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Expensive Taste


Sometimes a big budget doesn't always equal a great music video.

Did you know that Van Halen only spent $600 bucks on their "Jump" video? David Lee Roth directed the video himself, obviously saving oodles of cash. The single "Jump" is from the album 1984. The album reached the #2 spot on the Billboard charts, the single "Jump" went all the way to number one. That song remains Van Halen's only number one hit. The Recording Industry Association of America certified 1984 with a Diamond award (10 million copies sold)  back in 1999.

Fast forward a few years and add in a little cash for inflation and you get one of the most expensive music videos of all time, for the epic Guns n' Roses ballad "November Rain." That song is featured on Use Your Illusion I. The cost to produce "November Rain" was well over a million bucks, and is rumoured to feature more than a thousand extras!  The Recording Industry Association of America certified Use Your Illusion I seven times platinum in 1997. While Use Your Illusion I hasn't sold as many copies as 1984, Guns n' Roses reached multi-platinum status at about the same rate as Van Halen did with 1984 (it took both bands a little over two months to sell more than a million units).

Did the music videos for "Jump" and "November Rain" fuel the success of album sales, was it radio play, or the music scene at the respective time of release?

Today, music videos don't have that much impact on album sales because no one plays videos anymore, despite that fact that artists still shell out big bucks to produce the mini movies.

Here's the videos for both "Jump" and "November Rain." Which one do you like better?
I've added a few new links to the side of the site. Please check out All My account of how music often intersects daily life.

Reader Comments (2)

Yeah, I agree with you about music videos.

I like the video for "Jump" better! It has more energy to it!
April 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenteraXe mAn
Big budget music videos mostly seem to be a thing of the past. Some artists still make them, but a lot just do it cheaply. Look at the OK GO video (with the band doing the dance on the treadmills... if you haven't seen it look on YouTube) which was INSANELY popular and done on the ultra cheap. With the Internet, the fact that TV doesn't play videos anymore doesn't even matter.

Personally I love both the "Jump" and "November Rain" videos!
April 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterVince Neilstein

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