Music Video Genres, Ranked


This year marks the 30th anniversary of Tell It to My Heart, Taylor Dayne’s double-platinum debut album that peaked at #21 on the Billboard 200 albums chart back in 1988.

To celebrate the big 3-0, a bunch of people who might be Dayne’s friend but are definitely a bunch of people (Kris Jenner, RuPaul, Jonathan Cheban, Kris Humphries, Debbie Gibson, Wynonna Judd, someone named Alexis) recorded themselves lip-syncing to Tell It to My Heart’s timeless title track, Billboard reports, which Dayne’s people then compiled together and posted on YouTube.

The tribute video is deeply fine, yet it pales in comparison to the original, for the original is one of the greatest examples of the greatest music video genres of all time—woman dancing in a white room often but not always accompanied by two gays as concept—and this tribute video is an example of one of the worst (friends of singer lip-sync and/or sing to singer’s song as concept). There’s a very clear hierarchy to all this:

1. Woman singer dances in white room often but not always with two gays as concept

  • Ex.: Taylor Dayne’s “Tell It to My Heart,” Sabrina’s “All of Me,” Vanessa Williams’ “(He’s Got) The Look,” Madonna’s “Lucky Star,” Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up”

2. Interior design as concept

  • ex: Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name,” Christina Aguilera’s “Come on Over Baby (All I Want is You),” Dream’s “This is Me,” Brandy & Monica’s “The Boy is Mine”

3. Disco singers’ music videos that predate MTV

  • ex: Amii Stewart’s “Knock on Wood,” Sylvester’s “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” Amanda Lear’s “Gold,” Amanda Lear’s “Follow Me”

4. – 499. Everyone is hot as concept

  • ex: Charli XCX’s “Boys,” D’Angelo’s “Untitled (How Does It Feel),” Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game,” St. Vincent’s “Fast Slow Disco”

500. Friends of singer sing and/or lip-sync to singer’s song

  • ex: The aforementioned Taylor Dayne tribute video, the Carly Rae Jepsen “I Really Like You” video with Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande recording themselves on Photo Booth.

Got it? Great.

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