in person, cutting appropriate makeup. Worth it in the end admitting – the song went on to advertise over bristles actor copies worldwide, authoritative it one of the acknowledged singles ever.
Fun facts: The actuality vocals were recorded by The Andraé Crouch Choir, who additionally appeared on Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror. For the intro, ambassador Patrick Leonard acclimated guitar recordings by Prince, whom Madonna had asked to accord to the track.
The video that launched a thousand aftereffect treadmill memes is still absolutely the best. Allegedly it took 17 attempts to accomplish the single-shot booty cleanly. Bet they could never do it afresh though, right? Actually, they performed it alive at the 2006 MTV Music Awards. Nailed it.
Best bit: for us, 1:13 aback the bandage either sit bottomward or lie on their bellies and abscond through the treadmills’ hand-rails entirely.
You apperceive a music video’s got bold if Timbaland’s sniffing around, but Missy Elliott can do no amiss here, proving already and for all that she absolutely can attending acceptable in a bin-liner. Of advance there’s a Hummer, of advance there’s rain, but this was the aboriginal video of Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott’s career directed by Hype Williams and the iconic fisheye lens shots actuality became a new hip-hop staple.
Fun fact: as able-bodied as Timbaland, Tamar “Taj” Johnson George of SWV, Yo Yo, Lil’ Kim, 702, Da Brat Lil’ Cease and alike Puff Daddy accomplish cameos in the video.
The absurd Maddy Ziegler, who ahead danced in Sia’s Big Girls Cry and Chandelier videos, appears in brand albino wig again, this time alongside a near-naked, bedraggled Shia LaBoeuf in a cage. Is it a cage fight? Is it a gurnathon? Either way, Maddy wins. But it’s mesmerising.
Best bit: LaBoeuf, realising he’s actuality absolutely outdone by a child, flexes his anatomy and scales the confined of the cage to adhere from its centre like a budgie.
Filmed on the above board acreage Stanley Kubrick used to shoot several scenes in A Clockwork Orange, an aged lady’s dog pees on an old telly and it all goes Pete Tong. As if the adulterated and warping arch of Richard D. James chanting the lyrics isn’t alarming enough, it unleashes a assemblage of babyish children, all of whom buck James’ animated face. It is the alone music video that fabricated it into the top 50 of the 100 Greatest Alarming Moments, as voted by Channel 4 admirers in 2003.
If you charge added Aphex: we can’t column the video because of the acute and connected swearing at the beginning, so amuse footstep with caution, but Windowlicker is a allotment of work.
Massive Attack’s Robert “3D” Del Naja told The Guardian in 2010, “We kept the Teardrop babyish but actuality fabricated of old latex, it aloof doesn’t accept the longevity. It’s now aloof a archaic animatronic half-creature in a dabble of rotten latex. It’s still absolutely scary: it’s like a building piece, but for all the amiss reasons.”
The video, featuring the above (but abundant healthier) artificial phoetus singing the lyrics in the abyss won the 1998 MTV Europe Music Award for Best Video.
Did you know? Elizabeth Fraser, the diva on the track, said her lyrics were aggressive by the afterlife of her ancient abutting friend, singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley. The account that Buckley had drowned whilst pond came while Fraser was recording this song.
Sonoya Mizuno dances in a barn (choreographed by citizen choreographer at the Royal Ballet, Wayne McGregor) as anniversary of her limbs, anatomy and assuredly her arch morph into brownish mesh. The video appropriate the conception of over 7000 agenda plates and a complete 3D mapping of Mizuno’s body. The aftereffect is sublime.
If you charge more: accept a ankle at how Wide Accessible was made.
A Tokyo branch churns out abandonment letters. A aggregation of couriers drives into night with pallets abounding of the things, but there’s a animal barricade on the acclaimed Rainbow Bridge – the belletrist can’t get through. Oh wait, it’s all in one businesswoman’s mind! Thankfully, her close agitation dissolves aback her academician bursts open, absolute a happy, down-covered DJ acceptable ’bout to circuit some tunes.
Best bit: arguing over whether the peach-brain adult accommodated anyway.
Look, we can cossack on about what the accepted aims to back (Twigs capital it to feel like a acknowledgment of vulnerability, an apotheosis of the laparoscopic surgery she underwent to remove six coarse tumours from her uterus), the beauteous costume, the falling arrangement or the aberrant creatures who bath her in mud at the end. Truth is, FKA twigs is a bean algid astounding pole dancer.
Interesting fact: the video is directed by adept Bjӧrk video collaborator, Andrew Thomas Huang.
Veteran Brit cine ablaze Terence Stamp, American comedian/musician Reggie Watts and Australian supermodel Lara Bean all affection in this brainy British antic involving dancing monks, a huge Faberge egg with eyes and a yin/yang UFO.
Did you know? Peter Serafinowicz is listed as the video’s administrator (yes, that Peter Serafinowicz) alongside the quote: “Many animals were afflicted during the authoritative of this video. Regrettably, none of them fabricated the final edit.” We account he’s joking… He’s joking, right?
A choir of ghosts, a advance accompanist who is a terrapin with the arch of an aged gentleman, a skeleton DJ with a aureate eyeball and an absolute crazy coconut. There’s aloof so abundant to… enjoy.
Fun fact: The video was runner-up in the Best Music Video class at the 2002 Rushes Soho Shorts Blur Festival, additionally advancing in at no. 19 on Pitchfork Media’s Top 50 Music Videos of the 2000s.
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