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MusicRadar : The 30 best music videos of all time
by The MusicRadar Team

From the outset, we knew that compiling a list of the greatest music videos of all time was going to be tricky. You could have almost endless arguments about which was the first, whether they still matter (they're rarely shown on mainstream TV channels these days, yet rack up millions of views on YouTube) and, of course, what actually makes a good video? Does it need to have a brilliant song to back it up, or can the visuals transcend the music and become great in their own right?

Call us cowardly if you like, but these are questions that we didn't even attempt to answer. Instead, we threw this thing open to you, asking for your nominations and then votes for the best music video in history.

We don't doubt that there are some classics missing from our list (and we invite you to tell us about them in the comments), but there are certainly some gems in here, too. Happy viewing.

30.) Les Rythmes Digitales – Sometimes

Director: Mike Mills, 1999

Children's toys coming to life at night might not be a new idea, but this heart-wrenching tale of one cuddly toy's suicide is certainly original. The soft darkness of both the look and concept accompanies the melancholy vocal provided by Nik Kershaw.

The video is another example of expert contrasting: the happy play of toys and glum sadness of the story complements the music, which marries bright, upbeat synths to darker vocals and lyrics. Lovely stuff.

29.) The Notwist - Pick Up the Phone

Director: Luis Briceno, 2002

The patchwork mixture of styles in this video perfectly matches the off-beat production style of the music. Rough around the edges, simple in style yet expertly original and loaded with emotion, it tells a simple tale in a quite unique and brilliant way.

The melancholy story has a feeling surrounding it that is hard to describe. There's no single element that makes this video great; it's the combination of the story, style and music as a package. The perfect audio-visual cocktail.

28.) Missy Elliot - The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)

Director: Harold "Hype" Williams, 1997

If you're going to start redefining the sound of hip-hop/R&B, you might as well come up with a memorable video to help you on your way. And memorable this certainly is, with Missy being possibly the only person to ever look good while wearing what appears to be a semi-inflated bin liner.

The clip makes creative use of the fisheye lens, which was something if a signature of director Harold "Hype" Williams for a time.

27.) Arcade Fire - We Used To Wait (The Wilderness Downtown)

Director: Chris Milk, 2010

Chris Milk's interactive video for Arcade Fire's We Used To Wait uses Google Earth to take the viewer on a nostalgic trip down the street they grew up on.

Sure, it doesn't work unless you've got a decent internet connection, has a tendency to crash your browser and doesn't lend itself to be watched by more than one person at a time, but it's pretty cool nonetheless.

The video above is an example of hot it works; try it out for yourself here.

26.) Rihanna - Rude Boy

Director: Melina Matsoukas, 2010

Despite the fact that it features Rihanna riding a stuffed lion and zebra, the Rude Boy promo actually feels rather restrained in comparison with some of the Barbadian's more recent videos, but it's certainly three and three quarter minutes of greenscreened goodness.

Playing nicely on her Caribbean roots, many have noted the similarities between this clip and the one made for M.I.A.'s Boyz, but both are worthy of repeated viewing.


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