Music Television

All-time

Favorite

Music

Videos.

I love lists. I picked 100 Music Videos Because I Love Them A Lot.

Say “MTV should play music videos again!” because everybody does.

Picks are qualified by sheer admiration, sentimentality and visual/aural experience.

I like what I like.

Spoiler: Bjork and Chris Cunningham are really, really, really good at music video-ing. So is David Fincher. So is Mark Romanek. So is Spike Jonze. You knew that, though.

Favorites / Top picks at the end of the entry, so it gets better as you go along.

Enjoy!

100. Beastie Boys // Sabotage // Dir. Spike Jonze

Arguably the best music video of all time, I just want to get this out of the way so I can show you guys other stuff.

MUSTACHE’D!

99.  Mötley Crüe // Girls Girls Girls
This video inspired my career.
98. Michael Jackson // Remember The Time // Dir. John Singleton
I was obsessed with this video. EGYPT, guys! Eddie Murphy and Iman!
Magic Johnson.
97. Michael Jackson feat. Janet Jackson // Scream // Dir. Mark Romanek
 
Looks good, looks expensive. I can’t really say the song holds up over time…
96. Andy Samberg & Justin Timberlake // Dick In A Box // Akiva Schaffer
 
95. Madonna // Open Your Heart To Me // Dir. Jean-Baptiste Mondino

94. Jane’s Addiction // Been Caught Stealing // Dir. Casey Niccoli

I hate this band. I love this video. Shut up, Beavis.

93. The Smiths // This Charming Man // Dir. ??

I always want to wave flowers around like Mozz.

92. Aerosmith // Cryin’ // Dir. Marty Callner

Out of all of the Aerosmith 90s music video choices/dynasty, I think this is my favorite.

Stephen Dorff.

91. Van Halen // Right Now // Dir. Mark Fenske

Remember this? I could place this video higher on my list, but let’s start strong aaand I don’t care about Sammy Hagar-era VH to let them touch my top 10’s of anything. Fight me.

90. Metallica // One // Dir. Bill Pope

89. Orgy // Stitches // Dir. ??

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

But that hydraulic moving platform though!

88. Beastie Boys // So What Cha Want // Dir. Nathanial Hornblower aka MCA

87. Paula Abdul // Cold-Hearted // Dir. David Fincher

This video got me in trouble when I was 5 years old. “Too young to watch this!”

86. Beyonce // Diva // Dir. Melina Matsoukas

Gareth Pugh & Thierry Mugler clothes, heyooo

85. Justin Timberlake // Cry Me A River // Dir. Francis Lawrence
 

84. Cibo Matto // Sugar Water // Dir. Michel Gondry

83. Pulp // This Is Hardcore // Dir. Doug Nichol
 

82. Radiohead // Paranoid Android // Dir. Magnus Carlsson

 
81. Rihanna // Rude Boy // Dir. Melina Matsoukas

Some Keith Haring vibes. I think there was a lot of accusation that RiRi/Melina stole from M.I.A.’s videos, and those accusations aren’t completely wrong…

80. God Lives Underwater // From Your Mouth // Dir. Roman Coppola

When I think about the launch/phenomenon that was M2, circa 1995, I think of this video

79. Lady Gaga ft. Beyonce // Telephone // Dir. Jonas Akerlund

I was really excited for this video premiere, and I stand by that emotion/decision.

78. Radiohead // Knives Out // Dir. Michel Gondry

77. Britney Spears // I’m A Slave 4 U // Dir. Francis Lawrence

Dudes…REMEMBER THIS CHICK? Brit was so smoking hot, omg.

76. Billy Idol // Cradle of Love // Dir. David Fincher

This video DEFINITELY got me in trouble. Too sexy for childhood.

75. Beastie Boys // Intergalactic // Dir. Nathanial Hornblower aka MCA

74. No Doubt // Hey Baby // Dir. Dave Meyers

The band grew up, and so did I.

73. Missy Elliott // Gossip Folks // Dir. Dave Meyers

72. Jay-Z feat. Swizz Beatz // On To The Next One // Dir. Sam Brown

It’s like all of my favorite Tumblrs came ALIVE in one video.

 

71. Interpol // Obstacle 1 // Dir. Floria Sigismondi

So Sam Brown stole ideas from Floria Sigismondi, as you can see.

