Special Report

25 of the Most Iconic Music Videos Ever Made

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

> Released in: 1983
> Artist: Herbie Hancock

One of the most innovative music videos of its time, this video, featuring animated mannequins, was directed by Kevin Godley and Lol Creme. It won five MTV video music awards in 1984 including Best Art Direction, Best Special Effects, and Most Experimental Video. “Rockit” was the first single by a jazz musician and one of the first singles by a Black artist other than Michael Jackson to be aired on MTV.

Beat It
> Released in: 1983
> Artist: Michael Jackson

Another short theatrical video utilizing spectacular choreography that was made to promote Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album, “Beat It” stars Michael Jackson as a peacemaker who stops a fight between warring gangs with the power of dance. Choreographed by Michael Peters and directed by Bob Giraldi, the video features dancers as well as real L.A. gang members, and revolutionized the use of syncopated dance moves in music videos.

Source: Fin Costello / Redferns via Getty Images

Money For Nothing
> Released in: 1985
> Artist: Dire Straits

With one of the first depictions of CGI human characters on MTV, this offering from director Steve Barron took home the network’s award for Video of the Year in 1986. Ironically, songwriter and Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler was famously against music videos – “Money for Nothing” is framed as a blue-collar skewering of the medium’s stars – and had to be convinced by MTV to relent to the video’s creation.

Source: David Redfern / Redferns via Getty Images

Take on Me
> Released in: 1985
> Artist: a-ha

Released in 1984 with a generic music video, this song by Norwegian synth-pop band a-ha failed to gain traction until director Steve Barron put together this comic book fantasy video using rotoscoping, an animation technique that involves tracing over motion picture footage to create realistic movements. The song took home six MTV video music awards in 1986, including Best Concept Video.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

> Released in: 1986
> Artist: Peter Gabriel

This eye-popping stop-motion music video from director Stephen R. Johnson features claymation and pixelation. During filming, Peter Gabriel had to lay under glass for 16 hours, as each frame was shot in sequence. The song won a record nine MTV video music awards in 1987 and remains MTV’s all time most played video.

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.