In the beginning of the 90s, out-of-leftfield songs were becoming hits for no other reason than someone at MTV had made them Buzz Bin videos. (Green Jelly’s “Three Little Pigs” — what was that all about?) By the end of the decade, TRL was pumping out pop stars overnight. Somewhere in between, Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry created mind-bending art in the form two-to-three minute video clips. There’s little argument that the music video, as both an art form and a commercial entity, came to a pinnacle in the 90s. MTV and partners in crime Clear Channel cobbled together what Pitchfork calls “a pseudo-music monoculture in the U.S. like almost nothing before,” and it makes sense: When “…Baby One More Time” hit the after-school airwaves for the 300th time, how many millions of viewers across the U.S. were simultaneously watching B. Spears twirl around in a Catholic school girls uniform? An awful lot. More than the number of people who care about Best Coast or bought The Suburbs last week.
P4K took it upon themselves to rank the top 50 videos of this so-called golden age. There’s the Foo Fighters’ faux Mentos commercial, Blur’s lovable dancing milk carton, a 70s cop spoof by the Beastie Boys, Sinead O’Connor looking sad as hell in a black turtleneck, and the video down below (none of which are #1 according to P4K). Instant nostalgia. Enjoy.