10) Jay-Z & Kanye West – No Church In The Wild (Feat. Frank Ocean)
Kicking off this list of music videos is No Church In The Wild, less music video, and more an accompanying set of images. It’s powerful hearing that massive guitar riff alongside these images of people rioting, it makes the whole song even grander in scale, something i didn’t think was possible.
9) Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
It may seem like an unlikely choice next to some of the expensive, dramatic videos on this list, but few Pop videos achieved the simple joys that Call Me Maybe did. The simple narrative of Carly Rae vying for the affections of her neighbour features a cute twist at the end. The fact that this guy turning out to be gay was a non-issue in 2012, dealt with in a very matter of fact way marked the divide between the two generations. Young audiences simply don’t care, never seen as clear as in Carly’s cheeky expression once she finds out the ‘truth’. A brilliant pop video.
8) Ciara – Got Me Good
It’s a music video list, so of course my personal obsession means Ciara has to make an appearance. She always brings it on up tempo jams like Got Me Good, the dancing is on point for all 4 minutes here. I feel like I don’t have to explain what makes this an amazing video, I mean she’s going sick with those dance moves, in the desert too. Ciara is hard at work here, as always.
7) Rihanna – Where Have You Been
Unlike Ciara, Rihanna isn’t known for killer dance routines, but she proved me wrong with Where Have You Been. This is a choreography fuelled clip, the incredible moments coming fierce and fast. The ‘eye’ moment in particular is rather spectacular, while I’ve been known to break into main dance routine one too many times when this song comes on. It’s another amazing Rihanna video, of which there are seemingly thousands now.
6) Katy Perry – Part Of Me
Katy Perry has released 8 incredible music videos from her Teenage Dream album, yes 8 videos, and Part Of Me was the best of 2012. Seeing Katy take on military training is inspiring, the way the video is edited makes you believe she’s truly being pushed to the limits. It came at the perfect time, with just enough relevance to her recent break up and the same high quality we’ve come to expect from the Perry production team.
5) Bjork – Mutual Core
Not technically released as a single in 2012, I’m extremely happy that Mutual Core received a video treatment. As bombastic as the track itself, the video sees Bjork at the centre of a a variety of incredible special effects. It’s a true spectacle to behold, bringing the already cray Biophilla art design to life like no one could have anticipated.
4) Calvin Harris – Sweet Nothing (Feat. Florence Welch)
Calvin Harris has been releasing extremely intriguing videos for the singles on 18 Months, singular stories with the production values of a short movie, Sweet Nothing was the peak of these efforts. Calvin and Florence are acting throughout this video, we get to see a completely different side to these relatively reserved personalities. The moment Florence lets her hair down as the final hook begins is spectacular, making this one of my favourite videos of the year.
3) Lana Del Rey – Ride
2012 saw plenty of artists going for a spoken intro to their music video, but no one was as ambitious or as ridiculous as Lana Del Rey. The opening section is longer than the song itself, with Lana even more in character than usual, talking through her experiences on the road with her biker gang. It makes GaGa’s biker video of last year (Judas) seem a bit lacklustre in comparison, Lana has jumped into this world with both feet. It’s a beautifully shot video too, expertly paced and the future blueprint for 8 minute epics.
2) M.I.A. – Bad Girls
M.I.A. had the commercial hit of her career ready to take off with Bad Girls, and while it never did quite achieve the chart love it deserved, the video will go down as her best yet. That one shot of her driving a car sideways on two wheels through the desert is enough reason for this to appear here, other artists wish they had the guts to be as bad ass as M.I.A. is in the Bad Girls video.
1) P!nk – Try
It may have been slightly eclipsed by the performance of Try that P!nk did at the American Music Awards, but this is a career defining video for an artist who’s already made plenty of those. It’s a dance video, one that remains personal, emotional and beautiful without allowing the dance itself to suffer. It was a risky move from such a high profile artist, especially one not known for choreography in her videos, but it paid off to no end. Try is the defining video of P!nk’s long career so far, and my favourite video of 2012.