There are some proper classics on this list
If you’re looking for a playlist of classic music videos to help you procrastinate or just pass some time with, look no further. The winners of the Best Music Video award at the NME Awards over the years have included some timeless clips, from the silly to the sombre, and further still to the downright gross. Settle down and get comfortable – there’s a lot of entertainment right here.
The first ever Best Music Video award went to Madness for their jaunty ‘House Of Fun’ clip, which goes from corner shop to chemist to theme park. A brave decision by Suggs to wear a bowler hat on a rollercoaster.
Because how could you not give the most iconic music video of all time an award?
Frankie Goes To Hollywood act as commentators and eggers-on in a fight between two business men in the sandy, gently violent video for ‘Two Tribes’.
As well as a literal road, Talking Heads’ video for ‘Road To Nowhere’ includes several weird things, including the band’s apparent take on the circle of life – an old man getting into a cardboard box, only for a baby to emerge a minute later.
The video for ‘Parklife’ is Blur at their cheekiest and chappiest, and showed if the whole band thing hadn’t worked out, they might have been able to find careers in slapstick comedy.
What more could you want from a music video than Jarvis Cocker being pushed around a supermarket in an animated shopping trolley while ‘Common People’ plays? Not a lot, to be honest.
Twisted firestarters The Prodigy have never looked more intimidating than in the stark, simple video for ‘Firestarter’, and they never will again.
Don’t pretend like you don’t wish you had the guts to re-enact Richard Ashcroft’s battering ram approach to walking down the street every time someone barges into you and doesn’t say sorry.
A faceless family try to have a nice summer’s day while the Manics play their classic single ‘If You Tolerate This Your Children Be Next’ in a very blue room, where they’re also hooked up to wires. Fun!
The adventures of the cutest milk carton to roam the earth – from finding love to being terrorised by dogs – were chronicled in Blur’s ingenious ‘Coffee and TV’ video.
Radiohead went underwater for the video for ‘Pyramid Song’, exploring a modern day Atlantis on the bottom of the ocean.
“Whatever happened to my rock’n’roll?” asked Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in 2003. Looks like they edited it into a black, white and red video featuring policemen, a trashed tambourine, and a sea of people losing their shit.
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No, it’s not the upside down Thom Yorke’s found in the trunk of a tree – it’s a tiny house for woodland creatures. Had he stumbled into a Beatrix Potter story or was he just tripping? You decide!
Before Trump was one tweet away from starting WWIII, George W. Bush did a pretty good job at causing death and destruction. He inspired Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’, and for its video the punk trio performed the scathing song in front of a green American flag whose colours would later run off into giant puddles, causing chaos.
Rhys Ifans stars as a dancing undertaker in this black-and-white in this gem, which sees him leading an funeral procession through rainy streets.
Who wouldn’t want to go and see a film about a skeleton army at the drive-thru, while The Killers play ‘Bones’ in front of the screen? Brandon and co made that a kind of reality for us all with this video.
A simple, in-studio live video, complete with warm-ups, tuning, and, erm, a crocodile’s head… ‘Teddy Picker’ took a classic set-up and imbibed it with the excitement that enveloped Arctic Monkeys at the time.
Before The Last Shadow Puppets started donning pastel suits, and sounding like they were lounging on Californian beaches all day long, Alex and Miles sounded like an ultra-sophisticated (and slightly dark) Bond soundtrack. Their videos matched, including ‘My Mistakes Were Made For You”s misty car crash.
Biffy took the title of their single ‘The Captain’ to heart when they made this video. Thus, we got to see the band playing on stormy ship, and frontman Simon Neil being flagellated as his bandmates looked on.
Before the emo kings left us, they gave us this action-packed car chase through the desert – aka the ‘Na Na Na’ video – featuring some of the best costumes in a music video in recent years.
Trust the Hurts lads to make something both elegant and dramatic. In ‘Sunday’, Theo Hutchcraft clutches a dying woman in the Russian snow, before she’s replaced by a mirror and he’s singing to himself. Plus! A whole load of other weird stuff.
Alex Turner and Matt Helders are you and your mates air drumming in the car when a stone cold banger comes on the stereo. Except way, way cooler.
Leeds band Eagulls deserve two awards for their clip for ‘Nerve Endings’ – one for Best Music Video, and one for Grossest Music Video To Win At The NME Awards. It features a pig brain rotting away, and almost got the band in trouble with Yorkshire police after the gasman discovered it in Eagulls’ basement. Nice.
Jamie T’s big comeback after seemingly disappearing off the face of the earth included this slightly gruesome video that, for a split second, made you ask had Jamie come back from the undead?
Slaves netted their first video award in 2016 for ‘Cheer Up London’, a video that has all the ingredients to make you cheer right up wherever you are: Barry from Eastenders, guitarist Laurie Vincent jumping out of the back of a van filled with cheerleaders and balloons, and a procession that’ll make you crack a smile, even if it’s involuntary.
Bands: Have you ever eaten 200 vegan hot dogs in one day for your art? Slaves have, and they filmed it all for the ‘Consume Or Be Consumed’ video, which won them the Best Music Video award for the second year running. It also features a cameo from Beastie Boys’ Mike D, and 14 shots of chewed up hot dog (we counted).
You can now vote for your 2018 winner for Best Video at the VO5 NME Awards, which will take place on February 14 at the O2 Academy, Brixton. The nominees are as follows:
The Big Moon, ‘Sucker’
Charli XCX, ‘Boys’
St Vincent, ‘Los Ageless’
Taylor Swift, ‘Look What You Made Me Do’
Dua Lipa, ‘New Rules’
Pale Waves, ‘Television Romance’