November Rain

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"November Rain"
Novemberrain.jpg
Single by Guns N' Roses
from the album Use Your Illusion I
B-side"Sweet Child o' Mine" (LP version)
ReleasedFebruary 18, 1992
Format
Recorded1990–1991 at A&M Studios, Record Plant Studios, Studio 56, Image Recording, Conway Studios, Northstar Recordings (Portland, OR) (violins), Metalworks Recording Studios, Skip Saylor Recording (album mixing)
GenreHard rock
Length8:57 (album version)
4:43 (radio edit)
LabelGeffen
Songwriter(s)Axl Rose
Producer(s)
Guns N' Roses singles chronology
"Knockin' on Heaven's Door"
(1992)
"November Rain"
(1992)
"Yesterdays"
(1992)
Audio sample
"November Rain"
Music video
"November Rain" on YouTube

"November Rain" is a song by the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses. Written by the band's lead vocalist Axl Rose, it was released as a single in 1992 from their third studio album, Use Your Illusion I (1991).

"November Rain" peaked at number three on the United States Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it the longest song in history to enter the top ten of that chart. It is also the third longest song to enter the Hot 100 chart (second longest at the time of its release).[1] The song reached number one on the Polish LP3 Chart, number four on the UK Singles Chart, number five on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart and the top 10 on several other music charts around the world.

Since its release, the song has sold over a million copies worldwide and has been described as "one of the ultimate hard-rock power ballads".[2]

History[edit]

Slash states in his autobiography that an 18-minute version of "November Rain" was recorded at a session with guitarist Manny Charlton (of rock band Nazareth) in 1986, before the recording sessions for Appetite for Destruction began.[3]:151

According to a story Axl Rose told an audience during the 2006 leg of the Chinese Democracy Tour, none of the other band members had wanted to partake in the production of this song (or the other notable ballad "Estranged"). Slash and McKagan were particularly opposed to the drift to symphonic ballads, and felt their choice of more direct rock songs were being overlooked by Rose. However, Rose talked them into it over discussions at Can-Am Studios (where some of the album was recorded and mixed). Claims of such harsh musical differences were specifically disputed by Slash in his autobiography.[3]:454

Slash has said that the solo he played in the album version of the song (it is unclear which) was the same solo he improvised upon hearing it for the first time.[3]:316[4]

Song information[edit]

At 8:57 minutes long, it is the second-longest song on the album, the longest being the 10:14 "Coma". It is the third-longest song by Guns N' Roses, behind the 9:24 "Estranged" from Use Your Illusion II. "We call it 'the Layla song'," joked Slash.[5]

Its distinct symphonic overtone owes to a sweeping string arrangement, orchestrated by Rose.[3]:318[6] Most live performances during the Use Your Illusion tour lacked the orchestral backing of the song (the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards being the best-known exception).

It is the longest song ever to reach the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.[7][8]

"November Rain" was voted number one on the Rock 1000 2006, an annual countdown of the top 1,000 rock songs by New Zealand radio listeners. It was voted number two on the 2007 version, beaten by "Back in Black" by AC/DC.[9] The song topped the "album tracks" section of a 1993 readers' poll in GN'R fanzine Controversy, beating "Coma". The top ten was completed by "Estranged", "Civil War", "Paradise City", "Sweet Child o' Mine", "Don't Cry", "Welcome to the Jungle", "Patience" and "Mr. Brownstone".[10]

The song was placed at number 140 on Pitchfork's "Top 200 Tracks of the 90s".[11] In Chile, the song was placed at number 73 on Chilean radio Rock & Pop.[12]

Chart performance[edit]

Although "November Rain" peaked at number nine in Germany, it remained on the chart for 51 weeks.[13]

In Australia, "November Rain" stayed in the top 10 for 24 weeks, the longest of any non-chart-topper in history,[citation needed] and reached number two on the end-of-year chart despite only reaching number 5.[14] It was featured on the year-end charts in two consecutive years (1992 and 1993, where it appeared at 36).[15][16] A similar situation took place in New Zealand, where the song peaked at number 7 but stayed in the top 20 for 24 non-consecutive weeks, ending 1992 as New Zealand's second best-selling single.[17][18]

Music video[edit]

Composite image of the wedding dress from the "November Rain" music video worn by Stephanie Seymour.

