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YouTube is remastering classic music videos, and they look totally rad

Now you can clearly see Billy Idol's lip curls and Mike D's fake mustache.

Published onJune 19, 2019

A clip comparing the YouTube music video remaster of the Beastie Boys song Sabotage.

Today, YouTube announced — in partnership with Universal Music Group — that it is remastering classic music videos. So far, there are only a few posted, but they look amazing.

Watching YouTube music videos can be a fun way to not only experience terrific music but also to explore a medium that defined a generation. In the 80s, 90s, and even early 2000s, a great music video was the equivalent of the latest internet meme today: everyone would be talking about it.

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Unfortunately, many of the most iconic music videos in history were shot on low-quality video and then uploaded to YouTube in a shoddy state. With this new YouTube music video remastering campaign, the company is committed to painstakingly upgrading over 1,000 videos from rock, rap, country, pop, and genre-defying artists across the decades.

As you can see in the header image above, the difference is clear between the top part of the image from the original Beastie Boys’ video for “Sabotage” as compared to the bottom, remastered half. See the remastered video in full below:

To view all the remastered music videos available now, click here. Below you’ll find a list of highlights:

There will be new YouTube music videos uploaded in remastered quality each week going forward. By the end of 2020, the company will have updated its list of over 1,000 videos. It will be interesting to see which ones make the cut.

Unfortunately, YouTube only has a partnership with UMG to do this, so there are a lot of iconic videos that won’t get remastered. Non-UMG artists include Michael Jackson, Prince, Oasis, Eurythmics, Foo Fighters, and more, all of which have iconic music videos that won’t be remastered — unless YouTube also partners with other labels.

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