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“Dolby’s Top 100 Music Videos of All Time”

* Thanks to imvdb.com: the check’s in the mail. These videos are in fact best enjoyed on the venerable imvdb.com, which, believe it or not, actually doesn’t start making noise when you go to it, and doesn’t start playing a new video once you’re done with the one you watched! They must have like magic, or something.

 

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100 Oasis – “Wonderwall”
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Catchy song no one minds hearing… it’s almost totally unique for its very effortlessness and ironic warmth, a beery sort of genuineness very archetypal and cultural while personal at the same time.
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99 Blur – “Girls and Boys” [Kevin Godley]
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Oh, God… give Blur a label budget and some aesthetic privileges and yup, they’re bound to stumble upon some pretty bad broads, and put ‘em in the video. I’d considered putting “Song 2” on but this song is way, way better.
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98 The Wallflowers – “One Headlight” [Ken Fox]
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Again, with this one it was a decision: there’s “6th Avenue Heartache” and my MUSICAL favorite “Three Marlenas,” but I like this video personally for the whole album cover imagery it’s got going on, and also the fact that even though it’s longer, the time doesn’t seem to drag at all and the musical energy maintains itself the whole way through.
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97 Soundgarden – “Burden in My Hand”
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This one gets on primarily on the strength of the song alone: and wisely, having penned an epic as brilliant as “Burden in My Hand,” the band reins in the creativity level for the video and goes with just a minimalist depiction of a “desert,” which is a lyrical theme in the song. Contrary to popular belief, Down on the Upside is probably better than Badmotorfinger (like I’m talking by a wide margin) and “Burden in My Hand” is a great case in point of just why. Pure infectious catchiness.
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96 Eve 6 – “Promise” [Marcos Siega]
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There are no words to describe how funny the look in Max Collins’ eyes is in this video — especially seeings as he’s singing the lines “I promise not to try / Not to fu** with your mind”. The showcasing kids working fast food is a bit cliched at this point, but somehow it never gets old. It carries every bit the unending zeal as menial restaurant work does the unending tedium.
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95 Creed – “My Own Prison”
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Ok. Storm in a teacup blurb here on “My Own Prison.” I’m not even going to attempt grammatical correctness or topical pertinence. 1.) This is EARLY Creed, before everybody hated them for no reason (because they had no idea where they are). Great diner jukebox fare. (2.) Creed is sort of like a harder rocking Oasis, I suppose, in that their songs adhere vehemently to the conventional verse/chorus structure. This is a problem if the music lacks feeling, which neither does in this case. (3.) Juxtaposed with Live’s video for “Freaks,” “My Own Prison” helps us see how 1997 was really the shining day for music videos and possibly even for pop music as well (barely preceding the genesis of file sharing), for how mysterious and eerie the sinister extras are, which could only represent the exact thing against which you rock out, if and when said rocking out should take place. Oh yeah, and Creed, you copy off grunge… sort of like Reebok copied off Nike.
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94 Sarah McLachlan – “Adia” [Francis Lawrence]
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Sarah McLachlan wrote this song about her grandmother, with whom over time she’d gradually incurred relationship deterioration. It’s a beautiful concept, whether or not you think about it.
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93 Beastie Boys – “An Open Letter to NYC”
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It’s funny: the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who are also from New York, have an album called “It’s Blitz,” and that’s just about what exactly this video encapsulates at its core: the overall blitzkrieg that is the Big Apple of it all, the madness of it which in this case yielded an equally magnificent love, through music. Mike D’s part in the second verse is the exact task for which he was put on Earth to do.
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92 Wu-Tang Clan – “Triumph” feat. Cappadonna [Brett Ratner]
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This video, for all its pomposity and bombast, did make me appreciate Cappadonna just a tad more for the gritty power of his voice. It’s able to cut through all the flashy, high-budget showmanship and lay down some true hip-hop valor on the mic.
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91 Lenny Kravitz – “It Ain’t over ’til It’s over” [Jesse Dylan]
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This is just the lover boy doin’ his thing… puttin’ it on with some serious melody that indeed, tells you why he became famous in the first place (a task “Are You Gonna Go My Way” is certainly unable to accomplish).
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90 Madonna – “Cherish” [Herb Ritts]
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Ok, there it is — I mean you’d have to be an imbecile to believe Madonna when she says “I parish the thought of ever leaving / I never would”, even if you didn’t know that she was a New Yorker. Maybe they’re the best at lying? This song is better off without its video, but makes the cut of this list on the very strengths of its aurals, if not necessarily its orals.
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89 Weezer – “Hash Pipe” [Marcos Siega]
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Only Weezer could film a video inexplicably featuring a Sumo wrestler alone in a mysterious, nondescript room and actually have that make the song LESS weird than it actually is. This sh** used to bump in my friend’s Chevy Beretta. Fu** vinyl. “Bohemian Rhapsody” eat your heart out.
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88 Roxette – “It Must Have Been Love” [Doug Freel]
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Sorry I know this song is stupid… I just like it ‘cause somebody at this one bar I worked at would play it on the jukebox EVERY NIGHT at closing time (hey at least they didn’t play “Closing Time” by Semisonic, I guess).
