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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The 25 Most Influential Music Videos Of All Time


MTV logo 1981 june16.jpg
​It's hard to fathom a time before music videos, and it's even sadder to remember when channels like MTV and VH1 were wall-to-wall music videos. In between there was a golden age, when with every clip that you watched could spark a revolution in you, or at least change your fashion sense. It's sad to say, but the age of music videos as we knew it has largely been over since The Real World premiered, although when YouTube took over it at least made it possible to see most any video on demand on your computer or phone.

One of the first videos that we ever loved was Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" from 1986's So album. Being three to four years old and growing up in a musical household, music videos were just like cartoons and live-action kid shows. We didn't know a boundary between Pee-Wee's Playhouse or "Sledgehammer"; later we would find out they were directed by the same person, oddly enough.

Gabriel is in The Woodlands tonight for a date with his New Blood Orchestra, touting a show with no guitars or drums, which after a year of metal, punk, and indie, is a welcome change, especially in the hands of Gabriel and company. The guy has been in our lives since we could remember, and tonight we see him live.

Here are 25 of the most influential music videos of all time. This is not an authoritative list, and nothing is order, though we did put "Thriller" at the end just in case anyone skips this paragraph and decides to throw a fit. Anyhow, what are your favorites?

Peter Gabriel, "Sledgehammer"

The effects, the effects, the effects.

Talking Heads, "Once In A Lifetime"

Weirdo David Byrne comes to your living room.

Guns N' Roses, "Welcome To The Jungle"

There was hair-metal, and then these dudes show up from Planet Scum to slay us all.

The Beatles, "Strawberry Fields Forever" (Peter Goldman)

Trippy visuals, and some of the first tastes of psychedelia for the straights.

2Pac & Dr. Dre. "California Love"

Two of the best rappers of any generation, plus Mad Max. By they way, happy 40th, Pac, if you're out there.

Bruce Springsteen, "Dancing In The Dark"


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