Eugene Cho

greatest music video ever?

Let’s have some fun here.  What’s the greatest [your favorite] music video ever?  MJ?  Duran Duran?  The Police?  or Rick Astley?

Maybe it’s because Quest is so “young” but every time I mention a band that enjoyed from the 80s, people look dazed and confused.  For example, on a car ride back from a conference, I could not believe that Jason The Intern had no idea who these folks were.  I nearly fired his arse right there but I’m a compassion, merciful, and gracious pastor and boss. Here’s my vote for Greatest Music Video – ever:

And here’s a-ha’s Take on Me’s resume [from wikipedia]:

The single reached number-one in 36 countries and is one of the world’s best-selling singles of all time with 8-9 million copies sold, hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. It also hit number two in the UK and number one in a-ha’s native Norway. At the MTV Video Music Awards on September 5, 1986, the video won six awards.

In 2002, the song was ranked at number 8 on VH1’s 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders, although this status is often used incorrectly in the United States when labeling a-ha. Also, in 2006, the song was ranked at number 24 on VH1’s “Greatest Songs of the 1980s”.[3]

The song was the second best-selling single of 1985, the number one being “We Are the World“.

Filed under: entertainment,

36 Responses

  1. queltica says:

    Hmm… off the top of my head; Art of Noise, Close (To The Edit)
    (yes, another 80s video)

  2. regeneratex says:

    Not even close. Thriller. Many have tried to outdo the video but I still get chills watching that thing after 25 years.

  3. Shaun King says:

    Sorry Eugene. This debate has already been settled man – it’s Thriller.

  4. Russ says:

    Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” – “I want to be your… sledgehammer”

  5. eugenecho says:

    regeneratex & shaun: true true. can’t argue that which is why i would have in [ ] – your favorite great music video.

    MJ – and i mean several of his videos are in my top favorites.

  6. steve says:

    Pastor Eugene,

    I’m Kate H.’s dad and one time we were discussing 70’s music (my era) and I mentioned “The Eagles”. Kate’s response was “Who?”. I think the best music video I’ve seen is Robert Palmer’s “Simply Irresistible”.

  7. Jason Dye says:

    i would have to agree with Thriller and Sledgehammer being my faves.

    although White and Nerdy takes on a close second (third?)

  8. cool dad says:

    i’m not saying it’s the greatest ever, but “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits was very memorable. computer graphics in that time?? wow!

  9. Randall says:

    My favorite music videos are this one and this one.

    Sorry, shameless plugs for my band.

    One of my favorite videos of all time has to be the Virtual Insanity video by Jamiroquai.

  10. danielktaylor says:

    I am totally with you. I’ve been claiming Take on Me for years

  11. jimfox says:

    it’s a toss up between “whip it” and “stand & deliver”. these videos today, they don’t even make sense anymore with all their fancy graphics and big budget production, grump, grump. Gimme Mark Mothersbaugh with a power dome and a whip any day of the week!

  12. eugenecho says:

    @steve: what? i hope you grounded her for life!

    anyone that mentions a boy band here gets their IP address blocked for a year.

  13. rexhamilton says:

    The teenage boy in me wants to say “Cradle of Love” by Billy Idol…the grown up in me says “Sledgehammer” by Gabriel.

  14. justin says:

    you guys are all so old skool…

    here are some of the most creative/innovative/awesome videos from the last year or so (from an animation stand point):

    justice: d.a.n.c.e.

    gnarls barkley: crazy

    kap10kurt by the holograms

  15. beattieblog says:

    Great question. Seems the universal response to this Q is always “Thriller”, but I’m going with either “Where the Streets Have No Names” when the greatest band in the world gets booted off the building roof for stopping traffic (won best video in ’88) . The other one that came to mind was Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” – great song, great video.

    Honorable mention would be Billy Joel and “we didn’t start the fire” – the song annoyed me but the video was cool.