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87 Pete Rock & the C.L. Smooth – “They Reminisce over You (T.R.O.Y.)”
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Absolutely smooth flowing and cinema here… that’s what we need in hip-hop is smoothness because the lyrical acrobatics do the rest — the lyrical acrobatics tell a story, paint a picture and transcend the language all at the same time, yup, ’til it stays stuck in your head for days and days.
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86 Smashing Pumpkins – “Cherub Rock” [Kevin Kerslake]
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Not a bad video at all, but still, it’s undeniable that the song itself is better — with the miasmic guitar production on the part of Butch Vig and Corgan himself and, perhaps most refreshingly, some actual real fills on the part of Jimmy Chamberlain (I’ve noticed that the most tyrannical lead singers tend to spawn drummers who play the simplest fills, from Corgan’s “Today” to Mick Jagger’s “Get off of My Cloud.”
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85 Cracker – “Low” [Carlos Grasso]
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Christ, is all the world just fighting? I guess so, but anyway, it’s to Cracker’s undeniable cred that I could give a flying fu** about California, and yet the musical entity which is theirs attracts me for the fact of them being on the very edge of the continent (there’s even one scene in this video that implies suicide into the bay or something) and half the time I just wish those California boys like David Lowery and Anthony Kiedis would just put a da** shirt on, but I also must say that he looks charmingly like a little boy as he emotes so freely and honestly in front of the camera looking for his niche, which ended up being rock music, true to California form.
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84 Eminem – “Guilty Conscience” [Phillip G. Atwell, Dr. Dre]
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Oh, this song and video just get it so hype it’s not even a game… remember when Eminem got pi**ed in “The Way I Am” about the response to “Guilty Conscience”? I can’t really explain it, but I really feel like he hit a gold mine of intensity on this song and the reprised version even works especially well, with the actual CHORUS (of which there isn’t one on the album version) with the “These voices / These voices” vocal. This sort of begs the question of whether the reprise is actually DESIGNED for people who’d already heard the song… either way it’s definitely in both cases the type of thing that makes a strong, unforgettable impression.

83 Radiohead – “There there” [Chris Hopewell]
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Finally this video reminds me of that movie Willow, haha. Has anyone ever seen that movie? That had to be the stupidest movie ever. Never has any band been as consistently great as Radiohead, in history. For better drum sound you’d have to look to, you guessed it, Creed – “My Own Prison.”
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82 Ugly Kid Joe – “Everything about You” [Thomas Mignone]
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But why is Ugly Kid Joe not ugly? That dude in Jimmy’s Chicken Shack is easily uglier than this. But they made great music. I didn’t mean to rip on him. Oh man, I’m diggin’ a hole here. Well, at least YOU, the viewer, are listening to the right song right now, if you’re listening to what I am. And was that a sand stagedive I just saw? And am I just diggin’ myself a sand hole again?
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81 Smashing Pumpkins – “Fu** You (An Ode to No One)”
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Hmm… well I couldn’t find this one on imvdb, but it’s definitely a fantastic song, sort of like a hard rock improvement on Siamese Dream’s “Geeks U.S.A.” And is the band actually TIGHT on this album? And is this song actually devoid of that stupid slow-down that “Geeks U.S.A.” has? Oh, yeah. I guess that’s why I ask those rhetorical questions in the first place, in a sense.
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80 Stone Temple Pilots – “Pretty Penny” (Acoustic/Live at the MTV V.M.A.’s/1994)
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Whoo! I feel like straight crankin’ out to this song. Fu**in’ shootin’ up and sh**. So this is the MTV VMA’s, eh… he** they had a lot of great performances from Green Day to Beck and so on… I like this version of an already great song for many reasons (like that there’s no vid for the studio affair), partly because it’s slightly sped-up and partly because it’s really mixed quite well, with those bongos nice and prominent. For a better drum sound you’d have to go to… you guessed it… Creed’s “My Own Prison,” by everybody’s favorite band.
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79 311 – “Beautiful Disaster”
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Sometimes I’m surprised in life. Like, sometimes people like my music taste, and sometimes they don’t. Hmm. Well, sh**. Like I used to meet these peeps who wouldn’t be clivin’ and jivin’ with 311, but then I see this Lorde ad on this video, which makes me think without a doubt that 311 deserves to be at least critically recognized seeing as… do not adjust your computer screen… Lorde is as well.
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78 Queens of the Stone Age – “No One Knows”
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Ok, I’ve just watched the video for “No One Knows.” There’s no doubt this is one of the greatest songs of the ‘00s decade. As for being the greatest VIDEO? Nothing could be further from the truth. First of all, these lads exhibit the most despicable behavior, hitting a deer with their car and then getting beat up by said deer, only to find the deer eventually driving their car around, before falling in love with a female deer, at the end, as a male deer. Josh Homme, your brand of fun is entirely too licentious. Gimme a call sometime. We’ll talk about it.
