MTV's best videos in the history of the world ever ... volume one

Click to follow
The Independent Online
MICHAEL JACKSON'S lycanthropic exploits in his seminal Thriller video have earned the work the top spot in the latest "Best of Millennium" poll. The self-styled King of Pop, whose best-selling pieces are consigned to the past decade, beat the likes of Madonna, Nirvana, Duran Duran and REM to head the MTV Best 100 Videos, chosen over two decades.

The 1980s were arguably when the pop video came of age, with Jackson's Thriller deemed by staff at MTV and TV Guide magazine to be the defining moment for the genre. Lisa Bernhard, TV Guide's senior editor, said Thriller was chosen because it was "innovative and ambitious for its time". "Michael saw a lot of images [in videos] that didn't make sense. He brought videos to a new level. It shifts planes from B-movie to horror story to dancing and back to a traditional narrative. He broke the doors open on videos."

The film-maker John Landis directed the video and turned it into a landmark short movie that had its own cinema release. Jackson's Beat It video was also placed in the top 25.

The top 100 videos featured most of the big names in rock and pop, with the top 10 dominated by US artists, including Madonna, whose Vogue was voted second best video of all time. She was followed by the likes of Nirvana, Peter Gabriel and the Beastie Boys.

Tom Calderone, MTV's senior vice-president of music and talent, said Madonna's Vogue was chosen because of tight editing. "You see beautifully shot black and white images. It's perfectly edited," he said. "When making the decision, someone at MTV said, `If you put a Madonna video in an art gallery, this would be the one'." Madonna was the only artist to have two entries in the top 10, with Express Yourself making number 10 itself.

MTV mainstays such as Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer finished near the top, alongside the most recent of the entries, the Beastie Boys' Sabotage. Two of those whose works made it into the top 10 are now dead. Nirvana, the band of suicide victim Kurt Cobain, was placed number three with Smells Like Teen Spirit, and California Love by slain rapper Tupac Shakar was ranked number nine.


1 Michael Jackson - Thriller

2 Madonna - Vogue

3 Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit

4 Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer

5 Run DMC w/ Aerosmith - Walk This Way

6 Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine

7 Beastie Boys - Sabotage

8 Robert Palmer - Addicted To Love

9 2Pac/Dr. Dre - California Love

10 Madonna - Express Yourself

11 Duran Duran - Hungry Like The Wolf

12 Michael Jackson - Beat It

13 R.E.M. - Losing My Religion

14 A-Ha - Take On Me

15 Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott - The Rain

16 Police - Every Breath You Take

17 Nine Inch Nails - Closer

18 George Michael - Freedom

19 Pearl Jam - Jeremy

20 Busta Rhymes - Put Your Hands Where My Eyes

Can See

21 INXS - Need You Tonight/Mediate

22 Blind Melon - No Rain

23 The Notorious B.I.G./ Mase & Puff Daddy - Mo

Money, Mo Problems

24 Jamiroquai - Virtual Insanity

25 The Cars - You Might Think

26 Guns N' Roses - Welcome To The Jungle

27 LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out

28 Herbie Hancock - Rockit

29 Dire Straits - Money For Nothing

30 Korn - Freak On A Leash