Follow TV Tropes


Concept Video

Go To

This type of Music Video, rather than featuring the band performing the song, is presented as a visual narrative. These can be original stories, homages to a favorite TV show or movie, or anything else the performer or director comes up with. The video can also directly relate to the story of a Concept Album.

Concept Videos are a signature of the early-'80s "Golden Age" of MTV.

Often these make use of Talky Bookends.

Compare with Lyrics/Video Mismatch, where a music video has an actual narrative, except that the story is different or even not related to the lyrics.


    open/close all folders 

  • The Beatles are known for being among the first bands to make music videos. The videos for "Can't Buy Me Love" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" are examples of a Beatles concept video.
  • The Rolling Stones's "Under Cover of Night": Man tries to sneak out of fascist Latin-American country.
  • Most of GACKT's music videos fit this trope:
    • Returner ~Yami no Shuuen~ is about a woman awaiting the return of her samurai husband from the battlefield. Gackt sings the lyrics from the woman's perspective while playing the role of the husband in the video.
    • Flower's music video deals with the loss of a friend and Gackt's grief over it.
    • Last Song's music video is about the grief of a man who's girlfriend just broke up with him, and his attempts to write her one last song.
    • Kimi Ga Oikaketa Yume's music video shows a man waiting at a cafe for his girlfriend. Despite many attempts, he can't get any of the waiters to wait on him, and starts to get frustrated that nobody seems to be paying any attention to him. He eventually leaves, only to have a car drive straight through him and a waiter walk right through his body. He then realizes the reason nobody can see him is because he is dead. He was killed on the way to the cafe.
  • ZZ Top's videos from the Eliminator album are also mini-movies unto themselves.
  • Arctic Monkeys' video for "Leave Before the Lights Come On" from Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not is pretty notable, given that the band members don't appear in it Although Matt Helders, the drummer, does a cameo at the very end. It is about a girl who attempts to jump off of a building before being saved by man. When he takes her to a cafe afterward, she tries to seduce him, but he maintains that he already has a fiance/wife, but she continues to pursue him. In the end, after he firmly tells her to stop following him around, she goes back to the building, before revealing that the whole suicide act was a ruse all along to win men's attention.
  • J-Rock band Orange Range did two videos for their song "Onegai! Senorita", one a basic Performance Video, the other a Concept Video that was a pastiche of Toku and the Japanese drama Densha Otoko.
  • "By the Way" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers had a very funny video about lead singer Anthony Kiedis being kidnapped by a taxi driver.
    • The "Otherside" video from Californication casts them as characters in a German Expressionist film. It's very weird.
      • And in "Californication" they were stuck in a video game.
  • The music video for "Jaded" by Aerosmith features a fairy tale about a princess who has everything she ever wants, except feelings.
  • The Decemberists' "O Valencia!" is a sad little tale of love and revenge that works quite well with the song.
  • Electric Six are good at making bizarre but cohesive music videos with a concept. Although not always linear, they match the song enough to usually qualify as a non-non-sequitor. For one of their albums they even decided to try to make a music video for every single song and almost managed to.
    • The video for "There's Something Very Wrong With Us" has the vaguely menacing, although seemingly mundane at first, narrative of the lead singer sporting a receding and aged hairline driving around Portland, Oregon while being tailgated by an ambulance. This is interspersed with shots of troubled night-life. It's only when the video reaches around thirty seconds to its end that it is revealed the driver is Death, piloting a hearse, who dons his full cowl along a cheap plastic Halloween scythe and has beat the ambulance and the paramedics to their mutual destination.
    • Down At Mcdonnelzzz appears to be about a centaur with a Vanilla Ice haircut and a plastic katana crashing the night shift of a Mc Donald's with a giant 90's-style parking-lot party, complete with numerous 40-oz bottles of liquor and a Delorean. The film also parodies Mc Donalds' corporate trademarking by having scantily-clad women eat pixel-blurred hamburgers with lusty gusto.
