There’s a lot of things that bother me about television these days. Aside from Showtime and HBO channels (and the occasional great show on regular network television), everything is a reality show. Everything!
What bothers me most is that channels like MTV, MuchMusic and MuchMoreMusic (alas, I do fall into that channel category now!) play like 80% stupid reality television, and the rest is left to music videos. These days, you’d be hard pressed to find a really great music video that breaks new ground.
I loved music videos growing up – especially videos from artists who knew how to use the format and be fearless and innovative. For me, it was an event if Madonna or Michael Jackson released a new music video. I remember scanning MusiquePlus (allo, Quebec!) for full days at a time just so that I could catch their latest. Oh, to have time to burn!
These days, you have someone like Lady Gaga, who mind you can actually sing well, but makes herself known for her unique videos. I agree – they are definitely talk worthy and memorable, but to me there is nothing new going on with her – she’s not reinventing the wheel here – unlike the artists that have come before her. I think the reason why people do talk about her videos so much is the very fact that there is a drought where original music video art is concerned – of course someone like her is going to stick out!
So, it is because of this that I have decided to think of my Top Ten favorite music videos. Here are four of them now (in no particular order):
Alanis Morissette – Hand In My Pocket
This is a shitty remix of a simple, great song. But, the images from the video remain in tact. I love this video for many reasons – representation of a kind of middle America, the choice to shoot the vid in black and white and the simplicity of movement. It feels like a memory.
Kanye West – Love Lockdown
This is officially the last great music video I have seen. Haunting, such a white set, a constantly moving camera, stark African imagery. Beautiful. Amazing song.
Madonna – Bedtime Story
I’d be hard pressed to just pick one Madonna video that is great. She has so many. This is probably in my top two faves of hers. As someone wrote in the comments on this YouTube page, this is not a video – it’s a work of art. Mark Romanek (this video’s director) is a revolutionary in the music video genre.
Janet Jackson – Got Til’ It’s Gone
Before that travesty at the Super Bowl and thereafter, Janet used to make some amazing music videos as well. This is by far my favorite of hers.
Stay tuned for more….