With Mute Math’s “Typical” getting so much YouTube love for being shot in reverse, we thought we’d put together a list of our all time favorite backwards music vids. They’re all pretty cool — duh, they’re backwards! — but we feel strongly about our #1 pick. It was competitive eater Hirofumi Nakajima’s sixth take!

5. The Pharcyde – “Drop”

…no daeR

4. Jack Johnson – “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing”

3. Mute Math – “Typical”

2. Coldplay – “The Scientist”

1. God Lives Underwater – “From Your Mouth”

Okay, truth be told we could only think of five at the moment. What else ya got?

Comments (86)
  1. CT  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    What about Enya?

  2. Cibo Matto’s “Sugar Water” dir by Michel Gondry–it was split screen, one side backwards, one side forwards.

  3. I sort of disqualified videos that only use a little bit of backwardsness (e.g., Enya). Otherwise, R.E.M.’s “Imitation Of Life” gets its own special award for awesomeness.

  4. Pablo  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    Bob Hund – Istallet For Musik: Forvirring


  5. Gordon  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    Cheesy 80s Hair Backwards Action!

    The whole video isn’t backwards, but the guitar solo and the fadeout of Love and Affection by Nelson is classic backwards action! Nelson! This video also has fast motion and slow motion without breaking perfect lip-sync. (Well, except for the fact that YouTube screws it up.)


  6. “Sugar Water”, absolutely. Though it is only, technically, half the screen in reverse, it’s perhaps the most incredible video I’ve seen.


  7. merman  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    awesome choice for number 1. that song brings me back to highschool.

    sugar water is awesome, even doubly awesome when you have the gondry dvd, but it ain’t all that.

  8. chris  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    no “sugar Water” by Cibo Matto??? You guys are slippin

  9. Matthew  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    I’ve got to give props to Coldplay on this one. “The Scientist” has one hell of a poignant (triple word score!) video. Regardless of what I think of some of their work (nothing as harsh as most of you lot, probably) the video is well put-together.

    Oh, and Mute Math is pretty dang good.

  10. TonyHasCooties  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    the dude who sang stairway to heaven backwards wins hands down. youtube it if you dare.

  11. Paul  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    Not saying it’s a great song or video, but Enigma did a reverse video for “Return to Innocence”.


  12. PsETE  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    Don’t forget the Australian Band Iron On with their video for Playing Hard to Want:


  13. Manny  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    Goodshirt – Blowing Dirt


  14. noah  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    isn’t there a daft punk video that goes backwards?

  15. sdrawkcab  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    golden boy & miss kittin’s “rippin kittin” has a split screen with the top going forwards and the bottom backwards.


  16. me, myself & i

  17. beyonce  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    me, myself & i!

  18. dan s  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    bob hund – Istället för musik: förvirring


    sorry for it being in swedish and not being as good as I remembered it. but it’s backwards!

  19. Julie  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    And Chris Martin actually had to sing backwards to make the video work.

  20. Alec  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    Yeah, that Cibo Matto video is super awesome.

  21. SONGS FOR GRACE!  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    what about “off the hook” by CSS, aka CANSEI DE SER SEXY? not as creative, but fun nonetheless.

  22. Al  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    i forgot how dope that pharcyde video is. whats up fatlip?

  23. michael Patterson  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0


    i was reading somewhere that the director of the Coldplay video said that the Good Shirt video was the inspiration for the Coldplay video.


  24. eli  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    remy zero – “save me”
    great video, that also came before the coldplay clip.

    and i also second the vote for r.e.m.’s imitation of life vid. sooo awesome.

  25. Al  |   Posted on Mar 28th, 2007 0

    that mute math video is so unoriginal. how can they be ahead of pharacyde? pharacyde made that video more than a decade ago. all mute math did was copy the countless other bands who had the idea before them.

  26. There’s the end of Weird Al’s AMISH PARADISE video, too.

  27. “morning afterglow” by electrasy


    an okay-ish slice of late 90′s brit-pop. and it’s done backwards! (dunno how they did the polaroid though)

  28. the mutemath one is just amazing. they play their instruments backwards, and he sings backwards [granted not for the whole song], but they do it all in one take.

  29. adam  |   Posted on Mar 29th, 2007 0

    its not one take, there is at least one cut when he walks up to the camera. don’t feel like watching it again to look for more. it is a sweet video though, definitely not better than pharcyde, but original in its own way. playing the drums backwards? yeah. nice.

  30. adam  |   Posted on Mar 29th, 2007 0

    and merman, the sugar water video IS all that, sir.

