Lana Del Rey's Most Important Music Videos, From "Born to Die" to "Lust for Life"

Lana Del Rey's Most Important Music Videos, From "Born to Die" to "Lust for Life"

Beginning with her lo-fi, self-made clip for "Video Games" in 2011, Lana Del Rey's music videos are as integral to the artistic world she's built as the songs themselves. While all 25 of her videos stand the test of time, we've rounded up her 10 most career-defining clips.

Beginning with her lo-fi, self-made clip for "Video Games" in 2011, Lana Del Rey's music videos are as integral to the artistic world she's built as the songs themselves. While all 25 of her videos stand the test of time, we've rounded up her 10 most career-defining clips.

Text: Megan Kasselberg

Lust for Life

A refreshingly happy Lana Del Rey croons in white gloves, socked-feet, and '60s style, while slow dancing with The Weeknd atop the Hollywood Sign. His falsettos have us swooning, as do the tender moments between the two stars—marking their first appearance together in a music video, despite numerous prior collaborations. All in all, it's a delightfully romantic clip that successfully brings Del Rey's cheeky Lust for Life Hollywood narrative to life.

High By The Beach

A forlorn and abandoned Del Rey dodges helicopters in a light blue, gauzy robe and nightgown, resembling some combination of a goddess and mermaid. She plays with wind and lighting in an empty mod home, and its ocean views are enough to keep us entertained. The best part is the ending, though, which finds the singer blasting the paparazzi with an oversized bazooka. It was a clear message, and a perfect representation of that press-shy period of Del Rey's career.

Love

An ode to her fans and a message of hope among turbulent times, "Love" was the ultimate visual aid for ushering in Del Rey's current Lust for Life era. At one point teens float in space above planets, content to daydream of love. Young kids of today juxtaposed with '60s inspired imagery and lines like "Don't worry baby"—a reference to the Beach Boys song—drive home the point that history unfolds in cycles, and that these troubled times too shall pass. The video ends, fittingly, with the lovers discovering a new world of experience and maturity at dawn.

West Coast

If you're in need of a leather jacket-clad California beach fix, "West Coast" is the answer. Cigarette-filled dreams flash across the screen as Del Rey repeats "I'm in love," as she twirls by the ocean. This Bruce Weber-inspired video also sees Bradley Soileau return as the bad-to-the-bone boyfriend. It was the peak of the singer's California dream phase for Ultraviolence.

Blue Jeans

A black and white filmed pool filled with alligators provides plenty of intrigue, and highlights the tattoos on Del Rey's love interest as he dives into the crystal clear water. While hardcore fans might prefer the song's original video (featuring spliced together imagery, a la "Video Games"), the high budget re-up is an equally stunning masterpiece—and a perfect slice of Del Rey's Paradise.

Freak

The concept of "Freak" isn't complicated: Lana Del Rey and Father John Misty's Josh Tillman play cult leaders who take tabs of acid and literally sip the Kool-Aid amidst a dreamy circle of hazy, white-clad followers. But could you really ask for anything more? We'd kill to spend an afternoon hiking the hills of Los Angeles, if that's what being a freak means. The parallels between the video and Del Rey's amassing real-life cult following couldn't be more poignant.

Young and Beautiful

Like many videos in the list, this one begins with Del Rey performing on a stage, but here it's the orchestra that holds our attention. Off the soundtrack to The Great Gatsby, the video is right at home with the film's glitzy, decadent aesthetics and high-stakes drama. It was at this same time that Del Rey's music began to take its cinematic turn, going from DIY video to visuals worthy of the silver screen.

Ride

"I was born to be the other woman. I belonged to no one," Del Rey purrs in her almost 4 minute monologue, featuring scenes of her life on the road. She is a vagabond, alluring various men in the American west. Sex, cigarettes, and motorcycles ensue as the singer's various personas play out. It's a fictionalized ode to freedom and fantasy, and a Jack Kerouac-inspired take on the American dream.

Born To Die

"Born To Die" presents viewers with two versions of the singer. One is a child of convertibles, denim shorts, and American flags who's in a dangerous relationship with a tattooed man. The other depicts Del Rey in the afterlife (presumably following the deadly car crash), sitting comfortably atop her throne, flanked by regal tigers. Filmed at the palace of Fontainebleu, was her first large-scale video, and one worthy of the mantle.

Video Games

The video that started it all. Short scenes highlighting life in Los Angeles, including the Walk of Fame, a skate park, and the Hollywood Hills, mix with Del Rey singing to reproduce the singer's sunny California world. "Heaven is a place on earth with you" she claims, as she introduced the world to her fascination with fame.

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