Deja Vu J Cole
Ten years ago she was Crazy In Love and Now She's Drunk In Love - and in that decade, Beyonce's music videos have only grown bigger, better and more creative. Enjoy some nostalgia as we take you through some of her best.
Beyonce was sure to make her first solo video one to remember. In keeping with the 1970's-themed film it featured in - Austin Powers' Goldmember - the entire scene was inspired by 1970s glamour and funk. The slinky gold dress, huge afro and old-school mic added to the song's feel. It's a picture that still pops into fans' heads when they hear the name Beyoncé, even 12 years on, which is an impressive legacy.
For the lead single off her debut studio album Beyonce hooked up with director Jake Nava - a man she would continue to work with in many videos to come. Crazy In Love, still one of the best summer songs ever, showed Bey with her future-husband (unknown to her) falling 'Crazy In Love.' Everyone remembers the moment Beyonce licks her thumb and works it down her body don't they? No wonder it won three awards at the 2003 MTV Videos Music Awards.
For her 2003 Sean Paul collaboration Beyonce kept director Jake Nava on board and headed to Miami. Shots of her and Paul in different themed-rooms were shown separately in what was probably Bey's most heated video yet.
For her new mellow tune Beyonce parted ways with Nava and enlisted a new director to capture the song's story of Beyoncé going through a break-up. In an interesting turn of events, Bey wasn't happy with the original cut which documented the break-up from start (finding her partner had cheated) to end (sadly soaking in the bath and eventually cutting her own hair off), and in a creative move decided the scenes should feature in reverse order.
It's 2004 and Beyoncé needed a dance partner to help show her 'Naughty Girl' side, who does she enlist? Of course - Usher. The two performed a memorable routine inspired by the 1953 musical film The Band Wagon. And yet, somehow, that isn't even the most memorable moment from the Naughty Girl video - nope, Beyonce swirling around in a humungous champagne glass filled with bubbles is.
Continuing the pattern of shooting in the US, for Deja Vu Beyonce headed to New Orleans to shoot the video for her 2006 single. In a bid to out-sexy previous videos, Beyonce enlisted Jay Z for a sexually-orientated scene that caused a lot of controversy, resulting in 5000 people signing a petition that said the clip showed "unacceptable interactions". But it was nothing compared to what would come in the years to follow…
The video for Irreplaceable, like Me, Myself And I and If I Were A boy focuses on following the romantic storyline of the song's lyrics, telling a cinematic story rather than presenting Beyoncé's sexy image and dancing. It opens with Beyonce filing her nails as she tells her ex-partner his stuff is in a "box to the left". The video was nominated for Video Of The Year at the MTV Video Music Awards in 07' but lost out to Rihanna's Umbrella.
For Bey's hook-up with Shakira the ladies went back to using Nava, who directed Crazy In Love along with a lot of Beyonce's early videos. It was shot over a mere two days and with no time for choreography, Shakira taught Beyoncé some belly-dancing movies herself and the two free-styled it.
Like Irreplaceable, the video for If I Were A Boy cleverly told the story of the song's lyrics. Shot entirely in black-and-white in New York, the video best-showcased Bey's 'Independent Woman' views. The idea of the video was to show, through role-reversal, how women are often treated by their partners. Beyonce explained: "In the beginning of the video, my husband makes me breakfast and he's excited about it, and I kind of don't have time to eat."
Single Ladies was shot immediately after If I Were A Boy, but initially didn't get picked up as much. How that would change. Now, it is certainly the most recognisable Beyonce video ever - and as Kanye West would say "one of the best videos of all time". Some little-known facts: The video shoot took around twelve hours and it was the cheapest and quickest of all of Beyonce's videos to produce.
If Beyonce has three kind of videos; the soft, girly ones, the hot, sexy ones and the 'independent women' ones, her hook-up with Lady Gaga on 'Telephone' certainly fell into the last category. Gaga recalled telling Beyonce in their initial conversation about the video: "Let's do a real girl-power collaboration where we support one another." Like many of her videos, Bey drew inspiration from a film - this time it was Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs.
Best Thing I Never Had showcases one of Beyonce's most stunning and memorable outfits, a wedding dress which she described as a "beautiful fantasy." The film switches between footage of Beyonce preparing for her wedding, and flashbacks to her fictional 1998 prom where her date played about. In line with the lyrics, Beyonce happily gets married, confident her ex is the "best things she never had."
The countdown video was unlike any video Beyonce had done before. Beyonce went back in time entirely for the visuals, with outfits, make-up and hair inspired by a ton of looks dating from the 60's to the 80's but mostly from the mod-era. It's also been noted that in some scenes Beyonce barely looks pregnant while in others she rubs her pregnant belly clear for all to see, which suggest some shots were filmed at a much later stage.
Beyonce hired 242 dancers for the Run The World video and headed to the Mojave desert where her and her female friends battled it out against the men, proving who 'runs the world.' It had elements of 'Single Ladies,' with its intricate dancing, although it featured more styles of dance than she'd ever taken on before, including hip-hop, african dancing and jazz. In terms of the outfits, dancing and sheer scale of it - Beyoncé had taken her music videos to the next level.
Bey hooks up with model pals including Jourdan Dunn for fun on Coney Island in the video for XO. But in a surprising move, the video was in fact less choreographed than you'd think. Remember the shot where Bey gets crowded by fans? They weren't actors. The director recalled: "We came out the door and it was like just hundreds of people sort of coming around us. People everywhere, cameras, people yelling her name.... It was really reportage, loose, not planned, we went with feeling".
Exactly ten years after they got Crazy In Love together Bey and Jay reunited to get Drunk In Love. The two hit the beach at night time and, even more so than in XO, Bey ditched the strictly choreographed videos and joined her husband to spontaneously wander and dance together. Not only was the video different, but like all videos on her fifth album it was released differently. All 17 videos dropped simultaneously, with no promo and no warning.
Beyoncé's most recent video was directed by the same man as her very first few, but how she's come on since the Crazy In Love days. By far her steamiest video yet, Bey went back to the Parisian club she took Jay Z to on the night of their engagement. At the time, she saw girls pole-dancing and dreamt of doing it for her man. So, Partition is Beyonce living out that dream. One thing is sure - every single Beyonce video has been incredible. How will she ever outdo herself?