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77 Michael Jackson – “The Way You Make Me Feel” [Joe Pytka]
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Jesus Christ, it’s ridiculous to think of how bombastic and overblown all this Jacko stuff was in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s… it’s actually exactly like what I used to make fun of Fleetwood Mac for being on Tusk, except they’re not being that at all. Well, whiskey and wimmen just won’t let us be, as they say in the greater Trance-ylvania area.
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76 Eve 6 – “Inside out” [Scott Sampler]
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This sh** needs no introduction… absolutely classic ‘90s sh** for anyone who was living it. Hearing this concurrent with Third Eye Blind’s “Jumper” on U93’s Hot Nine at Nine in South Bend, Indiana was close to a religious experience for the Mike.
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75 Sarah McLachlan – “Sweet Surrender” [Floria Sigismondi]
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Here is another case of a relatively minimalist video, getting by on the strength of a great song with fantastic, tip-top and pristine production by one French-oriented Pierre Marchand doin’ that sh** up there in Quebec, and stuff. It’s a situation only understandable through the music.
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74 The Bloodhound Gang – “The Bad Touch”
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Yee-yessum. Ah’m just a blogger here, beholdin’ the high noon sky like it was God proclaimin’ my do’s and don’t’s… ahem, sorry I was trying to be funny by writing this like good-ol’-boy concept blurb on this crap, whatever the he** it’s called… but anyway, it’s amazing how refreshing something like this can be after you try to sit through like the claustrophobic indie creepiness of Franz Ferdinand or Cut Copy. It’s like, just come out and say it, fu**ers, I ain’t got all day.
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73 DMX – “Party up” [Dave Meyers]
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Hype, hype and more hype… me and my friends back in the day used to have aspirations of hitting up a DMX show on shrooms… and now I see he’s rockin’ that god da** Art of Rap tour which… has the same title and the same font as Ice-T’s 2012 documentary film Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap, which didn’t even make it into theaters? Explain.
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72 Jidenna – “Classic Man” [Alan Ferguson]
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It is the lover of music in me that has this song on the list at all. But, it is the lover of music in me which ranks something so rancidly lacking in humility, so low. It is the lover of humanity in me that wants to champion images of constructive activities for at-risk youths. But, it is the lover of humanity in me which ranks this song so low, what with the “You can be mean when you look this clean” line. One thing’s for sure: it’s very ironic that this song came out the same year as Kendrick Lamar’s “How Much a Dollar Cost?”, which of course brought us the transcendent, Barack Obama-cited line “All we need is one humble man” (which I believe is also from the Bible).
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71 Chumbawamba – “Tubthumping” [Ben Unwin]
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I’ve discovered that the term “pi**” (urine, sorry I circumvent cursing in order to evade library firewalls) was very popular in 1997 video cinema, a la Peter Gunz in “Uptown Baby” with the “Just ‘cause I’m pi**y don’t mean you should misdial.” Well, class is in session, folks. You’re learning all about pi** and what to do if someone’s pi**ed at you.
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70 The Proclaimers – “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”
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Oh, God. I’m having a poignant moment here. And you don’t want to know what it’s about. Suffice it to say that it’s exactly 500 miles from the Northern tip of Scotland to the Southern and… life’s a bit** and then ya die so come with me and let’s get high, or maybe get drunk and heaver.
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69 Wu-Tang Clan – “C.R.E.A.M.”
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The more I listen to it, “C.R.E.A.M.” has to be the absolute greatest beat of all time. Why? The bass line? Why? Listen to it. IT’S ONE FU**IN’ NOTE. The hip-hop beat that doesn’t need a bassline is like a nation’s GDP running entirely on solar power — it’s nothing short of miraculous beatmaking. They show Baby Huey in the video (who doesn’t rap on the song) and some other johns I didn’t know, but when they show RZA staring down the camera, it’s every bit justified.
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68 John Mellencamp – “Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)” [Robert Duffy]
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Yeah, I’m kind of a dork for putting this on. I’m like Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction when they put on those UCLA t-shirts or whatever. Hey, they’re your clothes.
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67 Ween – “Ocean Man” [Spike Jonze]
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Glad to see Ween representin’ on this list… one of my favorite bands. You can listen to entire Ween albums The Mollusk (which this song is on), White Pepper and Quebec — probably the band’s three best albums — all ad-free on youtube all the way through, which is pretty sweet.
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66 Foo Fighters – “My Hero” [Dave Grohl]
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I almost hope it’s never really discovered whether this song is actually about Kurt Cobain or not, because discussing it subjectively is so fun. Also gotta love the band playing INSIDE the burning house from which the “hero” is saving kids. Well done, boys!
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65 Smashing Pumpkins – “Perfect” [Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris]
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Sort of a corny video and a lot like “1979,” but you’ve gotta like Corgan and company for just handling the issue of lost romantic opportunities really well here, with great cinematography which might have taken place in Arizona, which from what I understand from the Howard Stern interview he did is a place where he did a lot of his writing at.
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64 Third Eye Blind – “Semi-Charmed Life” [Jamie Morgan]
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My main issue with this video, the main thing I don’t like (and I remember those douche bags Sugar Ray doing this sh** too) is that they have Stephan Jenkins depicted as playing guitar, when that role was solely Kevin Cadogan’s, on recording. Still, it’s definitely a catchy tune… still remember when I first heard it in the summer of ’97, catchy, genuine, about drugs, all that good stuff.
