The Best Video Of The Year Blows

I'm sorry, Beyoncé. Kanye West's little outburst at the VMAs this week is - by far - the most interesting thing about the "Single Ladies" video. Since when is 3 women dancing over an alternately white and grey background "Video Of The Year" material? In fact, none of this year's "Best Video" nominees are memorable beyond a few seconds after watching.

Come on, MTV! Don't you remember when videos were interesting? Well I do. This is not in any way a "best videos of all time" or even a "most interesting videos of all time" list, this is just a few videos that came to mind when I thought back on some music videos that never violated the cardinal rule of television: don't be boring.

  • Nine Inch Nails - "Closer"
    I could only find the TV edit, but those "Scene Missing" cards make the whole thing all the weirder.

  • Menomena - "Evil Bee"
    Creepy, beautiful, and a great complement to a great song.

  • Bjork - "Bachelorette"
    Michel Gondry takes us down the rabbit hole of recursion in this fantastic video. Just one of many ridiculous and amazing Bjork videos (most have which have been pulled from YouTube - nice marketing, record label!).

  • Fatboy Slim - "Weapon Of Choice"
    If you're going to make a video that's just dancing, it better either involve treadmills or Christopher Walken.

And, when you're ready to stop having fun and be bored:

Do you have a favorite video? Let me know and link it up in the comments.


John Das Binky said...

I just watched the Criterion Collection's Spike Jonze video retrospective, and saw a few I dug heavily, one of which you included above. There were lots of excellent ones, but I fell in love with MC 900 Ft Jesus' "If I Only Had a Brain"


And how did you miss Sabotage, also from the same collection?


John Das Binky said...

Oh, and I just watched the Beyonce video without the sound, and was underwhelmed. Yawn.

Alex Gradet said...

The Trident-ad flashmob of a hundred models doing 'Single Ladies' in Piccadilly Circus makes for a better video than the Beyoncé version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLj5zphusLw

I agree with John re: Sabotage, and you re: Weapon of Choice as tied for best-ever videos.

Honorable Mentions: "Fell in Love with a Girl" and "Sugar Water" (both Michel Gondry), and though they're not the most original picks, "Thriller" and "Teen Spirit" have to get points for being legendary.

Lori said...

While I can easily see that there might have been better videos than this one, and I won't necessarily contend that it deserved to win* I do think that it's minimalist and quirky and intentionally so, and I like that. And Kanye's outburst isn't nearly as interesting as that weird-assed Terminator glove Beyonce wears towards the end. It just has no place anywhere in the video and its randomness borders on brilliance. OK, fine, maybe they're in the same zip code. It's pretty freaking cool either way.

* I can't think of a 2008 video better than this one, but then I have barely seen any.

99 said...

tool's sober video. creeeeepy.

so many great bjork videos it's hard to know where to start. there's probably a few i'd pick over bachelorette but i won't quibble.

yo la tengo's sugarcube. best video ever.

99 said...

and i always liked megadeth's ridiculous sweating bullets video because of all of those goofy dave mustaines running around.

and to people of a certain age, this art of noise video caused all sorts of bizarre nightmares back in the day.

Molly Malone said...

do videos really carry any relevance anymore? not that there aren't compelling ones out there, still, but their impact just seems to be diluted from what it was in the 80s and 90s. i'm surprised the VMAs still exist.