The futuristic architecture of 90s music videos

The 90s was a time when the music video came into it’s own.

Well known directors debuted on MTV, such as Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, David Fincher. Martin Scorsese and Mark Romanek. People started taking notice of the music video as an art form, this wasn’t just a filmed live gig, that we would often see in the 80s. In the 90s  the music video was a carefully constructed theatrical masterpiece, with budgets often as big as Hollywood blockbusters. The most expensive music video ever made, Micheal and Janet Jackson’s ‘Scream’ cost over $10,000,000 was shot in 1995 by director Mark Romanek.

Particularly in the R&B and Pop genres the setting for many of these videos were vast futuristic landscapes, with minimalist steel chambers with oceans of mercury and walls of flames. It seems the upcoming 21st Century sparked the imagination of directors to set our favorite stars in utopian landscapes that represented sophistication and a new flawless luxury (see J.Lo in ‘Play’).

I’ve put together some of my favorite stills from the hits of the time!

TLC No Scrubs directed by Hype Williams 1999

TLC 'No Scrubs' directed by Hype Williams 1999

Madonna Bedtime Stories directed by Mark Romanek 1994

Madonna Bedtime Stories directed by Mark Romanek 1994

Micheal Jackson and  Janet Jackson Scream directed by Mark Romanek 1994Micheal Jackson and  Janet Jackson Scream directed by Mark Romanek 1994

O Town Liquid Dreams 1999

O Town Liquid Dreams 1999

Missy Elliot The Rain 1997 Directed by Hype Williams

Missy Elliot The Rain 1997 Directed by Hype Williams

Missy Elliot I Want You Back featuring Mel B directed by Hype Williams 1998

Missy Elliot I Want You Back featuring Mel B directed by Hype Williams 1998

All is Full of Love Bjork directed by Chris Cunningham 1999

All is Full of Love Bjork directed by Chris Cunningham 1999

Shes a Bitch Missy Elliot 1999 - Hype Williams

Shes a Bitch Missy Elliot 1999 - Hype Williams

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