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Top 10 One Shot Music Videos

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Sean Harris. It’s amazing what you can do with just one roll of the camera! Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 one shot music videos! For this list, we’ve looked at any music video, regardless of genre, that is composed of just one take. Many of these musical accompaniments required plenty of attempts, but the final product is seamlessly special! Special thanks to our users Opst3r, Erik Zarins, Dalibor Košš, Falco Dile, arimazzie, Jonas Concepcion and Gvidas Mikutis for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Written by Sean Harris.

Top 10 One Shot Music Videos


It’s amazing what you can do with just one roll of the camera! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 one shot music videos!

For this list, we’ve looked at any music video, regardless of genre, that is composed of just one take. Many of these musical accompaniments required plenty of attempts, but the final product is seamlessly special!

#10: “Undone - The Sweater Song” (1994)
Weezer

We begin by rocking out without a break in shot! The first single from the first ever Weezer album, the band hired director Spike Jonze who decided to have the band perform the song sped up. The result, when played at the correct speed, was that the band appeared to be moving in slow motion. Frontman Rivers Cuomo in his shaggy-haired youth, drummer Patrick Wilson acting wacky in slow-mo, and dogs. Lots of dogs... For some reason!

#9: “Hideaway” (2014)
Kiesza

A song which reportedly took less than two hours to write, the video accompaniment to Kiesza’s “Hideaway” surely took a lot longer than that to organise! As the singer takes to the streets for some crazy choreography in between cab rides, we’re left more than a little open-mouthed! Everything is very, very slick! With each new dance partner or group, we find that we’re “oohing and ahhing” even before the chorus has started! When she’s driven off at the end, we’re about ready to applaud our TV screens!

#8: “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” (2000)
D’Angelo

If we don’t need cuts in the film, we don’t need clothes on the performer... Right? That’s the conclusion reached with this turn of the century single, anyway! There’s only one thing to look at in this video, and we’re getting to look at it extremely close-up! Often parodied, most notably by Panic at the Disco, controversial rumours have it that D’Angelo was actually receiving oral sex off camera. If that’s true, then you have to take your hat off to the man... Along with everything else you’re wearing!

#7: “No Surprises” (1998)
Radiohead

It takes a lot of skill to turn a piece of film into something emotionally affective without at least cutting it once... It takes incredible skill to do so without even moving the camera once! The video for Radiohead’s “No Surprises” is an amazingly intimate 3 minutes and 46 seconds with lead singer Thom Yorke, one minute of which we see the guy’s head submerged in water! The reflections are in all the right places, the autocue lyrics look awesome, and Yorke’s faint smile upon breathing again is simply brilliant!

#6: “Yellow” (2000)
Coldplay

A similarly dreary concept now, and another that manages to turn something bleak into ‘something beautiful’, Chris Martin’s stroll along Studland Bay in Dorset is now iconic! But, it was originally meant to be a very different video! The shoot coincided with the funeral of drummer Will Champion’s mother, which is the reason why the rest of the band is absent. It had also been planned for a sunny day... But the dreariness on set seemed appropriate. We wouldn’t have it any other way... Raincoats and all, it’s a classic!

#5: “Subterranean Homesick Blues” (1965)
Bob Dylan

Widely recognised as one of the first ever music videos, this world famous Bob Dylan clip was initially created as the opening segment to the 1967 film “Dont Look Back”, a documentary showing Dylan’s tour of England two years previously. Filmed in a back alley behind the Savoy Hotel in London, the much-parodied cue cards were written by Beat Generation pioneer Allen Ginsberg, among others! At the time, this video was seriously cool, and it reeks with the same style even now!

#4: “Mad World” (2001)
Michael Andrews feat. Gary Jules

A song originally sung by Tears For Fears and covered by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules for the film “Donnie Darko” in 2001, it wasn’t until Christmas 2003 that this record really caught our ears, and in particular, our eyes. The video gives us a birds-eye view of an expertly organised group of people using their bodies to make moving images. As the camera occasionally pans to the singer or piano player, we know it’s a simple idea, but we also know we can’t take our eyes off it!

#3: “Here It Goes Again” (2006)
OK Go

These guys are king when it comes to inventive, single-take videos! The Rube Goldberg machine of “This Too Shall Pass” was something special, and the optical illusions of “The Writings on the Wall” had us wowed! Let’s not forget the stunning work of the “multi-copter” drone camera in 2014’s “I Won’t Let You Down”. But the viral success all started with 8 treadmills, and over 50 million views on YouTube! The care and attention that has clearly gone into making this video is commendable enough, but it’s all about the execution... And they executed this to perfection!

#2: “1234” (2007)
Feist

When we say we’ve got an all singing, all dancing wonder of a runner-up, we really mean it today! In terms of choreography, energy, ambition and effect, the video for “1234” scores 10 out of 10 with us! Filmed inside an empty hangar, the setting isn’t too elaborate, but the color and the movement leave you open-mouthed anyway! A real group effort, singer Leslie Feist stands out from the crowd, but she’s also entirely reliant upon them! When she bows at the end and her buddies aren’t there, that’s real magic!

But, before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

- “Americanarama” (2010)
Hollerado

- “The Lazy Song” (2011)
Bruno Mars

- “The Underdog” (2007)
Spoon

- “Oxford Comma” (2008)
Vampire Weekend

- “I Want Love” (2001)
Elton John

#1: “Wannabe” (1996)
The Spice Girls

Our one take winner has claimed the crown today, if only for its sheer level of craziness! There really is a lot going on in this video! From staircase dance routines, to five second flirting, to dining table back-flips, it’s quite incredible that none of the mania was missed! In simple terms, it’s the Spice Girls ransacking a potentially sophisticated party, but behind the camera, heaven knows the organisational effort! In terms of one-shot music videos, this is very far from ‘wannabe’ - this is the real, riotous deal!

Do you agree with our list? Which one take video did we forget? For more innovative top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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