The 100 Greatest Music Videos Directed By Famous Filmmakers (40-31)

I know what you’re thinking … “Another list? Jeez!” But, whatever. It’s combining two of the things I like most … music and movies. Growing up in the 80s and on MTV, the channel was always on when I was home. There was something alluring about waiting for your favorite song/video to come on and just watch it in awe. Some you watched because you loved the song, others you watched the video on mute just for the cinematic experience. I don’t even know what MTV airs anymore, since giving up on it in the mid to late 90s. Yes, there are a ton more than this to choose from (hell, David Fincher and Spike Jonze have done more than 100 combined). Here are some of the best/my favorite/random music videos directed by some of the greatest filmmakers out there. Some you might not even have known about.

These are the 100 Greatest Music Videos Directed by Famous Filmmakers.


40. Paul McCartney – Spies Like Us | (1986)

Directed by John Landis (The Kentucky Fried Movie, Three Amigos)

This feels like a Weezer video before Weezer was Weezer.

Other videos he’s directed: B.B. King – Into the Night & In the Midnight Hour


39. Aphex Twin – Donkey Rhubarb | (1995)

Directed by David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Nightmare Cinema segment: This Way to Egress)

Other videos he’s directed: EMF – Bleeding You Dry; System of a Down – Aerials


38. Eve’s Plum – Die Like Someone | (1994)

Directed by Samuel Bayer (A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010))

Other videos he’s directed: Ramones – Poison Heart; The Smashing Pumpkins – Bullet with Butterfly Wings


37. Fiona Apple – Across The Universe | (1998)

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood)

From the Pleasantville soundtrack.

Other videos he’s directed: Aimee Mann – Save Me; Fiona Apple – Hot Knife


36. REM – Losing My Religion | (1991)

Directed by Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall)

Nominated in nine categories at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards. Winning six altogether.

Other videos he’s directed: Lou Reed – What’s Good; Deep Forest – Sweet Lullaby


35. Coolio – Gangsta’s Paradise | (1992)

Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen)

From the Dangerous Minds soundtrack and featured Michelle Pfeiffer reprising her role from the film.

Other videos he’s directed: Prince – The Most Beautiful Girl in the World; Stevie Wonder – For Your Love


34. Ice Cube – It Was a Good Day | (1992)

Directed by F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job, Straight Outta Compton)

I didn’t even have to use my A.K.

Other videos he’s directed: Cypress Hill – I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That; Dr. Dre – Keep Their Heads Ringin’


33. U2 – One | (1992)

Directed by Anton Corbijn (Control, The American)

The first of three, yes three, videos for this U2 song.

Other videos he’s directed: Depeche Mode – Never Let me Down; Echo & The Bunnymen – Bring On The Dancing Horses


32. Kevin Shields – City Girl | (2003)

Directed by Sofia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides, Lost In Translation)

A beautiful edit of unused footage from Lost in Translation paired with a fragile track from My Bloody Valentine‘s front-man.

Other videos she’s directed: The Flaming Lips – This Here Giraffe; Air – Playground Love


31. Prince – Purple Rain | (1984)

Directed by Albert Magnoli (Street Knight, Purple Rain)

Simple. Straightforward. Purple.

Other videos he’s directed: Prince – Batdance; Patty Smyth – Never Enough

50-41 | 30-21


What did you think of the selection so far? What are some of your favorite music videos directed by filmmakers?

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Author: K. Alvarez

A king without a throne.