  16. eugenecho says:

    did i scare all the women off the blog with my post on “truck nutz?”

    i know they’re not permitted to speak but they are allowed to watch videos, right?
    sorry, that was bad but i couldn’t help it.

  17. beattieblog says:

    justin, think of us as above pop culture and for all time. One day Gnarles Barkley will be selling his “Time Life Greatest Hits” album at 2 am. 🙂

  18. ruekwondo says:

    you could always do worse than “virtual insantiy” by jamiroquai

    but for my money, nothing beats “hooked on a feeling” by the hoff.

  19. chad says:

    i vote for Michael W. Smith’s “secret ambition.” no. wait. no i don’t.

    i actually favor classics such as “smells like teen spirit” by Nirvana and “jeremy” by Pearl Jam…i think P. Diddy had some good ones for awhile there didn’t he?

  20. bleek says:

    sledgehammer and thriller are sweet. so is The Reflex by Duran Duran. the 80s were great. (well…)

  21. Pat says:

    “Thriller” was fine, but .. I’ll always have burned into my brain this one – Whitesnake, Here I Go Again ( That’s the one where (a then-reasonably-sane Tawny Kitaen dancing on the car.

    A video so arresting they made a Wikipedia page for it:


  22. Dire Straits, “Money for Nothing”

  23. Deanne says:

    sadly – my neices know this song because the Jonas Brothers covered it at their concert. So, you’re at least relevant with 8 and 10 year olds. Lucky you!

  24. chenster22 says:

    i’m gonna have to go with mr. rick roll himself… “never gonna give you up.”

  25. Randall says:

    finally…a post that didn’t turn into some kind of major debate in the comments section!

  26. metamorphallic says:

    Thriller may be the ‘best’. It certainly is epic.
    “Take On Me” is great, but my personal favorites as an 80’s toddler were Genesis’ “Land of Confusion” and Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing”. Loved the Dead’s “Touch of Grey” for similar reasons.

  27. Sarah Hammersborg says:

    Eugene, I’m with you and cast my vote for Take on Me. Although I might agree with Chad with Michael W. Smith’s Secret Ambition because of the cool faded jeans, white t-shirt, and the vest. Plus the mullet blowing in the wind might just tip the scale.

  28. Diddy was a pretender. That he so shamelessly sampled was not his biggest sin, but the fact that he pretty much did NOTHING different with the samples. Ugh.

    my favorite old school video was the Run DMC/Aerosmith team-up: “Walk This Way”

    the Thriller video definitely set the bar, but I think my favorite videos by MJ were:

    1. Smooth Criminal
    2. Remember the Time
    and of course… the one that started the whole phenomenon…

    3. Billie Jean

    (remember the sidewalk that lit up where he walked?)

    Take On Me was an excellent video, though… right up there with Peter Gabriel’s “Big Time” and Dire Straits “Money For Nothing” (early computer animation… eat your heart out, Pixar)

  29. eugenecho says:

    @randall – the debates will grow intense next week when we discuss our list for Top 5 emcees of all time.

  30. o1hc says:

    smashing pumpkins – tonight tonight

    such creativity

  31. Blake says:

    Gotta say, I’m a fan of Smitty… but Weird Al’s “White & Nerdy” takes all! 😀

  32. Mandy says:

    How about Pat Benetar’s “Love is a Battlefield”..never forget that shimmey she does across the floor!

  33. m@ says:

    i’m torn, but i think “Sell Out” by Reel Big Fish has to be up there. (

  34. dreamxchaser says:

    gotta agree with o1hc, smashing pumpkins for sure.
    “tonight tonight” was an awesome video, good song.

  35. Donna says:

    You and my nine-year-old daughter…A-Ha’s Take On Me video is her all-time favorite as well. Yes, she’s stuck with a mother who’s stuck on 80’s music & videos.

    My choice is Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”. After that, everyone seemed to attempt dancing in their videos, often with quite comic results!

  36. rebecca(the great) says:

    We’re not gonna take it!

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