The 1990s were the heyday of the music video. The industry was awash with money from the boom in CD sales as everyone rushed to update their old vinyl collections. Digital piracy had not emerged, and the time and quality loss involved in home-taping meant analogue piracy was no threat to sales. Record companies had money to piss up the walls, and those walls often took the form of ever more extravagant videos. Brilliant Hollywood directors dipped their toes in the genre, but more importantly hot-shots who would become brilliant Hollywood directors cut their teeth on promos. These prodigies ranged from the king-of-the-bleak David Fincher to the mad-as-a-hatter Chris Cunningham.
Here is a link to an awesome post on Pitchfork showcasing the best of the decade’s output in this field.
The medium still exists, but, as the wonderful Slacker Chic points out in this amusing post, in a more bargain-basement form. The only notable exception at present is the clearly-bonkers Gaga, whose creativeness is unfettered by budgetary constraints or, indeed, any sense of decorum.
Below is the awesome video for Daft Punk's Around the World by Michel Gondry.