While most music videos are merely slick, soulless promotional vehicles for potential hit singles, with no more substance or purpose than a Shamwow infomercial, occasionally a video comes out that transcends crass commercialism and actually stands alone as a work of visual art. Happily, quite a few such artworks hit TV screens and computer monitors for three or so minutes at a time this year, and when we added all those minutes together...well, we realized we spent much of 2011 enjoying some really awesome music videos.
So here, in ascending order of awesomeness, are our picks for the top 20 videos of the year.
# 5) Duran Duran - "Girl Panic!"
There was a time, back in the hallowed 1980s, when supermodels were superstars, practically on the same A-list level as the pop singers who recruited them for their bombastic music videos. And in this nine-and-a-half-minute mini-movie, the "Supers" are back in the gauze-lensed spotlight, recapturing all the celluloid glamour of THE ultimate '80s band's heyday. Starring Naomi Campbell as frontman Simon Le Bon, Cindy Crawford as bassist John Taylor, Helena Christensen as drummer Roger Taylor, and Eva Herzigova as keyboardist Nick Rhodes, along with Simon's own real-life model wife Yasmin, this video perfectly epitomizes the glamour and excess of Duran's champagne-swilling, yacht-hopping glory days.
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