10. Basement Jaxx: Where’s Your Head At?
At first glance, it might be any animal testing centre worldwide. Then a hurried record label executive is led into a room and promised “the latest thing in pop music.” Performing monkeys (metaphor, much?) are released and take up their instruments… but what makes them unique? Oh, and they have human faces—basement Jaxx’s looks, to be more precise. Things turn grim when the science underlying the animal/human hybrids is disclosed. The man understands that he is the next victim in an experiment in which musicians’ brains are transferred to monkeys. The video concludes with him escaping down a laundry chute into a room with men with monkey-like faces.
9. The Smashing Pumpkins- Tonight, Tonight
American alternative music band The Smashing Pumpkins was founded in 1991. It’s a bizarre and outdated video that shows spectral circus performers fighting monsters and aliens in a garish cosmic setting. But “Tonight, Tonight” by The Smashing Pumpkins will always be a classic. The original concept for the music video had “people jumping into champagne glasses” and a Busby Berkeley-inspired aesthetic. Artist Wayne White made the majority of the backgrounds and puppetry. The video was shot in a manner reminiscent of a silent film from the turn of the century, complete with theater-style backdrops and crude special effects. The song video received numerous honours and received extensive airtime on MTV.
8. Girl Band- Paul
The British pop band Spice Girls performs the song “Who Do You Think You Are.” Costumes that resemble an anthropomorphic animal might be eerie or a nostalgic nod to childhood. By adopting a particularly unsettling, swirling interpretation of the idea, Girl Band makes the most of the latter. “Paul” is by no means a brief video; at almost seven minutes, it makes the most of the song’s peculiarity to tell an absurd tale.
7. Clowny Clown Clown
The song and music video “Clownly Clown Clown” by Crispin Glover was avant-garde in 1988. Glover is an actor, artist, filmmaker, writer, esoterica collector, and archivist. This film has Glover Himself, a gorgeous dancing clown, a spooky pig mask, and odd footage of a masked woman lying in a hospital chair. The song is also rather catchy. Clowny Clown Clown might be just what you’re looking for if you enjoy strange and avant-garde music.
We promise this is real. Eddie Murphy and Michael Jackson contributed vocals to the 1993 song “Whatzupwitu,” featured on Murphy’s third studio album. Even though Eddie Murphy and Michael Jackson are merely conversing, their exchanges give the impression that they are flirting. If you thought it couldn’t get any crazier, it also has a sky background, a children’s choir from nowhere, and animated doves and hearts. The video, co-directed by Klasky Csupo, the studio responsible for some of the most famous cartoons of the 1990s, was so despised by MTV viewers that it was “permanently retired” by the network. Yes, fun and memorable, but also silly.
5. Soundgarden- Black Hole Sun
The American rock group Soundgarden has a song called “Black Hole Sun.” It is among the band’s most well-known and well-recognized tunes. The band plays the music somewhere in an open field. The video follows a suburban neighbourhood and its conceited residents with humorously overdone grins, who are eventually swallowed up when the Sun abruptly transforms into a black hole. Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon gave Cornell a fork necklace, which he can be seen wearing in the video. British director Howard Greenhalgh created the fantastical and end-of-the-world music video for “Black Hole Sun.” The initial video was replaced with a second one that featured more complex visual effects after receiving exposure on MTV for many weeks.
4. Little Big- Hateful Love
Little Big is the first rave music group from Russia, and they rock dance floors worldwide. The best breakup song has been written by them, but wait—it also comes with a strange music video. A plate with severed hands on it? Using naked women as rocking horses? Skateboards built from hideous slabs of meat? Little Big, a St. Petersburg electro wave band compared to “a Russian mental patient’s answer to Die Antwoord,” has captured it all in the video for this great tune.
3. David Hasselhoff- Hooked on a Feeling
Hoff released a cover of the B.J. Thomas classic in 1997. And possibly the strangest video of the decade. (He soars like an eagle!) In “Hooked On a Feeling,” which serves as a metaphor for his entire career, Hasselhoff and his audience go on a visceral, unrepentant acid trip across the globe, scaling arctic tundras, floating along grassland shores, riding motorcycles in hazardous situations, and catching sizable chunks of fish in his mouth.
2. Bonnie Tyler- Total Eclipse of the Heart
The film shows Tyler, who works at a prep school, prowling the halls at night, frightened and tormented by her intense yearning for her all-male students. Over the following minute or so, many things happen that don’t make sense but still manage to be kind of awesome, a characteristic of nearly every music video from this era. Doors slam open under gauzy scarves. Millie Bobby Brown begins to fling birds towards the camera as soon as she arrives. Water splashes on male swimmers wearing goggles. For some reason—sure, why not—a group of dancing ninjas suddenly appeared. A group of men toast-crash their goblets into one another while they eat at a formal dining table. A lot of Grease T-Birds unexpectedly arrive there. The entire video is bizarre overall.
1. Aphex Twin- Come to Daddy
Come To Daddy was published by Cornish electronic music master Aphex Twin in October 1997. The film starts with spooky background noise and a low-angled camera image of soulless buildings. Director Chris Cunningham provided a music video for it, turning the song into genuine nightmare material. When an older adult and her dog walk through a run-down neighborhood, she sees a broken TV showing a horrifying, deformed face. Immediately after, she is attacked by a group of kids, each of them is pointing out Richard D. James’ unmistakable smile. However, just as she thinks she has fled, something even more heinous is waiting for her in the estate’s shadows. The video is still as weird and terrifying as it was 25 years ago.