Sound & Vision: Top 5 Music Videos from 2000 - 2019
Top 5 Best Music Videos
4th March 2020
The Best Music Videos From The Last 20 Years
Some people say pop music isn’t as interesting as it used to be. But just look at the 2020 BRIT Awards nominees and performer line-up – FKA Twigs, Billie Eilish, Tyler the Creator, Stormzy, Lizzo… There’s enough talent there to fill half the world’s stadiums, with the help of a few holograms.
Pop music is still alive and kicking. The same goes for its videos. The 80s and 90s might be considered the heyday of music on film, but we’ve got five picks that show how the last two decades have been killer for the pop video too.
Here are our favourites from the 2000s and 2010s…
‘Telephone’ – Lady Gaga
Remember seeing Gaga for the first time? It was like being knocked over by a bus driven by Andy Warhol. Her style, voice and twisted take on Euro pop was sorely needed as EDM took the charts by storm. Although ‘Bad Romance’ was the standout track from the reissue of her debut album, The Fame Monster, it was the arrival of ‘Telephone’ (and the accompanying short movie) that made her arty pretensions more than a glammed-up disguise.
It might be a bit crazy, but it’s possibly one of her best music videos, ever. Big words. But not only does Gaga lock lips with her fellow prisoners while wearing cigarettes for sunglasses, she capers around in lingerie as inmates lick their cell bars. Then Beyoncé arrives.
‘Telephone’ is the Tarantino film that Tarantino would’ve blushed at.
Concept albums are very hard to get right. Mike Skinner didn’t care. He struck gold with A Grand Don’t Come for Free, which became a massive commercial hit off the back of some brilliant singles. ‘Dry Your Eyes’ was the jewel in the crown – the sad-guy ballad we all needed.
Skinner didn’t need more than a baby blue jumper, a sorry look on his face and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier to snatch our heartstrings. Sure, the video is very stripped back. But that’s why it’s great: it’s a 3-minute mooch about that any of us can relate to.
Everyone loves Christopher Walken. But we didn’t realise how much more we love him in a suit and tie, dancing madly to a club legend in a hotel lobby. It’s really him too. Walken trained at Washington Dance Studio in his youth, perhaps knowing the spotlight would swing this way eventually.
Watch him shimmy, slide and float across the Marriott. It’s little wonder this video bagged six statuettes at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards.
What’s left to say about ‘This Is America’? The video that’s spawned a thousand YouTube think pieces, as well as the accolade for maybe the most important piece of music cinema in the 2010s? It could be Donald Glover’s masterwork.
The song itself is deceptively simple. That’s part of why the video is so good, bringing the brutality of the verse/chorus switch to life. Joints, school kids, parking lots and machine-gunned choirs build a rich pageant of American hypocrisy.
Now from savage politics to the best type of escapism… Xtina’s 2002 vid for ‘Dirrty’ has to be one of the sexiest things ever committed to film, let alone one of the best music videos ever. It’s like the basement rave you always dreamt of, with added leather.
Yep – as leather fans, we love this one. There’s so much to love too. Wrestlers. Mud fights. Fire-eaters. And, of course, awesome outfits. If Christina ever throws a party like this again, we want an invite.