  31. jed2  |   Posted on Mar 29th, 2007 0

    “Landlubber” by overlord. great song, great band, directed and edited by the bandleader.


  32. i’m definitely with “sugar water” too.

    was that daft punk video backwards too? around the world?

    that would make sense though since they’re both directed by michel gondry.

  33. Beastie Boys – Alive

  34. What? No love for Ian Brown’s F.E.A.R. ?????


  35. jesse  |   Posted on Mar 29th, 2007 0

    weezer, the sweater song, obvs.

  36. Darren  |   Posted on Mar 30th, 2007 0

    Years ago, Chrissie Hynde cut a trip-hoppy version of Jon Anderson’s “State of Independence” with an act called Moodswings, and the video featured Chrissie and her cohorts walking forward thru a backward-walking crowd while singing the song. Was an entire crowd’s worth of extras recruited for this clip, or did Hynde and co. actually have to plow backwards thru a sea of unsuspecting pedestrians while singing backwards?

    On a related note, every time you get exasperated by how pretentious Sting is, picture the making of the “Wrapped around Your Finger” video: Dude had to lip-synch to a Chipmunk-speed version of the song to get the proper slowed-down video effect.

  37. Miranda  |   Posted on Apr 1st, 2007 0

    What about Chain Me Free by The Matches?

  38. Another E  |   Posted on Apr 2nd, 2007 0

    No “Forbidden Fruit” by the Blow Monkeys? What’s up? Are all these videos from the last 15 years?

  39. What about Enigma – Return to Innocence?

    THIS is the best Backwards Music Video of All Time

  40. Lauren  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2007 0

    Sidewalks by Story of the Year

  41. meep  |   Posted on Apr 10th, 2007 0

    I recall this one amazing japanese (or korean) music video were these two girls switch places/apartments/actions so that one is where the other started. anyway this is shot with two cameras, shown as a split screen simultaeously. To get the effect one had to be doing the exact backward actions of the other, only to have it replicated by the ‘forward’ person later on. sorry i can’t be any more specific, i just recall it being a viral video i saw a few years ago.

  42. chris  |   Posted on Apr 27th, 2007 0

    When i was in Tokyo i was watching all kinds of nutty videos. One of them was some dudes poolside, and a bunch of people unjumping into the pool(mostly hot girls). But sadly this was a few years ago and i forgot the name of the song and group. Sorry. but is was awesome i promise!

  43. who  |   Posted on Jul 9th, 2007 0

    Have you tried playing the scientist backwards?
    Coldplay used the scientist in reverse when they did their 2005 tours.

  44. Mark D  |   Posted on Oct 29th, 2007 0

    what was the video with the clown “wiping on” his makeup as it was all in reverse? Unhappy Boy, Unhappy Girl something or other! Who sang that? Its bugging me!!!!

  45. Nova  |   Posted on Nov 7th, 2007 0

    Hey I am looking for a name of a Song!

    It’s a female singer with short blond hair that sort of sits over her right eye – and she is walking backwards around pillars (or something)

    She is singing about never going back to a relationship once she has left it.

    I think it’s an oldish song but it was on a video hits type song recently … probably as a blast from the past?

    But does anyone know the song I mean and who sings it?

    Thank you

  46. elioli  |   Posted on Dec 16th, 2007 0

    I think mute math knows it already. I like coldplay and mutemath.

  47. Bjorn Pal  |   Posted on Jan 11th, 2008 0

    Hey, Mark D
    The song you’re looking after is called “Naive Song” by french composer/producer/whatever Mirwais.

  48. clara zugerbühler  |   Posted on Jan 22nd, 2008 0

    hi from germany!
    i have a question. i watched backwards shot music video across the end of 90s. its electronic music. as far as i can remember there was a parachute, exploding ford taunus at the end and so on…. can you remember that song ?

    • beto vintage  |   Posted on Mar 13th, 2008 0

      Im looking for that video since many years ago !!!
      I also remember somebody cooking some waffles haha

      I hope somebody can help us :)

      • cesar  |   Posted on Mar 14th, 2008 0


      • CESAR  |   Posted on Mar 14th, 2008 0


  49. Chris  |   Posted on Apr 20th, 2008 0

    Would you be thinking of ‘Bentley’s Gonna Sort You Out’ by any chance?


    • CESAR  |   Posted on May 12th, 2008 0

      excactly Chris exactly !!!!!! that`s amazing you have made a person very happy thank you very much man ! AJUAAAA !!!!

    • van Hugo  |   Posted on Feb 15th, 2010 0

      THANKS THANKS THANKS I was also a person looking for that video, GREAT VIDEO beyond its time in fact.

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