Do you ever…feel like a plastic bag? Kidding, but do you see where I am going? No? Well buckle up, we’re taking a trip down memory lane. Have you ever watched a music video and immediately gotten blasted to the past? To the good old days of sitting on the couch watching MTV Music Videos. Now, unlike HBO, late nights on MTV were not a terrifying place. You could wake up with the TV on at 1am and not feel extremely uncomfortable, ya know?
You’re probably wondering why I am reminiscing on all the poorly made music videos of my middle/high school days. The other day, I was listening to my songs on shuffle, which is rare for me now. “The Less I Know The Better,” by Tame Impala came on. It dawned on me that I can never hear that song the same, because of the music video. Which reminded me of all the music videos of the past, that had the same effect on my youthful brain. I won’t get into too much detail of what this video entails, I will link it below as a reference. However, it got me thinking, what were the best music videos from the MTV Late Night era?? So, I figured, I would go on the hunt. I AM DOING RESEARCH FOR THIS ONE. I know, please send your condolences, this is SUCH a hard self-project.
First, I had to put myself in the same mindset of my 14 year old self. My idol at the time was Ke$ha. It’s fine, you can laugh. You can even chuckle at the fact that I was her on Halloween, with a bottle of Apple Juice, as my version of Jack Daniels. When looking at music videos from 2010, I am BLASTED to the past. It’s the end of Freshman year of high school, I would assume. It is clear from all these music videos, that artists were just as confused about their identity, as I was. I mean, c’mon, look at the pictures and videos of Lady Gaga in that time. Mind Blowing. Enrique Iglesias was rocking the charts AND our lame school dances. Let’s not forget the song, “Bedrock,” that we absolutely should not have been singing at our age. Would I say this specific year of music helped me find myself? Probably not. Did it encourage my friends and I to start drinking early? Probably. I think my favorite video in this lineup would have to be “Telephone,” by Lady Gaga and Beyonce. That song always had me in my feels. Which is strange, because I can assure you NO men wanted me at the time. So literally nobody was bothering me while I was at the non-existent club with my friends.
Oh, but what a difference just a YEAR makes. Let’s jump to the next year. WE GOT ADELE BABY! The world’s favorite sad bitch has ARRIVED. In time for all of us to really start getting in our feelings about men. Can I even call them men? We were 15. However, while Adele is making us cry about toxic boys in our lives, here comes Bruno Mars to lift us up. His big hit in 2011 was, “Just The Way You Are.” I am so glad he could make us feel loved, mid-puberty. This is the year of Katy Perry and Rihanna, apparently. They are dominating the Billboard Hot 100 this year. Go Women!! I genuinely don’t even know if I have the right words to say about this era. Honestly, watching the music videos right now, I can’t help but think about how all these are BANGERS. I mean, Justin Bieber hit us with “Baby.” An ICONIC song that still dominates our hearts today. Taylor Swift is serving us her old country-esque bops and Selena Gomez is in her honeymoon phase with Justin. All is seemingly right in the world. My favorite from this playlist, just for tribute reasons, has to go to Avicii. This was the year that “Levels” was really taking off. While I don’t entirely LOVE the concept of the video, I can appreciate the weirdness it conveys. I mean, the song doesn’t have any lyrics, so the video had to make up for it. I can always appreciate Avicii’s vision, and I wish he were still around to show us what more he had for 2020.
Jumping a couple years, it’s now 2013. We’re graduating high school and going to the prime time baby. COLLEGE. Now, I am not really sure when MTV decided they no longer wanted to show music videos late at night anymore. Unfortunately, entering college, it was no longer my priority. Neither was sleeping though, don’t worry. According to Youtube, 2013 was still showing the year’s top hits on MTV. Looking at this lineup, I am honestly in awe. I mean, how could we ever forget, “Gangnam Style”? However, how could we ever let that become a top 100 hit, no offense PSY. Also, we ALL remember crying for no reason to Swedish House Mafia’s, “Don’t You Worry Child.” Maybe our tears were foreshadowing, to their breakup. A song that has stuck with me even to this day, against my will, is: “Somebody I Used To Know” by Gotye. One of my best friends from college, loved this song. Just when you were starting to finally forget about this one hit wonder, she plays it on her shower speakers. It would be WRONG of me not to mention the group who is absolutely slandering the charts in these years. One Direction. From 2012 to their breakup, they were always on the top 100. What a time to be alive.
While there have been plenty more amazing music videos, MTV one day woke up and decided to stop playing them. They might as well change their name to RTV, Reality TV. That’s all it is at this point anyways! Now, you’re probably wondering how Tame Impala started this wave of nostalgia. When clicking these throwback links, you’ll see that a lot of these music videos are completely obscure. You have no idea where it is going, and you honestly have no idea where it has been either. After taking a trip down memory lane, I encourage you to watch this more current video. The song is stunning, the music video is confusing. Let me know if you can listen to it the same after watching.