70. Yeah Yeah Yeahs // Zero // Dir. Barney Clay

 

69. Notorious B.I.G. // One More Chance (remix)
 
 
68. Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Doggy Dogg // Nuthin’ But A G Thang

67. Beyonce // Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) // Dir. Jake Nava

Famous, infamous. Hips & heels.

66. Justin Timberlake // Rock Your Body // Dir. Francis Lawrence

I changed my mind about JT when this video came out, aka I fell in love.

65. Chris Isaak // Wicked Game // Dir. Herb Ritts
64. Ce Ce Peniston // Finally // Dir. Claude Borenzweig

THE 90’s look, for real.

63. Beastie Boys // Fight For Your Right // Dir. Ric Menello & Adam Dubin

62. The B-52’s // Love Shack // Dir. David Fincher (?!?!?!)

61. Major Lazer // Pon De Floor // Dir. Eric Wareheim

What up awkward dancing.

60. Johnny Cash // Hurt // Dir. Mark Romanek

59. Ciara ft. Ludacris // Ride // Dir. Diane Martel

Daaaang girl! Booty be like this size!

58. M.I.A. // Born Free // Romain Garvas
 

57. Janet Jackson // The Pleasure Principle // Dir. Dominic Sena

56. Lil Kim feat. Lil Cease // Crush On You // Dir. ??

I know you seen me on the video.

True!

55. Smashing Pumpkins // 1979 // Dir. Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris

 
54. The Knife // Pass This On // Dir. Johan Renck

53. Lauryn Hill // Doo Wop (That Thing) // Dir. Mr. Big TV

52. Missy Elliott // Supa Dupa Fly (The Rain) // Dir. Hype Williams
 

51. Lady Gaga // Bad Romance // Dir. Francis Lawrence

50. Crystal Castles // Baptism // Dir. Rob Hawkins

49. Blur // Coffee & TV // Dir. Hammer & Tongs

48. New Order // True Faith // Dir. Philippe Decoufle

47. Deee-Lite // Groove Is In The Heart // Dir. ??
46. Blondie // Rapture // Dir. William Barnes (?)

45. Michael Jackson // Leave me Alone // Dir. Jim Blashfield & Paul Diener

This is the inside of MJ’s brain, right?

44. Bjork // It’s Oh So Quiet // Dir. Spike Jonze

43. The Pharcyde // Drop // Dir. Spike Jonze
 
42. The Prodigy // Smack My Bitch Up // Dir. Jonas Akerlund
 
 
41.  Madonna // Vogue // Dir. David Fincher

Not just when you bump and grind it.

40. Soundgarden // Black Hole Sun // Dir. Howard Greenhalgh

Yeah, I know you’d place this higher. The problem with it? Soundgarden.

39. Nine Inch Nails // March of the Pigs // Dir. Peter Christopherson

Possibly the sexiest Trent Reznor has ever looked.

38. Kylie Minogue // Come Into My World // Dir. Michel Gondry

Everybody be like, GONDRY IS A GENIUSSSS and they arent’ wrong

37. Bassment Jaxx // Romeo // Dir. ??

36. Busta Rhymes // Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See // Dir. Hype Williams

35. Weezer // Buddy Holly // Dir. Spike Jonze

34. Fiona Apple // Criminal // Dir. Mark Romanek

33. Interpol // Lights // Dir. Charlie White

I wish I liked the song more. But the video, the video!

32. Madonna // Human Nature // Dir. John Baptiste Mondino

31. Smashing Pumpkins // Tonight, Tonight // Dir. Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris

30. Madonna // Take A Bow // Dir. Michael Haussman

Perfect.

29. HEALTH // We Are Water // Dir. Eric Warheim

This shit is scary.

28. The White Stripes // The Hardest Button To Button // Dir. Michel Gondry

27. Prince // Kiss // Dir. Rebecca Blake

26. Peter Gabriel // Sledgehammer // Dir. Stephen R. Johnson, Animation by Aardman Animations & The Brothers Quay

25. Chemical Brothers // Star Guitar // Dir. Michel Gondry

24. UNKLE Feat. Thom Yorke // Rabbit In Your Headlights // Dir. Jonathan Glazer

23. Aaliyah // Rock The Boat // Dir. Hype Williams

I love this song so much, I watch this video regularly to this day.