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63 Everclear – “One Hit Wonder” [McG]
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Ah… I was just absolutely so delighted with this song as a youngster that the video could have depicted like biology or something and I still would have thought it was awesome. As it is, I think it’s like a game show or something… I didn’t necessarily take the time to watch it again. There, see how professional I am? I’ll take a grape soda with three ice cubes.
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62 Beck – “Loser” [Steve Hanft]
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But nobody’s a loser. I’m not calling anybody a loser. We all contribute something special to the larger communication genus. Hey you, get your respectable if slightly quirky duck-billed feet off my Ottoman!
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61 Jane’s Addiction – “Been Caught Stealing” [Casey Niccoli]
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An iconic video, no doubt — a video that lends appeal to the song, but then, what else would you expect from LA? Certainly not that band actually doing that boring crap called PRACTICING, that’s for sure. Underrated album, too… I remember I put “Of Course” on one of my mixes I posted.
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60 Nirvana – “Heart Shaped Box” [Anton Corbijn]
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Yes, this is indeed the only Nirvana video on this list, which is hard to believe since in many ways I’m a veritable Nirvana fanatic, have read the 600-page biography probably five times through and have practically the whole album Nevermind lodged somewhere in Dolby Radio. And nothing’s really important about it, I guess. It just made an impression, so I put it on here.
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59 Aron Chupa – “I’m an Albatraoz”
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She’s not PSYCHOTIC. Get those pills away from her. She’s just a little maladjusted. On her trip across the Atlantic she incurred a wicked case of typhoid… ok, now she’s choking me. What do I do? THIS BIT** IS FU**IN’ CRAZY! EXCEPT, SHE COULD CHOKE ME ANY TIME SHE WANTED! WHOOPS, DID I JUST SAY THAT OUT LOUD!
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58 Bjork – “Human Behaviour” [Michael Gondry]
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Watching the video for “Human Behaviour,” you definitely find it refreshing for its lack of sexuality and playful vibe (after George Michael and Madonna, sheesh), but it’s also easy to see how on Post she really HAD to come out and be hype as fu** after this acute level of dorkiness. “Human Behaviour” might still be the best song in her whole catalogue.
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57 Stone Temple Pilots – “Interstate Love Song” [Kevin Kerslake]
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I must confess to as a sophomore in high school naming this as my absolute favorite song on the planet — I wouldn’t say the video does WORLDS to promote it, but it’s the type of thing that’s playful and doesn’t try too hard, featuring old movie footage and a dude whose nose keeps growing like Pinocchio’s, very Clockwork Orange style. Is that just an archetypal image at this point, or a male fantasy? Suppose so.
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56 White Town – “Your Woman”
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As an adolescent of the ‘90s, I find no scruples in naming it as the specific epoch when pop and trippiness were able to coexist within the same song. Yet, I cannot think of any other SPECIFIC examples of when this happens than “Your Woman,” the rest of White Town’s catalogue existing as something like Julianne Moore’s panty drawer or something — you never think to look in it, but wouldn’t really complain if it opened up a little.
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55 Michael Jackson – “Thriller” [John Landis]
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You might say Michael Jackson had the age-old inferiority complex of the Hoosier, packing every album with songs full of the potential to preternaturally seep into your psyche and remain embedded there forever. Give “Thriller” credit for being the mid-album titled track that actually isn’t a sappy ballad, and which takes the confrontational dance tension to another level.
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54 Missy Elliott – “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” [Hype Williams]
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“Hype Williams” says it all: this is absolutely one of the most creative videos of all time (I must confess to never have owned anything by a female rap artist, being definitely a fan of the singles and guest spots of Empress Stahhr, Missy, Floetry, Jean Grae and more).
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53 Eminem – “My Name Is” [Dr. Dre, Phillip G. Atwell]
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I remember seeing this Eminem fu** on this video and just thinking, you are the most despicable. Slimy. No good. Bottom-feeding, profanity spewing WRETCH… when really, this was his first acting job and, although you won’t believe me in a million years, acting is in fact his greatest skill.
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52 R.E.M. – “Losing My Religion”
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A couple things always seem to escape my memory, amidst the larger images of the weird Michael Stipe androgyny: for one thing, the full, orchestral production of this album (Peter Buck is continuing his much appreciated mandolin work here) and the heady methodicalness with which this video is pulled off, each band member choreographed onto the set with comedic sense, only to eventually highlight Stipe himself, who, according to Tony Fletcher’s Perfect Circle: The Story of R.E.M., would actually travel in a separate tour bus from the rest of the band.
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51 No Doubt – “Don’t Speak” [Sophie Muller]
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Wow, it’s wiggin’ me out because the guitarist in No Doubt who Gwen Stefani dated (is this song about him?) be lookin’ just like that random African dude in the “Losing My Religion” video — he’s even crouched down just like him and everything. Maybe there was a big collective unconscious fixation on the “The Thinker” statue in the ‘90s or something. Love this song.
