It seems like the implosion of the music industry has made the art of the music video sort of a dead statement, but it’s not like they didn’t have a good run. Here are some of my favorite music videos over the years, starting with Number Five up top, Justice’s “DVNO”. Directed by So-Me, Machine Mollie, and Yorgo featuring a wide variety of logos and title cards that, if you’re a child of the 80s, you’ll vaguely recognize in their repurposed versions. Stay tuned as we march on to the top 4 after the break! [I completely apologize ahead of time for either the poor quality or ad-filled versions of these links!]
Number Four: The Faint – Agenda Suicide
Omaha, Nebraska-based synthpop group The Faint makes quirky beep-blorp music for the rest of us. This video was put together by art collective MK12, who are some of the best visual artists around today (they did the opening titles and computer animations for the last Bond flick, Quantum of Solace) and at the beginning of The Faint’s rise to fame and fortune, they gave us their best video. The Sims-like isometric presentation was one thing, but the dystopian setting (you’ll see it again!) makes it a whole kind of somethin’ else.
Number Three: Lacquer – Behind
Michel Gondry (The Green Hornet, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and his brother rode cross-country in a convertible with a film camera in the back taking a picture every minute. The time lapsed footage was then cut together into a clever narrative – which I imagine the edit took forever. This video inspired me to do a time lapse of our journey cross-country for our documentary, Infinite Lives: The Road to E3.
Number Two: Ginuwine – What’s So Different?
Before Francis Lawrence was doing feature films (Constantine, I Am Legend, Water for Elephants) he was doing music videos, and this is my favorite from his collection. I thought the song was pretty slick in 1998, but the video is beautiful in much the same way that an intricate watch is a masterpiece. The video is cut perfectly to the beat, taking place in some dystopian bland-a-verse (told ya!) that only Ginuwine can liberate us from. This is almost the perfect video. Almost.
Number One: ???
You’ll never guess what this one is, but directed by Joseph Kahn (who went on to do quite a few other premier videos), the direction and special effects here were very influential on my little sophomore-year-in-high-school imagination. It doesn’t hurt that the space scenes are amazing and the choreography matches to a pitch.
What is it?
It’s Backstreet Boys’ “Larger Than Life”, of course.
Honorable Mention: Innerpartysystem – Don’t Stop
There are too many to mention, but since you made it this far, I’ll give a great new one. The “analog hell” quality of the a tabloid magazine broadcast matched with chaotic editing? Amazing. Enjoy!