Today, on YouTube I made a video naming the Top 10 Taylor Swift Music Videos of All Time. To figure out the top 10, though, I made my whole family watch all almost 40 Taylor Swift videos and give them a score between 1 and 10. I averaged all of our scores together and then used that to make the list. Since I had a whole list beyond the top 10, I figured I'd share them all here so that you can find where your favorite video on the list and see how much you agree (or disagree) with me. I had so much fun watching all of these videos, and Taylor really doesn't have a bad one. She makes some of the best videos I've ever seen, and when I watch music videos, I think I always hold everyone up against Taylor as a standard. At 11:15 AM, my video goes live, and you can watch it here. Also, scroll to the bottom to watch the video.
This is actually one of my favorite Taylor songs. I put it on all the time to hype myself up. But, as far as the video goes, it's pretty basic. It's just Taylor performing the song with her band (wearing two different sets of earrings?). As we all know, Taylor's videos are always top notch, so this one just didn't stand up.
37. Safe and Sound
I think this video suffered because non of us particularly love the song. But, also, this video was pretty plain. She wanders through the woods barefoot (wouldn't that hurt?), and there's not much happening.
36. I'm Only Me When I'm With You
This was the first divisive video among the voting committee. My mom and I both had fun watching the home videos, but my dad has a real conviction that home video music videos shouldn't exist, so his number brought it all the way down here. Personally, I loved getting a glimpse into Taylor's early touring life and how fun and goofy the whole thing was. It's a side of Taylor we don't get to see anymore.
35. Our Song
As you can tell, none of us really stan country Taylor. I appreciate it and enjoy the music, but it's none of our favorite eras. Paired with the fact that her budget has gone up 100% and allowed her to do more, it makes sense that all of debut's video rank lower. "Our Song" is down here because there's such a story happening in the song, and none of it follows through in the video. There are performance slices, lying in an ocean of rose petals, and sitting on the front porch in a cute, purple dress. If she'd explored that opening scene more, it could've been really fun.
34. Teardrops on my Guitar
There's a story here! I loved the cuteness in the school scenes with Drew, particularly in the science lab. It's the first taste of the humor that runs through Taylor's videos. What brought this video down was the confusing shots of Taylor lying in bed in full glam and a giant dress. Maybe this was before prom? There's not enough explanation to explain what's happening here and make it make sense. I feel like there was a better way to cry on her guitar. Also, it looks like she's in a normal bedroom and then you find out she's standing in front of a giant fireplace that looks straight out of the castle.
If I was making the list fully on my own, "Fifteen"'s video would rank below "Teardrops". I think some voters got sentimental about the song. This video confuses me. Why does it all take place in a green screened high school that's also in the middle of some fake woods? Why is Taylor barefoot again? Why is it all so fake when it wouldn't be that hard to do it in a real high school? I just don't get the point. It's interesting how it ends with Taylor staring across the street at a girl's high school like she's mentally telling them the story.
32. Tim McGraw
This was the first video we watched, and it's one of the best videos from debut. There's a story that runs through it. The visuals are also pretty and interesting to watch. It fits the song super well. Mostly, it was shocking to remember exactly where Taylor started. These videos feel like they're out of a different world.
31. Back to December
I like this video a lot, but it does get a bit repetitive. If you don't remember, it's the one where it snows inside Taylor's house. I like how they color graded it, but after a minute and a half or so, but you've basically seen the whole story. We all felt really bad for the guy who had to spend the whole time out in the real snow.
30. Love Story
This is one of Taylor's most iconic videos and one of her breakout songs. I think everyone can picture Taylor in her sweeping Juliet dress. It's quite pretty. While it's fun to have a flashback, it might've fit the song better to play on the modern day element of the song a bit more. I liked the dancing scenes, though. I'm still wondering what happened to Romeo's jacket when he comes back to propose.
29. Me TIE
Part of the reason I made everyone do this by committee is because I knew I'd put "Me!" last if I did it on my own, and I wasn't sure if that was necessarily fair. I have a ton of bad feelings around "Me!" because the song made me check out of the whole Lover era after being super invested in Rep. The second I heard "spelling is fun!" my jaw hit the floor in a bad way. The cotton candy visuals didn't help my feelings on it. I do love the talking portion before the song starts, though.
28. The Best Day TIE
I much prefer "The Best Day" to "Me!" Remember when I mentioned my dad was against home footage in videos? That's the only reason this video ranked so low. My mom and I were both close to tears at how sweet this video is. This footage starts with Taylor as a kid and ages her up to the present day at that point. The whole thing was such a sweet present to Andrea.
