10 Famous Rock Music Videos Made On A Small Budget

Even with a tiny budget, these rock music videos are all totally priceless.

The Black Keys Lonely Boy Derrick T. Tuggle
Warner Bros.

A great music video can be the key to a song (and an artist) hitting it big.

Though they're less important in the streaming age, videos were extremely important as recently as a decade ago, with artists clamouring to make the next big one. This would explain why studios were happy to throw insane amounts of money at them.

The most expensive music video of all time is Michael and Janet Jackson's Scream from 1995, which cost $7 million to make. That's over $14 million in 2023 terms. Sure, that video was good and all, but the following ten videos prove that not all promotional clips have to break the bank.

The exact figures for most of these videos are not available, presumably because they were so small that nobody ever bothered to write them down, but they all cost relatively little, and you can sort of tell.

That's not a criticism by any means. In fact, the cheap-looking nature of these videos is what makes them so special, as they all stand out from glossy sheen of the rest of the industry.

If you're a penniless artist searching for your big break, you'd do well to follow these examples.

10. Subterranean Homesick Blues - Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan can be credited with a lot of things; bringing poetic folk music to the mainstream, turning The Beatles onto drugs, proving that you actually don't need to have a 'traditional' singing voice to become a singer...

One thing he also helped to innovate was the entire concept of music videos.

When filming the documentary Don't Look Back, Dylan decided to produce a video clip set to his track Subterranean Homesick Blues. Stood in an alleyway next to the Savoy Hotel in London, Dylan flipped over several cue cards with selected lyrics written on them as they came up in the song.

The words were written by the man himself, but he also had help from musicians Donovan and Bob Neuwirth and poet Allen Ginsberg, who were there for some reason.

The clip, which was extremely easy and cheap to film, was one of the first uses of video to promote a single, setting in motion the music video craze that would take the world by storm over the next couple of decades.

So, next time you sit down to watch your favourite music video, give a little thanks to Bobby D.


Jacob Simmons has a great many passions, including rock music, giving acclaimed films three-and-a-half stars, watching random clips from The Simpsons on YouTube at 3am, and writing about himself in the third person.