On Friday (Aug. 21), One Direction made our space cadet fantasies a reality when they released their epic “Drag Me Down” music video (which we may or may not have had on repeat ever since). Filmed at NASA’s spiffy Johnson Space Center, the clip features the guys cosplaying as astronauts while they interact with robots and ultimately blast off into the Milky Way.
While 1D’s video is an instant classic, it’s worth pointing out that they’re hardly the first band to take their talents into the galaxy. In fact, they’ve now joined an elite club of artists, including Britney Spears and Katy Perry, who’ve ventured into the solar system. Check out these nine videos that took you into space way before 1D:
Britney Spears- “Oops… I Did It Again”
This one’s the gold standard for space-themed music videos, TBH. Britney, outfitted in a sexy red catsuit that only she could pull off, claims her throne as the Queen of Mars as she busts out some seriously killer choreography. But the best part is that priceless exchange between her and the cute “Mars lander” dude, where he gives her the necklace from “Titanic.” PRICELESS STUFF, PEOPLE.
Backstreet Boys- “Larger Than Life”
In case you’re wondering, F—K YES, this video absolutely still holds up today. Besides the awesomeness of seeing Brian Littrell surfing around the spaceship and Nick Carter leading an army of robots in some perfect ‘90s choreography, this vid also features an extended version of the song. And you know what that means… a prolonged dance sequence where A.J. McLean wears a crop top! Woo!
Katy Perry ft. Kanye West- “E.T.”
After Kanye floats around while rapping about being an “alien, a big-headed astronaut,” we see Katy become a stunning (but kinda freaky) space goddess. Ultimately, she turns a broken robot into a naked man, as only she could.
Will Smith- “Men in Black”
Oh, how we miss you, rapper Will Smith. This video was released with the ’97 sci-fi action comedy of the same name, and begins with Tommy Lee Jones giving a dramatic speech about protecting the world against extraterrestrial activity. As the chorus proclaims “Here come the men in black, galaxy defenders,” we see scientists examining alien organisms and Will rockin’ that black suit like no other. But the highlight is definitely when he teaches an ugly, reptilian-looking alien to dance with him. Amazing.
Future & Miley Cyrus ft. Mr. Hudson- “Real and True”
Miley strips down and becomes a glittery space vixen in this vid, which features some absolutely gorgeous cinematography.
NSYNC- “I Want You Back”
Oh, NSYNC, and your tight, front-zip tees that look straight out of a Baby Gap catalog. This futuristic (for the time) clip is nothing short of amazing, with the most bonkers boy band choreography and peak Justin Timberlake mean-mugging.
Eiffel 65- “Blue (Da Ba Dee)”
Otherwise known as “that annoying AF song that will never escape your brain,” this 1998 single was (for whatever reason) a huge hit with a predictably weird video. Little blue guys head bang to the beat as they launch into the galaxy, only to have the band fight them off with laser contraptions. The animation is super retro and cheesy, but oh-so-fun.
Weezer- “Back to the Shack”
Frontman Rivers Cuomo has said this song refers to the band getting back to their roots and channeling their early sound and energy, but in the vid, the “shack” in question is the moon. The highlight is definitely drummer Patrick Wilson planting the American flag in slo-mo, just before the ground shakes, a giant “W” is raised into the sky, and a Weezer pick floats off into the abyss.
The Darkness- “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”
This shiny, arena rock ear worm got a fantastically weird video that shows off the band’s theatricality. This one’s got it all: bell-bottomed jumpsuits, crater-hurdling crabs, and an octopus-resembling monster that tries to slam the band down — but rock on, they must.