The worst music videos of all time

Mick Jagger & David Bowie — “Dancing in the Street”

On paper, it was a perfect storm of musical genius.

David Bowie and Mick Jagger, rock ‘n’ roll legends and now hall-of-fame inductees. The song “Dancing in the Street,” a Motown hit from the ’60s written by Marvin Gaye himself. It was all but guaranteed to be one of the greatest tracks in rock history. The stuff of legends.

Or so we thought.

Watching the music video for “Dancin’ in the Street” instantly overwhelms the viewer with pure, excruciating awkwardness. Jagger flails and struts across the screen like a tasered monkey while Bowie does a fancy little jig on the stairs. Jagger delivers his trademark pucker after every line while Bowie stares him down from the background. All in the height of ’80s fashion, of course.

At first, I thought they had to be kidding. These were the outtakes, surely. No music video director would think this would be anything but painful to watch. They fight for face time like children, pushing each other out of view just so they can embarrass themselves a little more. It looks like it was shot outside an abandoned warehouse, for goodness’ sake! And what the hell is David Bowie wearing, anyway?

Every corny dance move, every stupid over-excited facial expression makes you feel worse and worse for each of them, until you’re left only feeling bad for yourself.

Luckily, the whole ordeal is over in less than three minutes, but those are three minutes you’ll never get back. And just as you think to yourself, “I’m glad that’s over,” it hits you — you’ll never get that stupid song out of your head!

— Jason Hall

David Hasselhoff — “Jump In My Car”

Watching a David Hasselhoff music video is like witnessing a 12-car pileup in slow motion. It’s really that bad. Yet no matter how awful, how horrendous, how repulsive, it’s just too hard to look away.

Best known for his cheesy television roles in “Baywatch” and “Knight Rider,” Hasselhoff has turned to an equally campy career in music. Released in 2006, “Jump in My Car” features Hasselhoff in all his mediocre glory, lip synching and dancing in blue and black pleather to a hackneyed 1980s-style beat. Driving a K.I.T.T. look-alike, Hasselhoff tries to convince three women to tag along for the ride. While the video’s self-deprecating humor is half-heartedly amusing, it fails to pass off as anything more than pathetic buffoonery. And the man’s dancing is uncomfortably creepy.

Several times, the video cuts to random shots of Hasselhoff in his signature lifeguard attire, a faux California beach serving as the backdrop. Another shot shows “The Hoff” standing in front of a “Hoffey Apples! Yum, Hoffey Apples!” sign, followed by a “Hot Cup of Hoffee” moments later. The epitome of a Hollywood ‘has-been,’ Hasselhoff’s “Jump in My Car” feels less like a music video and more like a sad and expired career flashing before the viewer’s eyes.

— Jinae West

Billy Squier — “Rock Me Tonite”

There are bad music videos and then there are career-ending music videos.

This is the latter.

Take Billy Squier, a fairly popular ’80s singer most recognized for performing the song and dance for “The Stroke.” It was a big hit that launched what might have been a long-lasting career.

Then in 1983, it ended in one of the most hilariously bad three minutes ever filmed.

Squier, dressed in fashion similar to Jennifer Beals’ signature garb in Flashdance, pranced, danced and gyrated his way in something that looks more like a voyeur video in someone’s apartment than something that was meant to be a hit on MTV.

Multiple awkward camera pauses on him ripping his shirt and thrusting his crotch still cause people to wince in embarrassment, knowing this video is the true definition of a career killer.

The underlying homoeroticism along with the video’s complete lack of direction caused fans to abandon him days after the video was released.

This may be the reason no one really remembers Squier today, but once you see this video you may not be able to get it out of your head.

— Andrew Gaug

Janet Jackson Featuring Nelly — “Call On Me”

Janet Jackson’s album 20 Years Old, released September 2006, suffered low sales and the video for the first single off the album could not have helped. The single, “Call on Me” featuring Nelly, reached No. 1 on the Billboard’s hip/hop and R&B chart. The video shows Jackson dressed in what could be the tackiest outfits seen in a video since Shania Twain wore an animal print jumpsuit in her video for “That Don’t Impress Me Much.”

Jackson also sports long, fake blue nails that look like guitar picks and she wears more makeup than all the Pussycat Dolls combined. Speaking of fake, in one scene Jackson’s back is completely tattooed and in the next shot her back isn’t. The makeup and wardrobe send an oriental message, but the song has not one oriental tendency, which ultimately means that the video has nothing to do with the song.

