By Tom Shefchik
Ever since video murdered radio stars in cold blood, music videos have been an integral part of the music scene. They probably aren't as big as they were in the TRL days, or when "Music Television" actually played music, but they are still an important part of virtually every hit song. I am about to unveil my favorite ten videos of all-time. I have no discernable musical talent, nor have I been alive for the entire history of music videos, but hey, I know what I like.
Something important to keep in mind about this list is that it isn't my top ten favorite songs. Some of these songs are God-awful, but I have a method to my madness. Also, it's a bit long, so I chopped it into two parts, with Part Two coming tomorrow. Alright, enough jibber-jabber, let's get it on!
10. Korn, "Freak on a Leash"
As I recall, "Freak" was the first non-N'Sync/Backstreet Boys video to be #1 on TRL. I drink a lot, so I may be remembering that wrong, but it sounds right to me. Even though the graphics seem pretty run of the mill now, the bullet destroying everything was state of the art at the time. Plus, it serves as a reminder that Korn made good music at one point.
9. N'Sync, "Drive Myself Crazy"
I realize I am putting my manhood on the line by including this, but hear me out. This video came out years before Lance Bass did the same. Watching him pretend to like girls is HI-larious. I am almost certain the "she loves me, she loves me not" move he pulls in it was his idea. In a video where everything is pretty gay, he still stands out (not that there's anything wrong with that). Oh, and seeing Timberlake with the bleached hair is always entertaining.
8. Justin Timberlake, "Cry Me a River"
Back to back Timberlake! Anyway, this makes it because it is the anthem for any dude who has dated or, God-forbid, has been married to an unscrupulous woman. Guys always get a bad rap when it comes to relationships, but girls can suck pretty hard too, mostly because they are evil. Alright, time to recapture my masculinity.
7. Chris Brown, "Gimme That"
Before the horrible incident with Rihanna, Chris Brown was pegged to be the next Michael Jackson. He clearly has all the talent in the world, but it's almost impossible to believe he will ever be quite that popular again. Alright, enough with the serious stuff.
6. Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys, "Empire State of Mind"
Even though it's pretty overplayed, "Empire" is NYC's new anthem. The video almost makes me feel like I'm there, possibly getting mugged. Plus, like Jay, I will also be 'hood forever, so it seemed like a natural choice. Sure, Alicia Keys has looked much hotter, but who wants to pick nits?
5. Usher, "Yeah!"
My longtime, unrequited man-love for Usher is well known, so this should come as no surprise. It is his best video in my opinion, I always get a kick out of Ludacris calling him "Ursher" because it sounds so dumb, and more Lil Jon is always a plus. Speaking of Lil Jon, check out his high school grad pic if you feel like taking a ride in a ROFLcopter.
4. Britney Spears, "Oops, I Did it Again"; Christina Aguilera, "Dirrty" (tie)
Yes, having a tie is cheating and turns a Top Ten list into 11. It's my blog though, so I don't care. Both of these videos "touched" me in just the right way when they came out. When "Oops" came out, I thought Britney was the most perfect specimen I had ever seen. Clearly, she's had some hard times since, but it's nice to know that she can still dust off the Cheetos powder and look good when she feels like it.
Then, "Dirrty" came along a few years later. I was ready for a bad girl to come into my life (Virtually, of course. I did even worse with the ladies in high school than I do now, believe it or not.), and X-tina fit the bill. I actually like the song, too. Finally, it's nice to see Redman again, may he rest in peace. Wait, he's still alive? For sure? Hmm, who knew?
3. Kanye West ft. T-Pain, "Good Life"
If this was my favorite songs of all time, this would be number one. Alas, it will have to settle for number three. The song samples keys from Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T.", so all of the MJ references in the video are really cool. The other great part is whoever that girl is, she looks like an extremely fun carnival ride.
As an aside, life is rough when two of your favorite artists are Kanye and Chris Brown. I tell people that, and they stare at me as if I just called their mother a whore. It's not my fault they've done really stupid things, and it's not my fault they make great music. I will now hop off of my soapbox and finish up this countdown.
2. Tom Cochrane, "Life is a Highway"
Note: I can't embed this one due to request, so I will have to just link it here.
Everything about this song and video is awesome: The clothes and LEGO man haircut, the random odd people he meets, and the fact that it's a really good song. Clearly, the best part starts at the 3:16 mark though. When Cochrane whips the guitar on his back and does that weird leg shimmy thing, magic happens. As a man who can't dance whatsoever, even I can say it's brutal. The brutality is what makes it great though, so I am indebted to TC for life.
1. Michael Jackson, "Thriller"
I realize I don't win any unique points for calling "Thriller" the greatest music video of all time. Whatever though, just because it's not original doesn't make it wrong. This video was way ahead of its time, the song is awesome, and the story is actually interesting. Truth be told, I could have made half of this list MJ videos, but that wouldn't be any fun. The man lived a truly strange life, but he was supremely gifted and earned his place in history.