Top 20 Best Visual Music Videos of All Time(of right now)

AHAI read a post from the great blog Cinema Parrot Disco that reviewed two music videos from Chris Cunningham.  In it she mentions a tweet from director Duncan Jones(Moon, Source Code) that music videos are not as cool as they once were.  First I was kind of shocked, because I didn’t think they were playing any music on MTV except on their shows.  2nd, music videos were a tool to help people discover songs.  Now  with  Spotify and other music services you can try on your Ipod.  I feel that music videos have become sort of irrelevant.   Today I want to share a few videos that I feel are really beautiful and despite the age of the song are still relevant and fun to watch too.

20. Tom Petty and The HeartBreakers-Don’t Come Around Here No More

I remember this one freaking me out when I was a kid, especially the end scene when the Mad Hatter and his guests eat Alice

19.Green Jelly – Three Little Pigs

I’m wiling to bet that if you didn’t grow during the 90’s you most likely never heard of this group or this song before.

18. Benny Benassi – Who’s Your Daddy

This is a really cool and sexy looking video that uses retro poster of what could be X-Rated films from the 70’s super fun, Not safe for work

17. Chromatics– Cherry

This is a video that was made after 2010 but looks like it was created in the 70’s.

16. Portishead -Only You

15. Faith No More – Last Cup of Sorrow

An awesome tribute to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo

14. Sia – Chandelier

So simple and yet so elegant too.

13. Bjork – All is Full of Love

I could have made a list of just Bjork,because her videos are amazing.

12. Metallica– One.

Using footage from the 1971 film Johnny Got His Gun. This first music video from Metallica is very haunting

11.Feist -1234

Another simply made video but the dance choreography mixed in with what look like it was done in one take. Makes this a good addition to the list.

10. The Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar

This video takes me back to car trips I would take with my mom,dad and sister. During the later part of those journeys. Everyone would be asleep and my dad would have the radio on. I would look out my window and just stare at nature and electrical wires. Soon what I was watching would match up with what I was hearing from the radio. Director Michel Gondry visualizes that perfectly with this video

9. Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer

8. Weezer – Buddy Holly

Even if you have never heard or have seen the show Happy Days before. This is still a very well made music video and very iconic

7. Aerosmith – Janie’s Got a Gun

Many music videos have tried to infuse a storyline into their music videos, but only a few in my mind have been really good at it. This is one of them. Oh and it helps that it’s director is David Fincher.

6. White Stripes – The Denial Twist

5. The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up

Even if this video wasn’t labeled as one of the most controversial ones ever made. It’s still a very well shot and directed one.

4. The Pharcyde – Drop

What makes this video cool isn’t that director Spike Jonze had the group walk backwards and then play that footage forward The group had to learn their raps in reverse as well to make the effect look cool

3. Micheal Jackson– Thriller

I remember being really sacred of this video as a kid and now I just marvel at all the wonderful practical effects and the work that went into this video.  It is indeed a classic.

2. A-ha – Take On Me.

1. The Chemical Brothers – Let Forever Be

This is without a doubt one of the most clever and creative music videos ever made. I love the way Michel Gondry uses cheesy video transition effects and makes them real ones.

Honorable Mentions

Nine Inch Nails – Closer
Madonna – Ray of Light
Tool – Prison Sex
Daft Punk – Around The World
Garbage – Push it
Esthero – Heaven Sent
MIA -Bad Girls
Charlotte Gainsbourg featuring Beck – Heaven can Wait
Yeah Yeah Yeahs– Sacrilege
St Vincent -Cruel.
Unkle featuring Thom York – Rabbit in Headlights
Radiohead – Paranoid Android
Pearl Jam – Do The Evolution


Did I leave out any others.  List what you feel are the best looking or visually cool Music Videos ever made

About The Vern

I love movies and I enjoy writing about them too. They both go pretty much hand in hand with each other and it's fun to discover new classics. I co host the podcasts The Film Pasture, ScreenTrax, and soon Cinema Recall. While also contributing reviews and articles to other great sites when I can.
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14 Responses to Top 20 Best Visual Music Videos of All Time(of right now)

