The 1980s may have brought us MTV as the definitive place to display promotional videos from record companies, but we hold the 1990s as the peak of the artform – the clever storylines and memorable visuals often stick in our minds much better than a song’s lyrics or album title, and evoke that last moment before the complete takeover of Clear Channel and the YouTube era, where you could actually discover something new by staying up late and watching Alternative Nation, or the Buzz Bin. (sometimes…)
The Pitchfork Staff have assembled their favorite fifty from the decade, and it’s a pretty fine list. There are the quintessential entries from directors who’ve gone on to create major motion pictures – Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, Mark Romanek, F. Gary Gray – and those from music video mainstains like Chris Cunningham, Adam Bernstein, and Hype Williams. Plus, a healthy dose of electronic and dance artists that never quite hit heavy rotation in the states.
And the commentary from the Pitchfork staff is pretty intuitive itself.