30 years of sci-fi music videos celebrating MTV's 30th anniversary

MTV turns 30 today, making it officially old enough to be cynical about, well, MTV. In honor of the groundbreaking form of filmmaking they popularized, we've found an eye-popping, sci-fi-themed music video for each of the past 30 years.

Check 'em out below!


1981: Beautiful World, DEVO

An android views clips of the world, which get progressively more horrific. Just like watching the news (except they'd probably make the nuclear bomb their lead-in).


1982: She Blinded Me With Science, Thomas Dolby

The video focuses on mid-1900s psychiatric procedures, which have about as much to do with science as Catwoman's proportions.


1983: Thriller, Michael Jackson

Zombie MJ leads an undead uprising. Sadly, he still looks better than the late-'90s Michael Jackson.


1984: Radio Gaga, Queen

This music video tribute places the epic band in the middle of the classic film Metropolis. It also explains why Freddie Mercury was so gifted: He was scientifically engineered.


1985: Loverboy, Billy Ocean

This video probably represents the peak of music videomaking's interest in irrelevant sci-fi. Outer space, a cantina-like bar, a mystical floating cube ... all in a song that is merely about Billy Ocean's latest crush.


1986: Land of Confusion, Genesis

Superman-dressed Ronald Reagan races through time. Finally, we can see what faces look like through Phil Collins' psychedelic-addled eyes.


1987: Barefootin, Robert Parker

This extraterrestrial 1987 video for the oldies hit highlights Claymation. When Jodie Foster sees the alien disguised as her father in Contact, it was probably protecting her from seeing this.


1988: Doctorin' the Tardis, KLF

All that science nonsense, when it turns out Doctor Who could have run the Daleks over with his car.


1989: Batdance, Prince

Instead of making the Spider-Man musical, producers should've watched this video and learned.


1990: Doubleback, ZZ Top

ZZ Top proves just how well their beards would play in the late 18th century.


1991: You Could Be Mine, Guns N' Roses

The Terminator enters a rocking concert and sets its targets on Guns N' Roses. Probably because Axl Rose is a dead ringer for Arnold's old housekeeper.


1992: Sleeping Satellite, Tasmin Archer

The mad scientist's lab highlights the fact that this song has nothing to do with a mad scientist's lab. Not even metaphorically.


1993: Sober, Tool

Always check the return address when you are sent a mysterious package, especially when your entire world looks like a Brothers Quay production.


1994: Black Hole Sun, Soundgarden

If the sun ever does suddenly become a black hole, we definitely need a metal band rocking out as we plunge towards oblivion.


1995: Scream, Michael & Janet Jackson

We were under the impression that, in space, no one can hear you scream.


1996: California Love, Tupac

The song dropped in late 1995, and with the new year came this epic video. We're not sure if they re-created the burning, violent set of the Thunderdome, or if they just filmed an average day in downtown Camden.


1997: Super Rad, the Aquabats

Thanks to the Doppler effect, this is what all songs sound like to Superman when he's flying.


1998: Intergalactic, Beastie Boys

Ten-story-tall dancing robots cause so much destruction. We have no idea why the scientists keep building them.


1999: All Is Full of Love, Bjork

This is why you can't make genders for robots: They'll spend all their time making out and never get anything done.


2000: I Disappear, Metallica

Metallica can't even practice in the middle of the desert without getting attacked by planes and such.


2001: Clint Eastwood, Gorillaz

What happens when you combine Planet of the Apes with Night of the Living Dead? Awesomeness. Awesomeness is what happens. We're clamoring for an Alien crossover with Na'vi bursting from people's chests.


2002: In This World/In My Heart, Moby

Uploading a virus into the mainframe is one way to deal with alien invaders. A lesser-known strategy is to send them women and get them drugged out of their minds.


2003: I Believe in a Thing Called Love, the Darkness

Male rock groups tend to associate love with outer space fantasy imagery. This explains so much about boys.


2004: Toxic, Britney Spears

It's a dystopian future where Britney Spears has ridiculously strong powers. Oh, wait, that's not the future, that was 2001.


2005: Feel Good, Inc. Gorillaz

Can anyone name another band entirely comprised of fictional characters? Besides Milli Vanilli, that is.


2006: The Adventure, Angels and Airwaves

"No one ever comes to our concerts anymore. I told you holding them in a space station was a dumb idea."


2007: Stronger, Kanye

Daft Punk's outfits make Kanye West and his stupid "venetian blinds" sunglasses look normal.


2008: Electric Feel, MGMT

Sure, jumping through the moon on a motorcycle looks fun. But whenever it happens in real life, it's actually quite nerve-wracking.


2009: The TV Show, Manabe Takayuki

The apocalypse certainly will make a great television special.


2010: Derezzed, Daft Punk

Are we weird for wondering how sweaty the light-cycle jumpsuits get? Computers run hot, and their fans can't blow inside skin-tight clothing.


2011: E.T., Katie Perry

Perry, playing a not-very-well-defined cyborg-alien-centaur thing, travels across the universe. Her goal? Naked man butt.


With the leaps and bounds music videos, especially sci-fi-themed ones, have made, we can't wait to see what the next 30 years will bring. Especially now that we know the answer isn't "nuclear apocalypse."

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