It has been said that we use art to decorate space and music to decorate time. Not all music videos take artistic advantage of both, but here are 15 curious and quirky creations that will surely provoke, fascinate and entertain.
Queen released Bohemian Rhapsody in 1975, and accompanied by a promotional video they arguably invented the phenomenon of the music video as we know it. Nowadays it would be unusual for a hit single to not be accompanied by some sort of visual spectacular. As disposable as pop can be, once in a while a music video comes along that truly captivates the audience for four minutes of audio visual magnificence.
15. Weapon of Choice, Fatboy Slim
This award winning video from 2000 showcased Christopher Walken’s interpretive dance skills and director Spike Jonze’s clever camera trickery. How did they hide those wires in the ceiling of the hotel lobby?
14. Come into My World, Kylie Minogue
Careful Kylie, you dropped your purse… Oh, it’s OK, Kylie picked it up for you. Wait, what!? This remarkable piece from director Michel Gondry wowed viewers when released back in 2001.
13. Sugar Water, Cibo Matto
On the topic of Michel Gondry, he’s directed some other mind-bending masterpieces that play with concepts of time and causality, like this head meltingly good and lesser known number. Watch out for the black cat!
12. Big Bad Wolf, Duck Sauce
Billboard magazine described this offering as “the most disturbing video of 2011”. Not for the faint hearted, it’s certainly an unusual take on how we’re all driven by the call of the wild.
11. Take On Me, A-ha
In 1986 one music video scooped up six MTV Video Music Awards and dominated our airwaves, television screens and conversations. With over 336 million views on YouTube, no collection of fascinating videos would be complete without this love story fantasy adventure into a hand drawn parallel dimension.
10. Star Guitar, The Chemical Brothers
Déjà vu! We’ve seen director Michel Gondry’s work already. This time he effortlessly blends reality with CGI to visually punctuate our audio experience. It’s arguably the trippiest train ride you’ll ever take.
9. Tous Les Mêmes, Stromae
Stromae plays two characters at the same time in this gender-bending gem from Belgium. This beautiful portrayal of dichotomy won’t leave you in two minds about his talents. Check out his other videos such as Papaoutai and Ta Fête. With more than 400 million views on YouTube between them, he’s clearly on to something.
8. It’s Oh So Quiet, Björk
Björk. Where to start? In other clips, she’s stomped around on the back of a truck, turned into a polar bear, driven toothy monster trucks, ripped teddies apart and fallen in love as an artificially intelligent robot. Competing with all of these, Spike Jonze directed an instant classic in 1995 with a big, bold, Broadway style number.
7. Window Licker, Aphex Twin
It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll recognise the music even if you don’t recognise the artist, title or video. Back in 1999 ambient music admirer and director Chris Cunningham pulled out all the stops to create a short 10 minute movie that spirals rapidly into a part sexy, part disturbing hot mess.
6. Here it Goes Again, OK Go
At a cost of $7 million Michael Jackson’s video Scream made a world record in 1995 as the most expensive music video ever made! But here’s proof that big budgets aren’t always necessary for making something memorable. While you’re here, you might as well check out another great video by the same band titled The Writing’s On The Wall featuring 20 optical illusions captured continuously in one take.
5. Hardest Button To Button, The White Stripes
Live action stop motion! The master of mental music videos is back again. Michel Gondry acquired 32 identical drum kits, 32 identical amplifiers, and 16 identical microphone stands to create the effects.
4. Virtual Insanity, Jamiroquai
Famous for hats and fancy foot work, Jay Kay gets the chance to show us how he grooves around a room that won’t stay still. The video was shot using two moving walkways on a stage floor going in different directions.
3. Marble Machine, Wintergatan
Mesmerising musical Marble Machine magic! 2,000 little metal balls are the star of this curious construction from Swedish folktronica band Wintergatan.
2. Coffee and TV, Blur
The perils of being a sentient milk carton play out in this 1999 throwback from Britpop sensation, Blur. Graham Coxon, the band’s guitarist sings lead vocals and also appears as the missing person on the side of Milky, the anthropomorphic cow juice container.
1. I’m The One, Flux Pavilion and Dillon Francis
We’re not sure what they were thinking when they made this video. But USB connected kittens and an evil cat with glowing eyes in a destructive cyberpunk romp can never be wrong, right?