Men lie. Women lie. Numbers don’t. After taking a deep-dive into this year’s VH1.com streaming data, we’ve come up with a list of the Top 40 Most-Watched Videos of 2012. All you favorites are below, and there are even some underdog surprises that we didn’t expect to rank so favorably. So yeah, consider this an early New Year’s gift, and start re-living all the music video glory that took place in this incredible year of the apocalypse.
This was made inevitable with their engagement, but we can’t say we thought it would come this soon or that it would be so on-the-nose, but here we have it: Avril Lavigne has covered her soon-to-be husband Chad Kroeger‘s super-sized breakout hit “How You Remind Me,” and for an upcoming anime film called One Piece Film Z, at that! Avril takes the brutish, blustery anthem and turns it into a nice and thoughtful piano ballad. She throws in a few cymbal flourishes and — well, it’s really not so bad! If a series of finely executed covers is how Chavril chooses to remind us of their love, that would be just fine by us.
This round of Bracket Madness‘ third match-up draws a battle between popular Aught rockers Nickelback and Linkin Park. In a decade where pop mostly reigned supreme, both these rock groups were able to establish sounds and styles of their own, and to sell tons and tons of records. Nickelback have filled arenas with their melodic, post-grunge rock, while Linkin Park have paved the way for rock-rap groups a many. If only one of these two great rock groups can move on to the next round of the Greatest Artist of the 00s, who should it be? Read more…
Earlier this month, after a tough three rounds of voting, we crowned Mariah Carey as The Greatest Artist Of The 90s. That settled, we are looking forward to the near past: the ’00s. The new millennium brought a whole new slew of greats, as rock and rap and otherwise broke into the Top 40 and anyone at No. 1 seemed possible. Who’s next in line for the crown?
Surely you’ve heard by now, but for those who have missed today’s big news: Avril Lavigne and Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger have gone and gotten engaged. Which, well, “What The Hell”? According to People magazine, the two met last February when they got together to co-write a song for Lavigne’s upcoming fifth studio album. Plenty of relationships have started like this, Avril’s first marriage to Sum 41‘s Deryck Whibley included. But that made sense: the king and queen of mall-punk, united in pop derelictions and eye liner. Avril and Chad’s collaboration — neither nuptial nor musical — we can’t say we saw coming. Together they’ll share an enormous combined audience, and so probably their meeting was destined by the radio gods. But otherwise? Read more…
Nickelback aren’t actually in the video for “Trying Not To Love You,” the latest single off of Here and Now. Instead they go full-caffeinated and funny, and it’s a refreshing change from the generally serious rock band. The clip stars Seinfield‘s Jason Alexander (aka George Costanza) as Bud, the proud barista of the plainly named Cafe, and Baywatch‘s Brooke Burns as Gennifer with a G as the center of his latte art universe. Bud’s specialty is the half-caff mocha soy latte-ccino but Gennifer just wants a plain latte, and so he sets out to pour her one so beautiful it could send her into some sort of sexy espresso-bean-and-steamed-milk, 90′s music video referencing orbit. Think LIT‘s “Miserable,” but instead of Pamela Anderson on a fur rug, we get Burns shimmying in a pile of coffee grounds. Anyways, Bud’s good, but along comes a motorcycle riding, vest wearing, sunglass-shaded better one who can paint anything you want in a single pour and the latte-art battle for the lady’s heart is on. Worry not, though, because a coffee made with love is the tastiest cup of all.
It’s a week of diss-repealing; after Katy Perry vehemently denied dissing Beyonce and Shakira, The Black Keys have jumped on the bandwagon to sort-of-but-not-really apologize to Nickelback for dissing them earlier this year. Keys drummer Patrick Carney controversially, and now famously, said of Nickelback, “Rock & roll is dying because people became OK with Nickelback being the biggest band in the world,” but now he’s a little bit sorry about his harsh words, but not really. Carney has now said he, “Didn’t mean to single [Nickelback] out. It just came out,” but added a disclaimer, “There’s much worse bands than Nickelback, maybe.” Worst. Apology. Ever. Come on Keys — time to cure that foot-in-mouth disease, we think!
Nickelback‘s video for “Lullaby” off their new album, Here And Now, is a dramatic look at life and death, despair and hope. From the outset, Nickelback’s contribution to the story is minimal, the band positioned in a separate scene, a warehouse lit under glittering flood lights. On a side note, we have to mention the 90s throwback chair sitting by Chad Kroeger — we haven’t seen a guy sitting backwards on a chair since The Backstreet Boys made it all the rage! Jokes aside, the video is a very moving narrative of a birth and death; a baby lives, a mother dies, leaving the child’s father as the sole guardian. We warn you: something might catch in your throat as you watch the young father dealing with both the loss of his partner and this new life. Considering adopting, screaming in frustration as the baby cries, there’s a desperation in the tribulations of this story, but also, and most importantly, there is finally and definitively hope at the end.
An excerpt from Rolling Stone‘s January 2012 issue’s cover story (on newsstands soon) has tongues wagging across the Internet today, as The Black Keys‘ Patrick Carney took what can only be described as a devastatingly large swipe at Nickelback. Speaking candidly to Rolling Stone, Carney said, “Rock & roll is dying because people became OK with Nickelback being the biggest band in the world… So they became OK with the idea that the biggest rock band in the world is always going to be sh*t — therefore you should never try to be the biggest rock band in the world. F**k that! Rock & roll is the music I feel the most passionately about, and I don’t like to see it f**king ruined and spoon-fed down our throats in this watered-down, post-grunge crap, horrendous sh*t. When people start lumping us into that kind of sh*t, it’s like, ‘F**k you,’ honestly.”
Speaking of “honestly”, we’re honestly a little bit dumbstruck by the comment — as a completely unprovoked attack, it seems a quite malicious and in poor spirit. We can understand why musicians have seen a void in rock music of late — what with the trend towards Euro-dance, high energy pop and Adele in 2011 — but we’re not sure that the attribution of blame for this is so quantifiable. And we’d like to know who exactly is “lumping” The Black Keys with Nickelback; to us, the two bands present two very different sounds, and we think it would be an oversight to say they are of similar influence. We’re not saying that The Black Keys should be Nickelback fans, we’re just surprised that Carney’s statement was filled with such unnecessary vitriol towards the Nickelback. Come on guys, there’s enough room on the charts for everyone, and we like to think that there will always be a place for rock & roll, no matter what other contemporary trends emerge.
What a year, right? As we get ready to put the finishing touches on the year that was, it’s time to look back at the music videos that define the year 2011. Tonight, we’ll be airing a supersized edition of the VH1 Top 20 Music Video Countdown that takes a look back at the Top 40 music videos of the year. Be sure to tune-in to VH1 tonight at 7 p.m. ET/PT to see your favorite videos of the year in all of their widescreen, HD glory, but we couldn’t resist giving you guys a sneak peek at the list here on VH1 Tuner this morning.
So, without further ado, here is our list of the Top 40 Videos of 2011…