The music video can hardly be called an art form at the moment with both MTV and VH-1 becoming more of a sell out each day. In the past, though, music videos were as much of an influence as the actual music. The visuals interpretation of the songs was once an additional vehicle to communicate an added layer of meaning to every lyric.
The early ones, in fact, didn’t just influence the ratings and record sales. Some of them extended their influence to television, movies and other forms of art. Today’s list aims to pay tribute to the best ones ever made. Here’s to hoping the coming generation produces and witnesses great artists as the ones who made the videos on the list.
10. Girls on Film, Duran Duran, 1981.
Female nudity is now a standard devide and is almost a medium in itself to launch careers and songs. The first to use it was Duran Duran. The video was so controversial that it was banned by the BBC.
Duran Duran’s founder, John Taylor, says now: “I think it was a basically a cheap, blatantly exploitative device on behalf of our managers just to get us some publicity I remember being a bit embarrassed. You put a bunch of guys in a room with a naked girl and it turns them into idiots. It wasn’t a great experience for any of us.”
9. Subterranean Homesick Blues, Bob Dylan 1965
Dylan stood in an alley, with poet Alan Ginsberg in the background, and displayed cards of the lyrics. “It was not performed – that was what was remarkable about it,” says Narelle Gee, programmer for the ABC’s rage. “This is still one of the most picked videos by our guest programmers. The Strokes think it’s the coolest thing ever.”
8. Sabotage, the Beastie Boys, 1994
With this parody of 70s cop shows, director Spike Jonze brought slapstick humour back to a medium taking itself too seriously.
7. Jeremy, Pearl Jam, 1992
Pearl Jam and Nirvana were the paragons of teenage angst during their prime. Their songs talked of anguish and sometimes labeled malady of growing up.
Jeremy’s video talked about the issue of bullying and teen suicide, which ends with a blood spattered schoolroom. It became one of the most castigated thing music ever produced that the band stopped making videos for six years.
6. Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen, 1976
It is the very first video that clearly defined Queen in visual form the same way their melodies and lyrics do.
The use of mood lighting, smoke and mirrors to deify the band.
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