November 6th, 2008

homesick blues

The project

Why on earth am I doing this?

In a fit of work-related boredom recently, I compiled a list of my 100 favorite music videos of all time. (Yes, in order. It was an especially boring day.) This was hardly new; I had made similar lists before on all sorts of topics, including one music video list about three or four years ago. The difference here, though, was the existence of YouTube and similar services, leaving me the option of actually going back and watching these things, even some of the more obscure ones.

That got me to thinking, which is never a good thing.

So here's the project: I will be presenting my list of the 100 greatest music videos of all time, counting down from #100 all the way to number 1, a video a days. 100 Days, 100 Videos, he said plagiaristically (and with sincere apologies to the American Film Institute). Yes, I'm out of my beady little mind.

The List, and its criteria

First of all, I need to once again emphasize that this list is the result one man's opinion, and not an especially mentally stable man at that. Videos may appear here for any number of reasons: concept, cinematography, editing, on-screen performance, sense of humor, production design, or what-have-you. A number of these come down to the dreaded "je ne sais quoi," which means I'll have my work cut out for me explaining my reasons for these things. The one criterion that all videos on this list must meet is that they appear somewhere on YouTube, which is not my favorite site in the world, but it has the widest variety of available materials, including some things that shocked me to discover I wasn't the only one alive who remebered them. Unfortunately, this did mean cutting some titles that otherwise would be considered essential; at some point, I'll list some of these, but I'll hold off in the hopes that someone will save me on those counts. (In the meantime, if you happen to have a copy of "Kiko and the Lavender Moon" by Los Lobos or "Long Way Down (Look What the Cat Drug In)" by Michael Penn, be a dear and upload, if you would. Thanks.)

My tastes, it must be admitted, are rather quirky (rafaela, who has seen the list, agrees with my assertion that it's "weird"). Some obvious choices will appear, and you can probably guess a lot of them, but there's a bunch that I'm guessing I'm in the minority on. In addition, I'm noticing that the list has some definite biases, such as:

* too many videos from the '90s, and not enough from other eras (I firmly believe that the '90s were a renaissance era for music video, but I'm probably leaning on that decade too hard)
* a definite preference for certain directors (I think better than 10% of the videos represented are from Michel Gondry, for Pete's sake)
* very, very few rap and country videos

I'm not happy about these skewings of the data, but again, it's one man's opinion; your mileage may vary.

So, that's it. I hope you and I both enjoy the ride, and I look forward to reading your comments. Cheers.