Were the 90s to music videos what the 70s were to cinema? Or was it just a formative time for me? These are the 90s videos that, to me, defined the decade in which I started to define myself.
  1. "Human Behaviour," Bjork (dir. Michel Gondry) (1993)
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    This video blew my mind to pieces the first time I saw it. I saw it on one of the first nights I was ever really, really stoned, and on a huge screen with huge speakers. My mind was on fire for days afterwards.
  2. "Wicked Game," Chris Isaac (dir. Herb Ritts) (1991)
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    "Is this what sex is like?" I wondered at age 12 when I saw this mesmerizing video. I didn't know Herb Ritts directed it until now. That makes so much sense and is so impressive.
  3. "California Love," 2Pac feat. Dr. Dre (dir. Hype Williams) (1995)
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    "Is this what California is like?" I wondered at age 16 when I saw this, scared and excited to be scared. The beat and the video together made California seem epic, and the east coast provincial.
  4. "Criminal," Fiona Apple (dir. Mark Romanek) (1997)
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    "Is this what college parties are like?" I wondered at age 17 when this debuted. (Answer: No, at least not for me)
  5. "Vogue," Madonna (dir. David Fincher) (1990)
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    I really loved Madonna back in the day. I thought she was so cool and interesting and really fucking hot. This video is from 1990, and you can tell it's too late for the 80s, but the 90s haven't started yet. It doesn't have 80s colors and corniness; it has minimalism and the throwback, ironic winks of the 90s... But the character of the 90s that is about to form hasn't really started yet.
  6. "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Nirvana (dir. Samuel Bayer) (1991)
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    This video WAS the 90s.
  7. "Loser," Beck (dir. Steve Hanft) (1993)
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    Wait: THIS video was the 90s.
  8. "Gin & Juice," Snoop Doggy Dogg (dir. Dr. Dre) (1994)
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    Wait! THIS video was the 90s!