This is a library fever dream of pining and not talking boiling over into paper throwing and an angsty library party. My mom wondered if it was inspired by Harry Potter, and the university library does have a British (or Harvard) feel. It's a fun video, and I couldn't help singing along while I watched.
My dad's biases really came through in this list apparently... This is his favorite Taylor song, and again, I think that blurred opinions on the video. I'd remembered liking the video prior to watching it back this time. Looking at it with fresh eyes made me realize how reliant it is on stereotypes. There's no layer in it to make the video shine or feel special and the bullying instances are so far beyond cliche.
21. We Are Never Getting Back Together
I'm going to be really honest and say that the band dressed up as animals freaks me out. I can't get past it. This whole video looks like an SNL skit. It's filmed on these cute prop sets, and the whole thing is super cute. My mom had an interesting point that maybe the video is done in this fake world to prove that they're not even getting back together in this dreams.
20. Delicate TIE
Here's another video that I have a weird feeling about that seems to just be a me problem. I don't love contemporary dancing in videos aside from Ed Sheeran's "Don't" and Halsey's "Be Kind" because those instances made sense. If you've read this, you've seen me shake my head at Finneas dancing and Shawn Mendes's new video. Some people aren't supposed to be dancers and it's just uncomfortable when they try. I don't get the dancing here. Though, watching it this time, I realized that she's relishing in being invisible to everyone but her lover. I always thought she was sad about being invisible, and there are hints of that, it seems, but I hadn't realized that layer of meaning. I'm just not a fan of this concept even though I love the song.
19. 22 TIE
For not having a storyline "22" is a ton of fun. It's a giant birthday party that has the perfect blend of aesthetic and content. I hate parties, but Taylor makes me want to be there dancing like we're 22.
18. Begin Again
If you love Paris, this is the Taylor Swift video for you. I'm not as into Paris as most people, but Taylor convinced me to love it to. She does a good job of blending pretty city shots with her in chiffon dresses with the scene of her laughing at a cafe with this guy. It held my attention all the way through.
17. Out of the Woods
"Out of the Woods" might be my favorite Taylor Swift song ever because it builds such strong images in your head of these two people and the relationship. I wish she had played into it more literally instead of going hardcore with the different kinds of woods imagery. It just felt fake and not authentic to the song. I do love the "she lost him but she found herself and somehow that was everything" part of the video, though.
The newest addition to the Taylor Swift video cannon lands in about the middle of the list. I said it in the quarantine vide list, but my issue with the video is that it is so much like Harry Style's "Falling" video, and it just doesn't manage to hit the same emotional notes. I also feel like Taylor just has better videos. And, again, I'm going to say that I wish this was more literal.
This video is as sweet as the song is, and it is the very best a story video has to offer. Just like in the song, she shows her entire life with this love interest to the audience. The action on the screen directly mimics the lyrics in a way that keeps the viewer directly engaged. It's very cute while still having so much emotional depth.
Taylor loves to make videos that explore aspects of life she's never experienced. In this one, she casts herself as an office worker on the 13th floor living the horrible, cubicle life. It has so many funny elements to it. The guy blocking the water cooler, the get ink, get toner, printer's gone moment. I enjoyed it a lot. This is one that never gets old.
13. I Don't Wanna Live Forever
The Zayn collaboration! I'm still not over Taylor's sparkly purple lip in this video. If I ever get a make-up artist, that is what I'm doing. I think this video works so well (because it's somewhat low on the new content per ten second interval) because the video feels so Zayn. While the video doesn't feel as Taylor, the aloof, mysterious vibe of the whole thing makes perfect sense for their collab.
12. Everything Has Changed
This video is one of my favorites that doesn't include the artists as the main subjects of the video because they found the perfect mini Taylor and Ed. Like perfect to a degree that I don't entirely believe. They come up with so many activities for the kids that feel perfectly on point for Taylor and Ed's personalities. They have marker tattoo guns and make-ups and do yoga instead of playing soccer and write each other dreamy love songs. It ties together in such a cute bow when Taylor and Ed come to claim their mini me's after school.
11. Lover TIE
I'm in the minority saying that "Lover" isn't close to one of my favorite Taylor songs, but I like this video concept quite a bit. I love how each album has its own room in the dollhouse. We all loved how each area had its own personality that she was able to explore with her lover. My heart is always melted by Rep being the secret attic.
