Prague in Music Videos: Grey Communist Backdrop for INXS, Metro for Thom Yorke

Prague is one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. And music video directors know how photogenic it can be. Therefore, it is no surprise that a number of music videos for the songs of the biggest pop music stars have been filmed in Prague’s streets, as well as in other notorious locations.

The Charles Bridge was recently named the sixth most beautiful monument in the world, and the beauty of our metropolis could be admired by viewers of the streaming giant Netflix’s recently released most expensive film Grey Man, as well as the Oscar-winning Amadeus (although it featured Vienna).


Rihanna – Don’t Stop The Music

Don’t be fooled by the American-looking taxi pulling up to the curb at the beginning of the clip. And take a good look at the tram that’s following it. It’s even easy to see what location it is. Namely the intersection of Bělehradská Street and Tylovo náměstí above I. P. Pavlova, which is also the location of the club where this clip of Rihanna was filmed in 2009.

Of course, we are talking about the club Radost FX, its interior has always been so distinctive that it is still safely recognizable from the clip years later. The cameraman is an Englishman living in Prague, who described that filming the scene during which he was locked in the ladies’ toilets with the singer for several hours is one of the most interesting work experiences of his career after all these years.


INXS – Tear Us Apart / New Sensation

You may know that the Australian band INXS filmed a video in Prague, but did you also know that they filmed two videos here? They are the ballad Tears Us Apart and the hit song New Sensation, both of which come from their famous 1987 breakthrough album Kick.

Prague was a grey and neglected city compared to today, but even the “care” of forty years of communism couldn’t completely erase its historical beauty and unique charm. And for a band from the other side of the planet trying to make it in Europe, it was not only exotic but also cheap. In particular, the video for the romantic ballad Never Tear Us Apart was filmed around the Charles Bridge, in the Lesser Town, and also in the Jewish cemetery in Josefov.


Kanye West & Jay-Z – No Church In The Wild

The music video for the song No Church In The Wild by American rapper Kanye Wes and his colleague Jay-Z, which was released on their 2012 album Watch The Throne, was really lavish. For the clip, some of Prague’s streets were literally turned into a war zone, plagued by fighting reminiscent of protests during the International Monetary Fund meetings.

In the locations, it is easy to recognize the Legion Bridge, leading across Střelecký ostrov to the National Theatre. Some of the scenes are filmed around Jan Palach Square near Rudolfinum. The author of the clip is the famous director of Greek-French origin Romain Gavras, who made similarly famous and controversial clips for artists such as Justice or M.I.A.


Primal Scream – Jailbird

This is a video clip in which, with a bit of luck, you might find yourself, provided you were at the 1993 concert of the Scottish indie rock band Primal Scream in Prague’s Lucerna Music Bar. The footage from that performance is mixed in the video for the song Jailbird from their 1994 album Give Out But Don’t Give Up with footage of the band playing, which was filmed in England. Either way, the mid-nineties was a time when Primal Scream were at their absolute peak of popularity. It was a great time then, wasn’t it?


Thom Yorke – Anima

The frontman of Radiohead (and currently also of the side project The Smile) went undercover to Prague in 2019 to shoot a music video. The director of the clip was none less than one of the most important directors of our time, the American filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, author of such seminal films as Sinful Nights, Magnolia and Up For Blood.

Anima was shot in the Prague metro, and the revolving turnstiles that Yorke wrestles with at the end of the clip were installed specifically for the video.


R.E.M. & Patti Smith – E-Bow The Letter 

The American band R.E.M. had some bad luck with Prague. Three of their concerts in a row were cancelled at the last minute for various reasons, but they still loved Prague.

Especially the frontman Michael Stipe has a personal relationship to our capital city, but also to the Czech Republic because it is well known that shortly before the release of their breakthrough album Out Of Time, he traveled around the Czech Republic for several days and visited Olomouc.

In Prague, R.E.M. also played at the Anděl awards ceremony, which took place in 1999 at the Trade Fair Palace. And they made a special tribute to Prague in the video of their joint song with rock singer-songwriter Patti Smith. It was released in 1996 on their album New Adventures In Hi-Fi.

Simply Red – Your Eyes

Prague’s Main Railway Station is also very photogenic. For example, it was featured in the music video for Gwen Stefani’s Early Winter in 2009. And it can also be seen in the epic video for the song Your Eyes by the British soul band Simply Red from 2000.

However, as has happened many times in the past, Prague substitutes for another city or another country in the video. Russia, or Moscow. The clip is set during World War II and features Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknal running through the halls and stairs of Prague’s historic Main Station building, which was inscribed with Cyrillic lettering.

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