Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer

peter-gabriel-sledgehammer-video

Yes, I’m posting one of the most famous songs of the last half century. I don’t care if it’s well known. The video, created by Aardman Studios and Brothers Quay, is one of the most original and exciting music videos ever crafted.

Despite all the acclaim and the “you should have already seen this” atmosphere, it’s a vital, wild, uncompromising vision of music in motion. This is one of the greatest short films of all time.

Wow, right?

This is one of the few music video clips in the history of the format that honestly leaves me speechless. Every time I watch it, I think, wow… it’s not just that gif-worthy sequence where vegetables turn into a face. In between viewings, I completely forget the massive scope, the twisted human faces, the sheer visual fireworks of the whole thing.

This is deeply weird material and it was one of the most popular clips of the 1980s.

Set against the material that breaks big on youtube today, this is unnerving, ambitious, psychotically fascinating art. But it was something that I watched multiple times as a small child. I was always entranced when music videos appeared on TV, but clips like this obviously made a deeper impression. In a pioneering medium, this was the vanguard of what TV could accomplish at the time. The very best examples still stand up with the best works of visual art ever created, as twisted and original as the best films before or since.

Know any other videos of this caliber? Please share!

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