10. Shake It Off
There's no way to watch the "Shake It Off" video and not smile. It's that fun, goofy, secure Taylor that we all love on full display. The video doesn't take itself seriously at all, and that's where this dancing video soars where "Delicate" failed for me.
9. You Belong With Me
Of Taylor's older videos, this one has more than earned its place among Taylor's best, most iconic videos. This song made me love Taylor's music, and I chose that look as my Rep tour costume with my glasses and some pajama pants. While some people claim that the video pits girls against each other, I have to counter that idea with Taylor's clever idea of playing both lead roles herself. Also, the song is about jealousy more than its about the other girl (very similar to Conan Gray's latest single, "Heather"). Anyway, this video is just full of nerdy sweetness that will melt your heart.
8. Bad Blood
Okay, badass girl gang (regardless of how the squad ended up turning out) is always going to make for a cool video. She gives all twenty people a character which makes the video constantly engaging. They each have cool strengths and powers, and the star-studded quality gives it a fun "who's-who" element.
7. Wildest Dreams
When I asked my friends to weigh in, "Wildest Dreams" was the most common answer for favorites video. There is something beautifully cinematic to this '20s themed video. There's a story, there's a nice dress, and there's that sweeping beauty to it. It looks like a high budget video. But the emotional core feels honest and intact.
6. You Need To Calm Down
I still want to know why they're in a trailer park. Beyond that, this video is so fun and colorful. I'm still not over Taylor in the bi flag wig or Ryan Reynolds being the impressionist painter. Also, watching it back, the number of Easter eggs Taylor manages to slip in is truly next level.
5. End Game
To be honest, this video was probably boosted by the fact that my dad loves the song and my mom loves Ed Sheeran. Beyond that, though, it is a cool video. It has a touch of the Tron vibes from "Bad Blood", it takes place in some of the best cities in the world, and it's a giant party, but a party with a very adult Taylor vibe. It also has a lot of fantastic Taylor fashion moments.
4. I Knew You Were Trouble
This could honestly be number one. Really, any of the top 4 could be number 1 depending on the day, but this is more than a music video. It's a whole short film, and it's brilliant. I actually wrote my essay applying to film school on this video. Anyway, I've been obsessed with her monologue at the beginning and the end for years. I think about it all the time. Also, the unspoken characterization of who this guy is in the video. The scene where he hits the billiards balls, he gets into the bar fight communicates so much with in so little time. This is the storytelling masterclass of Taylor videos. Also, please explain to me how this is seven years old.
3. Blank Space
Again, iconic. Taylor's ability to take people's perception of her and play with it is one of the coolest aspects of her as an artist or a persona. Whether she's poking fun at herself or the haters, she always delivers. Again, this video soars in its specificity. She is the girl in the song to the degree that you crave when you hear the song. She has all of Taylor's clever wit in what she does to this guy. Beating his car with a golf club, cutting hearts into his dress shirts and paper dolls into his boxers, and the scene of her trying to cut down the tree they carved their names into (that's actually my brother's name). It has that cinematic feeling of a lot of the 1989 videos and is incredibly satisfying.
2. The Man
While neither "The Man" nor the video is causing some major cultural fix (which a lot of people have made fun of it for), I don't think it's trying to. I think this is Taylor's cathartic moment of pointing out all the little, annoying inequalities and double standards that exist in a way that makes people confront it. I don't think she's trying to change the world, she's just venting. And, she's right, most of the criticism against her wouldn't happen if she was the man. There are so many iconic moments from man spreading on the train to the wall of the station with her albums and the no Scooter sign to "the man" getting glorified for patting his kid on the head at the park. It's good because it's so viscerally relatable.
1. Look What You Made Me Do
I knew before we started of all of Taylor's iconic moments, this had to be the video to take the cake because it has EVERYTHING. Every iconic look and persona is wrapped into this video. I've loved this video from the second it premiered. The song scared me when it first dropped, and the video proved that everything was going to be okay. The old Taylor was very much alive and steering the ship. She also took a narrative that had been stripped from her and twisted and grabbed control of it again. It almost steps into the "Blank Space" convention in a sense, but it's less of a joke this time. And I do believe that the experience she addresses in LWYMMD and what she asserts in the video did permanently change Taylor as a person and alter the way she interacts with her fans and the world. It truly marks a turning point. Also, it has 1.1 B views. How do you argue with that?
Let me know in the comments on Twitter and Instagram (@mslaurenbrice) what your favorite Taylor video is! I love hearing everyone's different opinions.
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