In the years since MTV decided to focus more on trashy reality shows instead of music, bands and artists have had to release videos to iTunes, YouTube, Vimeo, and the like, but they rarely have anything close to the same kind of impact or “watchability” as they did back in the heyday of the craft.
Suddenly, out of this dull sea of half-assery and overdone performance videos came a band from Chicago named OK Go. The peppy pop-rock stylings of the band’s self-titled 2002 album didn’t really make them arena headliners, but it resonated with fans of catchy pop-rock.
With the release of 2005’s Oh No, however, OK Go went viral. Their music videos for Here It Goes Again and A Million Ways revealed them as innovative and proficient masterminds with the ability to make a absurdly impressive video on a very paltry budget.
Today, the band’s take on the Muppet Show Theme Song was released, and in keeping with their penchant for the amazing, the music video features the Muppets breaking things and mugging for the camera. It’s delightful. Enjoy!
And now, a look back through the band’s efforts to revolutionize (and rejuvenate) a stagnant art form.
A Million Ways
This is probably one of the cheapest music videos ever made, and it’s great. Maybe the guys were on their cheerleading team in high school….
Here It Goes Again
When the video for Here It Goes Again came out, things got a bit crazy. It basically defined “viral”, racking up millions of views as it spread across the Internet like mad. There really should be an Olympic medal awarded for the sort of insane precision and finesse that must be required in something as insanely difficult-looking as treadmill-hopping. It’s hard to fathom how they possibly came up with this routine, OR more importantly how they were able to shoot it in one take.
Do What You Want (Wallpaper Version)
The video for this song, from 2005’s Oh No, didn’t get as much attention as the other two from that album, but it deserves some here. It doesn’t feature an elaborate dance routine with workout equipment, but the visuals more than make up for that fact.
The first video from 2009’s Of The Blue Colour Of the Sky, WTF? is not for the colorblind.
Tricky editing shines in this video, which finds the guys dancing in a public park.
This Too Shall Pass (Marching Band Version)
They’re just as good at leading a marching band as they are at dancing.
This Too Shall Pass (Rube Goldberg Version)
The intricacy and detail that went into this one is stunning. That they were able to shoot it in one take and have everything turn out perfectly? Well, that’s just a testament to Ok Go’s status as geniuses.
This time they added some well-trained dogs into the mix.
215 loaves of bread is a lot of bread, and that’s what they used for this video. As usual, the artistry at work here is jaw-dropping.
All Is Not Lost
This is available as a regular video or an immersive, HTML-based interactive experience (which you can view here). Either one is great.
As you can see, OK Go have created quite a legacy with their music videos. There simply aren’t many (if any) artists out today there that put anything close to as much effort into a video as this band. It’s as if they are trying to single-handedly reinvent the entire genre, transforming it from a simplistic commercial for an iTunes single into something that can truly be considered “performance art”.
The music world could really use more bands and artists with the kind of work ethic and creative energy as OK Go. The day they stop making great music videos will be a dark one indeed.
Here’s a suggestion for the band, in case any of you happen to come across this piece: Instead of breaking up and going your separate ways, start your own art school! That way you can continue spreading your creative vision to larger audiences.
Oh, and thanks for the videos. Don’t ever stop being awesome.