Fatboy Slim's Praise You video has been voted the best video of all time by MTV viewers in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The news comes after a poll conducted by the satellite TV giants of its viewers to celebrate 20 years of broadcasting.
Of course, it hadn't occurred to MTV UK bosses that MTV hasn't been available in the UK and Ireland for 20 years. D'oh! Still, why should they let that little fact get in the way of yet another ultimately pointless poll which no-one will agree with wholeheartedly and will just end up with people screaming at the TV screen?
Whilst all polls will usually result in this reaction, this particular poll has thrown up more surprises than you might have have been praying for.
As is usual with polls of this kind, a vast amount of entries are recent half-decent efforts that are there simply because they're fresh in the mind of the person voting. There can be no other excuse for the inclusion of TLC's No Scrubs (No.11) and Alanis Morrissette's Ironic (No.12) in the top 20. The inclusion of even these videos, however, is baffling. It's difficult to know exactly what it is about these videos which caused them to score so highly in these charts. Extremely popular songs they may very well be, but the videos will functional rather than sensational. Eminem's The Real Slim Shady is also ridiculously high at number 3 in the charts, and is all the more extraordinary when you consider that the chilling video for Stan didn't even make the top 100.
Further down the list sees some extraordinary and often hilarious inclusions. N'Sync's Bye Bye Bye is at 27, yet I don't think I ever even saw the video to that. Pyjama wearing pillock MC Hammer provides a few laughs by getting as high as 33, whilst Britney gets to 43 on the back of wearing a school uniform.
However, the most surreal and downright incredible inclusion in the list can be seen at 96, as 80's one-hit wonder Toni Basil scrapes in with her video for Mickey. If you are a struggling young act looking for exposure, get yourself a really bright white room, a couple of unfocused cameras, a few plonkers in cheerleaders uniforms, and you too could have one of the best videos of all time. Dearie me. Mind you, I suppose we should just be thankful that Lolly's cover version didn't make it.
But the rest of the list actually shows some surprises, ranging from the pleasant to the downright amazing when you consider the channel this poll was conducted for, and make you wonder whether or not MTV is actually catering properly for its audience.
In the top 10 alone, the appearance of Weezer's Buddy Holly and The Beastie Boys' Sabotage, which were by no means huge hits in the UK, immediately suggest that this list won't be the depressing wasteland of boy bands and manufactured pop acts that you may have expected.
However, the most pleasing sight in the list has to be the double appearance of Aphex Twin - on both occasions for controversial collaborations with director Chris Cunningham on the videos for Windowlicker (34) and Come To Daddy (74). The fact that the airplay for these two videos was limited to after 11pm should have been enough reason not to see their inclusion, but their cult, notorious status have clearly made a big impact on today's music-video watching audience. Obviously, in an ideal world Windowlicker would be pushing for top spot in the chart, but we can't have everything I suppose. On another positive note, Cunningham also appears elsewhere in the list alongside Leftfield (36) for Afrika Shox and Bjork (13) for All Is Full Of Love amongst others.
Another pleasant surprise is the inclusion of Godley & Creme at 90 for the pioneering video to their track Cry. Again, this is all the more surprising when you consider that the video only ever gets aired these days on VH1 80s Hits Weekend, and it's 27 repeats thereafter.
There are some truly excellent videos in this list. In fact, there's a lot of them. A lot more than you could have expected, in fact. Sure, there's some absolute dreck in there - Mariah Carey, anyone? But that's to be expected. I'm more interested in the amount of top-quality entries in this list.
What this all should say to MTV schedulers is that MTV is clearly not just watched exclusively by an audience of teenage girls and Escort XR3i owning Craig David wannabes. It's clear that there is a huge audience, in this country anyway, for videos and music that are of a sublime and original quality. Whilst there is a need to show a lot of so-called 'pop' music to retain viewing figures, MTV should be making more room for more forward-thinking music as it's clear that's what the viewing public wants.
It all makes the channel's decision to dump their Alternative Nation programme for last year's schedule look all the more ill-judged. Whilst MTV2 is a good channel, it certainly does not play the range of leftfield and outstanding videos that that mere one hour show played. I think that there's definitely a case to be looked at here.
The full list of videos is below.
