10 Best Rock Music Videos
When it comes to rock music video “Best of” lists, most of them focus on the impact/popularity of the video and are very loose with what they qualify as “rock.” Our list will focus on none of those things. The videos on this list were selected based on the ones we thought were the best, the type of video you watch and say “That was awesome!” So before you ask why a certain video isn’t on the list?” ask yourself this — “Was it really that great of a video?” That being said, here are the 10 Best Rock Music Videos.
‘Go With the Flow’
After watching this and another video coming up, it may be tough to see anything but red, black, and white for a while. This is a simple video concept that ends up coming off very well despite it’s lack of bells and whistles. The color scheme is an effective way to blend the album art from ‘Songs for the Deaf’ into the video. The concept would’ve worked in a live action setting also, but wouldn’t have been half as fun to look at.
Seether went all out for the video to this unconventional cover of a song that is so identifiably 80s. Instead of trying to play down the 80’s nostalgia, they turned it up to 11 by setting the video in the world of an 8 bit Nintendo game. They also throw in several 80s pop culture references including take-offs on popular films like ‘Wall Street,’ ‘Karate Kid,’ ‘E.T.,’ and ‘Teen Wolf.’ Hell, even 8-bit George Michael shows up to rock out to the song he wrote decades earlier.
‘Freak on a Leash’
One of two videos on the list that feature animation from artist Todd McFarlane, however this one actually does feature live action as well. Korn went on to do several big budget videos in the years following, but all pale in comparison to the video for ‘Freak on a Leash.’
‘Seven Nation Army’
The White Stripes were all about perception. They always wore very specific colors (red, white, and black) and even told the media they were siblings, when in actuality they were ex-lovers. The strongest imagery the band ever produced was much like their look and sound — simple, understated, brilliant. This was just one in a series of videos that were unbelievably creative in the simplest of ways.
‘All Nightmare Long’
Metallica went old school when it came to the sound of their 2008 album Death Magnetic, so it only seems fitting that they would do a throwback style video. This short film blends several different mediums and brings to mind alien invasion films of the 1950s. Ever wonder how a zombie apocalypse would play out in 1948? This video does a phenomenal job of painting that picture in an era-appropriate format that looks both vintage and groundbreaking at the same time.
‘Do The Evolution’
This song came from the band’s 1998 album ‘Yield,’ long after the band had abandoned making music videos. Pearl Jam was still very much anti-MTV when this album was released. So how do you make a video without being in it? Enter Todd McFarlane, the renowned artist of Spider-Man, Batman, and creator of Spawn. He animated the video (as well as another on the list) which outlined the history and possible future of evolution, highlighting (or low-lighting, I guess) mankind’s most shameful deeds. Combined with Vedder’s primitive howl, this video paints a picture that will stick with you long after it fades to black.
Yet another weird video from the nineties. I couldn’t even begin to tell you what the hell this video is about. The video shares a lot of similarities to the look of a David Fincher film, oddly those two became collaborators in recent years and a remix of ‘Closer’ was used in Fincher’s film ‘Seven’. The video is said to be heavily influenced by the film ‘Street of Crocodiles’ from the Brothers Quay, who also inspired a video by Tool we’ll be talking about shortly.
‘November Rain’ is from a time when the release of a music video was an event. Guns N’ Roses were still very much a force to be reckoned with when this song was given the epic video treatment. The song was so large in scale, the band had no choice but to follow suit with the video. The nine minute masterpiece plays more like a miniature film set to music. Perhaps the narrative isn’t easy to follow, but it’s still a great video with very strong and pleasing imagery. The shot of Slash rocking the solo at that tiny church in the desert is one of the most iconic images from the heyday of music videos.
A video that’s not only very well suited to the song, but also has incredibly dark and twisted undertones. Just the thought of that giant worm/snake thing in the pipes used to freak me out when I was a kid. In 1993 no one thought that claymation could be this terrifying. Tool guitarist/visual artist extraordinaire Adam Jones changed all that. He designed the character models used in the stop-motion animation process for the video. The medium that created ‘Mr.Bill’ and ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ was suddenly much more sinister, and impossible to turn away from.
‘Black Hole Sun’
Not only is this one of the most memorable videos of all time in any genre, but it’s also nightmarishly creepy. The band hadn’t even broke out the kick ass solo when faces started melting in this one. After all these years, this video is just as awesome as it was back in 1994. It doesn’t hurt that the song is also incredible, but the video is so good it’s hard to hear the song and not see those surreal images in your mind.