10 Most Revolutionary Rock Music Videos

The most iconic and influential rock music videos of all time.

Peter Gabriel Sledgehammer

Ever since the dawn of MTV, way back in 1981, music videos have played an increasingly important role in the industry.

Artists and record labels are, understandably, always looking for new ways to market their work. For years, musicians had already been visually enriching their live shows with elaborate costumes, designer sets and lighting. The medium of video seemed a perfect fit for this ethos, but how to fill up the screen?

The answer to that is still being worked on today. It's inarguable, though, that an eye-catching video will go a long way in propelling a song to the top. In the 40 years since MTV started broadcasting (and even a few years before then), visionary creatives have conjured up some truly memorable material.

Presented below are ten such works which, for various reasons, remain significant landmarks of the artform.

10. Upside Down & Inside Out - OK Go

Extremely likeable American indie-rockers OK Go (named after the habitual saying of a high school art teacher) formed in Chicago in 1998, and released their self-titled debut long-player in 2002.

Perhaps more than any other contemporary act, OK Go have poured energy, time and no little imagination into crafting music videos which are always original and often captivating. Their superbly-choreographed mini-ballets, often filmed in one take, incorporate pin-point direction, optical illusions and laboriously-learned routines by the band members.

Notable examples include Here It Goes Again, in which the group perform a smile-inducing display on a series of motorized treadmills (this video scooped the band a well-earned Grammy Award) and the superb White Knuckles, where the band are comprehensively out-shined by some four-legged friends.

The video above, for Upside Down & Inside Out, is a particular standout. Shot entirely in zero-gravity (or close to it), facilitated by guiding a plane into a steep dive for thirty seconds at a time, it's a colourful burst of exuberant magic.

OK Go have stated that their aim in making these videos was to bring back a sense of wonder to the small screen, and they've certainly achieved this.


Chris Wheatley is a journalist and writer from Oxford, UK. He has too many records, too many guitars and not enough cats.