The best music videos of the 1990s
31 August 2020, 12:00
The decade when MTV came into its own... here are some of the finest examples of the visual art.
Foo Fighters - Big Me
Big Dave Grohl and the boys deliver a perfectly-observed spoof of a TV ad, cheesy smiles and all. The bleakness of Nirvana never seemed further away.
Daft Punk - Around The World
French director noted the repetition involved in the electroncia duo's big tune, and translated that into a hypnotic, looping video.
Massive Attack - Unfinished Sympathy
SInger Shara Nelson walks down a Los Angeles street, oblivious to the everyday life around her. The Steadicam shot was so influential, Richard Ashcroft decided to make his own version of it in London, six years later.
Fatboy Slim - Praise You
Director Spike Jonze takes his fictional Torrance Community Dance Group to the forecourt of the Fox Bruin Theater in Westwood, Los Angeles, California for some impromptu moves. Oddly compelling.
Alanis Morissette - Ironic
Alanis recreates her childhood car jouneys for this classic video, where she plays all the parts herself.
Blind Melon - No Rain
Heather DeLoach plays the "Bee Girl" in this charming clip that took on added poignancy following the death of Blind Melon frontman Shannon Hoon in 1995.
Supergrass - Pumping On Your Stereo
Video production duo Hammer & Tongs (aka director Garth Jennings and producer Nick Goldsmith) cooked up this hilarious fantasy in which the Britpop trio are depcited as impossible Muppets, courtesy of some old school trickery.
Beastie Boys - Sabotage
Another Spike Jonze classic. MCA, Ad-Rock and Mike D play cops on the trail of some baddies in a hilarious parody of 1970s crime TV series.
R.E.M. - Everybody Hurts
A traffic jam on a Texas highway is depicted as the thoughts of the imprisoned passengers flash up via onscreen subtitles. The ending is unexpected.
Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Three musicians, some kids, a school gym and a janitor. Who would have thought this would have been one of the most iconic videos of the 90s?
Weezer - Buddy Holly
Rivers Cuomo and co insert themselves into an episode of the long-running 1950s-set sitcom in another inspired Spike Jonze clip.
Radiohead - No Surprises
Director Grant Gee stuck Thom Yorke's head in a bowl full of water and filmed the result. The film was shot at high speed and then slowed down, but the Radiohead frontman was still taking a risk.
The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
In a tribute to Massive Attack's Unfinished Sympathy, Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft barges his way down a Hoxton street with little regard to his fellow pedestrians.
Blink-182 - What's My Age Again?
The trio of Mark Hoppus, Tom De Longe and Travis Barker "streak" down a Los Angeles street in this hugely popular video - although Blink were later concerned that it made them look like a "joke" band.
Guns N'Roses - November Rain
One of the most overblown, ridiculous, pretentious - and therefore brilliant - music videos ever made, this epic cost $million, which included the hire of a helicopter to swoop around Slash as he played his majestic guitar solo. It's never been matched.