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50 Len – “Steal My Sunshine” [Marc Costanzo, Bradley Walsh]
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There’s an interesting juxtaposition here of a really lame band name, having furnished a pretty decent video, accompanying a real cutesy/Monkees type song while simultaneously featuring a sort of tough guy/tattooed looking male singer in tow, and a female singer who while certainly attractive is nowhere near as hot as she sounds, if that’s even possible.
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49 Outkast – “Ms. Jackson” [F. Gary Gray]
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Oh God… when you’re in fear of making too stark of a statement by depicting Southern black poverty, I guess Andre’s bare chest with some fa**ot scarves on is just the antidote to veer things back into the requisite realm of stupidity which helped them fit into how mainstream music was around the turn of the century. But is that Ice Cube in one of the opening scenes? The questions abound, I’ll give ‘em that.
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48 Savage Garden – “I Want You” [Nigel Dick]
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Haha what’s up with all this crap in this video… this dude is just funny. It’s like some weird Jodie Foster movie like Contact or Panic Room or something.
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47 Annie Lennox – “Why” [Sophie Muller]
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Once again here we have an utterly fantastic song which gets by with a relatively minimalist video. Definitely entrenched at the bookend of an era featuring quite a bit of really goopy pop music, “Why” gets a point across of genuine feeling the whole way, with very little gimmick.
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46 Master P – “Make ‘em Say Uhh!” feat. Silkk tha Shocker, Mystika, Fiend and Mia-X [Michael Martin]
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It’s really hard to top this video in theory… I guess I ranked it so intermediately because of all the da** yelling (it’s like MF Doom says in that one song, “There’s only one beer left / Rappers screaming all in our ears like we’re deaf”).
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45 Foo Fighters – “Learn to Fly” [Jesse Peretz]
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Boy was this album a breath of fresh air in the late-‘90s maisma of ska, swing, rock/rap and boy bands. “Learn to Fly” is a deliberate song with an undeniable melodic gravity about it. Other standouts on There is Nothing Left to Lose include “Aurora,” “Live-in Skin” and “Next Year.” Interestingly, Dave Grohl and company recorded this album in his home state of Virginia.
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44 Sarah McLachlan – “Building a Mystery” [Alan Smithee, Mark Seliger, Fred Woodward]
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What with all the mystical stuff going on in this song’s lyrics, it’s definitely appropriate that the video depicts some panorama out in the middle of nowhere, giving McLachlan full heathen reign over the environment and the proceedings. Is this song about her producer, Pierre Marchand? That’d be an interesting story, one would have to admit.
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43 Pearl Jam – “Do the Evolution” [Kevin Altieri, Todd McFarlane]
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This is a great video, and in fact the first one the band had done since “Jeremy” in 1992, but still it’s impossible for me to even think about this song and not consider the fine, showstopping Live on Two Legs version, which, similarly to the case with the also torrential “Even Flow” and “Go,” speeds up slightly in the live version for a rupturing riot.
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42 Merril Bainbridge – “Mouth” [Ross Fraser]
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I assure you, there is nobody who grew up in the ‘90s who isn’t secretly in love with this song. Merril Bainbridge is basically exactly what those New York chicks in How to Lose Friends and Alienate People are talking about when they describe other attractive women as “your basic nightmare.”
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41 Smashing Pumpkins – “Disarm” [Jake Scott]
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A staple of the great Greatest Hits Video Collection (1991-2000) here.
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40 311 – “Down” [Crash]
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The funniest musical memory ever has to be my boss at the ice cream truck place like three summers ago, this dude of probably 60 or 65, rocking out to “Down” as what must have been like the first song on a mix CD that his grandson made or something. I allot 311’s self-titled album along with Rage against the Machine – Evil Empire as the co-perfect album for heterosexual male high schoolers.
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39 Madonna – “Ray of Light” [Jonas Akerlund]
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A riff so good that Edge stole it for “Elevation” (how the he** did the Rolling Stone people not catch that one)… wow, I’m really at the point at the list now where I just can’t believe how good all the videos are.
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38 En Vogue – “Don’t Let Go”
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This song was basically just beyond classic in the mid-‘90s… and in a way it seems appropriate that no year is listed on the imvdb.com interface, because it is absolutely timeless. Also it’s great to see that the song was featured in a movie too, although I have no idea what the movie is.
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37 Beck – “The New Pollution” [Beck]
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Anybody who can’t enjoy this video probably has something really wrong with them… along with “Novacane” it features great, extremely contrastive and dissonant musical juxtaposition, in this case the stately and absurdly Dadaist choral “do-do-do” session before getting into the thick with some hip-hop that’s also pop. Did you hear that, Tribe Called Quest?
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36 Third Eye Blind – “Losing a Whole Year”
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Somewhere in the middle of the album as far as song quality goes, this video is thoroughly amazing for its knack for capturing the band in rocking form, interesting cinematography of the slow-motion plane flying overhead and lastly the tandem of three girls all in still shots, as if it’s one for each band member (or each band member that’s standing up).
