Although the origins go back to the 1920s with the arrival of sound to motion pictures, music videos really came into their own in the 1980s when they had a television channel specifically formatted around the captivating medium. Sure videos existed prior, and have extended onto the world wide web since, but from that first real launch pad on, music artists widely used this form to showcase their sound, demonstrate their song’s concept or explore their own mystique. And whether it was making memorable moments, pushing the envelope with explicit imagery, cinematic technology, or just telling the tale of well thought out storylines, music videos have always been a large part of fan consumption. From the late Peter Steele playing a stand-up bass at waist level with a guitar strap to Corey Taylor taking off his Slipknot mask to play the lead in a short film, we here at Roadrunner have churned out innumerous music videos in our nearly 30 year tenure, which is why we summoned the assistance of our global staff to pick our Ten Greatest Music Videos.
With commentary from our bands, and the insight of our hilarious Head of Video Promotions/ veteran employee Elias Chios, join us as we look at the cinematic excellence, groundbreaking creativity and overall bad-ass entertainment of some of our past and present music videos.#10 Sepultura - "Ratamahatta"
Taking us deep into the Claymation jungle of Brazil, native death metal masters Sepultura took the tribal beats of “Ratamahatta” – courtesy of former Korn drummer David Silveria in addition to the band’s own Iggor Cavalera – and the authentic Brazilian-based themes (sung in part by musician Carlinhos Brown) and focused a video concept on the sonic and ancestral origins of the band. Explains former frontman and founder Max Cavalera, “It was a concept video made with Brazilian oriented puppets. We were recreating a little piece of Brazil in animation, from the jungle to the slums.” Contextualizing it, Elias Chios adds, "As for the Claymation, Voodoo, tribal drums, the forest of Brazil: A recipe for greatness, wouldn’t you say? Such perfect imagery for this song." Watch the video below, and for more from Sepultura's Roots, go right here.
#9 Type O Negative - "Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)"
The shadowy apparition of this black-and-white video visually builds up the same way Type O Negative's song does, opening with an extreme close-up of frontman Peter Steele’s ominous scowl and then breaking into the band performing under an evil tree and strobe light in the woods, with Steele rocking a stand-up bass like it’s a regular 4-string. Though largely performance-based, the camera angles and cut-away footage made for a powerful impact in introducing the dark band to their goth audience. Explains Chios, “I tried filing down my teeth after I saw this video, no really, I did. Shit hurt. This is the video and song that made me fall in love all things Type O. The mere fact that they are playing acoustic instruments, Peter is playing a stand up bass as if it were an electric bass, the incredible facial expressions of Peter - so well done, classic Type O. LOVE THIS! This is creepy and hilarious all in one nut. Apparently, there was a huge feud as the band wanted this in a green tone instead of black and white. Created quite the battle at that time.” Watch below to see where that green comes into play, and for more from Type O Negative's Bloody Kisses, go right here.
#8 DevilDriver - "Clouds Over California"
Featuring frontman Dez Fafara’s sons playing as the band dubbed “Evil River” (Devil Driver without the D’s!), DevilDriver’s video for “Clouds Over California” doesn’t have the actual band perform, but gets across the mood of having clouds over sunny California with flashes of the grim reaper, scenes from a graveyard and more. Explains Roadrunner video authority Elias Chios, “Dez thought up the brilliant idea that instead of DevilDriver performing in the video, having kids (his own) be the band performing the track, [It’s] just one awesome video.” Frontman Dez Fafara goes over the making of the video, saying "’Clouds over California’ was done on a shoestring budget, pulling every favor I could , filmed guerilla-style (in and outta location with no permission), enlisting fans from the area as well as ALL my sons as the band. I'm most proud of my youngest who was 9 at the time, played ME and nailed it right down to the middle finger in the air!" Watch it below, and for more on DevilDriver and The Last Kind Words, go right here.
#7 Sepultura - "Territory"
Following the band performing and walking through the desert, often daubed in mud and interlaced with footage of slums and favelas from the middle east, as is the song’s references to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, “Territory” was a powerful politically-charged video encapsulating Sepultura’s message. Elias Chios puts the 1993 offering in context saying, ”The video is heavy in political content and when I saw the mudmen it felt like a moment of departure. While it fit the vibe of the video so well, it was a welcome break from all the WAR footage.” Max Cavalera looks back on the making of "Territory," contending, “It was a great video which was actually filmed on location in Israel. We spent two days filming in many places, such as the Dead Sea, the Masada, and actually drank tea with the bedouin nomads in their tent." Watch it below and for more from Sepultura and Chaos A.D. go right here.
#6 Slipknot - "Snuff"
A short film directed by Slipknot’s own M. Shawn Crahan (Clown) and Paul Brown, “Snuff” works like a motion picture – not only because it was shot on real film and features Hollywood actors, but because the storyline was written to follow leading man Corey Taylor through his twisted love story. Explaining the treatment is the director (and percussionist) himself, M. Shawn Crahan: “It was very important that I write something that was not going to justify the word ‘snuff’ in what the literal word [means], because I don’t support that... I had to go [deep], and a lot of it just came around this story that Corey has written and these lyrics about, more or less, this person who’s so gone and will not return, that she’s basically dead, but he becomes her and that became more or less the definition of ‘snuff.’“ Adds Roadrunner’s Elias Chios, “Slipknot takes another genius left turn to show a side no one has ever seen. Unmasked Corey Taylor, a storyline that has you saying to yourself “ What the f***” and Malcom McDowell? Come on! Corey’s intensity in this is insane. Brilliant.” Watch it below and for more from Slipknot and All Hope is Gone, go right here.
See the top 5 videos in the list by going RIGHT HERE.