22. Janet Jackson // Miss You Much // Dir. Dominic Sena

21. Daft Punk // Around The World // Dir. Michel Gondry

20. Chemical Brothers // Let Forever Be // Dir. Michel Gondry

19. Janet Jackson // Love Will Never Do (Without You) // Dir. Herb Ritts

Aaaand I can’t find a decent version of this video online yet, so, uh. Bummer.

18. Massive Attack // Protection // Dir. Michel Gondry

17. George Michael // Too Funky // Dir. Thierry Mugler

This is probably why I love fashion at all.

16. Bjork // Pagan Poetry // Dir. Nick Knight

15. Marilyn Manson // The Beautiful People // Dir. Floria Sigismondi

H8Rs beware, this video is very influential and gorgeous.

14. Madonna // Bedtime Stories // Dir. Mark Romanek

13. M.I.A. // Bad Girls // Dir. Romain Gavras

Bad girls do it well. This video is so good it tops some serious sentimental favorites.

12. Refused // New Noise // Dir. ??

This could be number one. This video was worth staying up late at night to catch on MTV/M2.

11. Nirvana // Heart-Shaped Box // Dir. Anton Corbjin

10. George Michael // Freedom 90 // Dir. David Fincher

 9. Madonna // Express Yourself // Dir. David Fincher

8. Portishead // Only You // Dir. Chris Cunningham

7. Tool // Sober // Dir. Fred Stuhr / Models by Adam Jones

6. Aphex Twin // Windowlicker // Dir. Chris Cunningham

5. Woodkid // Iron // Dir. Woodkid aka Yoann Lemoine

TIE

5. Woodkid // Run Boy Run // Dir. Woodkid aka Yoann Lemoine

4. Bjork // All Is Full Of Love // Dir. Chris Cunningham

(Could be #1, but just isn’t)

3. Aphex Twin // Come To Daddy // Dir. Chris Cunningham

2. Nine Inch Nails // Closer // Dir. Mark Romanek

1. Nine Inch Nails // The Perfect Drug // Dir. Mark Romanek

Without you, everything falls apart.

Honorable Mentions!

Hand-picked by friends Andrew Thomas and Andrew Veeder – videos that just didn’t make my list but could/should/would:

Aerosmith // Crazy // Dir. Marty Callner
 
A-Ha // Take On Me // Dir. Steve Barron
 
Arcade Fire // The Suburbs // Dir. Spike Jonze
 
Battles // Atlas // Dir. Tim Saccenti
 
Battles // Ice Cream // Dir. CANADA

Beck // Deadweight // Dir. Michel Gondry

Beck // Where It’s At // Dir. Steve Hanft

Bone Thugs N’ Harmony // The Crossraods // Dir. Michael Martin
 
Britney Spears // Baby One More Time // Dir. Nigel Dick
 
Britney Spears // Toxic // Dir. Joseph Kahn
 
Busta Rhymes feat. Janet Jackson // What’s It Gonna Be? // Dir. Hype Williams
 
Chris Rock // No Sex feat. Shadow
 
D’Angelo // Untitled (How Does It Feel) // Dir. Paul Hunter & Dominique Trenier
 
Danny Brown // Grown Up // Dir. Spike Jonze

Death Cab For A Cutie // Grapevine Fires // Dir. Walter Robot

Death From Above 1979 // Romantic Rights // Dir. ??

El Guincho // Bombay // Dir. Nicolás Méndez
 
Eminem // The Real Slim Shady // Dir. Dr. Dre & Philip Atwell
 
Fatbooy Slim // Weapon of Choice // Dir. Spike Jonze
 
Fiona Apple // Across the Universe // Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson
 
Fiona Apple // Fast As You Can // Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson
 
Fiona Apple // Never Is A Promise // Dir. ??
 
