As you can read in our daily feature, On This Day In Music, in 2005 Michael Jackson’s Thriller was voted the best music video ever by Channel 4 viewers, but is it still the best video around today?
If there is one band who have risen to the challenge of taking on the audio visual might of Thriller, its OK Go: a power pop four piece from Chicago whose genius viral music videos have perhaps become even more famous than their music!
Their latest was released on YouTube on the 5 February, and features the band driving a car through a musical assault course, crashing, bashing and smashing instruments and obstacles as they go to play their new single, Needing/Getting. Check it out!
Needing/Getting is just the latest in a long line of OK Go video sensations. Below is a selection of their greatest viral hits featuring treadmill choreography, a Rube Goldberg machine, time-lapse video and dogs!
Here It Goes was OK Go’s first big online video hit, inspiring countless imitations and videos in the low budget spirit of the clip. The video was filmed in one continuous shot and took 17 takes to get right. It has since become one of the best loved and most shared videos on the internet.
How do you top musical treadmills? Build a giant, two-storey Rube Goldberg machine of course! Featuring over 700 household objects across a half-mile course, the video to This Too Shall Pass is rather spectacular in comparison to their jaunty treadmill dancing. Impressively, elements of the run coincide and even perform parts of the song – a precursor to the ideas in the Needing/Getting vid?
By proving their online exploits weren’t just a one-off with Here It Goes, This Too Shall Pass garnered the band a reputation as viral video eccentrics and fully fledged YouTube music stars.
End Love became the band’s third big viral video hit in June 2010. The song itself thrives on a retro lo-fi disco vibe, perhaps inspiring the colourful and zany time-lapse video that accompanied the track.
OK Go’s performance in the video took 18 dedicated hours to film. The shoot included an overnight sequence whereby each member took it in turns to sing whilst the others rested in their sleeping bags. Towards the end of the video, the band are joined by an enthusiastic cast of extras who eventually join in with the time-lapse interaction too! Including additional time-lapse photography at the beginning and end of the video, the entire shoot took around eight days.
In White Knuckle the band combined their choreography skills with a scene stealing cast of dogs…
…whilst Last Leaf brought cartoons to the medium of toast.
Big ideas don’t always have manifest themeslves as grand installations or time-lapse dance offs however.
With their video for All Is Not Lost, a track that also featured Pilobolus, OK Go went one step beyond the YouTube video: user interaction!
If you visit the song’s HTML5 site, you can experience the full, interactive video for yourself.
Whilst OK Go’s videos quickly grew in terms of budget, size, ambition and scale, that first, initial hit, Here It Goes was ultimately just a few guys with a funny idea and a video camera. With the wide-ranging potential for exposure through social networking, anyone can be a YouTube viral sensation with some inspiration and a bit of luck!
Have you ever made a music video for yourself or a band? Are you thinking of trying to create something as fun and shareable as OK Go’s efforts for your music? Maybe you’ve already uploaded a video and its gone viral?! We’d love to hear from you.