Since its inception in the early 1980s, the music video has become a visual accompaniment to almost all single releases, serving as an effective promotional tool, since a memorable video lingers in the mind.

Though many artists utilise videos to merely show themselves singing, either in a non-studio environment or in a recording of a live performance, others use them to tell a story or demonstrate impressive visual effects. Examples of the latter two include Michael Jackson’s Thriller and a-ha’s Take On Me, which have remained popular from the late 80s to this day.

Once, the likes of MTV were the exclusive medium for viewership of music videos, but in the age of the internet, YouTube has usurped them, giving consumers a wider variety than ever before. As a result, artists are becoming increasingly creative in their efforts, and 2012 has seen videos ranging from a bank robbery and car chase (Maroon 5 – Payphone) to a supernatural wolf hunt (David Guetta/Sia – She Wolf).

This list focuses on five similarly excellent videos from the last twelve months, though I’ve tried to limit it to mainstream releases, as opposed to an array of unknown artists that such a list might try and peddle to you in an attempt to appear fashionable.


5. Muse – Survival

The Olympics was, for many people, one of the highlights of 2012. For a fortnight, the world could forget about its assorted woes and indulge in one of the greatest showcases of sport that the world has ever seen.

The official anthem of the games, Muse’s Survival, was, as a song, somewhat forgettable, eclipsed in popularity by the likes of Chariots Of Fire and Elbow’s First Steps during the event. The accompanying video, however, was an excellent tribute to the history of the world’s greatest sporting competition, featuring a montage of iconic moments from Olympics history interspersed with multiple highlights from the previous two.

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This article was first posted on January 2, 2013