Saturday Video Roundup: the best of music video, part 1

Welcome to yet another breathtaking episode of S&R’s famed Saturday Video Roundup. Today, instead of the usual assortment of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moments I want to look at some truly fantastic bits of music videography (and you can’t have a great music video without a great song). You probably haven’t seen these, but I think they’re among the finest ever made.

Let’s start with Death in Vegas. And remember, the first hit is always free:

Next, the highly controversial (and extremely NSFW) Prodigy vid for “Smack My Bitch Up.”

Finally, let’s close the show with a little ditty about racism and fascism from Pop Will Eat Itself.

That’s all for this week, kids, but trust me, there’s more where this came from.

10 replies »

  1. Prodigy and PWEI were ahead of their time, and still are. God bless YouTube for enabling us to see what MTV was too chickenshit to deal with, and thanks for shouting ’em out. 😉

  2. And I still think Death in Vegas may get my vote for greatest vid ever with “Dirt.” There’s something about that one that just blows me away.

    But yeah, MTV. Oh how the mighty have fallen….

  3. The video I compare all others to is “One” by Metallica – with all the samples of “Johnny Get Your Gun” included. I won’t say it’s the pinnacle of music videos (I don’t feel qualified to say that about any video, frankly), but if you ever hear me say that a video is up there with “One,” that’s as high of praise as I’m ever likely to give.

  4. I think that vid may have been my first contact with Metallica, and yeah, it absolutely pinned my ears back. I don’t think it stands with some of these others on artistic grounds, but if the criteria is “get people to pay attention” then we’d have to call it an unqualified success.

  5. What’s ironic about “One” is that at the time, Metallica was absolutely SAVAGED by metal critics and fans for doing it. Why? Because Lars had sworn a few years earlier that videos were lame and that they wouldn’t do one.

    It’s quite fitting that their first entry into the video world was also their best, and one of the few music videos that qualifies as real art. That song depressed the hell out of me when I heard it, and the video gave me nightmares for weeks.

    While it’s not as audacious as “Smack My Bitch Up” I think it’s ultimately a more meaningful piece of work in both song and story.