The 411 Music Top Five 02.21.12: Top 5 Rock Music Videos
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 02.21.2012
From Guns N' Roses' "November Rain" and the White Stripes' "Fell In Love With a Girl" to Beastie Boys' "Sabotage," Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and more, the 411 staff ranks their Top 5 rock music videos of all-time!
THE TOP 5 ROCK MUSIC VIDEOS
Honorable Mentions: "Love Of My Life" by Queen, "When Doves Cry" by Prince, "Nothing Compares To You" by Sinead O'Connor, "Viva Forever" by the Spice Girls, "Love In Vain" by Robert Johnson, "She's Out Of My Life" by Michael Jackson, everything Joy Division has ever played ever. And half the Carpenters' songs, come to think of it.
5. "My Favorite Game" - The Cardigans.
Aw yeah. This is awesome. Nina from the Cardigans being her mega-hot self while causing tons of car accidents and generally being a menace behind the wheel just for the sake of an over-the-top suicide pact. Featuring Felix The Cat getting run over.
4."End Love" - OK Go.
After an amazing debut album, sometime during the making of Oh No (I believe treadmills were involved in this decision), the band decided that their music was secondary to making outlandish music videos. We all remember the treadmill dance, it was awesome. But then they outdid themselves and used time lapse to make one of the most ridiculously amazing (or amazingly ridiculous) pieces of footage I've ever seen. Bastards.
3. "Fell In Love With A Girl" - The White Stripes.
As a kid I played with Lego all the time. All. The. Time. I'd create adventures and full-scale battles with little Lego men. I also have ADHD, so how anyone had the patience to really pull this off is beyond me. How long did this take to put together (no pun intended)? How'd they get Meg's face so weirdly accurate in that one shot? Aw, hell, just take a look at this thing; it's a masterpiece (directed by Michael Gondry, who's apparently quite good at these things).
2. "Through Being Cool" - Devo.
Teenage radicals inspired by Devo. Still with me? Okay, they're going through town with rayguns shooting stupid people. Excited yet? The people they shoot become devolved. SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED, BITCHES.
1. "Sabotage" - Beastie Boys.
"Heheh. This is gonna be cool, like, when this video finally comes out."
"Uhhhhh... what are you talking about, Beavis?"
"Y'know, when the real video finally comes out?"
"This IS the video, dumbass! huhuhuh."
"No way! heheh. That's cool."
Honorable Mention: Pearl Jam - "Jeremy," Tom Petty - "Don't Come Around Here No More," Twisted Sister - "We're Not Gonna Take It," Van Halen - "Hot For Teacher"
5. "Closer" - Nine Inch Nails.
"Closer" was the video that everyone was talking about in the mid-1990s. It's the song that put Nine Inch Nails on the map (though certainly not their best song), with the relentless beat, the incredibly memorable title and the video that set the tone for people like Marilyn Manson to follow. In all honestly it's not my favorite NIN video but it's absolutely Trent's most iconic and most important within the context of rock history. The censored version is actually my favorite, because those "Scenes Removed" placecards make me imagine what was censored was far worse than anything Trent could have come up with.
4. "Prison Sex" - Tool.
Tool will be forever remembered for their music videos. That's actualy a crime because I think the videos overshadow the band's music which is great, but the fact remains that when you mention Maynard's band, everyone tends to think of the stop-motion videos that looked like they came out of a serial killer's mind. Everyone remember the first time they saw their first Tool video; you had no idea what you were watching but you were enthralled. All of the band's videos were great--"Sober," "Stinkfist" and "Parabola" just to name a few--and any of them could have made this list. "Prison Sex" does because it's the first video I personally saw and the one that stuck with me.
3. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" - Nirvana.
This video was immediately iconic. I mean seriously, right out of the gate you knew this was going to be one of those videos mentioned among the best. Unlike many of the great videos there's no grandiose storyline, there isn't incredible production value or special effects. And that's what made it stands out. While grunge was already coming up toward the mainstream when this video was released, it emblazened itself across MTV to herald the arrival of the genre and make a very clear statement about what iut was aesthetically. And to this day it stands as an incredibly good video and one that pretty much everyone knows.
2. "One" - Metallica.
Now we're in a different echelonb of music video. Metallica's "One" is one of my all-time favorite videos period, as it takes scenes from Johnny Get Your Gun and splices them into the video to basically make "One" a soundtrack for said film. The song is Metallica's best with ease and there is a reason that the video regularly finds itself on lists like this; it damn well deserves the spot.
1. "November Rain" - Guns N' Roses.
Talk about a video that tells a story. Axl Rose may be a douchebag but he's a hell of a music video star. This video, which took one of the band's best songs and kicked off an unofficial trilogy of videos along with "Don't Cry" and "Estranged," is ridiculously epic in scope. The video is incredibly ambitious and some could even say it fit the arrogance of Rose at the time, but it all falls together perfectly to create this perfect collision of all the elements needed for a great video. Reportedly one of the most expensive videos ever made, it makes sure every penny is spent and you have to appreciate what they did.
The Final Word
As always, the last thoughts come from you, the reader. We're merely unpaid monkeys with typewriters and Wikipedia. Here's what you need to do: List your Top Five for this week's topic on the comment section using the following format:
5. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
4. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
3. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
2. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
1. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it