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35 LIVE – “Lightning Crashes” [Jake Scott]
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One thing I like about Live’s video is that they never delay the start of the song — the music always starts up right when the filming does. Really, here, the band just look shy in their candid shots, as if they don’t really want you looking at them, and for as brilliant as their videos are, they’re unquestionably an act which is all about the music, at the end of the day.
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34 Smashing Pumpkins – “Ava Adore” [Dom & Nic]
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I’m stupid. I’ll admit it. Over and over again, I open my big yapper about how much everything sucks, whether it’s the Pearl Jam song “Go” or maybe like Gorillaz – Plastic Beach or something… or Machina: The Machines of God… thankfully I can own to never having dissed Adore, unlike half of humanity, it seems. And it would take… you guessed it… the “machines of God”… to truly talk about this stuff.
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33 Extreme – “Hole Hearted” [Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris]
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I especially love touting this band because I know it would really pi** off the guys in Nirvana. Hey Nirvana, did I ever tell you Extreme was my favorite band of all time? They probably don’t even have a $100,000 heroin habit! God, they really gotta get with it!
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32 Sophie B. Hawkins – “Da**, I Wish I Was Your Lover” [Jacob Brown]
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Absolutely phenomenal song and video here… just shut up with that crap about other people can do this sh**. They can’t. Tell your story fu**in’ walkin’.
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31 U2 – “Numb” [Kevin Godley]
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Haha wow, I’d just mentioned Edge and now here is on a song he SINGS on, a fact I didn’t know until I think my last watching of this video (though give Bono credit for chiming in on some clutch backing vox, eschewing the dark tension by beautifully hitting the major mediant on a descending stepwise pattern).
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30 Train – “Drops of Jupiter”
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The effervescence of God’s presence is thick… did you know he wrote this song about his Mom? Being a brat teenager when this track came out, I would make fun of its radio-friendly disposition and how it wore its emotions on its sleeve (let’s remember this was the era of the Bloodhound Gang, et. al.), but I must say it’s aged something like a fine Pinot Noir, which, let’s remember, makes a fabulous Mother’s Day present.
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29 U2 – “One” [Phil Joaneau]
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And… I get the award for saying the same crap the most times in one blog post when I say… this is a fantastic song that gets by on just a pretty good video. Hey, somebody’s gotta support this young, upstart band “U2” ya know… crimey…
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28 Fastball – “The Way”
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I’m not really sure why (since music videos are so stupid, as we all know), but a lot hits me as I take in the cinematography laid down for this song. For one thing, has anyone else ever noticed how funny it is that Tony Scalzo makes up a story about parents just ditching their kids? It’s like, that’s obviously a fantasy he has (fear of commitment is probably putting it mildly, as is also evidenced in “Fire Escape”). Another is the T.Rex/“Bang a Gong” type groove grafted out in the certain portions of the chorus which lead back into the first-bar big climax. And lastly, there’s the great simplicity of the line “They wanted the highway / They’re happier there today”: the type of thing that just sounds so archetypal as to strike as some age-old adage, when actually it’s just the product of a spontaneous and acute strain of unadulterated 1990s slackerdom. Fastball did this better than anyone. That’s why everybody hates them.
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27 Smashing Pumpkins – “1979” [Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris]
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Shot in beautiful Arizona where Billy Corgan would reportedly go to do much of his songwriting, the “1979” spot features a house getting teepeed, a bathtub making-out couple getting the shower turned on on them and a gas station getting looted complete with some good ol’ classic champagne bottle bowling.
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26 Grizzly Bear – “Gun-Shy” [Kris Moyes]
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I’ll admit… I didn’t watch this video again, it’s so sketchy. Plus, this album just sucks. Just ask cokemachineglow.com. Look at how good they’re doing these days. It just like sucks.
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25 Oasis – “Don’t Look Back in Anger” [Nigel Dick]
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Yyup… there’s something charming to me about Oasis… I think this is the song where they rip off John Lennon’s “Imagine” for the piano intro (standing in stark contrast to “Born on a Different Cloud” where of course where they rip off “Happiness is a Warm Gun”) but you’ve gotta love the imagery of the mansion and the babes, which was, presumably, these guys’ exact lifestyle by this point in their career. Plus, it depicts getting out of the city with its “pace movin’ just too fast for me.”
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24 Blur – “Coffee and TV”
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Oh, sorry Oasis, Blur just happened to beat you by one spot again! Oh, how’d that happen! Man, my electronic ranking tabulator must really be out to get you, or else I’m just not reading the index cards it spews out properly. Hey, we all make mistakes.
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23 Smashing Pumpkins – “Tonight, Tonight” [Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris]
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This is another one of those things that I always think is gonna suck, but then when it starts up it really wraps me in with its penchant for constant motion and action, plus I love the lines “We’ll scrap up all the moments of your life / Tonight / The impossible is possible / Tonight”.
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22 Radiohead – “Karma Police” [Jonathan Glazer]
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An absolute classic… MTV owes the blokes a jihad’s debt for this one though give them credit for once spoofing it with the similarly baldheaded and iconic Matt Pinfield running from a car in their own shoot.