  • Muse: Multiple:
    • "Knights of Cydonia" is the best 7 minute B-Movie ever. It appears to be a lost sci-fi Kung-Fu Western from the 80s, complete with lasers and last-minute rescues.
    • Sing for Absolution: Serious in tone, but has visual effects.
  • The Killers' video for 'When You Were Young" is a sordid love story set in Mexico with some great production values
  • David Bowie knows this form well, and was one of the very first recipients of the MTV Video Vanguard Award (1984). A few examples:
    • Two of the singles from 1979's Lodger were promoted with these. "D.J." contrasts the public life of a Stepford Smiler radio deejay with the mental breakdown he's undergoing in private. Meanwhile, "Look Back in Anger" pays homage to The Picture of Dorian Gray, featuring Bowie as an artist who finds that touching a portrait of himself as an angel affects his face instead of the portrait's.
    • 1980's "Ashes to Ashes" is a terror-enriched video which presents Major Tom's adventures as hallucinations of a man bound up in an asylum. (The concept is loose enough that it also works as a Surreal Music Video.)
    • 1984's Jazzin' for Blue Jean, like Ghosts, qualifies as a Short Film — it's a comic tale of a Celebrity Lie that features Bowie in two roles.
    • 1997's "I'm Afraid of Americans" pays homage to Taxi Driver by seeing Bowie flee the "Johnny" of the song...but is this would-be killer just a figment of his imagination?
    • Bowie's final video before his death, 2015's "Lazarus", depicts him as an ailing patient in a hospital contemplating his mortality. Bowie passed away just months later, and the discovery that he was secretly battling liver cancer while making (which saw release two days before he died in 2016) made it apparent that the video was a direct allegory for his situation.
  • Tom Waits' video for Downtown Train does involve him wandering around at night singing the song, but it also his neighbours' mixed reactions to this bizarre act. An elderly woman tries to pour water on his head.
    • "Lie To Me" is filmed entirely in still-shots.
  • Garbage's music video for The World Is Not Enough portrays the lead singer as a fembot / walking timebomb being constructed in an underground lair. She kills and replaces the actual lead just before she's scheduled to go onstage and perform the song, and finishes by blowing up the entire concert hall.
  • Depeche Mode's videos started as crude video art projects (when they weren't simple performance videos), until Anton Corbijn introduced a more concept-driven direction from 1986 onwards.
    • Corbijn's first video for the band, "A Question of Time", centers around an old man delivering an abandoned baby to the band, who then proceed to try raising it.
    • "Enjoy the Silence" stars frontman Dave Gahan as a king without a kingdom, wandering around the countryside in search of a place to rest his lawn chair "throne."
    • "Useless" looks like a normal just-the-band-playing video, only for the end to reveal that it's actually Dave Gahan ranting at a woman who scorned him.
    • "Home" centers around Martin Gore playing the role of a supernatural vouyer in someone else's house.
    • More recently you've had the horror-thriller ("Wrong"), the drama ("Peace") and the classical witch-hunt ("Personal Jesus - Stargate Mix").
  • Foo Fighters:
    • "Everlong" tells a story involving bizarre dreams from which the dreamer can connect back to reality by way of a phone call. Also Dave Grohl's giant bitchslap of death. Combined with Evil Dead.
    • The "Walk" video is an updated Whole-Plot Reference to Falling Down, with Dave Grohl in the role of William Foster: Grohl even wears the same outfit, although he's carrying a guitar case instead of a briefcase.
  • Imagine Dragons:
    • The band spends their video for "It's Time" exploring a desolate wasteland of a city, and eventually launching an explosion that parts the storm clouds and sends frontman Dan Reynolds to the heavens.
    • Their video for "I Bet My Life" has Dane Dehaan explore environments of sea, air, and land.
    • "Roots" has Dan Reynolds reflect on childhood memories (represented via home movies) and exploring remote New Zealand locales in an attempt to reconnect with his past.
