The most iconic '90s videos

, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

The tight pants, makeup and glam metal that dominated the late portion of '80s gave way to dirty hair, flannel shirts and grunge in the early '90s.

What started out as a cult genre of music out of Seattle turned into a global phenomenon, and all aided by the release of Nirvana's now-classic 1991 album, "Nevermind," and the video that followed, for "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

The clip was the visual "Star-Spangled Banner" for Generation X -- a high school gym pep rally filled with anarchist cheerleaders, apathetic students and an old janitor with some wickedly good dance moves.

And grunge wasn't the only genre making waves and dominating MTV and MuchMusic during that decade. Teen pop, Britpop, punk, g funk, electronic music, industrial rock and nu-metal were leading the charge, and with it, some great videos to go alongside.

Here are some of the best that defined the decade:

Sabotage, Beastie Boys

Spike Jonze. It's a name you'll be hearing a few times here. The now-legendary video director paid tribute to various '70s TV crime dramas by having the Beasties as part of a full-on storyline that's both visually hilarious and wickedly entertaining.



Buddy Holly, Weezer

Guess who, again? Spike Jonze's fascination with '70s TV shows continued with this homage to "Happy Days." The innovative video, which sees the band play at the show's famous restaurant "Arnold's," mixes up both footage of the band as well as the original characters in the long-running ABC show.



Just, Radiohead

If you can read lips, you may not want to view this video.



Nothing Compares 2 U, Sinead O' Connor

This simple, beautiful video, which mainly consists of close-ups and finishes with two tears streaming down her face, made Sinead O' Connor one of the most recognizable artists of the '90s.



Praise You, Fatboy Slim

Spike Jonze does it again. This time, he leads a fictional dance troupe to do an impromptu routine to the hit song, leaving the crowd on the street bewildered.



Closer, Nine Inch Nails (WARNING -- EXPLICIT LANGUAGE, VISUALS)

Any music fan from the '90s is familiar with the lyrics to this tune. Add in some freaky imagery of a monkey tied to a cross, decapitated pigs, S&M, crucifixes and various naked women and you have yourself a not-suitable-for-primetime video.



Criminal, Fiona Apple

The video for her breakthrough tune shows the New York City singer-songwriter in various provocative poses and stages of undress. It caused a big fuss over what people thought was the glorification of "heroin chic," a look popularized in mid-'90s fashion and characterized by emaciated features. The New Yorker went a step further and described her as "looking like an underfed Calvin Klein model." Despite the hubbub, the video won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Cinematography in 1998.


Smack My B***h Up, Prodigy (WARNING -- EXPLICIT LANGUAGE, VISUALS)

The video depicts a first person account of a wild "Hangover"-like night on the town filled with cocaine, booze, vomit, fighting and sex. Despite the R-rated content, MTV was compelled to show it due to popular demand - but only after midnight with a strict warning for viewers. It was eventually nominated for four MTV Video Awards.



Everlong, Foo Fighters

Dave Grohl and company star in this awesomely hilarious "Evil Dead"-inspired video, directed by Michel Gondry (Daft Punk, White Stripes, Bjork).



The best of the rest:

Around the World, Daft Punk; It’s Oh So Quiet, Björk; Bittersweet Symphony, The Verve; Tonight, Tonight, The Smashing Pumpkins; Virtual Insanity, Jamiroquai; Jeremy, Pearl Jam; November Rain, Guns 'N Roses; My Name Is, Eminem; Vogue, Madonna; Freak On A Leash, Korn; Baby One More Time, Britney Spears; It Was a Good Day, Ice Cube; Loser, Beck; Nuthin' But a G Thang, Dr. Dre (ft. Snoop Doggy Dogg).

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