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Top 10 Artists That Make The Best Music Videos

VO: Matt Campbell
Script written by Q.V. Hough Visual connoisseurs and undeniable masters of the music video. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Artists That Make The Best Music Videos. For this list, we're not excluding any artist or band due to genre, time of release or even the fact that they might have released a couple of duds, but rather the overall brilliance of their collective work. Special thanks to our user Spokes for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Q.V. Hough

Top 10 Artists That Make The Best Music Videos


Visual connoisseurs and undeniable masters of the music video. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Artists That Make The Best Music Videos.

For this list, we’re not excluding any artist or band due to genre, time of release or even the fact that they might have released a couple of duds, but ratherthe overall brilliance of their collective work.

#10: Foo Fighters


Born out of tragedy upon the death of Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain, Foo Fighters began as one-man show featuring Dave Grohl, and decades later, thefully-formed band has further established their legacy thanks to a knack for music video comedy and striking visuals. Before he would go on to direct HBO’s “Girls”, Jesse Peretz guided the early Foo Fighters productions, however in recent years, Dave Grohl has stepped behind the camera for hits including “Rope” and “White Limo.” Balancing the line between comedic brilliance and emotional gravity, Foo Fighters infuse each video with a heavy amount of energy that’s always a joy to watch.

#9: Tool


Released few and far between, the music videos of Tool never fail to leave their fans wanting more, and given their propensity to focus on the imagery rather than personalities, the experience always takes on a greater meaning. For example, look at the 1999 stop-motion video “Sober” directed by guitarist Adam Jones, a haunting production that will you make you re-think the entire concept of the music video. Kicking off their videography with the black and white “Hush” directed by Ken Andrews, each video since has been directed by Jones, who proceeded to deliver something truly spectacular each time around.

#8: Beyoncé


Already a legitimate pop star as a member of Destiny’s Child, as a solo artist Beyoncé quickly ushered in the next wave of iconic music videos, beginning with a collaboration featuring her beau Jay-Z. Since then, Beyoncé has combined her astounding sex appeal with the most innovative styles and dance moves of the time. Of course, it was the “Single Ladies” video that left perhaps the biggest imprint on pop culture, even if her repertoire is certainly not limited to formulaic creations. You never know what to expect with Bey, well, except the fact that she will handle her business.

#7: Beastie Boys


When it came to living young, wild and free, there was nobody quite like the Beastie Boys. And while Ad-Rock, Mike D, and MCA certainly played into their Brooklyn thug personas, they made it look so damn fun. Under the pseudonym Nathanial Hornblower, MCA directed their 1981 debut “Holy Snappers,” and since then, the Beastie Boys have continued their classic music video legacy. Although MCA has since moved on to the next life, the Beastie Boys are firmly rooted in the groundwork of transformative hip-hip videos.


#6: Lady Gaga


For a music video to stand the test of time, it must have that “it” factor - otherwise known as the “WTF” element. In a digital world full of wacky personalities, it takes a true artist to stand out, and in the digital age, a fully realized Lady Gaga spectacle will surely become a social media phenomenon. She doesn’t necessarily have the resume of a Madonna or Janet Jackson, however she’s clearly learned a thing or two from those who came before. Then again, Gaga is only getting started, but if she was to retire today, she’d forever have a place on our list.

#5: Radiohead


It’s such a rock star cliché, but some musicians do actually choose substance over style. And then there’s a band like Radiohead that’s capable of providing the best of both worlds. Complementing the poignant lyrics and complex musicianship that made Radiohead such a beloved alternative band, thevideos further allow fans into their world. In essence, Radiohead’s music allows for a personal escape, and their visuals only enhance the experience. Now if only we could get another music video with Thom Yorke dancing.

#4: Madonna


It's hard not to be aware of Madonna’s influence on pop culture. In fact, MTV presented Madonna with a Video Vanguard Award in 1986, years before iconic releases such as “Express Yourself” and “Vogue,”- both directed by none other than famed filmmaker David Fincher. Given the vast videography of Madonna, we’ll just say that it’s worth your time to take an hour or two to explore her immaculate collection from beginning to end, as she fully embracedthe art from and utilized the platform of MTV to the fullest, all the while becoming the biggest female pop star in the world.

#3: Björk


The voice and music of Bjork may not appeal to all, but her mind-bending music videos will surely provide something you’ve never seen before. After exiting Icelandic band The Sugarcubes, Bjork teamed up with some of the most admired directors of our time, including “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” director Michel Gondry who created the singer’s debut video “Human Behaviour”. Considering the surrealistic nature of such a film and those of frequent collaborator Spike Jonze, it’s not hard to see why Bjork was drawn to such talent, and vice versa, as a truly original video will challenge our perceptions and dwell in our subconscious.


#2: OK Go


They may have only released a handful of albums, but OK Go have unleashed a vast collection of killer videos. Like any band of mad geniuses, OK Go continue to up the ante both in song titles and visuals. One of their tracks was even called “WTF,” which seemed to capture the thoughts of most viewers, even if they loved every second of the OK Go video experience. Call it what you want – low-brow or deadpan humor –the truth is that OK Go lives in a world of their own, certainly when it comes to modern art.

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

Weezer

Kanye West

Eminem

Daft Punk

The Black Keys


#1: Michael Jackson


With all due respect to the other artists on this list, they all pale, in comparison to the King of Pop. No one will ever transcend the very idea of the musicvideo quite like MJ, as he crossed racial barriers while simultaneously offering the world something new with each release. Of course, MJ didn’t just make“videos,” he made short films and enlisted the biggest names in the business to ensure a premium experience. The world stopped when a new MJ video hitthe airwaves, and he more than anyone understood the importance of his craft.

So, do you agree with our selections? Who do you think makes the best music videos? For more mind-blowing Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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