Pitchfork’s recent 100 Awesome Music Videos article has me thinking about music videos again. And thanks to the magic of YouTube, we can all enjoy them together!
Peter Gabriel: Sledgehammer
Combine Peter Gabriel, director Stephen R. Johnson, and Aardman Animations (the people behind Wallace and Gromit), and what you get is a stop-motion animation classic that puts the far-more-polished efforts of Tim Burton to shame. The roller-coaster segment is excellent, and that’s before you get to the bumper cars with the usual huge Nick Park mouths. Wonderful, silly fun.
Johnny Cash: Hurt
Trent Reznor may have written this ode to pain, but Johnny Cash gave it depth that Trent could never match. The video captures the sadness of the song as reflected by the life of an old man who lived in the public eye. June Cash Carter died some two months after this video was filmed; two months after that, Johnny himself was dead.
Rush: Distant Early Warning
I love Rush as much as the next prog rock weenie, but sweet Lord above, they’ve made some bone-crackingly awful videos. I nearly selected Time Stand Still, with its nausea-inducing effect of having members of the band waft about drunkenly, but this one narrowly wins out. The moment we see the LED words flashing diagonally on screen we know we’re in for a 1980s-era treat, but it’s not until the kid’s Slim Pickensesque ride on a rocket that we truly reach the pinnacle of this video.
Right, that’s enough to get started. Your turn. What are some of your choices for the most awesome videos?