    • See Imagine Dragons' entry on Lyrics/Video Mismatch for more examples.
  • Tori Amos has a couple of videos like this, including:
    • "A Sorta Fairytale", which is a touching story about a leg lady and an arm man falling in love, then transforming into full human beings.
    • "Jackie's Strength", which is about a bride-to-be avoiding her wedding ceremony, then meeting her young self at the end.
    • "Spark", which is about a woman tied up in the woods trying to escape from her kidnapper. She finally gets to the road, and she stops a car. She tries to get the people in the car to cut the rope tied around her hands. Instead, they presumably cut her and leave.
  • Journey's Steve Perry did two, the first, "Oh Sherrie", in which he gets fed up with his director's pretentious Shakespeare Heroic Fantasy-inspired Concept Video, stomps off the set, and sings the song to his girlfriend instead. The second is "Strung Out", a prequel to "Oh Sherrie" in which he meets the pretentious director and the clueless record company representative, and they rail-road him into the Concept Video idea.
    • And Phil Collins did a Concept Video for "Don't You Lose My Number", in which potential directors keep proposing increasingly-trite Concepts for his next video.
    • The video for Christine McVie's "Love Will Show Us How" is also about the making of a music video for the song.
  • R.E.M.:
    • "Everybody Hurts" centers around a crowd of people caught in a traffic jam on the highway, where they come to terms with their inner demons before deciding to simply get out and walk home, having made peace with themselves.
    • "The Great Beyond" combines this with Video Full of Film Clips: The band is doing a live TV broadcast/recording session interrupted by commercials (clips from the film this Award-Bait Song was written for, Man on the Moon) — then Michael Stipe discovers the Fourth Wall: tap the camera lens, and any TV broadcasting them ends when he smashes the wall and they emerge on a street one of the TVs was sent scooting along.
    • The Animated Music Video for "I'll Take the Rain" tells the story of a canine monarch who, in a bout of depression and loneliness, treks out across its kingdom with a sentient wooden cart.
    • The video for "Leaving New York" directly adapts the central story of the song, the lyrics of which were allegorical for Michael Stipe's own experiences leaving his adopted hometown of New York City.
    • The video for "Man-Sized Wreath" features an enigmatic figure being pursued by animated squares, playing a Pac Man Fever — type video game, and finally imitating a certain Tianmen square protester, with a limousine composed of the aforementioned squares replacing the tank. It's... odd.
  • Paul McCartney has done a few as a solo artist.
    • "Off the Ground" has Paul flying.
    • "Your Loving Flame" has Paul fighting to get to a light, when everything is blowing the other direction or otherwise trying to obstruct him.
    • "Dance Tonight": Paul gets a package that contains mischievous ghosts, including one with a mandolin. He does play at the end, but the song is finishing by then.
    • He's also done them with others: "Say Say Say" was a duet with Michael Jackson where they (and Linda) are traveling musicians/conmen.
  • Much of Queen:
    • The video for "I Want To Break Free" was taken up by a sequence which recast the band in drag as a parody of the British soap Coronation Street.
    • Queen's video for "A Kind of Magic" casts Freddie Mercury as a magician and Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor as bums living in an abandoned theater. In the middle segment, they are transformed into the actual band by The Power of Rock.
  • Tom Petty's "Don't Come Around Here No More" adapted its visuals from Alice in Wonderland.
    • Similarly, the video for "Into The Great Wide Open" tells the story of young rock musician Eddie Rebel (Johnny Depp) elevated to stardom by a Fairy Godmother (Faye Dunaway), with the band members having cameos throughout (among them, Petty himself with a massive fake beard as the tattoo artist in the opening scene). The video was shot during a break in production of Arizona Dream, and the song had to be extended to accomodate for more of the footage, as Tom Petty greatly enjoyed director Julien Temple's work.
  • Radiohead:
    • The video for "Just" has the band playing in a room while, outside, passers-by stop and ask a man why he's lying down in the street. The conversations are related via subtitles.
