The 100 Greatest Music Videos of All Time
20. A Little Soul - Pulp
directed by Hammer & Tongs
Because rock stars are like little children where you have to tell them every now and again to behave, to do their homework, to leave those video games aside, to stop being freaking lazy and to start, once and for all, composing songs and rehearsing for their concerts. C’mon, people, you’re grown-ups now. Watch.
19. Lullaby - The Cure
directed by Tim Pope
The Cure’s Lullaby is definitely not a lullaby; it’s, in fact, the worst possible song to send you to sleep when you’re suffering from the flu, your bed is covered in cobwebs, and your creepy doppelgänger is watching you from the ceiling. Watch.
18. Freedom ‘90 - George Michael
directed by David Fincher
George Michael wanted to be taken more seriously, so he refused to appear in any of his music videos, and got rid of his Faith image by destroying his distinctive guitar and bursting his iconic jacket into flames. Freedom ’90 stars several Top Models, like Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, instead of the British singer, as they lip-sync the lyrics of the song. Singing in your living room has never been this glamorous. Watch.
17. Like a Prayer - Madonna
DIRECTED BY Mary Lambert
Madonna knew how to push other people’s buttons, didn’t she? In Like A Prayer, the ingenious American singer dances in front of burning crosses and kisses a saint in a dream sequence, and, of course, some religious groups got really upset. But beyond all the fuss, Like A Prayer tells a story about racism, doing the right thing and, according to director Mary Lambert, “the relationship between sexual and religious ecstasy”. Watch.
16. Just - Radiohead
directed by Jamie Thraves
While some theorists ask where we come from and where we are going, a whole generation wants to know what on Earth the main character of this music video says at the end. Just includes one of those McGuffin’s that actually work thanks to its killing finale. Watch.
15. Closer - nine inch nails
directed by Mark Romanek
Ever since their beginning, nine inch nails have always shown interest in human depravity with extreme videos that featured self-mutilation scenes, S&M practices, and explicit sexual content. Closer might not be one of their most hardcore offers —it’s a walk in the park compared to Happiness in Slavery, Sin or their short film Broken, which was believed to be a snuff movie for a long time— but its abject imagery is something you can't take your eyes off. Watch.
14. Doo Woop (That Thing) - Lauryn Hill
directed by BIG TV!
In Lauryn Hill’s first video as a solo artist, 60s Motown and 90s hip-hop coexist in the same frame to prove that, no matter the era, the youths have always had the same worries, hobbies and yearnings. Watch.
13. Cry - Godley & Creme
directed by Godley & Creme
Faces blend together in this simple yet effective music video self-directed by the band. Michael Jackson will later use the same idea for his Black or White video with a bigger budget and more astounding results. But Godley & Creme’s use of an old technique called Analogue Cross-Fading makes it a nostalgic great piece of craftsmanship. Watch.
12. Everlong - Foo Fighters
directed by Michel Gondry
Before Christopher Nolan’s Inception, there was Satoshi Kon’s Paprika. But before Paprika, there was Everlong, by Michel Gondry, where the members of Foo Fighters get lost in series of dreams within dreams within dreams. A nightmare so inventive that, unlike The Cure’s Lullaby, you’ll end up enjoying it. Watch.
11. Coffee and TV - Blur
directed by Garth Jennings
Join us for an adventure as our most adorable milk cardboard box tries to find a missing rock star and delves deep into the dangerous British suburbs. Our hero will ride a motorbike, escape from some evil youngsters, and meet first love and tragedy in a matter of seconds. Watch.