29 Brilliant Music Videos

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Music has always been an excellent source of inspiration. Particularly if you are stuck with some problem you can’t find a workaround for, a beautiful song can give you a new perspective, let you see the problem from a different angle. And sometimes it’s just useful to make a break — for instance, watching some music videos.

In this post we present some unusual music videos for your monday’s coffee break. Some of the videos are thought-provoking, some of them are funny and some are bizarre. While many of them are well-known, you’ll probably find some videos you’ve never watched before. The videos all perfectly to the music which is being played in the background. Hopefully, everyone will find something new and inspiring for himself/herself. Please notice that you might need to watch some videos at least twice to get the idea behind them.

You might want to read the descriptions of the videos — they are provided below every link. The screenshots often don’t reveal that much about the videos they stand for.

Music Videos

Unkle – Rabbit in your Headlights1
What is this guy whispering? Who is the guy? And what is he doing in the tunnel? You need to watch this video till the very end. You won’t be disappointed.

Music Video Screenshot2

Jason Forrest – “War Photographer”3 (2005)
These freaking vikings are both cool and strange. But it doesn’t make them less sympathetic. And they can play both on drums and guitars pretty well.

Music Video Screenshot4

Bat for Lashes — What’s A Girl To Do5
00:38 is the best moment in the history of music videos. Well, this one is kind of scary. Hares driving on the bicycles and clapping their hands at the same time? A masterpiece from the year 2007.

Music Video Screenshot6

Nick Cave & Kylie Mingoue — Where The Wild Roses Grow7
Probably one of the most beautiful music videos ever made. There is no need for words. Watch it.

Music Video Screenshot8

Rob Dougan — Clubbed To Death9
Incredible editing and directing. So symbolic, so powerful.

Music Video Screenshot10

Fujiya & Miyagi – Ankle Injuries11
What about a music video which is made with thousands of 6-sided dice? Exactly. And the music fits perfectly.

Music Video Screenshot12

Radiohead – “Street Spirit (Fade Out)”13 (1995)
The video for this song was shot using different film frequencies, allowing various actions to unfold at different rates within the same frame. The emotional effects of this practice range from silly to unsettling. Try not to watch this video too many times; it begins to feel a little more disturbing each time. [Jeff Shreve]

Music Video Screenshot14

Sia – “Breathe Me” (Quicktime)
The production of this video clip took several thousands Polaroid photos. The result is… at least unusual.

Music Video Screenshot

Citizens Here and Abroad – You Drive and We’ll Listen To Music15
Jason Koxvold’s video pairs crashing cars with crashing guitars. Rock. Very well executed and perfectly edited. Must see.

Music Video Screenshot16

Moby – Porcelaine17
Such a beautiful song. One of the videos you are amazed about once, and you never forget again.

Music Video Screenshot18

The Strokes – You Only Live Once19 (Imeem)
With a Hundred ways to do a dozen things, why not try it all? Directed by Warren Fu.

Music Video Screenshot20

Arctic Monkeys – A view from the afternoon21 (Quicktime version)
A song about a passion and unstoppable willingness to do what you love. Simple, yet so effective.

Music Video Screenshot22

“Glosoli” – Sigur Ros23
“Glosoli” depicts a young drummer boy gathering up the other denizens of what appears to be an adult-free utopian land, and leading a revolution to freedom. So beautiful and so touching. Don’t miss the last scene.

Music Video Screenshot24

The Avalanches – “Frontier Psychiatrist”25
This is freaky. Sometimes the most obvious concept for a video also turns out to be the best. The ghost choir is the best. Except for the nightmarish old-man turtle, of course. [via PitchForkMedia26]

Music Video Screenshot27

Royksopp – Remind Me28
We’ve featured this movie already, but it’s worth mentioning it in this post. You can watch it dozens times and still not catch everything. A day in the life of an average working Jill, broken down into its minutest component parts. The unstated joke: mankind has erected immense, resource-devouring systems of almost incomprehensible complexity just so you can sit in your cubicle.

Typography in Motion29

Blur – “Coffee & TV”30 (Quicktime31)
Actually, this song is about a dancing milk carton. However, its adventures are funny, cute, but with a pleasing streak of cruelty. The milk-carton protagonist even has its own fan site32.

Music Video Screenshot33

Boards of Canada: “Dayvan Cowboy”34 (Quicktime35)
It’s pretty easy to get wrapped up in the grainy, existential pulchritude of this thing and completely miss the cheeky self-reference. So, um, where can one surf in Canada? Directed by Melissa Olson.

Music Video Screenshot36

Move Your Feet – Junior Senior37
That’s weird. And that’s what makes it special. A pixel-based video clip.

Music Video Screenshot38

Daft Punk – One More Time39
Probably one of the most colorful animated music videos of all time. Daft Punk, one more time.

