Top ten most memorable British music videos of the 90s
It’s now only two weeks away till we take it back to the 1990s for our Don’t Look Back In Anger exhibition at The Underdog Gallery in London Bridge.
While working with the various talented artists involved for the event, we have been constantly diving into a pool of deep nostalgia when talking of the different moments of our childhood. One huge element of British pop culture was the originality of mainstream music and the music videos that accompanied them.
Following the crash of the radio industry and preceding the days of widespread internet, the music video was the defining element for many successful music artists in the 90s.
We look back at the ten most memorable British music videos of this time and why they were so impactful.
10. Chemical Brothers – Hey Boy, Hey Girl
This video takes you on a trip through the eyes of a girl who can see through everyone’s body, exposing their bare skeletons. The cuts and effects themselves are so trippy, which the setting also compliments as the latter part perfectly summarises the 90s rave scene. There is even a crazy cut of skeletons having sex, which for many 90s’ kids would be the first time they’ve ever seen a sex scene!
9. Cornershop – Brimful Of Asha
The setting here epitomises the 90s bedroom. Band posters, turntables, your parents’ vinyls and bright clothes are all shown with colourful layering in the editing. This is a song that everyone loved but only British Asians actually understood what he was talking about.
8. Oasis – Wonderwall
There isn’t a more iconic opening scene in a music video from this decade than seeing Noel Gallagher on the guitar in Wonderwall.
7. Spice Girls – Wannabe
The easiest and arguably most fun karaoke song from the 90s with the carefree video to match. Definitely a favourite for every night out on a Saturday night ever since!
6. The Lightning Seeds – Three Lions 98
It’s that time of year again when we still believe that “It’s Coming Home”. There were two versions of this song. One for the Euro 96, which was in England and a remix in 1998 for the World Cup in France. We chose the 98 version purely because of the parody with the shirts saying Kuntz, referring to the German footballer at the time!
5. Blur – Parklife
Aside from the cameo of Kevin from Eastenders before he got killed off in Albert Square, this video summarises the light-hearted, lad culture of the decade. Dodgy cars, loafing in the street and bad fashion all come together in this visual cocktail.
4. Jamiroquai – Virtual Insanity
This video was light years ahead of its time. As JK talks of the dangers of virtual reality, it begs the question on how he thought that the technology of that time was insane when now it has developed into a whole new world. CD Walkmans and Tamagochis are not quite the virtual craziness of artificial intelligence and social media tools of today!
3. The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up
This has to be one of the most creative music videos in the last 25 years. Shot in the first person view of a weekend bender, we are taken on a vice fuelled trip around the town. The biggest twist is at the end when we realise that we are not what (who) we seem.
2. Fatboy Slim – Right Here, Right Now
The end of the century was such an exciting one of a kind experience for all of us. Some had anxiety about the millennium bug and others couldn’t wait for a fresh start. This video is the epitome of the change that was happening at the time, summarising the evolution of life on earth and gearing us up for the future! Ironically, Fatboy Slim said himself that he doesn’t care for music videos but he has some of the most impactful ones of this era.
1. The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony
This is one of the most simple but original videos of the 90s. The zombie like wall of Richard Ashcroft as he confesses his feelings of life is one of the most iconic moments in music video history. This song even inspired one of the most popular football songs ever in Fat Les’ Vindaloo!