    • OK Computer got two. "Paranoid Android" is a mini-episode of the Swedish-German TV series Robin, depicting the title character and his Afro-Chinese best friend reacting to an increasingly surreal day with resigned indifference, while "Karma Police" is about a man on foot being pursued down a country road in the middle of the night, as seen from the perspective of the driver chasing him.
    • "Burn the Witch" features an Animated Music Video that adapts The Wicker Man as an episode of Camberwick Green.
  • The various Arcade Fire videos appear to take place in the same animated world.
  • The video for Pavement's "Painted Soldiers" combines a little performance footage (actually just Scott Kannberg recording guitar and vocals in a studio) with a plot about the members of the band getting word of being fired, one by one... At the very end, it turns out they've all been replaced with members of Veruca Salt, who mime to the song in a video-within-a-video. The original concept had them all replaced by Weezer instead, by the way).
  • Adam and the Ants' Prince Charming mixes Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty (hell I am getting old).
    • There's also Stand and Deliver, where Adam dresses as a "dandy highwayman" who robs an old rich guy on horseback while taunting him and his wife about their lack of fashion sense. He then proceeds to crash through a window onto their banquet, dance on the tables while taunting more people, get arrested, and escape the gallows with the rest of the band.
  • Taking Back Sunday's "Faith: When I Let You Down" tells the story of the OMGWTFTBS Cat, an anthropomorphic cat that abandons Taking Back Sunday for fame in Hollywood.
  • The video for "Love Is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar. It's one of the first videos to have dialogue (however briefly) that wasn't in the song.
  • They Might Be Giants has done a number of videos like this. Sometimes they're a direct representation of the events of the song, sometimes they're a bit more abstract:
    • "Experimental Film": They Might Be Giants collaborated with the creators of Homestar Runner, who did a Flash animation depicting a music video done by Strong Sad and The Cheat in the style of an experimental film.
    • "I'm Impressed": A tyrannical cardboard robot presides over a Blood Sport in a coliseum, only to end with him getting assassinated.
    • "I'll Be Haunting You": A guy who fell off a ladder plays ping-pong with the Grim Reaper for a chance to come back to life.
    • "Push Back the Hands": Pixel-art animation shows a Fictional Video Game about a time-travelling cyborg trying to escape the police.
    • "This Microphone": The video depicts silhouette animation of a lady inventor whose clockwork man-servants keep malfunctioning.
  • Perhaps the best example is Glenn Frey's video for "Smuggler's Blues", which was a full-fledged four-minute movie.
  • Blues Traveller's video for Run Around was a tribute to The Wizard of Oz with the characters trying to get into a dance club.
  • The Darcys' "Don't Bleed Me" is about people trying to flee a doomed Toronto.
  • Delta Rae uses this for several of their videos:
    • Bottom of the River: A crowd drags a woman (possibly a witch and played by Brittany) from her bed in chains. Only she survives.
    • Dance in the Graveyard: A group of musicians in Dia De Los Muertos leads people to a graveyard, where the spirits of their departed loves manifest so that they can dance in the graveyard together.
    • Scared: A couple (played by Elizabeth and Eric) attempt to run a con on a dangerous criminal. When things go wrong, the woman bolts, leaving the man to take the fallout.
  • Ed Kowalczyk has a three-part story about a man who's hanged, and wanders around as a ghost in the videos for "Seven", "Angels on a Razor" and "The One".
  • Genesis did a few of these too.
  • Nine Inch Nails has "Survivalism", shown entirely as surveillance footage of an apartment complex set in the universe of the Year Zero Concept Album and Alternate Reality Game. Footage includes the band performing the song, another has a woman strung out on Opal (a fiction drug in the Year Zero universe), and members of the anti-government resistance making graffiti stencils.
