We can never forget the music videos of the 90s. From fisheye lenses and purple sunglasses, to cheesy cars and neon pants, we can’t help but love them. This corner of pop culture also happens to be a huge part of Canadian music history.
Checkout our list of the best Canadian music videos of the 90s.
Killjoys “Today I Hate Everyone” (1994)
The music video for “Today I Hate Everyone” starts off with a creepy clown at a kid’s birthday party, only to discover that the birthday girl has opted for a more solo adventure – outside with her toy car. With a pouty face and unforgiving determination, she drives around in her car as the song plays. It’s a cute video that pairs a young girl with a song about hating everybody. She later returns to her birthday party, only to the give the rock on sign to the live band.
The Age of Electric “Remote Control” (1996)
As we all know, the fisheye lens was a huge thing in the 90s, and there just had to be at least one of those music videos in this list. This particular music video sees The Age of Electric screaming into a fisheye lens with black, spikey hair-dos and a montage of disturbing images that pair nicely with an angsty rock song.
Blue Rodeo “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” (1993)
Blue Rodeo’s music video for “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” features clips of Ontario’s northwestern landscape. It’s a sad song, accompanied by an even sadder music video about a funeral somewhere in the midst of winter.
Sloan “The Good In Everyone” (1996)
“The Good In Everyone” was Sloan’s first single from their third record, and it was a hit. The song’s music video is just over four minutes long and opens with the band doing a spoof on the Peter Fonda classic Easy Rider. The video was also filmed at Toronto Pearson Airport.
Crash Test Dummies “MMM MMM MMM MMM” (1993)
The music video for “MMM MMM MMM MMM” shows clips of children performing a play in front of a parent audience while the band plays stage side.
Rush “Roll the Bones” (1991)
The music video for “Roll the Bones” contains all the 90s special effects that we know and love. The iconic Canadian band performs their song on a stage throughout the video while the camera cuts back and forth between them and a young teen subjected to trippy images and a rapping skeleton (you gotta love that rapping skeleton).
Prozzak “Sucks to Be You” (1998)
“Sucks to Be You” was Prozzak’s biggest hit and was one of many music videos that told the story of animated characters Simon and Milo. In this particular video, Simon realizes that he wasn’t very nice to a former girlfriend after he gets brutally dumped.
Rascalz “Northern Touch” (1997)
When “Northern Touch” gained radio play, it became the first hit single in Canadian hip hop since 1991. The song guest features Checkmate, Kardinal Offishall, Thrust, and Choclair, and is credited with being one of the key songs to put Canadian hip hop on the map.
Choclair “Let’s Ride” (1999)
Directed by Little X and produced by Kardinal Offishall, “Let’s Ride” marked another important moment in Canadian hip hop. Most of the video was filmed in downtown Toronto.
Len “Steal My Sunshine” (1999)
The music video for this one-hit-wonder has everything we remember from 1999 – halter tops, ribbed men’s tanks, and purple sunglasses. Len reportedly had a 100K budget for this video, so they went to Daytona Beach, blew most of the 100K on booze, and filmed the entire music video in one afternoon so they could maximize on drinking time.
Alanis Morissette “Ironic” (1995)
Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic” was one of the singles off of her smash hit album Jagged Little Pill. The best place to sing this tune is in a car while roadtripping with a couple of buddies, and apparently Morissette already knew this because the entire video sees Morissette driving down a northern road and singing the song at the top of her lungs.
Bran Van 3000 “Drinking in LA” (1997)
Queue the orange jumpsuits! “Drinking in LA” was Bran Van’s first single and quickly became a hit. The music video itself mostly takes place in a room (not in LA) and is a total throwback for anyone missing the late 90s’ neon colours.
Matthew Good Band “Load Me Up” (1999)
The music video for “Load Me Up” is a sequence of the band running from school kids. The video is a dream, which ends with a disturbing and weird scene that shows Matthew Good waking up to find one of the school girls from his dream in his bedroom with a knife. It then cuts to black.
Hayden “Bad As They Seem” (1995)
“Bad As They Seem” is one of the tracks off of Hayden’s debut album Everything I Long For. The music video, which is as depressing as the song, tells the story of a middle-aged man who is dissatisfied with his life and has a crush on both a 16-year-old girl and the girl’s mother.
The Tragically Hip “Gift Shop” (1996)
Leave it to The Hip to highlight Niagara Falls in a music video. The black and white montage of the falls moves easily with “Gift Shop’s” slow build, before the band appears in Sedona, Arizona.
Thrush Hermit “The Day We Hit The Coast” (1999)
Here’s a music video by a band from the east coast. It features the band rocking out in a wintery Canadian wilderness, dressed in what appears to be real fur and singing about “getting colder and colder.” As Canadian as it gets.
Furnaceface “If You Love Her (Would You Buy Her a Gun?)” (1999)
This hard rock video serves as a mini action move. It combines motion animation with real life action scenes to tell the story a woman who lives a double life as a wife and a superhero. In this video, she goes after a bunch of grimy robbers while her husband waits at home, wondering what his wife is up to. Nearing the end of the video, he confronts her and we never really find out if she reveals her secret identity to him or not.
Serial Joe “Mistake” (1999)
More all-black outfits and spikey hair. Serial Joe was a Newmarket band that made it big internationally in the ’90s with their hit “Mistake.” Unfortunately, the group split up in the early 2000s. Luckily, we still have this music video.