40 best music videos of all time, ranked: See the list

MTV launched 40 years ago on Aug. 1, 1981, with The Buggles ’ “ Video Killed the Radio Star. ” The “ Music Television ” network is better known nowadays for its world shows, like “ Teen Mom ” and “ The Real World, ” but back in the day it turned artists into stars by playing visually stunning music videos all day and nox. music videos frequently merely attempt to make singers look cool or to promote something, such as a movie link or product placements. But over the years, some special videos have stood the test of clock time by combining songs with unforgettable moments that we can ’ triiodothyronine stop watch ( or singing along to ).

In respect of MTV ’ s fortieth anniversary, we ’ ve put together a tilt of the 40 best music television of all fourth dimension — and ranked them. Note: Some videos contain explicit lyrics not suitable for younger audiences. Years listed are when the videos were released.

40 BEST MUSIC VIDEOS OF ALL TIME:

40. Paula Abdul – “Opposites Attract” ( 1989 ) The future “ american Idol ” evaluator ’ mho cartoon buddy MC Skat Kat about steals the read. 39. George Michael – “Freedom ‘90″ ( 1990 ) David Fincher ( “ Fight Club, ” “ The Social Network ” ) directed this iconic television featuring supermodels like Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell and – storm ! – no appearances by the former Wham ! singer, who refused to appear on television camera. 38. Lady Gaga – “Bad Romance” ( 2010 ) Francis Lawrence ( ” The Hunger Games ” ) directs this blazing travel into Lady Gaga ’ s creative genius. 37. Weezer – “Buddy Holly” ( 1994 ) This Spike Jonze-directed clip expertly blends Rivers Cuomo and his band into scenes from “ Happy Days. ” 36. Miley Cyrus – “Wrecking Ball” ( 2014 ) Miley Cyrus shattered any remaining remnants of her Disney “ Hannah Montana ” picture with this completely nude video. Like a wrecking musket ball, you could say. 35. Soundgarden – “Black Hole Sun” ( 1994 ) A suburban neighborhood with some twisted-looking faces gets wiped out when the sun is swallowed by a black trap. 34. Céline Dion – “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” ( 1996 ) The Canadian chanteuse is haunted by the touch of a lover who died in a motorcycle crash. 33. Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody” ( 1975 ) music videos released before MTV ’ s launch were considered promotional videos to be featured on programs like “ Top of the Pops. ” All of the especial effects in Queen ’ s most iconic performance were achieved during the record, not editing. 32. Martina McBride – “Independence Day” ( 1994 ) This is not a 4th of July song, but the state singer still uses patriotic images to tell the report of a girl at a small town Independence Day parade while her mother escapes an abusive relationship by setting fire to their house. It won the CMA Award for music television of the year in 1994. 31. Whitney Houston – “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” ( 1987 ) Whitney ’ s hair + bright colors + that voice + an irresistible groove = gold. 30. Kendrick Lamar – “Humble” ( 2017 ) A variety of television camera tricks, social comment, and references to Photoshop filters, golf swings and Grey Poupon helped the knocker acquire Video of the year at the MTV VMAs. 29. Coldplay – “The Scientist” ( 2002 ) back to the startle : Everything is shown in change by reversal apparent motion, so Chris Martin sang the lyrics backwards for a trippy ocular consequence. 28. The Chemical Brothers – “Wide Open” feat. Beck ( 2016 ) A dancer ( Sonoya Mizuno ) in an empty warehouse sees her body start turning into a 3D-printed, diaphanous wicket — a aplomb trick in a single, continuous snapshot. ( here ’ s how they did it. ) 27. Sinead O’Connor – “Nothing Compares 2 U” ( 1990 ) Sinead O ’ Rebellion shocked us with this Prince binding featuring a simple, however arresting television largely centered on a closeup of her confront — with real tears. 26. Taylor Swift – “Bad Blood” feat. Kendrick Lamar ( 2015 ) Swifties may argue other Taylor Swift videos are better, but this big-budget legal action adventure with Selena Gomez, Hailee Steinfeld, Ellen Pompeo, Jessica Alba, Cindy Crawford, Zendaya and other big names deservedly won a Grammy Award for Best Music Video. 25. Foo Fighters – “Learn to Fly” ( 1999 ) coherent D ’ s Jack Black and Kyle Gass appear in this fishy take on tune travel with Dave Grohl and his bandmates playing multiple passengers, flight attendants and pilots. 24. Jamiroquai – “Virtual Insanity” ( 1997 ) Jay Kay and his adult hat dance around a unique hardening that embodies the Jamiroquai album title “ Traveling Without Moving. ” 23. Beastie Boys – “Sabotage” ( 1994 ) Every Beasties video recording is fun, particularly their Spike Jonze collaborations, but “ Sabotage ” stands out for its parody of 1970s collar shows like “ Starsky and Hutch ” and “ Baretta. ” 22. Childish Gambino – “This is America” ( 2018 ) Donald Glover ’ mho shirtless, joyful dancing contrasts with chaotic scenes of gun violence. 21. Britney Spears – “Oops!… I Did It Again” ( 2000 ) Britney had multiple signature looks throughout her career, from “ … Baby One More Time ” to “ Toxic, ” but her “ Oops ! ” video stands out for its pathetic storyline, out-of-this universe dancing moves, and that red bodysuit.