  • Three videos for songs on Waterparks's Entertainment, "Lucky People", "We Need To Talk", and "Not Warriors/Crybaby" are connected to each other, with the videos for "We Need To Talk" and "Not Warriors/Crybaby" having the most direct connections.note . This has lead to a lot of fan speculation about the videos being a meta-commentary on Awsten's relationship with his ex, with Awsten saying that he wrote "We Need To Talk" "very carefully and specifically".
  • Smashing Pumpkins' video for "Tonight Tonight" is a direct homage to Silent Movie pioneer Georges Méliès, with Tom Kenny and Jill Talley in the lead roles.
  • Noah: "Ku Katakan Dengan Indah" is about feeling betrayed by a lover, so the video tells a full story from Ariel meeting a girl to Ariel seeing the girl cheats on him.

  • Michael Jackson is one of the Trope Codifiers in mainstream music, though not the originator.
    • "Thriller" (pictured): Where a date turns into a real, live, dancing horror movie.
    • "Bad": Features Mike as a young man coming home from a prep school, and confronting his old friends from the 'hood.
    • "Beat It": Michael intervenes and stops a Mob War through the power of dance.
    • "Billie Jean": A mysteriously powered Michael is being stalked by a paparazzo around a barren city.
    • "Speed Demon": Michael becomes a claymation rabbit named Spike in order to escape obsessive claymation fans. (Part of the Moonwalker anthology film.)
    • "Remember the Time": He's a magician who tries to rekindle the flame with an old lover... who is now married to the Pharaoh of Egypt.
    • "Who Is It?": Directed by David Fincher, as Michael realizes his lover is actually a wildly successful prostitute. The darkest and most adult video he ever made and, possibly due to his kid-heavy fanbase at the time, it was never shown on U.S. television and appears only on the Dangerous: The Short Films compilation video.
    • Ghosts, a pastiche of black-and-white horror films combined with an allegory about his treatment by...well, everyone who wondered about his conduct with children, incorporates three songs ("2 Bad", "Ghosts", and "Is It Scary") and runs 38 minutes total, qualifying as an actual short film.
  • Lana Del Rey is very fond of making short films from her songs. She has since released two thirty-minute long films, containing references to her songs from Born to Die and Ultraviolence. Her video for "National Anthem" is seven minutes long, and "Ride" is about ten minutes long as well.
  • All of Lady Gaga's videos since Paparazzi have been this.
  • Fall Out Boy have had many concept videos, including ones about vampires, High School Dances, and some that end with All Just a Dream. Quite a few of them have very little to do with the actual lyrics of the song, and they can get quite surreal. The Youngblood Chronicles is a series of 11 music videos for every song on their album Save Rock and Roll, which form one single (though still Mind Screw-y) narrative when watched together.
  • Several of Panic! at the Disco's videos, including "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" (a circus wedding filled with clowns in lingerie), "The Ballad of Mona Lisa" (a funeral with the ghost of the dead person trying to prove the murderer), and "Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off" (a world where people's heads are encased in fish tanks and breathe underwater). "Build God, The We'll Talk" probably belongs here, too, and might be the best example. It's all about a "porno mime" and a groupie falling in love, having a relationship (all in mime) then that relationship falling apart through (mimed) infidelity.
  • Two of Pentatonix's videos thus far have been Concept Videos.
    • Their first video, for their cover of "Starships" by Nicki Minaj, has them mustered out of the space program, whereupon they construct a spaceship out of random household objects.
    • In the video for their cover of "Aha" by Imogen Heap, the band members (as zombies) stalk a man and his girlfriend.
  • Elton John's This Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore had a video with the concept of showing Sir Elton ... but not as he is now; instead, it's the mid-70s version, played by Justin Timberlake. Elton saw the performance and was spooked by how dead on it was.
  • Kate Bush used to love making weird mini-movies for her songs in the 80s. Notable examples include:
    • "Cloudbusting" - this one is based on the life of Wilhelm Reich. The reclusive scientist pursued by naughty government types is played by Donald Sutherland, Kate Bush plays his eight-year old son (in a hilariously unconvincing child costume) and H.R. Giger designed the very cool rain machine.
