Choose Your Own Awesome Videos

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?

5 thoughts on “Choose Your Own Awesome Videos

  1. When I first saw the Hurt video, I proclaimed that if you watch it and aren’t misty-eyed (if not actually sobbing) by the end, you suck at being human.


    Yup. Still true.

  2. Oh, hey, forgot the obligatory mention of an awesome video:

    The slow motion glances with a hint of longing are just lovely. Plus, there is computery stuff. Huzzah.

    Too bad Apple borrowed it.

    (not feeling very confident about my judicious use of HTML in this post. sorry if wordpress eats it…)

  3. I was first introduced to The Postal Service when Such Great Heights was featured in an early episode of Veronica Mars. I loved the video to We Will Become Silhouettes from the 100 Awesome Music Videos piece, and this video was likewise great.

    Also, I’m in agreement with you about the Hurt video. Man.

  4. I love anything by Peter Gabriel. I bought the ‘Play’ DVD package so that I could have all his videos. Still haven’t made it through completely… family keeps distracting me. 🙂 I have seen the Cash video before (too bad it’s no longer available here)

    Some of my choices for best videos would have to be the ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic videos, especially Amish Paradise and Smells like Nirvana. I’m still a big fan of Devo videos as well. While not as technically stunning as other videos, the undercurrents that go through the video along with the music make them fun to watch.

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