That has to be the biggest mistake in music-video making, but Jackson makes one more. Jackson, who is usually known for her amazing dance moves, shows no great dance moves in the video. Actually she barely moves at all because her tight dresses allow for very little movement. Instead of dancing, Jackson seems to be taking one step to the left and then one step to the right.

Weird location, even weirder hair, makeup and wardrobe and awful dance moves made this video one of the worst of 2006 and probably of all time.

— Azka Khan

Britney Spears — “Oops!…I did it Again”

Oh for the days of the young, sexy-b,ut-cute Britney Spears, with a full head of hair.

Back then it was easier to hate her. Now people almost feel sorry for Spears. Love, hate or secretly pity her, Spears’ video for “Oops!…I Did It Again,” is a pathetic attempt to alter her image from sweet hometown girl into a sex icon.

The video starts with an astronaut landing on Mars only to discover that the planet is now the land of Britney Spears. The astronaut stands back in amazement as Spears ascends from a lift, clad in a one piece, red leather jumpsuit. Of course, the next logical step of the video is for Spears to burst into synchronized dance with her backup dancers.

And then it starts..Spears thinks she’s done it again. What exactly she has done again, no one is quite sure. No one understands the concept of the video or why the Titanic reference was used. Still, whenever the song came on, teenage girls everywhere felt the need to break into that annoying dance, complete with hand motions.

The video repeats itself until the song ends, after an excruciating four minutes and 12 seconds. “Oops!…I Did It Again” was Spears’ first shot at solidifying herself as a sex icon among pre-pubescent teenage boys everywhere. The video concept was ridiculous, along with the lyrics and her outfit. Still, the single went straight to the top of the music charts. Mission accomplished.

— Brittany Moseley

Spice Girls — “Say You’ll Be There”

Enter: four British women wearing sexy, shiny, tight outfits — the fifth in her usual sweatpants and tank top.

Poor Sporty Spice.

A written introduction of the famed Girl Power idols streams onto the screen, delaying the new Spice Girls’ music video even longer, “Melanie C as Katrina Highkick, Geri as Trixie Firecracker, Emma as Kung Fu Candy, Victoria as Midnight Miss Suki, Melanie B as Blazin’ Bad Zula.”

One guess for who got stuck with the boring action name. Poor Sporty Spice.

Then, as if girls — and boys — all over the world couldn’t wait any longer, the Spice Girls’ voices wail over the punchy keyboard music, “Oh, say you’ll be there. I’m givin’ you everything, all that joy can bring yes I swear.”

The cheesiness of this music video surmounts much of the videos of the ’90s, and it tops their previous single, “Wannabe.” Yes, the world was overtaken by the first British girl band, promoting girl power in lingerie and six-inch platform heels.

In this particular video, every need is fulfilled: Ginger Spice posing with a throwing star — and not really throwing it, Scary Spice tossing a boomerang at a glass jar on a fence and the whole gang driving around in a really nice car in the desert.

And all of their training with serious weapons was so they could capture a man and strap him to the hood of their car. The point? Maybe there isn’t one — but one thing is apparent.this was the worst music video ever.

— Jenna Gerling

Alanis Morissette — “Head Over Feet”

This was a thoughtful decision. My mind immediately turned to Michael Jackson’s utterly ridiculous video for “Remember the Time,” but then I realized that at least a totally irrelevant Egyptian theme was something.

A video that had absolutely nothing: Alanis Morissette’s “Head Over Feet” from the Jagged Little Pill album.

I know we all remember this video because everyone had the album in middle school. Like the others, I loved the videos for “Ironic” and “You Oughta Know.” But even as a kid, I remember watching the premiere of the “Head Over Feet” video and thinking, “What the hell is this?”

If you don’t remember, the video was simply a steady camera head-shot of Alanis lip-synching and absolutely nothing else. And half the time she doesn’t even try to lip-synch! Taking a break from this lack of effort to look like she’s playing the harmonica doesn’t save any grace either.

And this video actually had a director?

“Head Over Feet” taught me valuable lessons about life and the music industry. There’s a difference between being artsy and stylized and being ridiculous and lazy. And money can inspire artists to release videos just to give MTV something to play- the way it can inspire bands such as Nickelback to release every single song on one album as a single.

Oh, Alanis! Even Eddie Murphy would have saved this video.

— Ally Melling