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

    Thanks for this! We were searching like idiots for the song writer and title of Nick Cave & Kylie Mingoue — Where The Wild Roses Grow. Finally I can put it on my favourite songs list!

    2
  2. 2

    Brilliant collection.
    Now get Rob Dougan’s ‘Clubbed to Death’ on there ;)

    1
  3. 3

    Just a bunch of EMO trash.

    -7
  4. 4

    Maybe I’m just getting too old ( I barely recognize the names of the artists mentioned ), but personally I’m all for keeping record production costs – and thus album prices – down by forgoing expensive & extravagant video clips. IMHO they rarely contribute anything to the artistic value and more often than not the prohibitive costs have to be repaid by the artist to the record company. Horror stories are all over the web …
    Just release your album privately without signing future earnings away, promote it by vigorous touring and the usual suspects on the web ( YouTube, MySpace etc. ).
    Pay your dues and build a fan base solely on your artistical prowess instead of trying to get rich & famous overnight. Selling a mediocre album based on the false promise of an over-engineered video clip will get you nowhere in the end.
    The crux of the matter is : can you sing & play any good live ?

    Call me old-fashioned if you like, but I’ll take this :

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

    over any example mentioned in the post above anytime …

    -4
  5. 5

    I usually enjoy your “Monday Inspiration”, but this list is pretty random, IMHO. This said, I’d like to add some more:

    Massive Attack – Teardrop
    The Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar
    Fatboy Slim – Right Here, Right Now
    some videos by Tool, especially “Schism”

    1
  6. 6

    We’re missing some Chris Cunningham vids in there…

    Bjork “All is Full of Love”
    Leftfield “Afrika Shox”
    Portishead “Only You”
    Aphex Twin “Windowlicker” & “Come to Daddy”

    to name a few…

    2
  7. 7

    awesome collection!

    0
  8. 9

    Juan Manuel Lemus

    January 21, 2008 8:02 am

    Very cool. Now in Smashing Videos. Good collection.

    0
  9. 10

    good list. it really is.
    but i can’t help but always feel a little bit giped after the monday inspiration.
    aren’t you guys do for a super-duper best of 2007 MEGALIST?!

    0
  10. 11

    Great stuff! Surprised that TOOL videos aren’t included. They are really peculiar.

    0
  11. 13

    The bat for lashes video is so weird, everytime I see it posted somewhere I have to check it out because it is so strange.

    1
  12. 14

    Nice collection. I like especially Royksopp – Remind Me .

    0
  13. 15

    I like Fat Boy Slim – Weapon of choice and Slash dot dash not is really good too!

    0
  14. 16

    Great collection. Though I’m a little surprised, not a single Spike Jones video?

    1
  15. 17

    Another cool collection.
    RJD2 – Work It Out helped me a lot this monday…thanks!

    0
  16. 18

    it’s missing Otherside by RHCP, which is pretty a proper excercise of style

    1
  17. 19

    uh…some of these aren’t amazing at all.

    1
  18. 20

    I know it’s always difficult to pick a shortlist and you’ll always miss something but, I think it is a bit of an oversight not to include anything from Michel Gondry on the list. Something like Hardest Button to Button is genius. Especially since the video from Fujiya & Miyagi seems a little to close to White Stripes’ “Fell in Love with a Girl”.

    1
  19. 21

    Feri Macfričkins

    January 21, 2008 9:40 am

    Great stuff
    and what about Praise You, from Spike Jonze, or this nice video?

    0
  20. 22

    I’m just glad your RSS feed has the categories in it. I will now filter “Monday Inspiration”.

    -1
  21. 23

    wrong link at RJD2 (linked to ‘just’ by radiohead instead)

    0
  22. 24

    One of the best video’s ever is also from the prodigy, but probably not suited for this list due to it’s R-rated content… here in the Netherlands the clip was only shown after 11pm due to its graphic nature, all this aside it’s a very good clip… The song I’m talking about is ‘Smack My B*tch up’…

    0
  23. 25

    Add this
    Bjork – Anything!
    Portishead – Glorybox
    Jamiraquai – dude have style, no?
    Beasty Boys – Any old skool videos with fake moustach and polyester trousers.

    1
  24. 26

    Great collection and a lot of good bands and music.

    Two radiohead videos plus Thom Yorke/Unkle.