Flight of the Concords // Carol Brown // Dir. Michel Gondry
 
Foo Fighters // Everlong // Dir. Michel Gondry
 
Gnarls Barkley // Who’s Gonna Save My Soul // Dir. Chris Milk
 
Grimes // Oblivion // Dir. Emily Kai Bock, feat. Brooke Candy
 
Grizzly Bear // Two Weeks // Fan Video! Dir. Gabe Askew
 
Guns N  Roses // November Rain // Dir. Andy Morahan
 
The Horrors // Sheena is a Paraside // Dir. Chris Cunningham
 
Ice Cube // It Was A Good Day // Dir. F. Gary Gray
 
Is Tropical // The Greeks // Dir. Megaforce
 
Jamiroquai // Virtual Insanity // Dir. Jonathan Glazer
 
Janet Jackson // If // Dir. Dominic Sena

Janet Jackson // I Get So Lonely // Dir. Paul Hunter

Janet Jackson // That’s The Way Love Goes // Dir. Dominic Sena
 
Kanye West // Runaway // Dir. Kanye West
 
Kaiser Chiefs // I Predict A Riot // Stylewar
 
Klaxons // Twin Flames // Dir. Saam
 
LCD Soundsystem // Someone Great // Dir. Doug Aitken
 
LL Cool J // Mama Said Knock You Out
 
Looptroop // Fly Away // Dir. Jon Watts
 
Madonna // Frozen // Dir. Chris Cunningham
 
Madonna // What It Feels Like For A Girl // Dir. Guy Ritchie
 
Madvillain // All Caps // Dir. James Reitano
 
Michael Jackson // Bad // Dir. Martin Scorsese
 
Michael Jackson // Rock With You // Dir. Bruce Gowers
 
Michael Jackson // Thriller // Dir. John Landis
 
Muchachito Bombo Infierno // Sera Mejor // Dir. ??
 
Nada Surf // Popular // Dir. Jesse Peretz
 
No Age // Fever Dreaming // Dir. Patrick Daughters
 
The Notorious B.I.G. // Sky’s The Limit // Dir. Spike Jonze
 
The Notwist // Pick Up The Phone // Dir. Luis Briceno
 
OK GO // Here It Goes Again // Dir. Trish Sie
 
OK GO // This Too Shall Pass // Dir. James Frost

Outkast // Hey Ya // Dir. Bryan Barber

The Prodigy // Smack My Bitch Up // Dir. Jonas Akerlund

Psy // Gangham Style // Dir. Cho Su Hyun
 
Pusha-T feat. Tyler, the Creator // Trouble On My Mind // Dir. Jason Goldwatch
 
Queen // Bohemian Rhapsody // Dir. Bruce Gowers, WAYNE’S WORLD version Dir. Penelope Spheeris
 
Radiohead // High & Dry // Dir. Paul Cunningham
 
Radiohead // Just // Dir. Jamie Thraves
 
Radiohead // Karma Police // Dir. Jonathan Glazer
 
Radiohead // Street Spirit (Fade Out) // Dir. Jonathan Glazer

Rex the Dog // Bubbilicious // Dir. Geoffrey De Crecy

Röyksopp // Happy Up Here // Dir. Reuben Sutherland
 
Röyksopp // Remind Me // Dir. H5
 
Salt-N-Pepa // Shoop
 
Sigur Ros // Glosoli // Dir. Arni & Kinski
 
The Strokes // Reptila // Dir. Jake Scott
 
St. Vincent // Jesus Saves I Spend // Dir. Andy Bruntel w/ Bucky Fukumoto
 
TLC // Waterfalls // Dir. F. Gary Gray – I FUCKING HATE THIS SONG AND VIDEO BUT OTHER PEOPLE LOVE IT SO THERE.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers // Free Fallin’ // Dir. ??

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers // Mary Jane’s Last Dance
 
2Pac feat. Dr. Dre // California Love // Dir. Hype Williams

TV On The Radio // Wolf Like Me // Dir. Jon Watts

Two Door Cinema Club // I Can Talk // Dir. ??
 
Tyler, the Creator // Yonkers // Dir. Tyler, the Creator
Van Halen // Jump
Van Halen // California Girls
 
The Verve // Bittersweet Symphony // Dir. Walter A. Stern (ugh, I know)
 
Wax // California // Dir. Spike Jonze
 
Weezer // Undone (The Sweater Song) // Dir. Spike Jonze
 
The xx // Islands // Dir. Saam
 
YN Rich Kids // Hot Cheetos & Takis (Minneapolis North Community YMCA Beats & Rhymes Program
 

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