Monday, August 22, 2011

Pop Rewind: the MTV Video Music Awards

With the VMAs taking place this coming Sunday, it’s time to contemplate the videos up for the title of “Video of the Year”. They are:

  • Adele, “Rolling in the Deep”
  • Beastie Boys, “Make Some Noise”
  • Bruno Mars, “Grenade”
  • Katy Perry, "Firework"
  • Tyler, the Creator, “Yonkers”
Each of these is noteworthy and represents creative breakthroughs for some nominees (Tyler, the Creator), commercial breakthroughs for others (Adele) and a long-running history of making great clips (Beastie Boys). I hope that MTV chooses well, as they have in the past.

Here are ten notable past winners for Video of the Year, each of which has blown out the solar plexus at one point of another, and some of the worthy  clips they beat in the year of their victories. Whoever wins has a lot to live up to ... 

1987: Peter Gabriel, "Sledgehammer"

Beat Out: U2, “With or Without You”

1993: Pearl Jam, "Jeremy"

 Beat Out: Nirvana, “In Bloom”; Peter Gabriel, “Digging in the Dirt”, R.E.M., “Man on the Moon”

1995: TLC, "Waterfalls"

Beat Out: Michael & Janet Jackson, “Scream”; Weezer, “Buddy Holly”

1996: Smashing Pumpkins, "Tonight, Tonight" - 

Beat Out: Alanis Morissette, “Ironic”; Foo Fighters, “Big Me”

1997: Jamiroquai, “Virtual Insanity”

Beat Out: Nine Inch Nails, “The Perfect Drug”; No Doubt, “Don’t Speak”

1998: Madonna, "Ray of Light"

Beat Out: The Verve, “Bitter Sweet Symphony”; Brandy & Monica, “The Boy is Mine”

1999: Lauryn Hill, "Doo Wop (That Thing)"

Beat Out: Korn, “Freak on a Leash”; Backstreet Boys, “I Want It That Way”; Ricky Martin, “La Vida Loca”

2004: Outkast, "Hey Ya!"

Beat Out: Jay-Z, “99 Problems”; Britney Spears, “Toxic”

2009: Beyonce, "Single Ladies"

Beat Out: Lady Gaga, “Poker Face”; Kanye West, “Love Lockdown”

2010: Lady Gaga, "Bad Romance"

Beat Out: Florence & the Machine, “Dog Days Are Over”; Lady Gaga & Beyonce, “Telephone”