    • "Hounds of Love" - a pastiche Hitchcock thriller.
    • "Experiment IV", a horror movie pastiche in which a bunch of government scientists in a spooky military facility, including Dawn French and a pre-House Hugh Laurie, create an unstoppable sonic weapon. As you expected it might, the weapon, played by Kate Bush in a ghost outfit, rampages around and kills everyone horribly. Hoorah!
    • "King of the Mountain" depicts one of Elvis Presley's jumpsuits from the '70s coming to life and seeking him out, eventually reuniting with him on a distant mountaintop.
    • The 2011 re-recording of "Deeper Understanding" directly adapts the plot of the song, depicting a man who seeks comfort in the company of a virtual partner.
  • Coldplay:
    • "The Scientist" was made into a heartbreaking story of...on second thought, it's best to watch it without knowing what happens.
    • "Talk" has the main band landing their '50s UFO-style spaceship on a seemingly desolate planet, finding a giant robot and activating it, after which it starts following them until they reach a mountain with a hole carved to fit the robot's contour. The video ends with the band returning to their spaceship and bidding the robot farewell as he sets himself inside the mountain's carved-out hole, but as he finds out one of the switches on his chest is stolen by one of the band members, he captures the spaceship in mid-flight and takes a bite out of it, presumably killing them. Then, the robot walks away, whistling.
    • "Strawberry Swing" is a stopmotion video with Chris Martin (the band's lead singer) as a superhero, with the enemies and background drawn on the floor in chalk.
  • Hayley Kiyoko's music videos are all basically arthouse films.
  • Björk's "Bachelorette" video is a multiply recursive story of a girl who finds a book in the woods... about a girl who finds a book, in the woods.
    • As are "All is Full of Love" (lesbian incest robots being deconstructed), "Cocoon" (a naked woman being wrapped in a thread secreting from her nipples), "Where is the Line" (blob thingies attacking a pinecone), "Triumph of a Heart" (about a woman leaving her cat husband to go out partying, then coming back home with a hangover), "Wanderlust" (going travelling on a buffalo in a river with a rather aggressive backpack) and "Army of Me" (who knows).
  • The Chemical Brothers' "Believe" was a short film about a man experiencing hallucinations that a large piece of machinery from the factory where he works is following him. Not only was it dramatically cohesive and quite frightening, the visual effects are some of the best seen in any kind of film of the past five years.
  • "Take On Me" by a-ha depicts a woman being sucked into a comic book, where she falls in love with the protagonist while the two alternate between the real world and the comic world.
  • "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles depicts Trevor Horn as a Mad Scientist contemplating the decline of radio while trying to engineer the music of the future.
  • Nickelback's "Savin' Me" is about a man who gets pulled out of the way of a bus by a man we don't get a good look at, who immediately disappears into the crowd afterwards. The man who was saved starts noticing that people have numbers over their heads, and tries to figure out what they are. These mostly are very large numbers, but eventually he spots some paramedics wheeling an old woman out of a building, with a very low number over her head, rapidly counting down to zero. Wandering the streets, wondering what to do, he sees a young woman walking to her car, and spots her large number start rapidly losing digits and closing in on zero. He rushes over to pull her away from the car moments before a suspended object overhead falls down and crushes it. He heads off into the crowd afterwards, leaving the woman looking around in confusion as numbers start appearing over everyone's head.
  • 3 Doors Down has "It's Not My Time". The video starts with the car's dashboard clock ticking over from 10:12 to 10:13, as a mother and her child pull out at a traffic crossing, only for a truck to barrel towards the side of their car. The screen whites out, and cuts to a man standing on a building across town, looking at his smart phone as it ticks over from 10:08 to 10:09. The video then becomes a Race Against the Clock , cutting between the man doing Le Parkour moves to get over cars and fences and between buildings, as the video keeps showing clocks getting ever closer to the destined time. The man is desperately running down the street as the dashboard clock ticks over, throwing himself in front of the car Just in Time as the truck passes by inches behind him.
