Jason Baum's Top 20 Music Videos of the Decade

Posted by Jason Baum on December 30, 2019 in Lists

Contributor Post

When Doug first hit me up to put together a list for the best of the decade, I was pretty excited and I basically scribbled this entire thing down in Notes within an hour at 11 PM.

It came so easy because I still think about all of these videos constantly. Every day I aspire to make something that can stand shoulder to shoulder with every video on this list. So I set out to make something all encompassing. No repeats of directors, no repeats of artists, at least one video from every year. Most importantly, I wanted to chronicle the people who provided us with the most awe inspiring visuals over an incredible time in my life.

And what a decade it has been. The rise of Vevo, the irrelevance of Antville, the coveted Vimeo Staff Pick. Remember the YouTube Music Awards? The birth of the Alexa, the death of the 5D or even better the Hot Rod 7D? Consumer drones! Ironic 4x3. RIP FCP 7. Visual albums! 1 billion views! Beats headphones! Vertical videos!?!

The crazy thing is that almost everyone here has at least another two or three videos that could have easily been on this list any other day. In fact, I would be making a Palm Pictures DVD for everyone here if YouTube didn’t make that series irrelevant.

Honestly though... making this list felt weirdly like a closing of a chapter for me. It’s the changing of the guard and I’m excited to think that there will be 30 completely undiscovered directors that will be on this list in 2030.

In chronological order…

Before you complain-- yes, this list is obviously flawed! I mean, I’m evidently nostalgic as 75% of this list is 2015 or earlier. My manifesto also has me overlooking modern classics like “Otis” and “The Suburbs.” And I get it, where’s any video from Arcade Fire, Frank Ocean, Kanye, Gaga, MIA, Solange… “Call Your Girlfriend,” “Chandelier,” “We Found Love,” “Hotline Bling”? Beach House “Wishes”?!I do regret that this list doesn’t have more diversity. Of ethnicity, of gender, of everything. So I hope we all do a better job of bringing those minority voices to the forefront as we all continue to aspire to include all people in the work we make. (check out Free The Work if you need some help)

Jason Baum is a music video producer and director based in Los Angeles.



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