Music Video Screenshot40

Xploding Plastix – Joy Comes In The Morning41
A music video about the world we live in and the world we’d like to live in.

Music Video Screenshot42

Unkle – Eye For Eye43
A haunting track with a creepy animation, which won an award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Nasty weirdness drops from the sky and then moves on.

Music Video Screenshot44

Vitalic – Poney45
Flying dogs in light of a laser and in slow-motion. Nobody has ever done something like this before.

Music Video Screenshot46

OK Go – Here It Comes Again47

Music Video Screenshot48

Justice “D.A.N.C.E.”49 (Quicktime50)
Sometimes even T-Shirts can speak. For instance, in this music video. “D.A.N.C.E.” was nominated for “Video of the Year at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards. On the first of November Justice received the “Video Star” award at the European Music Awards in Munich.

Music Video Screenshot51

Forss – “City Ports”52
The visualization fits perfectly to the music.

Music Video Screenshot53

Radiohead – Just54
What could the man on the street possibly have said?

Music Video Screenshot55

Prodigy – Out Of Space56
Prodigy’s “Out of Space” is probably one of the weirdest videos ever created. Welcome back to the 90s — this is how some videos looked like then. The song which was * for the whole generation.

Music Video Screenshot57

The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony58
A video everybody has seen. And everybody would see again.

Music Video Screenshot59

RJD2 – Work It Out60
This guy just want to have some fun with his crooks and his skateboard. A one-shot-video from 2007.

Music Video Screenshot61

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3ClCwcCvdQ
  2. 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3ClCwcCvdQ
  3. 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3fa-sjsvno
  4. 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3fa-sjsvno
  5. 5 http://videos.antville.org/stories/1642555/
  6. 6 http://videos.antville.org/stories/1642555/
  7. 7 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRMe5H9WKpM
  8. 8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRMe5H9WKpM
  9. 9 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMq4akUZr8c
  10. 10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMq4akUZr8c
  11. 11 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5XVeENmLMk
  12. 12 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5XVeENmLMk
  13. 13 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPX3u0XJzKM
  14. 14 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPX3u0XJzKM
  15. 15 http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=748883
  16. 16 http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=748883
  17. 17 http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXhGvcmhqaM
  18. 18 http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXhGvcmhqaM
  19. 19 http://thestrokes.imeem.com/video/YG-iSIQn/the_strokes_the_strokes_you_only_live_once_music_video/
  20. 20 http://thestrokes.imeem.com/video/YG-iSIQn/the_strokes_the_strokes_you_only_live_once_music_video/
  21. 21 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF978AgLyaY
  22. 22 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF978AgLyaY
  23. 23 http://www.emichrysalis.co.uk/quicktime/sigur_ros/glosoli/index.php
  24. 24 http://www.emichrysalis.co.uk/quicktime/sigur_ros/glosoli/index.php
  25. 25 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8BWBn26bX0
  26. 26 http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/feature/36588-staff-list-100-awesome-music-videos
  27. 27 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8BWBn26bX0
  28. 28 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBvaHZIrt0o
  29. 29 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBvaHZIrt0o
  30. 30 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWUil383us4
  31. 31 http://www.tongsville.com/cinemahtml/blur.html
  32. 32 http://www.milkyfan.com/
  33. 33 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWUil383us4
  34. 34 http://youtube.com/watch?v=_lEsLcGB7Vo&watch_response
  35. 35 http://www.warprecords.com/dayvancowboy/boc-dayvancowboy.mov
  36. 36 http://youtube.com/watch?v=_lEsLcGB7Vo&watch_response
  37. 37 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKcDa0Kp2K8
  38. 38 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKcDa0Kp2K8
  39. 39 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFaNXsNIXp4
  40. 40 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFaNXsNIXp4
  41. 41 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Dm4y9s9vjA
  42. 42 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Dm4y9s9vjA
  43. 43 http://youtube.com/watch?v=IRbrJHUrIqk
  44. 44 http://youtube.com/watch?v=IRbrJHUrIqk
  45. 45 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugTLYWB3SlY
  46. 46 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugTLYWB3SlY
  47. 47 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv5zWaTEVkI
  48. 48 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv5zWaTEVkI
  49. 49 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo_QVq2lGMs&feature=related
  50. 50 http://project.75.tv/justice_dance_27avril/getmedia/0/dance-finale.mov
  51. 51 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo_QVq2lGMs&feature=related
  52. 52 http://forss.to/cityports/
  53. 53 http://forss.to/cityports/
  54. 54 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5X7HKxpiQA
  55. 55 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5X7HKxpiQA
  56. 56 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7edztkuz5o&feature=related
  57. 57 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7edztkuz5o&feature=related
  58. 58 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-Po8uJeoUw
  59. 59 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-Po8uJeoUw
  60. 60 http://media.ghostrobot.net/7014_workitout_v2_web.mov
  61. 61 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5X7HKxpiQA

