My girlfriend buys advertising for music products, and the truth is that music videos just don't sell very well. Of course some individual titles do well, and different music genres tend to differ in how much the video product will sell, but overall it's not a big market.
Of course it may be that it's the product quality that is poor (plain old boring visuals for whatever reason) and therefore demand is suppressed because people have learnt they wont get what they hoped for. However I have an unusually large collection of music video and my feeling is that it's not that simple - it's a mix of the material, plus the technology, plus the pricing, plus the (historical) poor availability.
Even titles that are the peak creative moment of a band tend not to sell as well as their most popular album. One reason I can see is that the genre only began in the VHS tape era and hasn't made a big splash with DVD yet (my impression is that most music DVDs are not using the format more than just a VHS alternative - yet). From this I can hazard a guess that other people share my view that the tapes wear out, the sound quality is not as good etc. Add to this the fact that sometimes the tapes are a collection of unrelated clips linked together by pure cheese, and you have a rather pathetic product (assuming of course you have all the music anyway).
Made-for-DVD music titles have the potential to do better I think, but only if they are priced realistically.
Anyway, some of us grimly keep buying the things on whatever format and put up with the prices, the cheese, the quality etc in search of the magic.
Here are some tapes I liked (titles from memory) :
On the other hand, these suck even though I like pretty much all the music:
- Nirvana live tonight sold out - see Kurt fight!
- Megadeth - Rusted Pieces get this and skip ALL the albums
- Alice in Chains - Live Facelift
- Yes - Greatest Video Hits
- Sepultura Under Siege - Live at Barcelona - amaze your friends who think Metallica have "heavy" all sewn up.
- Gary Moore - Emerald Aisles
- Metallica Live Shit box set - the older concert tape with "Master of Puppets" live. If you're a 'talica fan you'll understand.
- 20 Years of Jethro Tull
- Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii
- The Shamen - Boss vid - super cheesy with a few good bits
- Pat Metheny Group - More Travels - ODD camerawork
- Michael Schenker Group - dire overdubs on all solos
- Soundgarden - Badmotorfinger live - they were bored, so was I
You can say what you like about my musical taste, I don't mind :), but remember this discussion about the video product, not individual artists.
Chris Morgan <see em at mihalis dot net>