Coming of age in the 80s, the music video offered a whole new medium through which artists could express themselves. From slick performance pieces to high-concept clips, the best music videos have developed over the decades, sometimes outshining even the song they were created to promote.
20: Prince: 1999 (1982)
It’s difficult to pick the best Prince music video, but 1999 has it all: the glamour of the supporting performers, the ostentatiousness of the stage setting and that all-important dose of magic delivered by The Purple One himself. Comfortably securing its place among the best music videos is the fact that it beat Michael Jackson’s Beat It promo to MTV by four months, making Prince the first black artist to gain mass play on the nascent channel. The clip remains a party all on its own; sticking it on is enough to make any shindig as big as all of 1999’s New Year’s Eve extravaganzas combined.