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

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  1. 1

    Mushex Antaranian

    February 15, 2009 4:30 pm

    yea, its nice, thanks
    @IllusiaX I think same, man, Feel Good Inc. or Clint Eastwood must be included.. maybe also Sing or Closer by Travis and Four To The Floor by Starsailor

    0
  2. 152

    AHA – Take on Me (no-ones mentioned this?!!!)
    Lots by Michael Gondry are awesome and genious!
    Daft Punk – nods at the Interstellar 999 quartet of videos! Beautiful videos…
    November Rain – Guns n Roses (great, epic video)
    Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal and many others.
    U2 Mysterious Ways.
    REM – Everybody Hurts.
    Moby (either one with the cute aliens!)

    1
  3. 303

    oh… and Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer / Digging in the Dirt.

    0
  4. 454

    Must say: Ian Brown – F.E.A.R. Ian Brown – F.E.A.R.

    0
  5. 605

    Lots of awesome Muse videos: Knights of Cydonia; Supermassive Black Hole; Hysteria; Sing For Absolution are all great.
    Coldplay also have some great ones: The Scientist; Life In Technicolour II; Violet Hill (Dancing Politicians); Talk; Yellow.
    Arctic Monkeys: Leave Before The Lights Come On; Brianstorm
    Radiohead: No Surprises
    Supergrass: Pumpin’ On Your Stereo
    Feeder: Just A Day; Shatter
    Franz Ferdinand: Take Me Out
    Tenacious D: Tribute
    QOTSA: Go With The Flow
    Kings Of Leon: Four Kicks
    Foo Fighters: The Pretender; Learn To Fly; Everlong
    Massive Attack: Unfinished Symphony
    The White Stripes: Fell In Love With A Girl; Seven Nation Army; Hardest Button To Button; The Denial Twist
    Blur: Coffe And TV
    Gorillaz: Feel Good Inc.; Clint Eastwood
    RHCP: By The Way; Dani California; Give It Away; Can’t Stop; Californication

    Well, I think that’ll do for now! Oh, and that Aphex Twin song with the Monkey Drummer. That’s awesome.

    2
  6. 756

    Joy Division – Atmosphere

    0
  7. 907

    Where is Micheal Jackson? Thriller is still the best music video of all time.

    1
  8. 1058

    aesop rock-fast cars, danger, fire, and knives. sorry

    0
  9. 1209

    ” the boys wanna be her/tank girl ” by Peaches

    0
  10. 1360

    Seriously…Tool! where?

    0
  11. 1511

    ehm….I might appear stupid right now..but the first video? Unkle? I thought it was Radiohead…?

    0
  12. 1662

    You all wouldnt know good music if it hit you in da face.peace out suckas

    0
  13. 1813
  14. 1964

    where is michael jackson!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! he made the best music videos of all time some videos around the world wont even be out because of him he made the movie type music videos then everyone made awsome videos his song thriller should be there i is the best music video of all time !!!!! duh

    3
  15. 2115

    Great stuff! I spent all night watching these videos. I’d like to throw in The Presidents of the United States – Peaches video. So funny with all ninjas jumping in :)

    0
  16. 2266

    Zlatan Halilovic

    June 3, 2010 10:10 am

    Wow. I never knew I could stumble upon something this great on my favorite design magazine. Thanks Vitaly for the great collection. Oh, and thumbs up for including unkle and moby, one of my all time favorites :D

    0
  17. 2417

    this is a pretty good list but michael gondrys video for the chemical brother’s song star guitar is probably one of the coolest concepts anyone could have used for a music video ever.

    0
  18. 2568

    i reckon that evil by interpol could have gone on this list

    0
  19. 2719

    Great videos, however you should check out this stop animation video made for The Orange Strips by Tobias Stretch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_O4C7njAKw

    0
  20. 2870

    Thanks, nice list. Here’s a great vid from a new artist. Love it more for her voice than the vid, but it’s nice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUCfLJS9IR4

    0
  21. 3021

    HA! you missed the best videos of all time fooooooooIs

    Eric Pyrdz – Call on Me (an all time favortie among dudes, and all around good editing)
    annddddddd
    *drum roll*
    Caribou – SUN(Original Video)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9_A7aoYqGA

    excellent editing and cuts, great song too. most original by far.
    get yur heads out the guterrrr

    0
  22. 3172

    make a new list please.
    i love your taste.
    but so many of these videos,
    are for whatever fucking reason… missing : (
    that makes me a sad panda.
    please help the situation & make a new list.
    u & your awesome taste!
    haha…k…. umm I’ll be w8in’
    don’t make me wait too long.
    buh buy

    0
  23. 3323

    fatboy slim-weapon of choice. gotta dig christopher walken!! :)

    1
  24. 3474

    Too bad the OK GO video is actually called “Here It Goes Again” and not “Here It Comes Again”. idiots.