1. Fatboy Slim - 'Praise You'
2. Michael Jackson - 'Thriller'
3. Eminem - 'The Real Slim Shady'
4. Madonna - 'Ray Of Light'
5. Beastie Boys - 'Sabotage'
6. Weezer - 'Buddy Holly'
7. Blur - 'Coffee & TV'
8. Chemical Brothers - 'Let Forever Be'
9. Jamiroquai - 'Virtual Insanity'
10. Queen - 'Bohemian Rhapsody'
11. TLC – 'No Scrubs'
12. Alanis Morissette – 'Ironic'
13. Bjork – 'All Is Full Of Love'
14. Nirvana – 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'
15. REM – 'Losing My Religion'
16. Michael and Janet Jackson – 'Scream'
17. Peter Gabriel – 'Sledgehammer'
18. Massive Attack – 'Teardrop'
19. Blink 182 – 'All The Small Things'
20. The Verve – 'Bitter Sweet Symphony'
21. Run DMC with Aerosmith – 'Walk This Way'
22. Smashing Pumpkins – 'Tonight, Tonight'
23. Robbie Williams – 'Rock DJ'
24. Beck – 'Loser'
25. Blondie – 'Rapture'
26. Pulp – 'Common People'
27. 'N Sync – 'Bye Bye Bye'
28. Manic Street Preachers – 'If You Tolerate This'
29. Guns N' Roses – 'November Rain'
30. Foo Fighters – 'Learn To Fly'
31. Radiohead – 'Just'
32. Busta Rhymes and Janet Jackson – 'What's It Gonna Be'
33. MC Hammer – 'U Can't Touch This'
34. Aphex Twin – 'Windowlicker'
35. A-Ha – 'Take On Me'
36. Leftfield – 'Afrika Shox'
37. Marilyn Manson – 'Beautiful People'
38. Massive Attack – 'Unfinished Symphony'
39. Chemical Brothers – 'Hey Boy, Hey Girl'
40. Red Hot Chili Peppers – ' Californication'
41. Talking Heads – 'Once In A Lifetime'
42. Daft Punk – 'Da Funk'
43. Britney Spears – 'Baby… One More Time'
44. Portishead – 'Only You'
45. Blur – 'Song 2'
46. Dire Straits – 'Money For Nothing'
47. Fatboy Slim – 'Weapon Of Choice'
48. Deee-lite – 'Groove Is In The Heart'
49. U2 – 'Sweetest Thing'
50. Madonna – 'Frozen'
51. Duran Duran – 'Wild Boys'
52. Lauryn Hill – 'Doo Wop (That Thing)'
53. The Cure – 'Close To Me'
54. Busta Rhymes – 'Gimme Some Mo'
55. Aerosmith - 'Pink'
56. Eminem – 'My Name Is'
57. Bjork – 'Human Behaviour'
58. Placebo – 'Pure Morning'
59. Gorillaz – 'Clint Eastwood'
60. George Michael and Mary J Blige – 'As'
61. Ricky Martin – 'She Bangs'
62. Cardigans – 'My Favourite Game'
63. David Bowie – 'Ashes To Ashes'
64. Frankie Goes To Hollywood – 'Two Tribes'
65. Oasis – 'D'you Know What I Mean'
66. Badly Drawn Boy – 'Once Around The Block'
67. U2 – 'The Fly'
68. Prodigy – 'Smack My Bitch Up'
69. Band Aid – 'Do They Know It's Christmas'
70. UNKLE – 'Rabbit in yr Headlights'
71. George Michael – 'Outside'
72. Sinead O'Connor – 'Nothing Compares 2 U'
73. Lenny Kravitz – 'Are You Gonna Go My Way'
74. Aphex Twin – 'Come To Daddy'
75. Eurythmics – 'Sweet Dreams ( Are Made)'
76. Madonna – 'Justify My Love'
77. Beastie Boys – 'Intergalactic'
78. Radiohead – 'Street Spirit'
79. Moloko – 'Sing It Back'
80. Robert Palmer – 'Addicted To Love'
81. Red Hot Chili Peppers – 'Give It Away'
82. The Avalanches – 'Since I Left You'
83. Wham – 'Club Tropicana'
84. Stereophonics – 'Mr Writer'
85. Bjork – 'Big Time Sensuality'
86. The Jacksons – 'Can You Feel It'
87. REM – 'Imitation Of Life'
88. Madonna – 'Like A Prayer'
89. Spice Girls – 'Wannabe'
90. Godley and Crème – 'Cry'
91. Oasis – 'Wonderwall'
92. Soundgarden – 'Black Hole Sun'
93. Mariah Carey – 'Honey'
94. U2 – 'Where The Streets Have No Name (rooftop version)'
95. Will Smith – 'Men In Black'
96. Toni Basil - 'Mickey'
97. Coldplay – 'Don't Panic'
98. Baz Luhrmann – 'Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)'
99. Moby – 'Natural Blues'
100. Buggles – 'Video Killed The Radio Star'