See the rest of TIME’s Top 10 of Everything 2013 lists here
10. “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say),” Ylvis
It’s almost a relief when you find out that Ylvis —the brothers behind the insanely catchy viral sensation — are in on the joke. The song, which will soon be turned into a children’s book, by Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker was meant to be a failure, one they could talk about and mock on their late-night Norwegian talk show, Tonight with Ylvis. Things didn’t quite turn out as expected. The song accumulated nearly 262 million YouTube views and propelled them to worldwide fame.
9. “Cocaine,”FIDLAR [NSFW]
Director: Ryan Baxley
LA skate rockers FIDLAR somehow convinced Parks and Recreation star Nick Offerman to star in their video for their raucous and rowdy “Cocaine”. The clip features Offerman chugging beer and relieving himself all over the surroundings — a nearly visualization for the band’s riotous and unrestrained rock anthem.
8. “The Next Day,” David Bowie
Director: Floria Sigismondi
David Bowie himself wrote the script for this video, which Floria Sigismondi directed. In the video, Ziggy Stardust swaps his otherworldly outfits for a simple monk’s habit, resigning himself to the background. It features Gary Oldman as a priest with a wandering eye and French actress Marion Cotillard as a seductress who gets hit with an unexpected case of stigmata. The Catholic League was quick to denounce it, which was probably exactly what the living legend intended. Bowie’s follow-up video for the track “Love Is Lost” is equally eyebrow-raising, with a digital sketch of two lovers coming to life on camera — watch it here.
7. “Wishes,” Beach House
Director: Eric Wareheim
Indie band Beach House recruited Eric Wareheim of comedy duo Tim and Eric fame for their video — and the results are predictably and gloriously strange. It features Ray Wise (most notably from Twin Peaks) as a football coach who sings the soaring and wistful lyrics from the sidelines as the crowd roars. It adds an unsettling charm that manages to perfectly highlight the song, while being completely mesmerizing to watch. Also worth checking out is Wareheim’s video for Major Lazer’s “Bubble Butt.“
6. “Bad Dancer,” Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band
Director: Ben Dickinson
When you title your song “Bad Dancer” and the lyrics read like they were written at cheerleading camp (“When your heart is dancing/Your mind is bouncing/Bounce bounce bounce bounce”), your video has a lot to live up to. Luckily, Ono delivers in this exuberant video, which features the dance stylings of her famous friends, including Ad-Rock and Mike D of the Beastie Boys (both of whom also mixed the track), Questlove, comedian Reggie Watts, performance artist Justin Vivian Bond, Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier, Das Racist alum Heems, This American Life host Ira Glass and R&B singer Roberta Flack.
5. “Late Night,” Foals [NSFW]
The very-NSFW video for “Late Night” puts the British band in the lobby of a hotel straight out of David Lynch film and slowly shows what is happening in each of the hotel rooms that surround them. The activities encapsulate everything you imagine happening late at night — from sex to crime to birth to death — all while the band plays one of their most intimate songs to date. While the imagery is stark and brutal and graphic, NABIL – who also directed The Weeknd’s ““ – does not revel in the sex and violence so much as simply reveal it.
4. “Black Skinhead,” Kanye West
Director: Kanye West & Nick Knight
The video for “Black Skinhead,” the lead single from West’s album, Yeezus, was released in two versions: static and interactive. The video is shot entirely in black-and-white and filled with haunting images of snapping dogs and hooded Klansmen — draped in black to reflect the song’s title — and a digitally-rendered and remarkably muscular version of West. The video is intense and thrumming and a perfect match for the dark track. The interactive version, which was released exclusively on West’s own website, allows viewers to speed up and slow down the video (using the keyboard’s +/- buttons) and features a fully integrated system to capture images from the video, which West hopes will lead to a proliferation of images from the video via social networks.
3. “White Noise,” Disclosure feat. AlunaGeorge
Director: Luke Monaghan
The video is a simple reminder that the best music can make the most dreary of surroundings — and, sometimes, the worst jobs — bearable. The video craftily uses the drab urban setting of Detroit (one of the birthplaces of techno) as the arena security guard’s solitary and ebullient dance moves. What happens next makes this one of the sweetest love stories — and most joyful videos – of the year.
2. “Wrecking Ball,” Miley Cyrus
Director: Terry Richardson
Cyrus, who already released a swell clip for “We Can’t Stop” (featured on our mid-year listing of best videos), would later team up with fashion photographer Terry Richardson to create one of the most controversial videos of 2013, which featured Miley nude and nearly nude swinging on the titular metal sphere. While some of her fans were cool on the video, it did get people talking about the heartbreak anthem — and isn’t that really the point of music videos? The clip has also spawned many, many parodies including a Chatroulette version and the Carrie Underwood cover for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
1. “Like A Rolling Stone,” Bob Dylan
Director: Vania Heymann
It came almost half a century late, but the Bob Dylan classic finally got a music video — and we say it was worth the wait. The boundary-breaking video — directed by YouTube sensation Heymann and utilizing Interlude technology — offers 16 surfable “channels” featuring various TV personalities (from SportsCenter’s Steve Levy to Drew Carey on the set of The Price Is Right) all “singing” the Dylan track. It’s impossible to name a more immersive, inventive or plain-old fun music video released this year.
Next Top 10 TV Shows