The Top 10 Pop Music Videos of All Time

From Michael Jackson to Madonna, these are the pop music videos that have stood the test of time.

“Thriller” by Michael Jackson

In 1982, Michael Jackson released what would become the most popular music video of all time – “Thriller.” The 13-minute long short film was directed by John Landis and starred Jackson as a young man who turns into a zombie and terrorizes a group of his friends, played by actress Ola Ray. The video features groundbreaking special effects for its time and remains one of the most iconic music videos ever made.

“Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson

“Billie Jean” is a song by American singer Michael Jackson, released by Epic Records on January 2, 1983, as the second single from his sixth studio album, Thriller (1982). It was written and composed by Jackson and produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones. “Billie Jean” is a pop and R&B song that features a post-disco sound and pop lyrics about paranoia and accusation of infidelity. The song became one of the best-selling singles of 1983 and is one of Jackson’s signature songs.

The music video for “Billie Jean” was directed by Steve Barron and was filmed in Los Angeles, California in 1982. The video features Jackson dancing to the song in a white suit with a red jacket, black trousers, white socks, black loafers and a white shirt with a black bow tie. The video received heavy rotation on MTV, debuting on the channel on March 4, 1983. It won three MTV Video Music Awards in 1984, including Best Male Video and Best Overall Video.

“Beat It” by Michael Jackson

Coming in at number 10 on our list is Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” This classic ’80s video features Jackson and his backup dancers taking on a group of gangsters. The video is full of great choreography and amazing dance moves, making it one of the most iconic music videos of all time.

“Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” music video is widely considered to be one of the best ever made. The stop-motion animation effects are groundbreaking, and the video’s unique visuals have helped it to stand the test of time. “Sledgehammer” was nominated for a staggering nine MTV Video Music Awards, and it won a record-breaking seven awards, including Best Video of the Year.

“Take on Me” by a-ha

“Take on Me” is a song by Norwegian pop band A-ha, released in 1984. The song was written by guitarist Pål Waaktaar-Savoy and singer Morten Harket, and produced by Alan Tarney. The song combines synthpop with an new wave-influenced melody. The original version was not a commercial success, but after being remixed and re-released in 1985, it became an international hit, reaching number one in several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Denmark. The video won six MTV Video Music Awards and is listed as one of the greatest music videos of all time by various publications. In 2010, the video was voted the best music video of the 1980s by readers of Billboard magazine.

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana

Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is often cited as one of the most influential music videos of all time. Directed by Samuel Bayer, the video features the band performing in a high school gymnasium filled with teenage fans. The video helped to launch Nirvana into the mainstream and controversially captured the zeitgeist of the early 1990s.

“Come as You Are” by Nirvana

Nirvana’s “Come as You Are” music video is a classic that has been imitated but never duplicated. It features the band playing in a dimly lit room with random images flashing on the screen. The video was directed by Dave Meyers and won Best Alternative Video at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards.

“Lithium” by Nirvana

Directed by Stéphane Sednaoui and released in 1992, “Lithium” is one of Nirvana’s most iconic music videos. The video features footage of the band performing in a dark room intercut with shots of a young girl (played by Sednaoui’s then-girlfriend, Bijou Phillips) riding a bicycle and playing with a chalkboard.

The video was nominated for four MTV Video Music Awards, including Best Alternative Video, and won the award for Best Cinematography.

“Vogue” by Madonna

Madonna’s “Vogue” is one of the most iconic music videos of all time. The video features Madonna and her dancers engaging in a choreographed routine set to the song’s lyrics. The video was directed by David Fincher and was released in 1990. “Vogue” was a huge commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and becoming one of Madonna’s signature songs.

“Like a Prayer” by Madonna

“Like a Prayer” is a song recorded by American singer Madonna for her fourth studio album of the same name. Sire Records released it as the album’s lead single on February 22, 1989. She co-wrote and produced the track with Patrick Leonard. A pop ballad, the song includes a chorus backed by choir vocals. It talks about a passionate young woman in love with God but confused about her relationship with Him. After its release, “Like a Prayer” received critical acclaim. Music critics praised its composition and compared it favorably to other material from the album. Commercially, the song was an instant success and became Madonna’s seventh number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100, while peaking atop record charts in countries such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and Spain.

The music video for “Like a Prayer” was directed by Mary Lambert and released on March 3, 1989. It features Madonna as a Witness Protection Program member who remembering how she was raped by aagna men while being celibate; while praying in church she stumbles across a statue of Saint Martin de Porres who tells her that God hears all prayers. The video then cuts to Madonna chasing after two hyperactive kids before starting a fire in an abandoned building where she has taken them for shelter; afterwards she is seen running away from the police who are investigating the blaze. Through specially created computer effects, she is seen strolling through burning crosses and standing atop one as it explodes below her. These shots caused controversy among religious groups because they appeared to depict Madonna worshipping Satan; some religious organisations even urged MTV not to air it.

Lambert’s approach towards filming “Like a Prayer” was unlike that of any of Madonna’s previous videos. The video marked an evolution in Madonna’s style and demonstrated her talent for using religious imagery to provoke international controversy while still maintaining artistic merit and mainstream appeal.”

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Keyword: The Top 10 Pop Music Videos of All Time

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