Janet Jackson, ‘Rhythm Nation’ vs. Run—D.M.C. & Aerosmith, ‘Walk This Way’ — Greatest Pop Video Of The Modern Era [First Round]
Last year, we ran a super-sized competition to determine the greatest pop song in modern history, from the '80s to today. And now, we're back — and this time, it's all about honoring the best and boldest in music videos.
Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” is credited, in part, with catapulting her career well past pop star and straight into icon status. Not only is the video a masterpiece as far as long-form music videos are concerned (it was recorded as the conclusion to Janet's Rhythm Nation 1814 Film) but the choreography in it is easily one of the most recognized and iconic routines to come out of the ‘80s (or, if we’re being completely honest, ever). The video’s black-and-white landscape and post-apocalyptic setting combined with its military-style, tightly synced dancing earned the clip its rightful status as a true moment in pop music history.
Perhaps one of the greatest re-workings in music history, Run-D.M.C helped revive Aerosmith’s career when they covered “Walk This Way.” (Their version wound up charting higher on the Hot 100 than its original.) The music video sees both groups playing in neighboring studios that share a wall. Then, in one of the most overt metaphors in music video history, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler literally breaks through the wall between them, and both groups end up onstage, playing the song together. A little heavy-handed, maybe, but it made for one of the most recognized and played videos of the '80s.
Got all that? Good! Because it’s time to decide: Which video ultimately moves forward in our competition?
You can vote once per hour until the poll closes on Nov. 11 at 5 PM ET. Get to it!
Make sure to vote in the other battles in this round...