Rock Clips: The 10 Biggest Of All Time

There was a time when the success of a single depended on its music video. With an innovative and imaginative music trailer, one song would almost guarantee a big spin on music television, and the rest, as they say, was history. What would become of Queen’s I want to be free, for example, hadn’t it been Freddie Mercury vacuuming in a miniskirt?

Over the years, the trend towards creating music videos has waned somewhat, but it seems your appetite for watching them hasn’t. With Guns N ‘Roses breaking world records twice with their music videos, and Slipknot breaking their own records with just about every video they release, viewership figures on a host of the world’s greatest rock videos. have more digits than your average phone number.

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Vevo has put together a definitive list of the world’s most watched rock music videos, and we’ve compiled them all for you below.

On how the data was compiled: The list below is the top 10 most watched rock videos around the world. This means that the data is for the whole world, but only those songs count as “rock”. These views are taken from the artists’ Vevo YouTube channels. The source used here is Vevo’s internal analysis, US 2019 visualization metrics, which they kindly shared with us.

10. Europe – The Final Countdown (1986)

Global Views: 695m

The final Countdown is one of the most famous note series in popular music – so ubiquitous that the Queen could quite possibly hum it on demand. It follows that the total number of views of his video is roughly double the total population of the United States. Not bad for a small group from Sweden.

With a tenuous concept in space – the group is being watched by monitors in some sort of spaceship, heading towards Venus as they were – it helped the group get into a heavy rotation and ultimately did. of them a familiar name.

9. The Police – Every Breath You Take (1983)

Global views: 701 m

Directed by Kevin Godley and 10cc Lol Creme – arguably the greatest impact of which came from the over 50 videos they made in the MTV-dominated 80s – this video was based on Gjon Mili’s 1944 short. Jammin ‘The Blues.

Praised for his artistic aesthetic and abstract narrative, he became somewhat of a point of contact for ’80s music video cinematography. He also emphasized the usefulness of a good video, A&M co-founder, Jeff Ayeroff, commenting “With a good video, the ROI is phenomenal” because of its success.

8. Scorpions – Winds of Change (1991)

Global Views: 721m

Scorpios’ greatest success has often been referred to as their stairway to Heaven, their Free Bird and their albatross. Inspired by the Scorpions’ performance at the Moscow Peace Festival in 1989, he did well enough to see German hard rockers go through the grunge explosion. The catchy video, which chronicles the construction and fall of the Berlin Wall, interspersed with footage from German history (and obligatory shots of a moody group) did not detract from its success.

“Almost every act that came from where we did it in the ’80s was killed,” singer Klaus Meine told Classic Rock in 2016. “If this album had been a flop, it could easily have been. the end of us too. Winds of change helped us survive. “

7. Bon Jovi – It’s My Life (2000)

Global Views: 786m

From the album To crush, this track is almost a rejuvenation of Bon Jovi’s upbeat 80s philosophy. With writing help from Britney Spears collaborator Max Martin, Jovi references the characters Tommy and Gina from Live on a prayer – whose video has only managed to amass 625 million views, fans say – while Richie Sambora brings back the talk box.

It all adds up to an unexpected blast of compelling effervescent pop / rock, backed up by dramatic, narrative video espoused by smooth live footage – all in all, showing a band continuing their prime into the 21st century.

6. System Of A Down – Chop Suey! (2001)

Global Views: 904m

A few days after the release of their 2001 album Toxicity, System Of A Down started airing for the track Chop Suey! However, almost as soon as it was picked up, it was abandoned by radio stations which found its lyrical references to “moralizing suicide” and dying angels too close in the aftermath of 9/11.

Not that it hurt the video. A boisterous, fan-packed affair that saw the band perform the track in front of an outdoor crowd, it became the defining video of MTV’s nu-metal era.

5. Cranberries – Zombie (1994)

Global Views: 964m

Irish alternative rockers The Cranberries had found success with their sweet ballads, but this assaulting left turn, Zombie – an incendiary and furious trail of the bombings in Northern Ireland – made them massive. This was helped in large part by the accompanying video, in which the late singer Dolores O’Riordan was painted in gold and surrounded by silver painted cherubs. It was interspersed with documentary footage of soldiers and children on the streets of Northern Ireland, filmed by director Samuel Bayer, who also directed the video for Nirvana. Smells like Teen Spirit – which is funny, considering the rest of this list.

“I actually thought the director was very brave,” O’Riordan said at the time. “When he came back he was pretty excited – there was a lot of adrenaline going through him. He was telling me how tense it was and how blown away he was by it all. He got pictures of kids jumping from building to building, and he got lots of pictures of the military. He was a very good director.

4. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991)

Global Views: 971 million

This infamous video is about as famous as the song that accompanies it, which means something. Filmed at Culver City Studios in California on August 17, 1991, fans in the video were all coming from a concert the band had performed two days earlier at the Roxy in West Hollywood. They distributed flyers there, inviting everyone to come. But the decisive destruction in the video’s finale wasn’t choreographed – fans were angry and had had enough by the end of filming, which lasted over 12 hours, and they were allowed to splurge. and destroy the scenery.

The video was inspired in part by the 1979 film On the edge, a Cobain favorite, and the cheerleaders were hired at a local strip club.

3. Guns N ‘Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine (1987)

Global Views: 1 billion

This isn’t the first Guns N ‘Roses video to hit a billion views – you can read more about it below – 1987 hit Sweet Child O Mine broke full-fledged records by becoming the first ’80s video to surpass the big point of a bill. Sober in nature – mixing black-and-white footage of live performances with candid behind-the-scenes shots – it showed a slightly more thoughtful GN’R than we were used to. On the surface, at least.

At the time of writing, the video had 1,003,493,902 views, which works out to an average of almost 600,000 views per day. Savage.

2. Imagine Dragons – Believer (2017)

Global Views: 1.2 billion

The fact that this is the only song and video released this decade speaks volumes about the huge appeal that American rockers Imagine Dragons have across the world.

Most of the best Imagine Dragons songs are built from the beat up. Here, a simple clap rhythm acts like a launching pad for a stadium-sized anthem with a drop-and-release chorus that hits like an industrial hammer. The video is pretty nifty too, all of the light displays and psychedelic lasers, reflecting their stage spectacle and highly organized visual aesthetic.

1. Guns N ‘Roses – November Rain (1992)

Global Views: 1.2 billion

It turns out that GN’R sort of has a monopoly on the old music video stakes. In 1992, Guns N ‘Roses unveiled his epic November Rain video. It was, at the time, the most expensive promo ever, costing the label $ 1.5 million. Geffen had to shell out $ 150,000 to build the White Chapel in the desert alone. Considering the budget to get a helicopter to film aerial shots, Axl Rose’s velvety coat, and the costs of organizing a lavish wedding with a fake rainstorm, it’s no surprise how a group could burn that amount of cheddar cheese for a nine-minute mini-movie.

It turns out it was a worthwhile investment, as nearly 30 years on video broke records, becoming the first video of the 90s to reach a billion views. It is still the most watched rock music video of all.

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