ARTIST: Peter Gabriel
DIRECTOR: Stephen R. Johnson
Peter Gabriel’s career rocketed into the stratosphere with the music video for “Sledgehammer” was released in 1986, and for a period of time there, he was known as a video vanguard. His video for “Steam” is not as well known as “Sledgehammer” or “Big Time,” but it’s a pretty remarkable pastiche of cutting edge (at the time) special effects. It won both the VMA for “Best Visual Effects” and also the Grammy for Best Short Form Music video, two well-deserved wins. Bonus points for also being a SUPER underrated jam!
SONG: “Freak On A Leash”
DIRECTOR: Todd MacFarlane, Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris
Nary a day goes by when we don’t thank the heavens that the unholy rap/rock hybrid genre is no longer of this world. That said, Korn’s video for “Freak On A Leash” is so good that it bears watching repeatedly no matter how little you like the song. The magic bullet that travels from Todd MacFarlane’s cartoon universe into the “real world” was a breakthrough piece of VFX, and when combined with the super, super slo-mo shots of exploding bottle, whipped cream canisters and flower pots, makes for one of the most memorable and mind-blowing videos of its era.
DIRECTOR: F. Gary Gray
This video is the whole reason we put this list together! Great story + Tremendous Special Effects + An Unforgettable Song = One For The Record Books!
["Waterfalls" GIFS via Uproxx]