The 5 most expensive hard rock music videos of all time

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Music videos used to be an important facet of album release. They weren’t just promotional tools, they were a way to connect more with the artist.

Queen hired a producer to create a video for “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 1975 to promote the song on the UK show Top pops. Another early music video was The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star”, which first aired on MTV in 1981.

David Bowie’s 1980 video for “Ashes to Ashes” became the most expensive video of all time, grossing $582,000, according to David Buckley. Strange Fascination – David Bowie: The Definitive Story. Since then, many other artists have exceeded this budget, especially pop artists such as Michael Jackson and Madonna later in the decade and into the 90s.

However, only a few rock artists have managed to create extremely expensive music videos, and we’ve highlighted them below. Check out the most expensive hard rock music videos of all time.

  • 5

    Blink-182 – “Rock Show”

    The intro message at the start of Blink-182’s video for “Rock Show” already gives viewers an idea that some kind of batshit madness is about to unfold. Basically, the band got money from their record label to make the video, so they cashed it in, drove around their van, and walked around handing out dollar bills to random people. This alternates with cutscenes of the band playing the song in a few different locations and also breaking stuff. How much were they given, you ask? $500,000, according to an interview they did with Interview Channel in 2001.

  • 4

    Garbage – “Push It”

    If you’ve ever had the odd desire to see masked nuns on a mission, you’ll be glad to know you can get your fill with Garbage’s 1998 video for “Push It.” It’s actually pretty weird – there’s a figure made out of static electricity, alien-like creatures, someone in a costume with a light bulb for their head, and other weird characters. We can’t tell you exactly what’s going on, but we can tell you it cost $750,000 to produce, according to Shirley Manson’s 2018 interview with Yahoo! It was nominated for eight categories in the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards, but did not win any.

  • 3

    My Chemical Romance – “The Ghost of You”

    My Chemical Romance came out with a WWII-themed music video for “The Ghost of You” in 2005, and if you played it while browsing channels on TV, you’d think it was a movie. The masterpiece oscillates between scenes of soldiers in a dance, a bar and a re-enactment of the D-Day invasion in France. It’s incredibly moving and powerful, and unsurprisingly, it cost just over a million dollars to make.

  • 2

    Guns N’ Roses – “November Rain”

    Not only did Axl Rose have a vision in mind when Guns N’ Roses entered the studio to record the Use your illusion albums, but he also wanted to make a movie based on some of the songs. The videos for “Don’t Cry”, “November Rain”, and “Estranged” serve as a series to tell the story of a problematic relationship, but unfortunately we don’t know the cost of the premiere. “November Rain” was actually based on the short story Without you by writer Del James, who is also a close friend of the band. A story of marriage and death, the video cost $1.5 million to produce and ultimately leaves the viewer with a lot of questions at the end. How? ‘Or’ What? Why? You will have to watch and try to figure it out for yourself.

  • 1

    Guns N’ Roses – “Away”

    What do police, dolphins and a Charles Manson T-shirt have in common? They’re all featured in Guns N’ Roses’ extremely cinematic video for “Estranged.” Serving as the third installment in the trilogy along with “Don’t Cry” and “November Rain”, the 1993 video is nearly 10 minutes long and costs $4 million to make. Considering Axl Rose jumped out of an oil tanker in the middle of an ocean, that’s not all that surprising. And if you thought you were hypnotized by Slash playing dessert in front of a church in the “November Rain” video, wait until you see him come out of the water as he performs solo.


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