This Michael Jackson Music Video Cost A Whopping $7 Million To Put Together

There are so many elements that go into making a truly legendary song. A big-name band or artist tends to be a given, of course, though smaller acts do sometimes have the fortune of coming to popular attention. Excellent lyrics, a singing voice that does those lyrics justice, righteous guitar riffs, top-notch instrument work in general ... all of these things are vital contributing factors.

In this modern age of instant-access streaming of music, one element that is often underrated is music videos. These can sometimes be throwaway affairs that consist of the artist just miming the words in an exotic location, but they can sometimes be long, complex mini-movies in their own right. The longest music video ever made, according to Guinness World Records, is "Level of Concern" by Twenty One Pilots. This elaborate masterpiece is composed of clips fans had submitted to the band, and runs for an absurd total of 177 days, 16 hours, 10 minutes, and 25 seconds.

Michael Jackson is one artist who always brought his creative A game to music videos. This didn't come cheap, either. One particular video from Jackson's back catalog cost a whopping $7 million to make.

Michael Jackson's intriguing and theatrical music videos

For many fans, Michael Jackson's music videos are just as memorable as the songs themselves. He often has a story to tell, and he does it in cinematic fashion. "Earth Song," for instance, was an incredibly significant piece for the star. On, he is reported as saying of the song, "I was feeling so much pain and so much suffering of the plight of the Planet Earth ... this is my chance to pretty much let people hear the voice of the planet."

"Earth Song" is a heart-wrenching music video, though it ends on a positive note, suggesting that there is still hope for both our planet and the vast array of life that lives upon it. Another of his many iconic music videos is "Thriller," an unforgettable zombie romp. There's always something remarkable about a video created by the King of Pop.

In fact, he reportedly holds the record for the most expensive music video ever made. It was a collaboration with sister Janet Jackson, no less, for the beloved "Scream." Per Guinness World Records, the video cost $7 million to produce.

Madonna's music videos could be monstrously expensive too

Video producer Mark Romanek, who worked with the famous siblings on 1995's "Scream," told NPR about his experience. "I mainly recall times between takes just chatting with Michael about tons of eclectic subjects," he said. "... in those instances, he just seemed like a regular guy from Indiana."

Curiously, Romanek also took the opportunity to state that he doesn't believe the video was the most expensive ever made. "Guinness [World Records] got it wrong," he reportedly stated. According to the producer, two more music videos "of the era ... both produced at Propaganda Films ... cost millions more."

In 2014, Forbes also stated that "Scream" was the priciest video ever made. Adjusted for inflation at the time, that cost amounted to $10.7 million. In second place, per the outlet, was Madonna's 1989 hit "Express Yourself," which cost $5 million when it was made. Romanek did not seem to divulge which music videos he believes cost significantly more than "Scream," but one thing's for sure: Whether it is truly the most expensive music video or not, it was still $7 million worth of fascinating musical drama in 1995, and it remains so today (and that cost has climbed as time has gone by).