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The Evolution of the Music Video Part 2 – The 90’s

Now in the 90’s, artists and directors really turned up the creativeness and the music video really came alive.

The other month I covered The Evolution of the Music Video Part 1 – The 80’s and we took a look at some brilliant examples of videos from the likes of Michael Jackson, Talking Heads and a-HA. This follow up post is all about the 90’s.

Music artists in the 80’s realised the amazing impact that a classic music video could make. Now in the 90’s, artists and directors really turned up the creativeness and the music video really came alive.

Sometimes a great music video can make or break a song!

Beastie Boys – Sabotage (1994)

This classic music video by Director Spike Jonze which sends up and spoofs the US cop dramas of the 1970’s. The video is like the opening credits of a cop drama. It’s very over the top and cheesy looking and is very amateurish on purpose.  It was nominated in five categories at the 1994 MTV Music Video Awards.

Weezer – Buddy Holly (1994)

We stay in 1994 with another video by the director Spike Jonze. They did an amazing job of managing to integrate the band straight into an episode of the 1950’s set TV show – Happy Days. I could watch The Fonz do that crazy dance all day!

Da Funk – Daft Punk (1996)

Daft Punk can definitely be considered as innovators when it comes to music and their music videos can be pretty creative too. Another damn good video by Spike Jonze once again. This bizarre video follows a humanoid dog has he hobbles around on crutches with a broken leg on the unforgiving streets of New York with his  Ghetto Blaster which he really doesn’t want to turn down!

Aphex Twin – Come to Daddy (1997)

Created by Chris Cunningham and Richard D. James, this is straight out of your nightmares! If you’ve ever been to a run down rough housing estate in the UK then you know they can be pretty grim. The video shows a group of masked children terrorizing an estate with a TV showing a distorted demon-esque Aphex Twin chanting, “I want your soul”. I don’t know what is more creepy, the children wearing masks of Richard James’s (Aphex Twin) face or the lanky skinny version of himself that emerges from the TV and screams in the poor old lady’s face. It’s some scary shit!

Squarepusher – Come on my Selector (1997)

If you like Japanese horror movies such as Ring and The Grudge then you will like this. It’s a great story set in an Osaka Children’s hospital and once again an amazing music video by Chris Cunningham who really shows his talent of pairing electronic dance music with great stories.

The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up (1997)

I’ve always loved The Prodigy ever since their rave scene beginnings. This video caused one hell of a stir back in 1997, not only for the title of the song, but the video was also banned from being played on MTV in the daytime.

Already coming under fire for scaring young kids with the 1996 music video for ‘Firestarter‘, this music video was shot from a ‘point of view of a raucous night on the town. Watch out for the twist ending too!

Chemical Brothers – Let Forever Be (1999)

Created by Michel Gondry the director of ‘Be Kind Rewind’ which just goes to show that he can easily create amazing intricate worlds. The whole process of creating the special effects in this video must have taken a very long time but it really really works and is a joy to watch.

Aphex Twin – Window Licker (1999)

We’ve seen “Come to Daddy” earlier in this list. So you already know how mental Aphex Twins music videos can be! This video is again by by Chris Cunningham and Richard D. James is probably the craziest there is.

The video starts off with quite a long introduction featuring an extremely overstretched limousine and mocking the ‘blingness’ of hip-hop videos of the 90’s. The biggest shock is when you see the scary manipulated faces of Aphex Twin on the heads of the sexy dancers and one of them is particularly grotesque.  There is some rather suggestive shots of champagne spraying from the bottle and then we have a Gene Kelly styled dance sequence with an umbrella kind of like ‘Singing in the Rain’.

Bjork – All is Full of Love (1999)

I love Bjork videos. Not only did she write and sing some amazing songs and wear some pretty whacky clothes she created some of the most innovative music videos of the decade. Another masterpiece by Chris Cunningham and with teaming up with Bjork was a master stroke which never disappoints. This one is definitely one of her best videos which features two beautiful (almost apple-styled) robots who fall in love.

Coffee & TV – Blur (1999)

In this video we follow a cute little carton of milk has he goes searching for the missing person printed on his side, who just happens to be one of the band. You might need a tissue for the ending though!

Written by Jay

A caffeine-based life form with a love of the 80s and pop culture.


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