It was another exceptional year for music videos, and Rocks Off scoured literally hundreds to track down the 25 that really broke the mold and showed the world the art of the music video is alive and well. From now until New Year's Eve, we'll be counting down the absolute best, so tune in every day for the year's most amazing offerings.
REWIND: The Best Videos of 2012
25. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, "Jubilee Street" (Uncensored Version, NSFW)
Now, Mr. Cave's stance on having his music videos judged and put in competition is well-known (And awesome), so I would like to formally state that "Jubilee Street" sits here at the very bottom of the list not for some lack of quality, but to adhere to his wishes that his muse not do battle against other art.
There was no way I was letting a best-of-the-year video list exist without including it, though, because it is a work of dark, sexy majesty full of hopelessness, lust, and a dream of transcendence. Even for a man known for great music videos, this was a triumph.
24. Shapeshifter, "Endless" "Endless" was quite a genius little project, being in and of itself a music video about listening to the song. A lonely and depressed Japanese drunk convinces a tired barkeep to allow one more round as they spin the song, with the drunk feigning interest in the name of continued inebriation.
Soon, the electronic melody has him dreaming of other people's lonely lives in busy city streets. The tone is almost Lynchian, and the exotic setting adds considerable verve to the video. Great stuff all around.
23. Geoffrey O'Connor, "Jacqueline" One of the more seriously underrated videos of the year was this wonderfully retro piece by Geoffrey O'Connor. He stars as a limo driver being forced to wait patiently outside the car as the object of his desire makes out with her girlfriend and he sings forlornly of his broken heart. It also has the greatest line I've ever heard in a love song, "Her nipples pointed to the sky." No one's topping that anytime soon.
List continues on the next page.
22. Taylor Davis, "Song of Time and Song of Storms" I have a thing for hot girls playing the violin, but my creepy orchestra fetish aside, Taylor Davis crafted a fantasy epic in just a few minutes with the meshing of two of the best themes from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Watching what she and director Lando Donoho managed to do with this video reaffirms my belief that Nintendo should really just let a few uber-fans make an official Zelda film while the fantasy craze is still on.
21. Baby Alpaca, "Wild Child" The world has all the man-soulfully-walking-through-a-wasteland videos that it needs, thank you very much. That said, "Wild Child" has two things that really set it apart from other entries in that tired trope.
The first is that Baby Alpaca has an incredible song going on here; it's like the voice of God. The second is that Brian Leckrone and Adrian Stucker achieved some Hollywood-level cinematography in their shots that turns the landscape itself into a character in the story. Throw in the haunting special effects work of Aaron Maurer, and "Wild Child" becomes the new standard of videos in this style.
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