    Anyone knows where the quotes in that song come from??? Just a little quiz…

    0
  25. 27

    GREAT COLLECTION!!

    ps. the hi-res link of “Unkle – Rabbit in your Headlights” is broken!

    0
  26. 28

    What about Linkin Park… I really like their music and their videos. A lot f art on both of them.

    -1
  27. 29

    Very surprised Pearl Jam’s “Do the Evolution” wasn’t included.

    0
  28. 30

    What??? Star guitar is not on this list??????????

    2
  29. 31

    Excellent Choice!
    Thanks

    0
    • 32

      true that. u definately have a talent for sifting out excellence.
      time 2 improve the page however & get rid of the lost or unavailable links…

      0
  30. 33

    again, good collection

    0
  31. 34

    Where is Tool?

    0
  32. 35

    some additions:

    Björk | Bachelorette
    Peter Gabriel | Sledgehammer
    Pearl Jam | Do The Evolution
    Johnny Cash | Hurt
    Aphex Twin | Come To Daddy
    Foo Fighters | Everlong
    Metallica | One

    2
  33. 36

    The Sigur Ros video is possibly the most stunning visual I’ve seen online to date. I blogged about it back in 2005.

    GREAT list, guys!

    1
  34. 37

    I agree that “Where The Wild Roses Grow” is a great song with great video clips. I watch it many times when first time I saw.

    0
  35. 38

    What? No Paranoid Android by Radiohead? Brilliant cartoon music video.

    0
  36. 39

    Awesome list guys!

    0
  37. 40

    Sweet selection!

    I did a similar post on my blog a while ago:
    10+1 Nice music video clips

    My selection was:
    1. Pearl Jam: Do the Evolution
    2. Chemical Brothers: Star Guitar
    3. Timo Mass ft. Brian Molko: First day
    4. Gym Class Heroes: Cupids Chokehold / Breakfast in America
    5. Bob Marley feat. Lauryn Hill: Turn your lights down low
    6. Kylie Minogue: Come Into My World
    7. The Prodigy: Smack my bitch up
    8. Missy Elliott: Teary Eyed
    9. Michael Jackson: Thriller
    10. Smashing Pumpkins: 1979
    10+1. Harvey Danger: Lip Dub – Flagpole Sitt

    0
  38. 41

    This is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING collection. Definitely the best post so far!

    0
  39. 42

    It is OK go – here it GOES again ;)

    2
  40. 43

    White Stripes, Fell in Love with a girl (Lego animation) and The hardest button to button (clever duplication of band and equipment)

    0
  41. 44

    This list is very good.

    I was making a video web site for a while but gave up. During testing I packed it with a load of cool videos.

    There are still quite a few there, it’s at http://www.vidplayr.com

    Some of the best ones I found were:

    Alex Gopher – “Child”
    Air – “Sexy Boy”
    Bjork – “Triumph of a Heart”
    Royksopp – “Remind me”

    0
  42. 45

    RadioHead y Street Spirit , gran video, me encanta
    Por otro lado muy buena lista, Saludos.

    Radiohead, Street Spirit . Great video, I love it.
    Nice list!

    0
  43. 46

    Sound is great to :-) nice post!

    0
  44. 47

    Hei.. this is not a comment -> the link in your ‘side blog’ >>Icons Speed Drawing — learn how to design professional

    -2
  45. 48

    Armando (Caracas, Venezuela)

    January 21, 2008 7:39 pm

    I would add Madonna’s “Ray Of Light” and almost anything by Björk

    0
  46. 49

    How can you not post Prodigy – Smack my Bitch Up?!

    Amazing video

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNrhmbc0y_8

    WARNING NOT SAFE FOR WORK

    0
  47. 50

    None from Michel Gondry = not a good list.
    End.

    1
  48. 51

    I also think that at least one music video of Michel Gondry should have been included. The guy’s a genius!

    Hardest button to button (The White Stripes)
    Bachelorette (Bjork)
    Come Into My World (Kylie Minogue)
    Let Forever Be (Chemical Brothers)
    Around The World (Daft Punk)

    Or maybe, you should make a list of all his videos, they’re all awesome.

    1
  49. 52

    You forgot a really great video, based on a really great short story. Very artsy feel to it.

    Man That You Fear – Marilyn Manson
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soH8LQdsiac

    0
  50. 53

    Hahaha, you like Moby.

    0

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