Pointless to put up a preliminary post, eh? Well this is a work in progress. It's entirely possible we're going to reorder this list or, understandably, add to it. We certainly reserve the right to move some of these up and down as we please until it's complete and, as soon as 2Pac resurfaces, who's to say he won't unleash a torrent of genius music video once again? I wouldn't bet against that. But Jibber probably would.
This list will be created in sets of five. Because that's the safest way to handle this incredibly delicate subject. And plus, how much time do you expect us to consecutively get stoned and argue over classic music videos?
Hoping we don't piss too many people off, here's our list of the best music videos of all time:
25) Video Killed the Radio Star, Buggles (1981)
What better way to start out this list than the song that ushered in the era of 24-hour music videos? This was the first video ever aired on MTV, and in early 2000 it also became the millionth video shown on MTV. Wanna know something you didn't know? Multi-Academy Award, Golden Globe and Grammy winner Hans Zimmer, famous for his scores for Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, Gladiator, The Rock, et. al (my all-time favorite of his was the Broken Arrow theme - awesome), is playing the keyboards in the video. Thanks for starting out our list, Buggles. Wherever the fuck you are.
24) Eddie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack (1975)
BULLSHIT! If Runaround Sue's is going to come up with this asanine list, they can't put this piece of crap on there! If you're going to have any song from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, it has to be the fucking "Time Warp!" Those dumb assholes.
To which I say: chill the fuck out. It's early in the list and Time Warp may still make it. While technically not a video (in this era of YouTube, any song able to be featured thusly is considered a "music video"), this little wonder makes it for sheer originality, if that's what you want to call it, and longevity. People are still putting this production on at midnight shows live just for their own amusement. Meatloaf's bloated younger self busting out a kick ass song? Tim Curry mercifully murdering said Loaf with a pick ax? Hard to argue with this video barely squeaking in at #24, but feel free.
#23) Estranged, Guns N Roses (1991)
This song has a very strong probability of moving up the list, spotted so early in the list because we expect Guns N' Roses to come strong later on. While this is Bourne's favorite rock song by his favorite band of all time, this is a completely impartial choice. Dig it:
The video is the third and final part of an unofficial trilogy preceded by "Don't Cry" and "November Rain" (watch out for these contenders later on). This video cost nearly $4 million to produce, astonishing at the time and still considered insanely massive today. The nine-minute-long video for "Estranged" is similar in style to the previous videos in the trilogy, but only loosely picks up the theme of the previous two. This is mainly because Axl Rose and then-girlfriend Stephanie Seymour, who played Axl's girlfriend in "Don't Cry" and "November Rain," had broken up right before filming, making the theme of separation and divorce the focal point. And yes, I knew all of that without Wikipedia. Displaying Axl playing with his kid backstage then panning to empty rooms with toys? Very nice.By the way, this song represents the way music used to be. I love Rap as much as the next guy, but music used to change tempo and melody throughout. This does it several times, and all of them are as awesome as a live fight between a t-rex and five raptors. The piano solo and heart-clawing guitar riffs are legendary.
Best part? In the final sequence, when Axl goes to an abandoned oil tanker during the climax of the song and leaps into the water. Also notable is the immortal Slash ripping his guitar standing in the middle of the ocean. Telling a story in the video receives strong points from Sue's. Doing so in a compelling way mixed with a kick-ass song and still-dazzling effects, and you are guaranteed to make the List.
#22) Flash Gordon Theme, Flash Gordon Soundtrack (1980)
Following the video most likely to climb? The video most likely to fall, completely out of the List as a matter of fact.
We're willing to bet most of our readers out there have never heard of this epic film, or if they have completely forgot the rock anthem FLASH! Ah, ahh! by Queen. With rocket cycles, birdmen, a pre-Bond Timothy Dalton, New York Jets Quarterback turned Earth-Saver and gratuitous hints at saphic lust, all that was missing was a fucking kick-ass theme song. Well, Queen, who we can thank for another get-your-ass-up and work out theme as well, stepped up to the plate and belted one like A-Rod in an April game (just kidding A-Rod! Sue's love you!).
After watching this a few times, I can honestly say that this video accurately represents one of my favorite cheese movies of all time. This song kicks nearly as much ass as the movie, and together you've got the type of nostalgia people pay for in large sums. For those of you still reading this, the scene where Flash and Prince Barin fight to the death is the perfect link for matching up against an old buddy in fantasy. FLASH! He'll save every one of us!
#21) In the Living Years, Mike and the Mechanics (1988)
We have to have solid representation from the 80s here. If the 90s were music videos going out every night bangin the young ass and acing tests after three-day benders a la college, the 80s were the awkward, learning how to dress and hide your massive erection in class a la high school.
Well, this video has it all. Impromptu boys choir? Check. Classic 80s black trench coats? Plenty. We've got the ridiculous mullet-beard combo and obvious lip singing here folks. And what better way to take emotionally packed lyrics about the universally understood awkward and sometimes tragic relationship of father-son to a new level than focusing on the relationship of the singer and his son. This video even does the cemetery song better than Blue October, although not better than a sure-fire top three video to be named later. I remember as a young'n thinking that "I wasn't there that morning. When my father passed away. I didn't get to tell him...all the things I had to say" was one of the saddest and most powerful single lines of a song I had ever heard, and it still sticks. Couple that with the singer's son walking away from his grandfather's grave and you've got a video in our Top 25. Besides, it was either that or Milli Vanilli.
#20) If, Janet Jackson (1993)
While the song masterfully samples from Diana Ross and the Supremes' "Someday, We'll be Together," the video perfectly demonstrates Janet's ability as one of the best female dancers of her time. This video is awesomely choreographed, leading the pack in group-choreographed sexually charged moves that paved the way for circle jerkers like the Backstreet Boys.
When implausibly cut-up dancers are lowered to the dance floor by metal chains in the opening, you know this is going to be an electrified vid. According to some, the video "challenged notions of culture and sexuality in a highly-stylized and imaginiative presentation with a them of voyeurism." Okay, sure. Winner of the 1994 MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video, on this one MTV definitely got it right.
Best part? The second solo sample of the Supremes where she does that...arm-thingy. Whitey here has tried to duplicate that move on the dance floor ever since. Seriously. This narrowly edges out the part where Janet and her dominatrix dance troupe shove their male dancers' heads into their crotch.
Oh, and by the way? This was when Janet was just so-fucking-hot. I mean, HOT. With this song, the video was done perfectly. Janet was guaranteed to make this list, and may sneak in again with her brother Michael on Scream, but this video certainly deserves it's place here at #20.
So there it is folks, numbers 20-25. Of course this may change, and we may even stretch it to a Top 30 to fit in borderlines. But we will, eventually, arrive at the Best Videos of All Time presented by Runaround Sue's.