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21 Stone Temple Pilots – “Lady Picture Show” [Josh Taft]
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Really this album is pretty spotty, but nobody would doubt that this song is a classic (sort of like the Wincing the Night away/“Phantom Limb” situation)… it even depicts a picture show… and… I don’t really care about the meaning, or it just doesn’t matter the tunes and cinema are so good.
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20 Everclear – “Everything to Everyone” [Art Alexakis, Mark Kohr]
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Everclear just played my hometown recently and I feel really bad for them because they’re total puppets of the industry at this point — they had ‘em do this douche bag “So Much for the Afterglow reunion tour” when really, their last two albums, Invisible Stars and Black is the New Black, aren’t too stinkin’ bad at all.
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19 Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz – “Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)”
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Everything about this song and video is just absolutely perfect — it’s just impossible to describe… everything about the cinematography took me right back to ’97 like this 20 years never went by, from Wyclef introducing them to the guys wearing the perfect gear for the vid, to layers and layers of street hip-hop diction which makes me not be able to even believe that I ever listened to Jurassic 5 and crap.
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18 Dandy Warhols – “Catcher in the Rye”
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This is easily the best classic album almost nobody has ever heard. The Dandy Warhols are primarily famous for the track “Bohemian Like You,” which made it onto the Igby Goes down soundtrack.
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17 Talking Heads – “Once in a Lifetime” [Toni Basil, David Byrne]
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I guess this video is “good”… eghh… I just listened to this whole album, realizing for the first time how funky “Seen and Not Seen” is, and I just couldn’t help but think about how some of this obsession would be tied to David Byrne’s own insecurities… I was surprised he wanted a larger forehead! Sorry. Great song.
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16 Butthole Surfers – “Pepper” [Gavin Bowden]
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I am obviously somewhat of a ‘90s enthusiast and I have to admit, this one escaped even me until I found it on, of all places, the youtube recommended listening list or whatever. I’d been a fan of Locust Abortion Technician, which to be honest, is really nothing like this, although I did hear the band used to be notorious for having sex on stage (not with each other, that’d be like Air Supply or something).
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15 Grizzly Bear – “Ready, Able” [Allison Schulnick]
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Great clay-mation video by an extremely talented individual here… it’s amazing how you can allot such disparate personal traits to pieces of clay, but also, it’s kind of good how the imagination is able to take over, because no human face can probably measure up to the beauty of music when it’s at its best.
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14 311 – “Flowing”
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As a veritable alcoholic, I was sort of appreciative of this spot although I think it might involve certain consciousness-inhibiting drugs as well as alcohol… anyway it’s brilliant, depicting a series of events which however in the video are taking place backwards, an overwhelming journey through one of behavioral life’s fleeting stabs at invincible infinity.
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13 Radiohead – “No Surprises” [Grant Gee]
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I was going to watch this video again (I’m pretty sure it takes place all in one shot, sort of like the fantastic movie 12 Angry Men), but to be honest by that first guitar stroke I’m so in love with the song all over again that it completely occludes it. The production at the hands of Nigel Godrich is absolutely stunning… god da** that guitar sounds loud on my computer! He** yeah. Not complainin’.
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12 Aerosmith – “Janie’s Got a Gun” [David Fincher]
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Obviously a powerful and riveting statement here by a band that, for all their checkered past and all the big, emotional issues they tackle in their songs, still have a way of primarily explaining themselves musically, which is definitely to their credit.
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11 The Breeders – “Cannonball” [Kim Gordon, Spike Jonze]
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No doubt, this video gets by on the strength of handling an absolutely INCREDIBLE song, but the video does little to displease what with the excellent candid band shots and the girls’ gestures of onstage approach with each other. The victims of extreme sexism for much of her attempted Ohioan musicianship, the sisters Deal put their hearts back together nicely here with some serious cathartic pop.
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10 Annie Lennox – “Walking on Broken Glass” [Sophie Muller]
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I’m just vibin’ with this one… nodding my head up and down and enjoying all the rapid screen shots… this song used to get stuck in my head for entire evenings during many painful golf games, appropriately enough.
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9 Beastie Boys – “So What’cha Want”
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I love this video… this is when I realize that it’s not for lack of chops or creativity that I couldn’t have been in the Beastie Boys… I just couldn’t make that many unique hand motions in one four-minute clip to save my soul.
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8 Weezer – “Undone (The Sweater Song)” [Spike Jonze]
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It’s surprising that this video didn’t make more of a splash with the mainstream. One thing, anyway, is highly likely: Rivers Cuomo’s mannerisms of emoting while singing left an indelible idealistic impression on about half a da** generation who maybe wouldn’t even notice, or wouldn’t find it fully internalized, how many different ways the band here is simultaneously commenting on Nirvana — by deliberately betraying the record-over in hamming it up and loosening hands on instruments, and of course as well by staging that fake end-of-show pandemonium where Patrick Wilson ALMOST goes crazy before initiating a delightfully nerdy avoidance of hitting a dog in his faux-stagedive. It makes sense, I guess, that those MOST sick of hearing about how Nirvana is would also be those with the most stylish way of voicing this perturbation, possibly even quelling some annoying comparisons by hushed, aghast critics, in the process.