    0
  25. 3625

    You should also check the official video for Bar9’s remix of Example’s song Kickstarts. It can be an action/romance movie by itself.

    0
  26. 3776

    Land of Talk – It’s Okay

    simply beautiful

    0
  27. 3927

    Christopher Walken

    October 18, 2010 7:15 pm

    I really think that Fatboy Slim’s Weapon of Choice should make the cut. I do a stellar job in that. I bet you guys didn’t know I could dance.

    1
  28. 4078

    what about This to Shall Pass by o.k. go (the rube goldberg edition)

    0
  29. 4229

    The Music Scene should be in here by Blockhead
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhheiPTdZCw

    0
  30. 4380

    New Music Video for Passion Pit!
    http://www.cargocollective.com/hannesjohannes

    Enjoy!

    0
  31. 4531

    How about :
    1. Queen – Innuendo
    2. RHCP – The Otherside
    3. Enya – It’s In The Rain

    1
  32. 4682

    practically every video posted has been taken down due do copyright claims.

    1
  33. 4833

    teardrop by massive attack

    0
  34. 4984

    The Raveonettes – Heart of Stone should be on this list too, I think.

    0
  35. 5135

    Dude The collection is really great. fun watching this.

    0
  36. 5286

    Astrid Riecken

    June 1, 2011 8:40 am

    Great list EXCEPT I can’t watch these videos – most of them are blocked by EMI !!! Start at the bottom and move up – good luck – all blocked – what a bs !!!

    0
  37. 5437

    Here’s a cool, animated, music video, that has been nominated in the Animated Music Videos category at the Supertoon International Animation Festival, in Croatia.

    People In The Box – The Old City
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cAOuWTuFEs

    Here’s another cool video:
    Sakanaction – Aruku Around
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS6wzjpCvec

    0
  38. 5588

    think noone mentioned:
    A Perfect Circle – Weak And Powerless
    A-ha – Crying In The Rain
    Alice In Chains – No Excuses
    Alice In Chains – Rooster
    Arcade Fire – Neighborhood 2 (Laika)
    Arcade Fire – Neighbourhood 3 (Power Out)
    ASP – Me
    Bjork – Army Of Me
    Black – Wonderful Life
    Bring Me The Horizon – The Comedown
    Buckethead – Spokes for the Wheel of Torment
    HourCast – Freeze
    Kate Bush – Cloudbusting
    Little Dragon – Twice
    Mogwai – Batcat
    Mogwai – Travel Is Dangerous
    Peter Gabriel – Big Time
    Peter Gabriel – Digging in the Dirt
    Peter Gabriel – Steam
    Porcupine Tree – Way Out Of Here
    R.E.M. – Man On The Moon
    R.E.M. – Shiny Happy People
    Slipknot – Vermilion
    Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun
    Sting – Gabriel’s Message
    Talk Talk – Life’s What You Make It
    Tenhi – Kausienranta
    The Herd – 2020
    U2 – All I Want Is You (I really like watching videoclips and this is by far the best one I’ve ever seen)
    A Forest Of Stars – Raven’s Eye View
    Isis – In Fiction
    Gojira – To Sirius
    Gojira – All The Tears
    Antaeus – Blood War III (harsh!)
    Mental Home – Pagan Freedom
    Bethlehem – Tagebuch einer Totgeburt (raw)
    Vinterriket – Verloren in den Tiefen des Waldes

    0
  39. 5739

    The Cardigans- My Favorite Game

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMH5_pyiFg0

    I can’t find the version with the really graphic ending.

    0
  40. 5890

    and what about “Chemical Brothers – Let Forever Be ” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5FyfQDO5g0&ob=av2e
    This is one of the most creative and fun video I have ever seen.

    0
  41. 6041

    I was wondering if you anyone knew a name of a song where there is a guy sitting in a train and all the strangers in the train are acting normal. Then he notices headphones on this seat and once he puts them on the train turn into a whole party scene. Then he takes off again and the train atmosphere is back to normal. He then puts headphones on again to see the train turn into a party again. The song is from the 90’s i really love the song, it was an upbeat one. Someone please tell me the name of this song

    -1
  42. 6192

    Good enough by Evanescene i dont know why but i absoulutly love this video i have watched it about 20 times now Amy Lee is just so amazing and beautiful i love everything about her

    0
  43. 6343

    What about Ghostfeeder’s cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire?”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NlNXZZn4ro

    0
  44. 6494

    I’d add “Do the Evolution” by Pearl Jam for its animation oddity! Kids dig it….

    0

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