MTV Turns 30!!! The Best 30 Music Videos Of All Time

107273942 MTV Turns 30!!! The Best 30 Music Videos Of All Time

Is Peter Gabriel Really The Best Video Of All Time?(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Ah Music Television.  What an innovation.   A station that only plays music videos.  It made high school bearable still living with our parents.  Has it really been 30 years?   Have we really come so far since “Video Killed The Radio Star” kicked off the programming on August 1st, 1981.

And now we’ve come to an age where music video’s live online, on Youtube, and shared on Facebook.   An era where something like Rebecca Black’s “Friday” is seen more than Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.  So we were thinking, on the 30th Anniversary of MTV’s debut, what are the 30 best music video’s ever made.

30. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

It’s simple, it’s not over the top, and it’s one of the best songs ever performed.   So it makes sense to watch Freddy Mercury and the rest just perform this to perfection.

29.  The Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star

It might not be the best video of all time, it might not have the coolest graphics, but it started the revolution and for that it deserves a spot on this list.

28. Coldplay – The Scientist

We’re pretty sure we would have watched this video if it were a black screen or one of those color bar emergency broadcast alert screens.  But the cool walking backward (or were they walking forward and playing the video backwards) thing kept us engaged.

27. Blind Melon – No Rain

What is it about a little girl in a bumble bee costume that had us all so transfixed?  Maybe we’ve all been that little girl in the bumble bee costume at one point or another (that was deep).

26. Dev0 – Whip It

The song isn’t that good, the video is weird, the outfits make no sense, and yet we still love this video.  His whipping skills are parralelled by no one, except maybe Dr. Indiana Jones.

25. Bon Jovi – Always

No the normal hard rock concert fist pumping Bon Jovi we’re all used to, but the video had a love triangle story line hearts breaking, paintings and an explosion.   Not to mention a fan blowing through Jon Bon Jovi’s wonderful hair.

24. Foo Fighters – Everlong

Personally a fan of the acoustic version of the song a little better, but this video is a tripy dream riot.  The members of the Foo Fighters were notorious for dressing in costumes and making silly video’s that had nothing to do with the lyrics of the song and this is no different, but the video still makes us laugh and questions the band’s sanity, every time we see it.

23. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation

Anything is black and white adds a dynamic element that really adds to a video, and this video it might make it.   The dancing helps as well.  We love the countdown at the beginning.

22. Duran Duran – A View To A Kill

Don’t ask us why we love this video, we just do.  The graphics are by today’s standards awful, the hair by today’s standards is horrific, but we still love it.

21. Madonna – Like A Virgin

Our second favorite video from the ‘Material Girl’.  We still aren’t sure why the lion is there, but for some reason at the time it made sense.

20. Madness – One Step Beyond

This video makes it on the first 30 seconds alone.  The song barely has lyrics, and the rest of the video is mostly a guy playing a saxophone in a stairwell, but the beginning is amazing.

19. The Clash – Rock The Casbah

When the song came out, we had no idea where the Casbah was. We’re still not quite sure, but the video had enough to keep us entertained and the song is fantastic.  We love the part where the Arabian is chugging a Dr. Pepper.

18. OK Go – Here It Goes Again

Maybe one of the first truly viral music video’s, OK Go perform their entire song in the midst of a choreographed treadmill dance.

17. Lauren Hill- Doo Wop

What ever happened to Lauren Hill?  That doesn’t really matter because we’re talking about this video that had a great nostalgic feel with modern mixed together as you look back at a classic 1960’s block party and a 1990’s dance party the two seamlessly came together as one.

16. Eminem – My Name Is

Not a huge fan of Eminem but there is no denying that this video had an impact, and was one of the biggest videos of its day.

15. Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart

Bonnie Tyler takes us through maybe the oddest mansion anyone has ever seen.  We’re not even sure how to describe what goes on in this video, it is almost so out there it makes sense, if that make sense.

14. Wall of Voodoo – Mexican Radio

Another video that is just random, but it fit the times.  Video of different things happening in Mexico interlaced with four guys standing about as close as four band members can stand makes one intriguing piece of music video art.

13. Jamiroquai – Virtual Insanity

I remember wanting a room like the one Jamiroquai was dancing/singing in for this video.  Granted it would have made watching TV almost impossible, but just one room in my house like this would be pretty fun.

12. Weezer – Buddy Holly

The ‘geeky’ rock group performs live at the fictional Archie’s from Happy Days.  Just a cool video where the group seems to performing for Richie, the Fonz, and the whole gang.

11. Madonna – Like A Prayer

This Madonna video sure made noise when it came out, and it still does with some people today, but you have to give credit to Madge for her ability to stay on the cutting edge and make people notice her.  For that and the video’s impact it almost cracks our top 10.

10. Beastie Boys – Sabotage

This video was ahead of it’s time and really pulled you into the story of three vice detectives trying to catch the bad guy.  That along with some good beats and the classic Beastie Boys style makes this video one of the best of all time.

9. Robert Palmer – Addicted to Love

Robert Palmer put together his full female band, had them put on bright red lipstick and made everyone addicted to this video.

8. Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime

This video was cutting edge.  I know now looking back it looks cheap and little funny, but this video really was something that riveted audiences when it came out.  That along with the weird delivery of the Talking Heads makes this video a classic.

trans MTV Turns 30!!! The Best 30 Music Videos Of All Time

7. Fatboy Slim – Weapon of Choice

I couldn’t stop watching this video when it came out. Christopher Walken puts on his dancing shoes and makes a hotel look like a ballroom.  Just a great concept, and the use of a big name star to really drive home the video.  And we all know, if it wasn’t Walken in the video, there is no way this makes #7 on our list.

6. Dire Straits – Money For Nothing

It starts with an ode to MTV (which of course got it a ton of airplay on the network).  But believe it or not, call the kids in from the front yard so they can see what we thought was amazing graphic artistry when we were younger.  This video blew away anything we’d seen before it, the highlighted instruments and block characters was top of the line in our day.

5. Chirs Isaac – Wicked Game

Most people wouldn’t put this video this high.  It didn’t have anything special about it.  The song isn’t that amazing, it is just a sultry sexy video that we absolutely loved.  It’s simplicity and the way it was executed puts it in the top five on our list.

4. OK G0 – This Too Shall Pass

The guys at OK Go were back at it with this amazing video involving a Rube Goldberg Machine.  It is so hard to explain, just know that this has to be done in one take, and might be the most amazing thing we’ve ever seen.

3. A-Ha – Take on Me

Another one of those videos that just blew our minds when we first saw it.  Now we have no idea what it means, but it still is one of the coolest videos to watch.

2. Michael Jackson – Thriller

This video has literally everything in it.  There is a story line, amazing choreographed dancing, that cool creepy voice guy, a dream sequence, a twist ending.  It’s hard to believe they still made video’s after this one.

1. Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer

With our appologies to The King of Pop, this video is amazing.  It would be amazing today to see someone take a stop motion video like this on.  So enjoy the #1 Music Video of All Time!

Did we get it right?  What Video’s are we missing?  Let us know in the Comments and maybe we’ll have to revise this list later this week. 


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