After MTV was launched 30 years ago, music videos became an important part of the music world. The first song played on cable network was The Buggles’ Video Killed the Radio Star, and it did. However, the cable channel wasn’t so popular back then and only aired a small collection of videos. Within a few years, videos were standard practice for all types of artists. Since then, technology and effects have progresses, but the artwork of the 80s and 90s still speaks to the new generations. Here are the top music videos that still amaze us:
1. Michael Jackson, ‘Thriller’ (1984)
Although Michael Jackson was never a big hit on the silver screen and his one important role in the movie The Wiz was highly criticized. But fate has a way of arranging what’s right. On the set, he met impresario Quincy Jones who later contributed to the production of the famous albums Thriller and Off the Wall. The pop star also managed to involve Martin Scorsese who directed and stared in his videos. However, Thriller was directed by John Landis, well-known for his horror films. Thriller was MTV’s first world premiere, the most voted and influential pop music video of all time. In 2009 the Library of Congress selected it for the National Film Registry.
3. a-Ha, ‘Take On Me’ (1985)
The director of Take On Me, Steve Barron, was already guilty for creating the memorable Money for Nothing by Dire Straits and Billie Jean by Michael Jackson. However, this clip is his greatest creation. The most notable feature of this top music video is the combination of live action with pencil-sketch animation. This is called rotoscoping, a technique in which animators trace over footage, frame by frame.
2. Talking Heads, ‘Once in a Lifetime’ (1980)
This top music video is so peculiar that you actually can’t turn your head and look away. Even 30 years later it is still an iconic video, even if the band was never a commercial success. Despite that, Once in a Lifetime was one of MTV’s most rotated and popular videos, maybe because it gave the viewers the first look at Byrne’s brilliant weirdness. The clip was exhibited at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
5. Nirvana, ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ (1993)
Although Nirvana’s album In Utero wants to be anything but beautiful, the song and the video for Heart-Shaped Box is a masterpiece. Some of the intriguing elements are a little girl skipping around in a Ku Klux Klan outfit, a hulking angel and a man on a cross. But the most gorgeous scene is when Cobain sings straight to the camera and his eyes become deep-blue powerful orbs. This top music video is as terrible as it is beautiful.
4. Run-DMC, ‘Walk This Way’ (1986)
This clip is an obvious metaphor that illustrates the separation between hip-hop and rock by a brick wall. Yes, literally a brick wall, although it does not seen very solid. In 1986 Run-DMC was an ascending rap group and Aerosmith a quickly fading rock band. Aerosmith recorded Walk This Way for 1975′s Toys in the Attic album, and a decade later Run-DMC blindly sampled it and contacted the band. The result is a genre-smashing video with Adidas shoes and a jagged guitar sound.