The music video, directed by Andy Morahan,[19] portrays Rose marrying his then-girlfriend Stephanie Seymour, intercut with a live performance in a theater. Particularly, it can be noted for its large budget (about $1 million, including Seymour's dress) and cinematography by Mike Southon, which won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Cinematography. It is one of the most expensive music videos ever.[20] Slash is prominently featured, including a sequence of helicopter shots swooping around him as he plays the first guitar solo and a later scene where he plays the third solo while standing on Rose's piano onstage. Casting coordinator Mark Roberton observed; "the camera-man had a lot of responsibility, as the crane-cam was so close to Slash, precariously stood atop a piano that was near the stage edge. One wrong twitch and the guitarist would've had a long drop!" The video for "November Rain" uses the full version of the song as opposed to an abridged version. The Orpheum Theater, a theater in downtown Los Angeles, was acquired for an evening shoot that went several hours into the night.

The main plot of the video involves Axl marrying his love interest (Seymour) in a church surrounded by bandmates and friends, with foreshadowing of Seymour's depression (notably when she enters the car after the wedding). The subsequent wedding reception is interrupted by rain. The Seymour character dies. Her casket shows a mirror in lieu of the opposite side of the head, which commonly used for head injury, thus implying a suicide by gunshot. Axl is shown heartbroken. The band and friends attend her funeral, which is once again interrupted by a titular November rain.

For the outside shots of Slash while he is playing the first solo, Rose had originally envisioned it taking place in a "cool field" of sorts. However, since the video was shot in winter, there were no good-looking fields around, and eventually the band decided to use a church in New Mexico. Coincidentally, this was the same church used in the movie Silverado.[21]

Brad Hartmaier was the production designer for the New Mexico sequences at the Silverado Movie Ranch. Working from sketches he made while sitting in the hotel bar, Hartmaier managed to build and dress two church sets with the help of local crews. The exterior church set consisted of a dilapidated old building that was trucked out to the middle of a large prairie and turned into the prominent church in the video. Multiple crews worked for 24 hours straight building the main church and a duplicate interior church set complete with fly away walls, hand-made cathedral windows and decorations befitting the southwestern region where it was shot. Hartmaier was in the church with a walkie-talkie with Slash as a helicopter circled above for the big shot. Slash asked him what he did and he replied, "I'm the production designer, slash art director slash prop man, slash painter, slash mad scientist." Slash quickly replied with a chuckle...'Ha ha, I'm just Slash.'" Hartmaier later said of working on the video, "It was the best experience of my life."

Nigel Phelps was the original production designer; Hartmaier was the art director for the Los Angeles video segments, then later became the production designer for the New Mexico segments after Phelps moved onto a feature film during the later part of the making of the video.

The priest in the video, an Italian man named Gianantonio, was a friend of Rose. Unbeknownst to the band, the church used for the interior shots was where the priest had performed some of his last services, eight years prior to the shooting of the video.

The music videos for "November Rain", "Don't Cry" and "Estranged" form an unofficial trilogy of sorts. While never specifically confirmed by the band, Rose and Del James (whose short story "Without You" served as inspiration for the video, for which he was credited at the end) have made statements supporting this idea.[22][23] The similarity in production, style and plots can be considered evidence of this intent.

In July 2018, it became the first video made before YouTube's founding to surpass one billion views,[24] as well as the first music video from the 1990s to hit over a billion YouTube streams.[25] As of August 2020 the video has received over 1.4 billion views.

Live performances[edit]

Axl Rose performing "November Rain" at Nottingham Arena, Nottingham, UK, in May 2012.