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7 Soundgarden – “Black Hole Sun” [Howard Greenhalgh]
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This is obviously sort of a sensitive issue now that Cornell has passed… many things about it are head-scratching like why they depict the day as sunny when it’s about wanting the sun to come out, but then, Seattle bands are notorious for bowing to the coercive wishes of record execs. In a way all this video stuff is unfortunate.
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6 Pearl Jam – “Jeremy” [Mark Pellington]
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I remember my dad would always crack over this song, over the “bit the recess lady’s breast” line. He** yeah. I’ve never understood this da** song and never tried to… I just rock out to it. One of the best in the band’s catalogue.
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5 Our Lady Peace – “Clumsy” [Matt Mahurin]
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Oh God. I’m having a poignant moment. Must be the telepathic magic of imvdb.com, or something. One thing’s for sure, there was just something about 1997, at least for the Mike-inator. Another thing’s for sure: people should just say what they mean. I mean, if you like this sh**, don’t buy into the BRAND of Our Lady Peace. They’re not an image, they’re fu**in’ musicians, everyday people who happen to have an extremely dark, gritty insider’s view of the depravity of adolescence, the type of thing that’s prototypically near-lethal, then yielding, naturally, a wholly invigorating amount of artistic poignance. If you ask me, this video stops when it’s over. Our Lady Peace were never a brand and they never will be.
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4 Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Under the Bridge” [Gus Van Sant]
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Whoo! I hadn’t seen this video in forever… everything is trippy about it. ‘Bout to start crankin’ out to it if I’m not careful. I love the scene toward the end of Anthony Kiedis running shirtless.. it’s not an activity you’d ever do on heroin, but in a way its symbolic nature makes it even better.
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3 R.E.M. – “Tongue”
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Interesting phenomenon here of a song on an essentially bad album basically the band’s best song to date, not TOO different from the whole Shins/“Phantom Limb” development, a song which I’ve been told got heavy rotation on Chicago’s WXRT, a not inauspicious distinction. Oh God, what else to say. Sometimes it’s hard to comment on perfection. But, we can surely see how this video moves with great fluidity and like Live – “Freaks” it’s essentially impossible to analyze, not least for its ability to in a way portray life’s very intrinsic impossibilities we seem to meet around every corner. Sure, it’s got the best seven-note guitar solo of all time. That much is a no-brainer. College rock is all about doing more in a shorter amount of time, but you might say that what set R.E.M. apart from other ringer radio fodder like Oasis and Creed was just their very ability to be somehow EDGY, somehow gutsy (see Stipe’s induction of Nirvana into the Hall of Fame speech for a great epitome of an UNDERSTANDING of such a thing). Well, my heart is broken. I’m gonna go wack some squirrels with a baseball bat for a while. I am at one with my own moral nadir.
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2 Pras Michel – “Ghetto Superstar” feat. Mya and Ol’ Dirty Bastard
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There’s a great story about O.D.B. not originally being slated for this session, but stumbling drunk on to Pras gettin’ busy on it and demanding to be added to the track — an account documented well in interview available on Youtube. People have to realize — this is popular music. Tribe Called Quest won’t shut up about that whole “Rap is not pop if you call it that then stop” crap. Well, who in the wide world could possibly be bigger sellouts than A Tribe Called Quest even if they tried? Fu**in’ pi**ant slop. Tribe Called Quest, you ain’t sellin’ me a bottle of Evian in the desert, in case you were wondering.
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1 LIVE – “Freaks” [Paul Cunningham]
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We have come now to the end of the road, with a spot from LIVE, which began as a band the year I was born, 1983, known then as “First Aid.” LIVE, over the years, for all the gray hairs they’ve caused us in our futile efforts to google them, or discuss them with thematic adjacency to “live albums” or “live albums by LIVE,” definitely lay down some cathartic rock very much in the vein of Pearl Jam. To be honest, I wouldn’t have known this album, Secret Samadhi, from Jamiroquai, when it came out… it had no hit singles (yet go figure the press still described LIVE as “relentlessly poppy” and wanted them to like tear their own fingernails off in order to get critical acclaim or something)… this album’s got “Freaks” and “Turn My Head” as its attempted hit singles.. neither one is necessarily BAD, probably not as good as “Lightning Crashes” or “I Alone” but pulling their weight… one good thing about the song “Freaks” itself, as well as the ballsy, stupefying key change leading into the chorus, is the band’s penchant for making the END of the song especially varied and anthemic, in this case with a subtle, syncopated guitar riff and a repetition of the phrase “to show you the holy”. And then… we have the video, which is nothing more and nothing less than the single greatest video of all time. Ed Kowalczyk and company weave every possible artistic genre into this thing, from the look of the protagonists and goons, to the reference to Henry Miller (if anybody gets that reference by the way please comment, I’ve never read Henry Miller), to the narrative irony exhibited in the lyrics and right on down to the very facial expressions of Ed Kowalczyk as well as that haunting hand reach he does during the song’s confrontational latter half. Ooh, I worked myself up… I gotta watch this sucker again. Then I feel like I’ll be able to take on anything, until, of course, they find me out once and for all.

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