The Fine Art of Music Videos

...Or rather, the fine art of choosing them.

So, the topic of ponderment for Alex and I this week has been favorite music videos. This was prompted by two different things. First, my insane love of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and the 80's station on Sirius radio has always amused Alex. Second, he's been using that nifty app on the iPhone to find out the titles/artists for cool songs we hear on TV. Namely, during the Olympics, Muse's insanely awesome "The Knights of Cydonia."

Yeah, go look it up on YouTube. Right now. I'll wait, really.

YES. We've decided it's "Kill Bill" meets "Firefly" in a wondrous clash of cheesy genres.

So, anyway. Alex keeps asking for my top ten list of music videos. I've been working on it for three weeks, usually on my drive home as I suddenly remember one. And I think I've got it. He rather tyrannically insisted that I keep it to ten, although I originally had eleven (finally had to bump Madonna's awesome "Hung Up," to my chagrin). So now I also have an "Other Favorites" category.

And since I don't like the actual music video for Chris Cornell's opening to Casino Royale, but love love LOVE the opening in the movie with it, I decided that it didn't actually qualify. And now I also have the beginnings of a list with my favorite film opening credits.

Sigh. A lister. Can you tell why I'm a librarian?

Top Ten

  1. Here It Goes Again, OK Go -- reasoning: humor, awesome choreography, unparalleled creativity, and I like the bald guy with glasses (oh plus I like the song)
  2. Thriller, Michael Jackson -- reasoning: classic, great cheesy storyline, awesome choreography, awesome song, and Vincent Price
  3. Tonight, Tonight, Smashing Pumpkins -- reasoning: lovely period/goth feel, haunting, and it references a cool old silent film
  4. Call Me When You're Sober, Evanescence -- reasoning: just gorgeous, and a fairytale flavor to boot
  5. Vogue, Madonna (original) -- reasoning: Madonna. Dude. plus, awesome choreography, great style, killer song, classic!
  6. Knights of Cydonia, Muse -- reasoning: amazing cross-genre humor
  7. A Million Ways to Be Cruel, OK Go -- reasoning: same as reasoning for #1. DUDE.
  8. Ain't No Other Man, Christina Aguilera -- reasoning: great retro flavor (several of them)
  9. White and Nerdy, Al Yankovic -- reasoning: insanely clever parody that's too true
  10. Feel Good Inc., Gorillaz -- reasoning: awesome crazy odd animation, and... yeah.

Other Favorites

  • Hung Up, Madonna
  • The World is Not Enough, Garbage
  • Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), Eurythmics
  • Lady Marmalade, Moulin Rouge Soundtrack (various)
  • Don't Speak, No Doubt
  • Safety Dance, Men Without Hats
  • Mercy, Duffy
  • Vogue, Madonna (MTV Awards version)
  • You Spin Me Round (Like a Record), Dead or Alive
  • Bad, Michael Jackson
  • Beat It, Michael Jackson
  • Wild Wild West, Will Smith
  • Men in Black, Will Smith
  • One, Metallica
  • Take On Me, A-ha

Favorite Film Opening Credit Sequences

  • 007 Casino Royale
  • Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
  • Catch Me If You Can
  • 007 Goldeneye
  • Charade
Note: the above is not very indicative of my top ten, or even top fifty favorite songs. That's because my criteria for a music video is much more complex:
  • choreography (skill, appropriate for song, and creativity)
  • general creativity
  • narrative helpful, particularly if costumes involved
  • classic quality--timeless, not something I won't care about next year
  • humor--not necessary, but really helpful
  • song quality
And there you have it.


Cap'n Neurotic said...

Once again you have inspired me to think "Man, I need to do a blog post with a similar list" and, once again, I'll probably be too lazy to do anything other than just comment on yours :)

LOVE "The Knights of Cydonia," great song and great vid. And you can't go wrong with those two OK Go videos, or most Gorillaz videos either, for that matter.

Still, I can't help but feel there's something missing in any Top 10 Music Video list that doesn't have a single offering from Spike Jonez OR Michel Gondry. Maybe I will have to post my own list after all . . .

Anonymous said...

While I complain, yet again, that you've sit me this :), I'll say this. Check out the iLike feature. It is a bit more then a top 10 video, but those are videos I certainly enjoy.

*Sigh . . . back to YouTube*

Starrlett said...

note to self:
-- need to add Bjork's "It's So Quiet" to this list.