The “Why Georgia” singer channeled his musical heroes and quickly grabbed attention in the Atlantic club scene. He also forged a tight relationship with his burgeoning underground fan following along the way. These loyal original followers went to multiple live shows and passed out CDs to other audience members.
Related — The 10 best John Mayer songs
Mayer’s meteoric rise to fame was launched in 2001 by the massive success of his Grammy-winning debut album, Room for Squares. His sultry, soulful vocals, honest, relatable lyrics and virtuoso-style guitar prowess caught hold with critics and fans alike.
Soon, Mayer asserted himself as a musician’s musician and a master storyteller who would obviously not become a flash-in-the-pan, one-hit-wonder artist with his breakout single “Your Body Is a Wonderland.” Mayer had many more colorful musical layers to explore and he peeled them back with care.
Subsequent albums have dabbled in various genres from the pop-rock styling of Heavier Things to the jazz leanings of his 2005 side project Try!, to a lyrically-introspective album like Continuum and two-album veer toward Americana with Born and Raised and Paradise Valley. Battle Studies offered another pop offering while he released his most recent collection, The Search for Everything, in experimental stages.
It’s been over two decades since John Mayer broke onto the music landscape as a talented unknown singer-songwriter. In the broadest sense, he continues to be, above all else, a guy who’s so wickedly proficient on the guitar, he often lets it take over and do the talking for him. He’s also a razor-sharp lyricist who focuses on matters of the heart with vivid emotional clarity.
Through it all, Mayer has never been one to release flashy, over-produced music videos. In fact, the understated nature of most of his visuals also speaks loudly to his enduring sense of strong musicianship. We’ve put together an arguably unconventional list of our picks for the five best John Mayer music videos below.
5. “Still Feel Like Your Man”
If any video in John Mayer’s collection is even close to feeling like a “big production,” it’s the one for the lead single “Still Feel Like Your Man” from his most recent album The Search For Everything. He’s been very open about mourning the loss of his longtime former lady love Katy Perry with the song. While some critics may find it cheesy, we have to give Mayer props for dancing with pandas and facing down a disco dojo to vent his lovelorn grief.
4. “New Light”
John Mayer is multi-talented. He does a little stand-up comedy on the side and even hosts a no-frills weekly Instagram talk show to connect with his fans and share his unique brand of wisdom. His low-budget video for “New Light” perfectly reflects Mayer’s determination not to get lost in the “pop superstar” machine.
Courtesy of a video production company who Mayer divulged “usually does birthday and Bar Mitzvah videos, the charismatic crooner is magically transported (via green screen) from a farmer’s field to a ski slope, to a dull office cubicle farm, to the Eiffel Tower and beyond. It’s Mayer at his tongue-in-cheek, vulnerable best as he pleads in plaid pajama pants for his love to give him just one night, so she’ll see him “in a new light.” We. Love. It.
Once again, Mayer shines in the simplistic, black-and-white video in which he’s shown in closeup, strumming his acoustic guitar and imploring fathers everywhere to “be good to your daughters.” He delivers a strong emotional message about the positive and negative impacts a father (and later, he points out a mother) can have on a person’s ability to handle a future relationship. Mayer earned a Song of the Year Grammy for “Daughters” in 2005. More than 10 years later, the track remains a standout in his catalog.
2. “Your Body is a Wonderland”
Millions of swooning fans all over the world fell just a little more in love with John Mayer after the romantic video for “Your Body Is a Wonderland” dropped. He serenades the pretty girl in the video, shoots home videos of her walking around, and whispers close to her ear as he sings “this is bound to take a while …” It will arguably remain a sentimental (and sensual) favorite among Mayer’s global female fan base for decades to come. Plus, the song itself earned Mayer a well-deserved first-ever Grammy Award in 2003.
1. “Gravity” (Grammys Performance)
John Mayer has gone on record to say “Gravity” is “the most important song I’ve ever written.” He performed the song at the Grammy Awards in 2007 with support from Corinne Bailey Rae and John Legend. The live performance is featured on Mayer’s YouTube channel.
The song represents everything Mayer is as a songwriter, singer, and guitarist. He often loses himself while performing the song live. The bluesy, smoldering track arguably stands out as a timeless, musical masterpiece. Mayer earned a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Performance in 2008 for the live version of the song featured on his Where the Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles CD/DVD. The song topped the 2014 AXS ranking of Mayer’s 10 Best Songs. His live Grammy performance earns the No. 1 spot in this list.