  • Back in the 60s, a popular Korean crooner finds himself suddenly unable to debut his brand new song due to... personal reasons. The producers' solution - put the five attractive backup singers in the limelight for once, and they sing it instead - and the song becomes a massive hit. The name of this impromptu new girl group? The Wondergirls.
  • Do Not Forsake Me oh My Darling's "Episode 1: Arrival" video is a shot-for-shot remake of the title sequence to The Prisoner (1967), with drummer\vocalist Sophia Cacciola as the title character and bassist Michael Epstein playing everyone else. The band even uploaded a version that has the actual Prisoner title sequence playing out in one corner of the screen, so you can see just how much detail was put into the recreation.
  • Roìsìn Murphy's clip for "Movie Star". Drag queens and lobster rape, anyone?
  • Mylene Farmer's videos, also from the '80s, rival Michael Jackson's in professionalism and elaboration. All of them were produced by director Laurent Boutonnat, who co-wrote many of the songs. The videos take the form of short (or not-so-short) films with entire storylines, frequently themed after literature, history or religion. Often, they contain plenty of symbolism, violence, sex and generally give more depth to the song itself. Most notably:
    • The video of "Plus grandir", one of her first, is particularly horrifying about the end of childhood and innocence, and the fear of death. It was aired only late at night due to its content.
    • "Libertine"'s video plays in the 18th century. It shows the eponymous Libertine in the stuck-up world of pre-French Revolution nobility. Famous with many young Francophone boys since its release for having nudity aplenty.
    • "Pourvu qu'elles soient douces" is a sequel to Libertine. Libertine is found Not Quite Dead by a garrison of British soldiers. The Rival also makes a return. Sex and graphic violence abound when the garrison is first seduced by a gang of prostitutes and then bombed by the attacking French army. This clip was originally aired in theatres before the start of the main film, but pulled when executives feared it would be better than the following film.
    • "Desenchantée" shows Mylène in a concentration camp, first acquiescing but then leading a revolt against the injustice committed there.
    • Many of them were much longer than the song they accompany (up to 15 minutes), making viewers stay for more than just the music. As common in French films, Downer Ending Downer Endings are common.
  • Lindsey Stirling has a couple, most of them a bit surreal and/or fantasy themed. Roundtable Rival is a Steampunk Western story where Lindsey and her posse foil a bank robbery (twice) with music.
  • The video for "Always" by Erasure has Andy Bell as a nature god banishing winter from a beautiful garden and doing battle with an oni-like demon that wants to inflict Endless Winter.

  • Jay Chou, now known for Kato, is primarily a hiphop/R&B artiste whose music videos mostly count as this - sadly, the big-budget FX and recurring Chinese gangland motif led to allegations that it was all done with Triad money. All bets are out the window if you can get a cameo from Danny Trejo, though.
  • Missy Elliot's "Sock It To Me", which borrows liberally from the Mega Man games.
  • Tinie Tempah's Wonderman video, basing itself on a kind of 'Bionic Man' superhero origin story, parodying most related tropes (Including having Ellie Goulding as a scientist throughout).
  • Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" (directed by Spike Jonze) is a sendup of Cop Shows of The '70s, there's also an extended version which includes the Boys interviewed in-character as the actors starring in the fictional show.

    Hard Rock/Metal 
  • Pelican's "Dead Between The Walls" and "Lost in the Headlights" share a tongue-in-cheek narrative about their status as an instrumental post-metal band. "Dead Between The Walls" starts out seeming like a straight Performance Video with the band playing in a desert alternating with some atmospheric footage of a car speeding down an empty freeway. Then the driver (a bearded man who has more of a stereotypically "metal" image than the band themselves) gets out of the car and starts wandering the desert while wielding a microphone - it becomes apparent he's trying to track down the band and sing with them. He catches up to the band just in time for the song to end, and leaves disappointed. "Lost in the Headlights" starts with the same bearded man watching the "Dead Between The Walls" video, then continuing to try to track the band down, with much the same results.
