Music videos have been around for decades, and they’ve come a long way since their early days. From simple performance clips to elaborate narratives, music videos have become an art form in their own right.

To celebrate the best of the best, I’ve updated my list of the 250 greatest music videos of all time. This list was compiled using a variety of factors, including critical acclaim, awards, and views on YouTube.

The Top 10

  1. Sledgehammer – Peter Gabriel
  2. Take On Me – a-ha
  3. Thriller – Michael Jackson
  4. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
  5. Sabotage – Beastie Boys
  6. Here It Goes Again – OK Go
  7. Like a Prayer – Madonna
  8. This Is America – Childish Gambino
  9. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  10. Rhythm Nation – Janet Jackson

The Oldest and Newest Videos

The oldest video on the list is “Subterranean Homesick Blues” by Bob Dylan, released in 1965. The two newest videos are “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” by Lil Nas X and “Woman” by Doja Cat, both released in 2021.

The Most Represented Artists and Directors

Michael Jackson is the most represented artist on the list, with nine videos. Beyoncé is second with eight videos, followed by Radiohead, Björk, and Jay-Z, each with six videos.

Michel Gondry is the most represented director on the list, with ten videos. Mark Romanek has eight videos, Spike Jonze has seven videos, and Hype Williams has five videos.

Why These Videos Are Great

There are many reasons why these videos are considered to be among the greatest of all time. Some of them are iconic for their groundbreaking visuals, while others are praised for their powerful messages. Here are a few examples:

  • Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel is widely considered to be one of the most innovative music videos ever made. It was directed by Stephen R. Johnson and features a series of stop-motion animation sequences that are both visually stunning and visually arresting.
  • Take On Me by a-ha is another iconic music video that is known for its use of rotoscoping animation. The video was directed by Steve Barron and features a young couple who meet in a comic book.
  • Thriller by Michael Jackson is one of the most successful music videos of all time. It was directed by John Landis and features a series of elaborate dance sequences that are still impressive to watch today.
  • Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana is one of the most influential music videos of all time. It was directed by Samuel Bayer and features a raw and chaotic performance by the band.
  • Sabotage by Beastie Boys is one of the most fun and creative music videos of all time. It was directed by Spike Jonze and features the Beastie Boys playing a series of elaborate pranks on unsuspecting people.
  • Here It Goes Again by OK Go is one of the most ingenious music videos ever made. It was directed by Trish Sie and features the band performing a complex dance routine on a treadmill.
  • Like a Prayer by Madonna is one of the most iconic music videos of all time. It was directed by Mary Lambert and features Madonna performing a series of provocative and religious imagery.
  • This Is America by Childish Gambino is one of the most powerful music videos of all time. It was directed by Hiro Murai and features Gambino performing a series of disturbing and violent scenes that are a commentary on race relations in America.
  • Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen is one of the most iconic and beloved music videos of all time. It was directed by Bruce Gowers and features the band performing the song in a variety of settings.
  • Rhythm Nation by Janet Jackson is one of the most influential music videos of all time. It was directed by Dave Meyers and features Jackson performing a series of dance routines that are both empowering and inspiring.
Adam Call Roberts

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