The Most Memorable Music Videos Ever

It's been 14 years since OK Go earned themselves a spot on this list with their unforgettable "Here It Goes Again" video. See whose good company they're in!

By Billy Nilles Aug 03, 2020 2:00 AMTags
Related: OK Go - 2017 Grammys E! Glambot

Four guys. Eight treadmills. One continuous shot.

It's been 14 years since the indie pop band OK Go released the music video for their song "Here It Goes Again," a sleeper hit off their second studio album Oh No. Thanks to the intricately choreographed video, in which band members Damian Kulash, Tim Nordwind, Dan Konopka and Andy Ross dance across the aforementioned exercise equipment as their belts are revolving at full speed, the group went viral and landed themselves their first entry on the Billboard Hot 100 in their careers. 

Choreographed by Kulash's sister Trish Sie, who would go on to direct the films Step Up: All In and Pitch Perfect 3, the quirky and decidedly lo-fi video took a total of 17 attempts to get it right. For their efforts, the band took home the YouTube Award for Most Creative Video in 2006 and the Grammy for Best Short Form Music Video in 2007.

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The Best Music of 2020—So Far

In honor of the video's anniversary, let's take a look at the visuals from other artists over the years that it has the honor of sharing space with on our list of the most memorable music videos ever!

E! Illustration
"I Want to Break Free"

The clip for this song off Queen's 1984 album The Works found Freddie Mercury and the rest of the band in drag, spoofing the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street. While it hardly raised an eyebrow in the UK, where cross-dressing was a long-standing tradition in comedy, it caused quite a stir stateside. 

WATCH IT HERE

"Work It"

This could've been a list of just Missy Elliott music videos and no one would've batted an eyelash. That's how memorable each of the groundbreaking rapper's visuals have been throughout her career. But this one for the hit single off her 2002 album Under Construction earns its spot thanks to its inventive choreography, bonkers imagery (the bees! the dunce cap!) and the arrival of little Alyson Stoner.

WATCH IT HERE

"Take on Me"

Fun fact: The video for this 1985 single from Norwegian synth-pop band A-ha, iconic for its groundbreaking hybrid of live-action and pencil-sketch, was the actually the second one they filmed. The first, released a year earlier, just featured the band singing in front of a blue background. 

WATCH IT HERE

"Whenever, Wherever"

This video for the 2001 single that served as Shakira's breakthrough in the U.S. is the one responsible for introducing us to those hips. And for that, we'll be eternally grateful. No lie.

WATCH IT HERE

"Aute Cuture"

One of the more recent videos on the list, this video for Spanish singer Rosalía's 2019 single announced to the world that we had a burgeoning superstar in our midst. Directed by Bradley & Pablo, the eye-popping clip had us rushing to join the mystical and fierce AF Beauty Gang.

WATCH IT HERE

"Umbrella"

This video for Rihanna's 2007 smash hit serves up look after lewk, but the moment we witness her nude body coated in silver paint is something we'll never forget. 

WATCH IT HERE

"Bad Blood"

There may likely never be a more star-studded music video than this one for Taylor Swift's Katy Perry feud-referencing single off her 2014 album 1989. Selena Gomez! Gigi Hadid! Zendaya! Cindy freaking Crawford!

WATCH IT HERE

"Lady Marmalade"

We're not sure what was bigger on the set of this video for the 2001 cover of this classic Labelle track, recorded for the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack, featuring Mya, Pink, Lil Kim and Christina Aguilera: the hair or the egos. Either way, we love it just the same.

WATCH IT HERE

"Honey"

Mariah Carey went cinematically over the top in this clip for the lead single off her 1997 album Butterfly. Embracing a more overtly sexual look for the first time, the video helped the pop star shed her more conservative image once and for all. The moment her Agent M exits the pool after diving off the balcony? Iconique, darling.

WATCH IT HERE

"Bye Bye Bye"

Admit it, you're doing the choreography from this video for NSYNC's lead single off their 2000 album No Strings Attached in your head right now.

