Recently, we asked you to vote for the greatest music video of all time. Here we count down from 30 – 1 starting with ‘Black Parade’ by My Chemical Romance (2006).
In at number 29 is Aphex Twin’s ‘Windowlicker’ directed by Chris Cunningham in 1999. The controversial video including no less than 127 profanities was a parody of gangster hip-hop videos and features more than a few similarities to Lily Allen’s recently-released ‘Hard Out Here’.
You voted the music video for Busta Rhyme’s ‘Gimme Some More’ in at number 28. Directed by Hype Williams and Busta Rhymes himself in 1998. It is a surreal, bizarre narrative shot through a fish-eye lens in slow motion.
The video for George Michael’s ‘Outside’ was a satirical comment on his arrest for ‘engaging in a lewd act’ in a California loo. Released in 1998 two male police officers arrest couples shown in surveillance footage getting up to all sorts. At the end of the video, however, the two officers, thinking that they aren’t being watched, start snogging, geddit?
Britney Spears’ ‘Baby One More Time’ rocketed the singer into the public eye in 1998 with a cracking pop song and iconic video made by Nigel Dick. It was Spears’ idea to film a dance-focussed video in a school wearing uniforms from K-Mart.
The video for Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ (2008) sparked a dance craze and won a ton of awards even though it was the cheapest and easiest video to make. The black-and-white video’s in at number 25.
Beyoncé again but this time she’s with Lady Gaga for ‘Telephone’. The Tarantino-inspired video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund and released in 2010. B breaks Gaga out on jail before they go on a Bonnie and Clyde-style revenge mission.
Inspired by the videos for Purple Rain, Pink Floyd The Wall and Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Stanley Kubrick comes Kanye West’s short film for ‘Runway’ in 2010. West wanted his love object the Phoenix to be naked throughout the film but she refused.
The 22nd greatest music video of all time according to NME readers is ‘Since I Left You’ from The Avalanches, a surrealist depiction of two miners dancing. It won Best Video at the 2001 MTV Europe Music Awards.
In at 21 is ‘Where’s Your Head At’ from Basement Jaxx featuring demonic monkeys playing instruments before morphing into humans. The video was directed by film director McG in 2001.
It was difficult to whittle greatest videos down to 30 and especially difficult to pick one out of Madonna’s oeuvre. You voted the provocative ‘Like A Prayer’ at number 20 (1989). Originally Madonna wanted the mixed-race couple to be shot by the Ku Klux Klan.
Rage Against The Machine – ‘Sleep Now In The Fire’ comes in at number 19. The video shoot, directed by Michael Moore, almost caused a riot at the New York Stock Exchange and the doors were shut to prevent an incident.
Many Missy Elliot videos could be argued to be the greatest – ‘Gossip Folks’, ‘The Rain’ – but you voted ‘Get Yr Freak On’ into the Top 20.
The 1986 music video for ‘Walk This Way’ placed Aerosmith and Run–D.M.C. in a musical duel in neighbouring studios before Steve Tyler literally breaks through the wall that separates them. It was a symbolic moment in hip-hop/rock hybrids and has consistently performed well in Greatest Music Video polls ever since
The most famous music video for Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’ (1989) – David Lynch made an earlier version – sees Helena Christensen and Issak frolicking on a beach, topless. Simple yet effective.
We’re getting closer to the top 10 – will Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ get the top spot? In at 15 is the video for MIA’s ‘Born Free’ directed by Romain Gavras in 2010. It depicts a genocide ginger-haired people and was questioned at the time for taste issues.
Following ‘Born Free’ is MIA’s video for ‘Bad Girls’ also directed by Gavras.
Famed director Michel Gondry made the mesmerising video for Daft Punk’s ‘Around The World’ in 1997. “I was sick to see choreography being mistreated in videos like filler with fast cutting and fast editing, really shallow. I don’t think choreography should be shot in close-ups,” he explained.
In at 12 is Queens Of The Stone Age’s ‘Go With The Flow’ which features the band performing at the back of a pickup truck driving through a desert highway and was praised for its use of special effects.
Peter Gabriel’s video for ‘Sledgehammer’ (1986) is possibly the most famous of all after ‘Thriller’. Featuring animation from the same guys who made Wallace & Gromit and Gabriel being genuinely electric-shocked, it is a classic.
In at number 10 is the video Spike Jonze directed for Weezer’s ‘Buddy Holly’ in 1994. The extremely popular video was shot at Arnold’s Drive-In from the television show Happy Days.
Pulp’s video for ‘Common People’ (1996) starred Sadie Frost and included a brilliant dance routine and tribute to The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. You voted this in at number 9 of the Greatest Music Videos Of All Time.
You’ve got to have Christopher Walken dancing in the top 30 somewhere. In the video for Fatboy Slim’s ‘Weapon Of Choice’ (2001), Walken bedecked in a suit shows why he’s got the best dancing skills in all of Hollywood.
It’s only right to have Chris Cunningham in the top 30 twice. In at number 7 is Björk’s ‘All Is Full of Love’.
‘Learn to Fly’was the first single from the Foo Fighters’ third album There Is Nothing Left to Lose. The music video was a parody of Airplane! and starred Tenacious D who spike the coffee with “World Domination brand ‘Erotic’ Sleeping Powder” to hilarious results.
It’s The White Stripes’ ’Fell in Love with a Girl’ in at number 5. Y’know the lego one. Getting close to the top spot…
It was interesting to watch the Top 5 changes over the time the Rate My poll was open. At one point Beastie Boys’ ‘Sabotage’ was at the top spot – and for good reason. The video directed by Spike Jonze is a homage to, and parody of, 1970s crime drama television series.
Why is this guy lying on the pavement? It takes a while for the irked crowd to get some kind of answer… In at number 3 is….Radiohead’s ‘Just’.
You voted the iconic video for Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ in at number two.
So the Greatest Music Video Of All Time voted by NME Readers is… Blur’s ‘Coffee & TV’. Starring a milk carton made by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop who goes in search of an AWOL Graham Coxon, it’s a clever, cute and powerful story that was directed by Hammer & Tongs in 1999.