Music has always been an auditory experience for each participant. As much as the live show brought the music to people's eyes, the arrival of the music video was what really sent pop music in a different direction. Suddenly, the look of a band was as important as how their music sounded.
With the benefit of hindsight, it was only natural that these music videos took off like they did. If you're a real artist, you were looking to expand your horizons beyond just the music, and the actual manifestation of your work on a visual platform gave you another string in your artistic bow. Even if the acts were nothing more than label creations looking to make a quick buck, the music video worked wonders by giving you a commercial for your latest act.
With all the goofy fashions that were displayed on MTV throughout the years, there have been certain music videos that hold up as genuine pieces of visual artistry. These videos were so groundbreaking that they ended up influencing the rest of the music world going forward. When other groups saw music videos as another pit stop in between recording and touring, these are the music videos that made both fans and artists do a second take.
10. One - Metallica
At the start of the 80's, metal's representation on MTV was a bit too neon-colored for many headbangers to stomach. A lot of these acts either looked the same or had the same cookie-cutter pop song to sell to the teenage demographic. Just as the age of hair metal reached its pinnacle, one black and white video changed everything.
The video for Metallica's "One" was an amazing feat from both a visual and cultural perspective. This was one of the first major videos by a thrash metal act that got a major amount of airplay, thanks in no small part to the harrowing story on display. The song was inspired by the novel and film Johnny Got His Gun, which depicts a soldier who is badly injured in war and cannot communicate with the outside world.
Metallica use different snippets from the movie in conjunction with their riffs to create a mesmerizing collage of media that was impossible to take your eyes off of. Even with the song being 7 minutes, no one felt like the video dragged because of just how brutal it was. After "One" became a fixture on MTV, the time had come for the hair metal to be pushed aside for the new kings of heavy rock.