WATCH IT HERE

"Wrecking Ball"

An image we'll never forget as long as we live: Miley Cyrus, naked, licking a sledgehammer. And we have this video for the hit off her 2013 album Bangerz to thank (blame?) for it.

WATCH IT HERE

"Single Ladies"

Play this song off Beyoncé's 2008 album I Am...Sasha Fierce anywhere at any time and we can guarantee nearly everyone in the room will bust out the choreography from the unforgettable black-and-white music video.

WATCH IT HERE

"Waiting for Tonight"

The laser lights! The body crystals! The Y2K countdown! This video for the third single off Jennifer Lopez's debut 1999 album On the 6 was the one that put her on the map

WATCH IT HERE

"Wannabe"

Has a music video ever made a nondescript location more well-known than the hotel staircase featured in this video for The Spice Girls' attention-grabbing debut single in 1996? The better question might be how many people still make a pilgrimage to the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel all these years later just to tread the same hallowed ground where Geri Halliwell, Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton, Melanie C and Mel B got their start?

WATCH IT HERE

"Scream"

It was a very big deal when superstar siblings Michael and Janet Jackson came together to record the video for this single off MJ's 1995 album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1. Even bigger? The budget for the corresponding video, which saw the pair angry and getting as far away from Earth as they possibly could. At a cost of $7 million, it was listed in the Guinness World Records as the most expensive music video ever made.

WATCH IT HERE

"Waterfalls"

From Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas and Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins dancing on water to the narrative scenes of people's lives being destroyed by drugs and AIDS, this video for the hit single off TLC's 1994 album CrazySexyCool was incredibly moving. And popular, too. The clip stayed atop the MTV Video Monitor chart for over a month following its premiere in 1995, making the group the first artists to ever achieve such a feat.

WATCH IT HERE

"Opposites Attract"

Who will ever forget the inimitable duo of Paula Abdul and MC Scat Kat, an animated feline rapper inspired by Gene Kelly's film Anchors Away, dancing together in the video for this smash hit off the former's 1989 debut album Forever Your Girl? Not us. And likely none of the voters who awarded it the Grammy for Best Short Form Music Video in 1991, either.

WATCH IT HERE

"Like a Prayer"

Over the course of her unparalleled career, Madonna has released several music videos that stuck in the public consciousness. But none have caused quite a stir as this one for the title track off her fourth studio album. Released in 1989, the video sees the pop star witness the murder of a white woman at the hands of a white man and turning to the church for safety when a Black man is wrongfully arrested for the crime. With the images of Ku Klux Klan-style burning crosses, stigmata and Madonna kissing a Black priest (played by Real Housewives of Atlanta star Cynthia Bailey's ex-husband Leon Robinson!), the video was condemned by the Vatican, protested by viewers, and eventually cost her a promo deal with Pepsi.

WATCH IT HERE

"Bad Romance"

This video for the track off Lady Gaga's 2009 EP The Fame Monster is the one that announced to the music world a true artist had arrived. From the fashion to the choreography to the bonkers plot, it laid the groundwork for what we could expect from every music video the superstar would release moving forward. 

WATCH IT HERE

"Formation"

This video for Beyoncé's hit single off her 2016 visual album Lemonade is a gorgeous paean to the Black experience in America, both a love letter and a rally cry. The opening shot alone of Queen Bey atop a police car in a flooded street, a stark and loaded image, is enough to earn her a second entry on this list. The rest is just icing on the cake.

WATCH IT HERE

"...Baby One More Time"

From the choreography to the school girl uniforms, there's a reason that this video for Britney Spears' debut single in 1998 is still what immediately comes to mind whenever her name is mentioned. 

WATCH IT HERE

"Here It Goes Again"

As OK Go proved in 2006 with this video for a song off their album Oh No, you don't need a huge budget to produce something that'll be remembered forever. All you really need is an incredible concept—synchronized treadmill dancing, in this case—and the commitment to see it through.

WATCH IT HERE

"Thriller"

Is Michael Jackson a polarizing figure? To say the least. Is the video for the title track off his 1982 album still arguably one of the greatest ever produced? You bet. It's the art all others aspire to be. 

WATCH IT HERE

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