VH1 Ranks 'Thriller' As Greatest Video
Michael Jackson's "Thriller," a mini-movie that was more of a pop culture event than a mere music video, tops VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Videos."Michael Jackson's "Thriller," a mini-movie that was more of a pop culture event than a mere music video, tops VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Videos." Clocking in at 17 minutes and directed by John Landis, "Thriller," was much hyped before its 1983 premiere on VH1's precursor and sister channel, MTV, and it helped catapult Jackson's album of the same name to the top of the all-time best-seller list.
Coming in second is Madonna's "Like a Prayer," which caused a stir for depicting the pop diva kissing a black Jesus figure. Madonna has six videos on the list, more than any other artist. Her "Justify My Love," which MTV refused to air in 1990 because of its kinky sexual images, is No. 7.
Jackson has the second-highest number of videos on the list with five. The high-tech, black-and-white video for "Scream," a duet with his sister, Janet, is No. 9.
Several animated videos are on the list. Peter Gabriel's colorful, stop-action extravaganza, "Sledgehammer," is third overall. The video for the Norwegian trio A-ha's "Take on Me," which combined live action and comic book-style pencil drawings, is No. 8.
Rounding out the top-10 are Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," the first hit from the pioneering Seattle grunge band, at No. 4; the dramatic "November Rain" by Guns N' Roses at No. 5; Pearl Jam's "Jeremy," with its images of school violence, at No. 6; and Herbie Hancock's mechanical "Rockit" at No. 10.
More than half the videos -- 53, to be exact -- first appeared in the 1980s, the decade when the music video explosion occurred. The oldest video, Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues," was made in 1967. It's No. 28. The first video MTV aired when it began life in 1981, the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star," only reached No. 79 on the list.
VH1 will air a series of specials on the "100 Greatest Videos" May 7-11 at 10 p.m. EDT. A panel of music experts at the channel ranked the videos.