  1. table9mutant says:

    Awesome! Thanks for the link. 🙂 You know I love this post! And excellent choices – quite a few of these are on my list of future videos I plan to post on my Music Video Friday thing. 😉 One of my absolute favorites is Rabbit In Your Headlights, so glad it got a mention. Love Glazer. And Paranoid Android. Of course I LOVE Take On Me being a kid of the 80s. And, OMG – Green Jelly! Lol. I remember my friend loved that & had the single & kept playing it as we drove around. Remember how they were first Green Jello but had to change their name? Also love that you have Last Cup Of Sorrow! I was going to post that too – great video & I was a big Faith No More fan. They should’ve been bigger! And, of course, you can’t talk about videos without mentioning Thriller. 🙂 I’ll do a top ten at some point but SO hard to choose! Oh, one I really love is Coffee & TV by Blur. And Just by Radiohead… 🙂 Oh, yeah – loved Metallica’s One – glad that was here. I also loved The Unforgiven. Okay – I think I’m done…

    • The Vern says:

      Holy Shit I forgot all about Coffee and TV, Dancing Milk Cartons are cool that was an awesome video. I had the VHS of Green Jello/Jelly Ceral Killer and remember there being a bunch of great videos on there. Thanks for the comment/ Let me know when you will post you Music Video Friday thing

      • table9mutant says:

        I love those milk cartons! 🙂 I post a video every Friday at the moment. Nothing too exciting this coming Friday. I only started doing it because I’m lazy & wanted a simple thing to post each week! But it’s been fun. 🙂

  2. Chris says:

    As with most people, I know the A-ha, MJ, Peter Gabriel and Daft Punk videos. A bunch of the other ones I need to explore, so thanks for sharing! Smooth Criminal is a favorite of mine for the dancing

  3. Great list. Ditto on the Bjork comment. I would add some vids by Spike Jonze: “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys and pretty much anything Jonze did for Fat Boy Slim. I think the A-Ha video still stands up after all these years. I pretty much don’t watch music videos anymore and, as you say, I’m not sure they are as important as they once were. A new music video used to be an event. Now the are only events because occasionally a select few get ludicrously hyped (especially if they involve Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna).

    Iconic videos from my dim and distant past:
    Thriller (of course, although I never want to watch it again)
    Express Yourself and Vogue by Madonna (wasn’t Fincher involved with those too or am I wrong?)
    Everybody Hurts by REM
    oh, and this will really date me: ‘Relax’ by Frankie Goes to Hollywood (which if memory serves was banned)

    • The Vern says:

      Yeah I agree that Sabotage video by Beastie Boys is a classic. I did a list for best Spike Jonze videos for CineKatz a while back and that was the top spot I think. Yeah I remember watching videos with my mom, dad and sister it was an event. Some I still remember were Debbie Gibson’s Electric Youth, Micheal Jackson’s Bad, and Madonna’s Like a Prayer video. You are correct both Express Yourself, and Vouge are by Mr. Fincher. I had no idea Relax was banned. Haven’t watched that in ages. Not a huge fan of that song, but I do remember one video from Frankie Goes to Hollywood that has two business executives fighting. Wish I knew what is was called. Thanks

  4. Jay says:

    Great post! Loved clicking through all of these – hello, timesuck!
    You know what video I love?

    Zero production values but never fails to put a wide, wide grin on my face.

    The band was shooting a legit video, hated it, and ended up doing this, a single take of security guard who had a bit part in the original video. It’s magic.

  5. Brittani says:

    I knew Thriller would be on here somewhere. I like that you included Chandelier, that video kind of blew me away when I first saw it.

  6. Awesome list. I’d like to share some love for “Goonies R Good Enough” and I always liked OK Go’s “Here It Goes Again” with the treadmills. So simple but really neat.

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