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.
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.
Janet Jackson, “The Pleasure Principle”
Directed by Dominic Sena, 1987
Love! I grew up obsessed with this song. It dropped right before the rest of Rhythm Nation 1814. The music video would play constantly on MTV and VH1, and I used to think Janet was so fierce for taking command of her post-adolescent years as a strong woman…breaking into dance warehouse spaces and rehearsing because she FELT like it! Go girl.
I think I culled a lot of visual influence from this New York warehouse set too.
Fluorescent light bar leaning on a Romanesque sculpture? Win.
Mis-matching dance mirrors? Interesting.
Idle living room sitting area with modern furniture? Good choice.
I’ve also ripped off J’s haircut in this video, many, many times.
I love the band-aid on her hand, which is Janet probably ripping off her famous brother, Michael. For some reason, bandaged hands were great visual cues and grounded them as true dancers, not just impervious performers…the Jacksons do bleed, people. Just like humans. Maybe.