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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Music Videos That Changed my Life

I've always been a strong defender of the music video as an art form. Some of the most progressive artists made videos before there were videos. Bob Dylan with "Subterranean Homesick Blues," Pink Floyd with "Arnold Lang," Queen with "Bohemian Rhapsody." Yes, MTV fostered ADHD in America's youth, but it also served as a forum for some great musicians, and some great directors. Michelle Gondry, Spike Jonze and McG all got their start in videos. Okay, enough with my prattling, let me get to the list. MTV was not allowed in my house as a kid, but I watched it anyway, usually when I was playing the gold-cartridge Zelda at my friend Colin's house (1988) or at my friend Wilson's house (1989) when we were bitching about getting the laserdisc player to work. That thing never worked. I then continued into the early 90s (when my parents weren't watching) and into the mid-90s (when they couldn't stop it) and eventually progressed to a point at which I could rationally defend my favorites as works of art.

Here's my top 10, in order of when I first watched them:

Michael Jackson, Bad: What can I say? I danced around the house to this when I was four. I loved it. I still love it.

Squeeze, Hourglass: As a lover of Escher and optical illusions, how could I not love this?

Paula Abdul, Cold Hearted: It's a horrible song, but the video is amazing. Say what you will about Paula in all her stoned glory, she's a damn good choreographer!

They Might Be Giants, Birdhouse in Your Soul: how many car trips were illuminated by this song? at least 27.

Metallica, Enter Sandman: Okay, Black, track one. The last bastion of Metallica. Need I say more?

Alice in Chains, Man in The Box: I just...love this song. And I had never really seen grunge on screen before this. It was, and still is, amazing.

Prodigy, Breath: This is the first music video to actually scare me. I was 15. I guess I was a wuss...but it's creepy. And it was different from everything else out there at the time, except maybe Manson's early stuff.

Bjork, It's Oh So Quiet: Wow. This video made me swoon. I know it's a cover, and it's not her purest work, but I loved the big time 30s musical feel in it...

Tori Amos, Spark: I saw this when it premiered, and I've never been the same.

Aerosmith, Pink: