Autumn... your metabolism... pumpkin spice latté season... some things just aren't meant to last forever. Other things, however — like my love of '90s pop culture — will be with us until the end of time. For starters, I love the '90s largely because it was such an open and accepting time in our society: Like, think about it, there's nothing that wasn't cool in the '90s! Bleached hair, voting third party, Seth Green — we said yes to everything, the biggest of which was music videos! Then, at some point, MTV was like, "Would you guys like to see music videos every day, all day, on our channel and all affiliate stations, most of which are hosted by the handsome and unassuming Carson Daly?" and we were all like, "HOW DO I VOTE FOR MY FAVORITES?!"
Indeed, one of the best parts of the '90s were the endless series of music videos that bombarded our senses from virtually every media outlet. Ranging from brightly colored bubblegum backdrops, to steampunk apocalyptic narratives, to Lynchian dreamscapes, virtually every video made was a masterpiece in its own way.
So without further ado, here are nine of the music videos you totally thought were the coolest back in the day. (And I don't care what these teenagers have to say '90s music videos, they're still cool!)
Björk — "It's Oh So Quiet"
Interesting tidbit, this video is actually a documentary that films Björk walking down the street going about her daily life. Literally, Spike Jonze pointed a camera at Björk and this was just how she rolled in the 90's.
Smashing Pumpkins — "Tonight, Tonight"
Melancholy was such a whimsical, steam-powered emotion before the recession.
Britney Spears — "Oops... I Did It Again"
If by "it" you mean "made yet another instant pop classic" then, yes, Britney Spears, you did it again.
Alanis Morissette — "Ironic"
Yes, yes, we all know nothing in the song is actually all that ironic. It's been the same joke for twenty years. Did it ever dawn on you how ironic it is that a song about irony isn't ironic? Dontcha think?!
Madonna — "Ray Of Light"
Do my tears of mourning sink beneath the sun? Answer me, Zephyr-in-the-sky! The people want to know! They have a right to know!
The Verve — "Bittersweet Symphony"
The poor guy made no money off of this song because The Rolling Stones sued the band's shirts off for sampling their song "The Last Time." Do you think that's why he's walking down the street so angrily?
Fatboy Slim - "Praise You"
In an era of YouTube and flash mobs, this video's kinda weaksauce now. But damn, what a good song!
Destiny's Child - "Say My Name"
"Beyoncé!" It's "Beyoncé!" There! I said it! Now will you please let me out of this color-coordinated labyrinth from hell!?
Nine Inch Nails - "Closer"
I remember reading in Animorphs that Cassie told her parents "NIN" stood for "Nice Is Neat" so that she could listen to them. I tried the same lie on my mom — only, in my case, it turned out it didn't matter what "NIN" stood for once my mom saw the images in this video, and in the end, I got grounded. Parents just don't understand.
Image: Jive Records