Our Very Favorite Music Videos of All Time, Ranked
This is not my beautiful house...this is not my beautiful wife?!
One of my favorite ways to unwind is to have a small glass of wine, get a little high, and watch a ton of music videos. The combination of a good song with impeccable visuals is entertaining without end, and often, a good music video only serves to enhance a song that’s already great.
Now, of course, there are many deserving videos that aren’t featured on this list. Like some other music lists we’ve written, it’s hard to be 100% objective when covering music, since everyone’s tastes are unique. As such, I’ve tried to keep in mind a variety of genres and styles in this article, and hopefully they’ll lead you to similar bangers that you, too, can watch endlessly.
With that in mind, here are some of our absolute favorites, ranked from bottom to top. These, to us, are the best music videos of all time, ranked.
10. “Mooo!,” Doja Cat
Did anyone else have a bisexual reawakening to this music video? No? Just me? Okay.
Yes it’s memey, yes some people might think it has no place being on a list like this. But at the very least, you gotta hand it to the power of the internet that this blew up like it did. “Mooo!” is very much an emblem of our time, and I, for one, absolutely love that.
9. “The Universal,” Blur
I’m gonna take a stab at the Blur vs. Oasis debate and say that between the two, Blur had the better music videos. This is largely thanks in part to Damon Albarn’s vision as an artist, as he’s always been a massively creative sort, both visually and lyrically. Now, do I personally prefer Pulp’s music videos? Absolutely. But on a wider scale, Blur had the more visually iconic videos, and “The Universal” is the best example. It’s odd yet captivating, and it doesn’t leave your mind after your first viewing.
Although I must say that “Coffee & TV,” “Parklife,” and “Country House” were all strong contenders for a spot on this list.
8. “My Kind of Woman,” Mac DeMarco
I think we sometimes forget how instrumental Mac DeMarco was in defining the modern indie rock sound, at least on a mainstream level. After he broke out, there were all sorts of bands mimicking his sound and aesthetic, and why not? As odd as he is, DeMarco brought a pretty unique sound and “vibe” to the indie rock scene, and this music video, paired with the song itself, was one of the most beautiful things he produced in his heyday. Every time I come back to this video, I’m blown away by how entrancing it is.
7. “Do the Evolution,” Pearl Jam
Environmentalism? Animation? Eddie Vedder lettin’ loose?? Where do I sign up???
No, but for real, as far as animated music videos go, this one is just dope. It tops the others and then some. It reminds me so distinctly of the DC cartoons I grew up watching, but with a jaded anti-capitalist bent that gets me going.
6. “Perfect,” Tyler, the Creator
Technically, Tyler, the Creator has produced more visually “inventive” music videos, but this one makes the list for its cultural significance. Tyler was one of the biggest influences in the late 2010s era of hip-hop, and the aesthetic he brought to his music videos was no exception in his range of influence. The soft color palette, the talking flowers, the butterflies, and of course, the inclusion of Kali Uchis and Austin Anderson (née Feinstein)—it all speaks distinctly to the era of music it came from. Something new, and exciting.
5. “Nobody,” Mitski
A mindbender of a video to perfectly match a mindbender of a song. Sort of like in Fallout and Edward Scissorhands, the juxtaposition between the desire of pop and contentment, and the reality of solitude and surrealism just works so beautifully. Plus, I feel like we as a society don’t talk enough about how alienated most people are in their daily lives, and Mitski really has helped open up that dialogue through this song and video. It’s such a spot-on portrayal of those feelings you get after spending a little too much time alone.
4. “Daydreaming,” Radiohead
Maybe I just don’t talk music with the right people, but I’ve found that folks largely forget about Radiohead’s most recent studio album, A Moon Shaped Pool. Which is a shame, since it’s rare that an album really captures a band’s progression as musicians, and AMSP absolutely does that and more. This music video, in particular, is utterly gorgeous and captivating, and it especially reflects Thom Yorke’s vision as he’s gotten older.
3. “Humble,” Kendrick Lamar
I know you still hate your college roommate for hotboxing your living room and staying up all night when you had a final to take the next morning, but you gotta admit, he had a point when it came to “Humble.” The level of artistic inspiration Kendrick implements in every single shot of this music video is just unreal. Hip-hop has always been blessed with talented music video directors, but Kendrick’s vision is truly on another level.
2. “Don’t Let Me Down,” The Beatles
I mean, the girls who get it, get it, and the girls who don’t, don’t. You don’t have to love the Beatles, but if you never loved the Beatles, you’d never get why this music video is as important as it is. I’ve gone full circle with my Beatles love, from a childhood obsession to a “The Kinks were better!!” phase, and I still hold that this music video bangs supremely.
1. “Once in a Lifetime,” the Talking Heads
I once told a guy he reminded me of David Byrne and he took it as an insult. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.
(featured image: SME / WMG / Secret Distribution / The Mary Sue)
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