20. Aerosmith – “Cryin’” ( 1993 ) Alicia Silverstone has a disaffected streak after catching her boyfriend ( Stephen Dorff ) cheating on her. 19. *NSYNC – “It’s Gonna Be Me” ( 2000 ) It ’ mho gon na be May : Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick, Lance Bass and Joey Fatone become dancing dolls in a play shop — a play on their album ’ s “ No Strings Attached ” entitle — practically hand-crafted for the “ Total Request Live ” hearing. 18. Korn – “Freak on a Leash” ( 1999 ) A cartoon shows a security guard incidentally firing a gun at children, when the bullet jumps through the screen, hitting versatile live-action scenes before coming face-to-face with lead singer Jonathan Davis. 17. Blind Melon – “No Rain” ( 1993 ) The dancing bee girl will fill your kernel with gladden every time you watch this video recording. 16. Chris Isaak – “Wicked Game” ( 1989 ) The sexiest music video of all time, featuring Helena Christensen. 15. OK Go – “Here It Goes Again” ( 2005 ) besides known as the “ Treadmill Song, ” this was the foremost in OK Go ’ s run creating some of the most interest music video recording of the post-MTV, early YouTube era. 14. Eminem – “Stan” feat. Dido ( 2000 ) Devon Sawa played an emotionally disquieted man writing letters to Slim Shady so well that “ stan ” has become part of the modern dictionary to describe obsessional fans. 13. Madonna – “Like a Prayer” ( 1989 ) This controversial cartridge holder featured “ Cool Runnings ” actor Léon as a Black man falsely accused of murdering a white woman in between religious images, like stigmata and a cauterize cross. 12. Dire Straits – “Money for Nothing” ( 1985 ) few music videos are as emblematic of the era as this cubic, early calculator vivification video blended with colorful effects superimposed on the isthmus. 11. Alanis Morissette – “Ironic” ( 1996 ) Fun fact : The music video featured closed captioning in four different colors when it aired on VH1 and MTV, matching each of Alanis ’ four distinct personalities singing in the car. 10. Beyoncé – “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” ( 2008 ) Kanye West said it himself at the VMAs, calmly telling Taylor western fence lizard : “ Beyonce had one of the best music television of all meter ” with this black-and-white clip featuring Queen Bey ’ sulfur signature dance moves. ( Fun fact : ‘ Ye was objecting to Swift ’ s “ You Belong with Me ” winning Best Female Video at the 2009 VMAs, but “ Single Ladies ” still won the top choice of Video of the Year. ) 9. Nirvana – “Smells Like Teen Spirit” ( 1991 ) Kurt Cobain and co. rock candy a high educate gymnasium filled with grunge-loving teenagers and cheerleaders. 8. R.E.M. – “Losing My Religion” ( 1991 ) The Netflix series “ Song Exploder ” explores how the Michael Stipe-led option rock band scored a massive hit largely due to this music video. 7. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott – “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” ( 1997 ) Oh, Missy try to maintain … Hype Williams ’ fisheye lens, Elliott ’ s colorful outfits ( including that black trash pocket front ) and the celebrity cameo are all landmarks of the recently ‘ 90s and early 2000s. 6. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Don’t Come Around Here No More” ( 1985 ) Tom Petty memorably channeled “ Mad Max ” with “ You Got Lucky ” and played a necrophiliac in “ Mary Jane ’ s last Dance, ” but was at his ocular best as the Mad Hatter in this trippy court to “ Alice in Wonderland. ” 5. Fatboy Slim – “Weapon of Choice” ( 2001 ) Christopher Walken ’ s flying dance moves make an infectious groove even better. 4. Peter Gabriel – “Sledgehammer” ( 1986 ) An incredible come of stop-motion animation and claymation created this authoritative directed by Stephen R. Johnson. “ Sledgehammer ” still holds the read for most VMAs succeed by a single television with nine MTV Video Music Awards. 3. a-ha – “Take on Me” ( 1985 ) This groundbreaking live-action/animation hybrid ( recently remastered in 4K on YouTube ! ) features rotoscoping, an action sequence, and a dreamy star singer. 2. Guns ‘n Roses – “November Rain” ( 1992 ) An epic concert operation, a rock ‘n’ roll marriage, and a little number of effects build to a calamity that make this one of the most unforgettable music video recording of all time. “ November Rain ” is the most-watched hard rock video on YouTube with 1.7 billion views as of July 2021. 1. Michael Jackson – “Thriller” ( 1983 ) This mini-movie, featuring the King of Pop ’ sulfur iconic zombi dancing and the voice of Vincent Price, is a Halloween classical that has made “ Thriller ” the ultimate music video.

Honorable mentions: 2Pac “ California Love, ” Blink 182 “ What ’ sulfur My Again, ” Blur “ Coffee + TV, ” Cher “ If I Could Turn Back Time, ” Dirty Vegas “ Days Go By, ” Johnny Cash “ Hurt, ” Lauryn Hill “ Doo-Wop ( That Thing ), ” Michael/Janet Jackson “ Scream, ” Nine Inch Nails “ Closer, ” Pearl Jam “ Jeremy, ” Robert Palmer “ Addicted to Love, ” Smashing Pumpkins “ Tonight Tonight, ” Spice Girls “ Wannabe, ” TLC “ Waterfalls. ”

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