  • Styx's 'Mr Roboto' got this treatment, too. Then again, it came off a Concept Album that inspired a Concept Concert ...
  • My Chemical Romance has a pretty long track record of concept videos. If there is performance footage, it's usually tied into the concept somehow.
  • All of the German industrial metal band Rammstein's videos except the first version of "Du Riechst So Gut" and "Ich Tu Dir Weh" are concept videos, some of which borrow from Quentin Tarantino films.
    • The 1998 re-release of "Du Riechst So Gut" got a new music video which was a concept video. Yay, werewolves.
  • Meat Loaf's video for I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) is "Beauty and the Beast" with motorcycles and directed by Michael Bay!
    • His video for "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through" is a post-apocalyptic romance with Angelina Jolie.
  • Dethklok's "Thunderhorse". It tells the story of a barbarian (Played by Nathan) who recieves word that his queen is being held captive and defiled by an evil dude (Skwisgaar). So he rushes to save her, killing the guards (played by the rest of the band) in the process.
    • "Murmaider", which is about mermaid murder, tells the story of a group of mermaids who murder some other creatures and their eggs, so a demon mermaid murders them, then the only survivor attacks the demon one.
  • The video for Velvet Revolver's "She Builds Quick Machines" also went with the Western theme - cowboys attempting to rescue an angel chained up in a church.
  • Take That (Band)'s video for "How Deep Is Your Love" sees the band being held captive by a stalker. And ends with Gary Barlow, tied to a kitchen chair, being pushed into a reservoir.
  • Tool's videos are a great example, particularly "Sober" and "Prison Sex." The band barely appears in these at all.
  • Guns N' Roses took it to the next level with a concept video trilogy: "Don't Cry", "November Rain", and "Estranged" are all based on the short story Without You by Del James.
  • Killswitch Engage's video for Holy Diver, an Affectionate Parody of the original video by Ronnie James Dio, depicts a knight questing to free a Sleeping Beauty type princess from the spell of an evil wizard.
  • Battlelore's entire videography. It's not hard to imagine that if they had the time and budget, they would just make a The Lord of the Rings Fan Fic film with their music as the soundtrack.
  • Stabbing Westward's "Shame" alternates footage of the band playing in a rehearsal space with subtitled scenes of a woman trying to escape her psychotic stalker ex-boyfriend (fitting its Obsession Song lyrics). Despite being full of creepy and dramatic moments, there's a humorous Twist Ending - throughout the rehearsal space scenes, band members keep covertly mouthing things and gesturing to each other, then leaving the room, eventually leaving lead singer Christopher Hall to play the song by himself... It turns out the entire plot was a movie within a music video, and everyone in the band decided to ditch practice to see it in the theater

  • Mystery Skulls Animated is a series of music videos that tell a connected story set to songs from the band Mystery Skulls; the first video, "Ghost", is an Affectionate Parody of Scooby-Doo, while the following videos do their own thing to continue the surprisingly tragic story of three paranormal investigators and a ghost out for revenge.
  • Most of Russian singer Elvira T's music videos are this trope.
    • Three of her videos — "Devochka Na Reyvye", "Zaraza", and "Khorosho Bez Tebya"/"Brillianty" — are connected and tell a compelling story about a fictionalized version of Elvira and her relationships.
    • Two of her other videos — "Luchshye" and "Goodbye" — are also connected to each other, although the connection between the two is much looser than the one between the aforementioned trilogy. They tell a story about a different fictionalized version of Elvira, and are a bit more action-packed compared to the previous narrative, though just as compelling.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Concept Videos



Part of what makes Starset stand out is the use of an overall narrative that makes them more of a concept band. Starting with a transmission from the future with a warning of what may become of mankind, the band expands upon what this future entails within their music videos. Halo's music video, showcasing the efforts of a man looking for his lost love within this future, is no exception.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / ConceptVideo

Media sources: