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Film Prophet's
Top 100 Greatest Music Videos
A FilmProphet.com Special

This greatest music videos list was a long work in progress starting from January to September of 2008 while I was thinking, watching, organizing, and re-organizing music videos. I’ve been working on this at the start of the year researching, as I called it fun, watching plenty of youtube and reminiscing on the past where the present can't come close to its marquee. During those months, I went back to the list of 100 cutting some off and adding some on while re-ordering it until the finished product looked right.

This list absolutely has nothing to do with motion picture movies, hence why this is a "special" list category. Stretching it a little to some extent of movies (like I did with cereals being made from movies), music videos are still a form of film. Consider them mainstream mini-films of the music art form in a few minutes. Note this is not a list of the coolest, hottest, weirdest, or humorous music videos. This is starting from back in the day when MTV was edgy and defined what cool is instead of following it. Originally as a marketing tool, film makers and music artists created music videos to alleviate the medium on an artistic scale. Some contain stories, innovative visuals, and summon emotions. Only official pop music videos released by legitimate music artists qualify, so no Super Bowl Shuffle.

I didn’t want to elongate the list with explanations to why each music video was selected and bore you reading them… or even having web addresses to their music videos online. This list is straightforward and simple like usual. Since I’m the Film Prophet who reviews film and did grow up with entertaining MTV in the house, it is my pleasure to bestow high regard to the greatest music videos ever.


From #100 to #1...

100. Blink-182 - What's My Age Again?
99. The Cranberries - Linger
98. Linkin Park - In the End
97. Usher - Nice & Slow
96. Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It
95. Kid Rock - Bawitdaba
94. "Weird Al" Yankovic - Amish Paradise
93. U2 - With or Without You
92. Radiohead - Karma Police
91. Eminem ft. Dr. Dre - Guilty Conscience
90. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Parents Just Don't Understand
89. Nas - One Mic
88. Evanescence - Going Under
87. Debbie Gibson - Foolish Beat
86. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony - Tha Crossroads
85. Beastie Boys - Intergalactic
84. Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want to Have Fun
83. Ludacris - Stand Up
82. Mase - Feel So Good
81. Beck - Loser
80. Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar on Me
79. Will Smith - Gettin' Jiggy wit It
78. Fountains of Wayne - Stacy's Mom
77. Marilyn Manson - The Beautiful People
76. Billy Joel - The Longest Time
75. Missy Elliot - The Rain
74. Wu-Tang Clan - Triumph
73. Fatboy Slim - Weapon of Choice
72. Chris Rock - No Sex in the Champagne Room
71. Van Halen - Jump
70. Janet Jackson - Rhythm Nation
69. Christina Aguilera - Hurt
68. Madonna - Material Girl
67. Puff Daddy ft. The Lox & Lil' Kim - It's All About the Benjamins (Rock Remix)
66. Herbie Hancock - Rockit
65. Reba McEntire - Fancy
64. Weezer - Buddy Holly
63. Foo Fighters - Big Me
62. Kelly Clarkson - Behind These Hazel Eyes
61. Green Day - Basket Case
60. Blind Melon - No Rain
59. Madonna - Secret
58. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Give It Away
57. Billy Joel - Uptown Girl
56. Pat Benetar - Love Is a Battlefield
55. David Bowie - Ashes to Ashes
54. Madonna - Papa Don't Preach
53. Master P - Make Em Say Uhh
52. Prince - When Doves Cry
51. Rammstein - Du hast
50. LL Cool J - Going Back to Cali
49. INXS - Need You Tonight
48. Justin Timberlake - Cry Me a River
47. Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg - Nuthin' but a "G" Thang
46. Madonna - Human Nature
45. The Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams
44. Johnny Cash - Hurt
43. Bon Jovi - Wanted Dead or Alive
42. Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz - Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)
41. Busta Rhymes - Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See
40. Madonna - Lucky Star
39. Jay-Z - 99 Problems
38. Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child o' Mine
37. Dire Straits - Money for Nothing
36. Rihanna - Umbrella
35. Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun
34. TLC - Waterfalls
33. Madonna - Like a Virgin
32. Sinéad O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U
31. The Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
30. Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up
29. Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
28. R.E.M. - Everybody Hurts
27. Jamiroquai - Virtual Insanity
26. George Michael - Careless Whisper
25. Madonna - Borderline
24. Korn - Freak on a Leash
23. Alanis Morissette - Ironic
22. Michael Jackson - Beat It
21. a-ha - Take on Me
20. Pearl Jam - Jeremy
19. Madonna - Justify My Love
18. Aerosmith and Run-DMC - Walk This Way
17. Prodigy - Smack My Bitch Up
16. The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony
15. Madonna - Oh Father
14. 2Pac feat. Dr. Dre - California Love
13. Nine Inch Nails - Closer
12. AC/DC - Thunderstruck
11. R.E.M. - Losing My Religion
10. Madonna - Express Yourself
9. Beastie Boys - Sabotage
8. Notorious B.I.G. ft. Puff Daddy & Mase - Mo Money, Mo Problems
7. Journey - Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
6. Eminem - Stan
5. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
4. Don Henley - The Boys of Summer
3. Michael Jackson - Thriller
2. Madonna - Like a Prayer
1. Madonna - Vogue

Madonna typically took something underground and here in Vogue made it public to mainstream America on a hit song and music video... and that was attitude. One of over fifty Madonna music videos and one of four of hers directed by David Fincher, it evoked the past of old Hollywood (so yes the number one music video did somewhat incorporate classic movies) entirely in black and white with rhythm and a diverse background of black and latino dancers who were also part of her Blond Ambition tour, which is arguably the most provocative world tour to date. Her belief in racial equality succeeds through many of her videos. Set aside the kingdom and tower of Madonna in ‘Express Yourself,’ frozen poses with statues of art unfasten in the house of Madonna reeking in beauty. The famous 'strike a pose' line and the cone bra can not be forgotten. An energetic duo dance breaks out in a flash between 03:12 to 03:29. The subculture concept, exploring a postmodern movement, and empowering classes of individuals through the power of Madonna makes this the finest music video achievement ever. Who better than Madonna to have at number one?

"Vogue (1990)"

Madonna changed the way people experienced music of what could be done on video and on stage, and how the television can handle it. Without the music television and Madonna collaborating, they might not be what they've become today, so the M in MTV should be Madonna (in jest). The Italian-American is a worldly artist who speaks out about social issues and takes risks with her work. She is raw and direct with a force of drive to succeed pushing boundaries even being banned for things (Pepsi commercial in 1989, Justify My Love music video in 1990, Like a Virgin performance on the Blond Ambition World Tour in 1990, Erotica video in 1992, the Sex book in 1992, What It Feels Like for a Girl video in 2001, etc.) often filled with cultural and spiritual images (Like a Prayer, Secret, and Oh Father music videos to name some) and make people think. She’s still fantastic surviving nearly three decades of music with a single out each year. Along with being named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, having more top ten hits than any other artist ever, and having the best-selling compilation album & highest grossing tour ever by a female artist, Madonna has made around 60 music videos garnering 68 MTV Video Music Award nominations (9 of them which came from Vogue - her most) with 19 wins from 1984 to 2008 (more than any other artist in history). With a dozen videos on the countdown and at number one, she is the ultimate music video artist.