Back in the '90s and early 2000s, it seemed like intergalactic journeys were a prime theme in music videos. Boy bands like *NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys made us swoon from spaceships, tales of infatuation were accompanied by claymation aliens and a plush monster squid (more on that in a bit), and sometimes extraterrestrials would even join our favorite music stars by serving as backup dancers. As one who makes a habit of watching music videos that make my nostalgic heart sing, I am constantly perplexed by the amount of space themes present throughout the videos of yesteryear — even though most of the songs had absolutely nothing to do with outer space. Moreover, pretty much every video eschews NASA standards and precautions, as pretty much everyone is too busy with choreography and costume changes to put on an astronaut helmet, or make a beeline to any sort of oxygen tank while sailing across the galaxy.
Technicalities aside, the irreverent nature of the space-themed videos only added to their appeal. I like my music videos as cinematic and wonderfully ridiculous as possible, and the 1990s and early 2000s never failed in delivering some very off-kilter gems. Let's take a look at seven space-themed videos that are truly out of this world.
1. *NSYNC, "I Want You Back"
It's a bit disconcerting how little time the members of *NSYNC spend helping their female costar, who keeps dematerializing and re-materializing throughout this intergalactic masterpiece. You're never going to get her "back," guys, if you just keep singing and dancing! Then again, vintage Justin Timberlake's animated moves and mad mugging is epic enough to make me forgive the boys' disregard.
2. Britney Spears, "Oops!...I Did It Again"
Spears plays a femme fatale living on Mars in this gem from 2000. Red jumpsuits, an astronaut that kind of resembles Ben H. from The Bachelorette, and a Titanic callback are just a few of the things that make this video a classic.
3. The Darkness, "I Believe In A Thing Called Love"
This confounding video doesn't really match the song lyrics in any way, shape, or form. There is also a giant plush squid that battles the band at the end, which is ridiculous — ridiculously awesome, that is!
4. Eiffel 65, "Blue (Da Ba Dee)"
Apparently aliens enjoy late '90s and early '00s club hits as much as we do on Planet Earth, as there are a couple blue (how appropriate) extraterrestrials bopping their heads to this addictive track throughout the video.
5. The Backstreet Boys, "Larger Than Life"
What better way to pay tribute to your legions of fans than from outer space? I would just like to point out that Nick Carter is a robot in this video and accompanied by a bevy of robot dancers. Does it get any better than that?? No, it does not.
6. Will Smith, "Men In Black"
OK, the space theme is actually appropriate for this one, being that it was the title track to the 1997 extraterrestrial action-comedy by the same name. This seriously makes my inner '90s child's heart sing. It's hard to tell whether or not Smith actually made it to space in this video, but there's a singing and dancing alien, so it's close enough.
7. The Smashing Pumpkins, "Tonight, Tonight"
Outer space has never looked so sophisticated, as everyone dons their most formal swag to take an intergalactic journey. Also, mermaids and mermen apparently live in space. I had no idea.
With all these intergalactic videos, I am officially regretting my choice to never sign up for Space Camp.
Images: VEVO; Giphy