What Makes a Great Video?
January 25, 2007

I refuse to believe that 3 of the 20 Greatest Music Videos of All Time are by Guns ‘n’ Roses.

I’m not surprised, however, to see a whole lot of boys in the bands. It makes it even weirder to see a woman, Lynn Hoffman, hosting.

The major female roles in the videos are limited to being cut and eaten as cake (“Don’t Come Around Here No More”, although it’s in keeping with the fabulous Alice in Wonderland imagery); Shirley Manson singing “Stupid Girl”; Annie Lennox singing “Sweet Dreams”; “November Rain”‘s dead bride; Blind Melon’s Bee Girl; the jailbait dancer in “Cradle of Love”; and Duran Duran’s “Girls on Film”.

How you have a greatest videos countdown with no mention of Madonna… this list shows the limitation of public polling and the ex-hipster audience of VH1 Classic. When standard concert videos (“Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Wanted Dead or Alive”) rank as #4 and #3, you know people weren’t voting based on art. I found it funny that the closer we got to the top, the harder the host hit the “what you voted for” angle, as though disavowing responsibility.

6 Responses  
Katherine F. writes:  

It’s remarkable how often awards for music videos aren’t really awards for the videos at all — as if people are incapable of separating the video from the song or the musician. (Anyone remember Not the Nine O’Clock News‘s “Nice Video, Shame About The Song”?)

Ray Cornwall writes:  

Where’s Prince’s Kiss, with Wendy mocking the hell out of Prince during the video? Bah.

Though November Rain is one hell of a good video. Can’t really argue with VH1 on that one.

Colleen writes:  

I agree with Katherine – I think voters were choosing the songs (which explains GNR) and not the videos. My husband and I kept waiting for Madonna – I don’t know how you could skip “Like a Prayer” for any kind of best video list – but she never showed. That’s just voters dissing Madonna, plain and simple.

And no Prince???? How is that possible?

carpboy writes:  

Voting for the song, and not the video, is what led to Smells Like Teen Spirit supplanting Thriller as Best Video in those MTV countdowns during the 90s. Urrgh.

jabolo writes:  

Any top ten video list that doesn’t include Devo (‘Whip It’, ‘Jocko Homo’), the Talking Heads (‘Once in a Lifetime’), or Peter Gabriel (‘Shock the Monkey’, ‘Games Without Frontiers’, the slightly overrated ‘Sledgehammer’) is full of crap. Where the heck is the early new wave, i.e. when music videos were minimalist pop art?

Jim writes:  

The bride died in November Rain?!!!

OMG, spoiler warning!


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