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Sledgehammer

1986        Peter Gabriel


8.9/1010 ratings

directed by:
Stephen R. Johnson


Sledgehammer cleaned up at the VMAs, winning nine awards - still a record. The video uses a mix of animation styles, including claymation, pixilation, and stop motion. Peter Gabriel had to stay under a sheet of glass for 16 hours while filming the video while animators moved objects above him, one frame at a time.


genres:

Afrobeat
Blue-eyed Soul
Dance Rock
Funk


top lists:

Goliath's Greatest Music Videos of All Time
Insider's Most Iconic Music Videos of All Time
Parade's Best Music Videos of All Time
Rolling Stone Readers Poll
TimeOut Best Music Videos of All Time
VMA Video of the Year
VMA Video of the Year Nominee
Yardbarker Most Influential Music Videos of All Time

Critics’ Takes:

“A true classic – one that appears in all the “best videos ever” lists and somewhere near the very top of any self-respecting “best animated video” chart. It’s influential, it’s memorable, and it’s arguably downright filthy.” – Anna Pickard, The Guardian

“Nowhere is Peter’s prowess in making music videos more evident than on the visual for “Sledgehammer,” from Gabriel’s 1986 album So. But he had a lot of help from frequent collaborator and director Stephen R. Johnson as well as the skilled and innovative animators from the Brothers Quay and Aardman Animations who added the video’s iconic claymation and stop motion animation.” – Nate Todd, JamBase

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