The music-recording industry has been under pressure lately, as it struggles to adapt to the age of the internet. This is the second major structural revolution to challenge the recording industry in the past few decades, the first being when video killed the radio star. Music videos surged in popularity (and budget) in the '90s, but during the '00s (pronounced "uh-ohs") music video budgets seemed to have plateaued and begun to decline. In fact, just 3 of the 20 most expensive (inflation-adjusted) music videos of all time were produced after 2000. The most expensive of all time remains Michael and Janet Jackson's "Scream" at $10 million.
Or, at least, it was until NASA got in the game. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has just released a new cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" (Ground Control to Major Tom), filmed aboard the International Space Station. No, those are not special effects - he is actually weightless. Because he is actually in outer space.
This video blows "Scream" out of the water, with a set costing around $100 billion (give or take, split internationally). But if we just consider the cost of a single mission (on the order of $1 billion), that means this video only cost 100 "Scream"s to produce. So was it worth it? Considering the sound production values, good vocals, impressive editing, and the unprecedented aesthetics of seeing "Space Oddity" performed in its only truly natural setting, I would say yes, although I personally would have preferred Elton John's "Rocket Man" (possibly forthcoming). Also, I do hear there was some decent science to offset some of the costs as well.
Astronaut Releases Highest-Budget Music Video Ever