Before release of Use Your Illusion I, the song was first played live at Deer Creek Music Center on May 29, 1991. "November Rain" has been a staple at Guns N' Roses concerts ever since it was released in 1991. The song is usually preceded by Rose, sometimes playing "It's Alright" by Black Sabbath or "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" by Elton John on piano. The main part of the song was played acoustically during the 1993 legs of Use Your Illusion Tour, with a normal, though punchier outro. During the Chinese Democracy Tour, each of the guitar solos were played by a different guitarist. Robin Finck (2001-2002) or Richard Fortus (2002–2014) plays the first one, Finck (2001–2007) or DJ Ashba (2009–2014) plays the second one, and Buckethead (2001–2002) or Bumblefoot (2006–2014) plays the final solo. Since 2001, Rose oversings the two last outro verses.

The band performed a nearly nine-minute live version of the song with British musician Elton John on piano at the end of the 1992 VMAs ceremony.[26]

Track listings[edit]

CD maxi
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."November Rain"Axl Rose8:57
2."Sweet Child o' Mine"Rose, Izzy Stradlin, Slash, Duff McKagan, Steven Adler5:55
3."Patience"Stradlin5:53
Cassingle
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."November Rain"Rose8:57
2."Sweet Child o' Mine"Rose, Stradlin, Slash, McKagan, Adler5:55
7" maxi
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."November Rain"Rose8:57
2."Sweet Child o' Mine"Rose, Stradlin, Slash, McKagan, Adler5:55
12" maxi
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."November Rain"Rose8:57
2."Sweet Child o' Mine"Rose, Stradlin, Slash, McKagan, Adler5:55
3."Patience"Stradlin5:53

Personnel[edit]

Guns N' Roses


Additional musicians

  • Stuart Bailey – backing vocals, choir
  • Shannon Hoon – backing vocals, choir
  • Johann Langlie – synthesizer programming
  • Reba Shaw – backing vocals, choir

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[53] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[54] Gold 45,000double-dagger
Germany (BVMI)[55] Gold 250,000^
Italy (FIMI)[56] Platinum 50,000double-dagger
Netherlands (NVPI)[57] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[58] Platinum 10,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[59] Gold 400,000^
United States (RIAA)[60] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Longest & Shortest Hot 100 Hits: From Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce & David Bowie to Piko-Taro". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  2. ^ Thompson, Stephen (June 28, 2018). "Hear A Never-Before-Heard, Piano-Only Demo Of Guns N' Roses' 'November Rain'". NPR. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. New York: Harper Entertainment.
  4. ^ Select, November 1996
  5. ^ Rowland, Mark (February 1991). "LA Law and Disorder". Select, reprinted from Musician. p. 46.
  6. ^ Guns N' Roses – The Making of 'November Rain' (part 6) on YouTube
  7. ^ 2000 Guinness World Records ISBN 0-553-58268-2
  8. ^ Feature, Guitar World Staff 2009-01-29T16:56:08Z. "50 Greatest Guitar Solos". guitarworld. Archived from the original on July 12, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  9. ^ "The Rock - New Zealand's rock radio station".
  10. ^ Controversy #6, p8, 1993
  11. ^ "The Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s: 150-101 - Page 2 - Pitchfork".
  12. ^ "Guns N Roses - November Rain — Rock&Pop". December 24, 2012.
  13. ^ a b "Offiziellecharts.de – Guns N' Roses – November Rain". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  14. ^ a b "Australian-charts.com – Guns N' Roses – November Rain". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  15. ^ a b "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 50 Singles 1992". ARIA Charts. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  16. ^ a b "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 50 Singles 1993". ARIA Charts. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  17. ^ a b "Charts.nz – Guns N' Roses – November Rain". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  18. ^ a b "End of Year Charts 1992". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  19. ^ "mvdbase.com - Guns 'n' Roses - "November rain"". mvdbase.com.
  20. ^ "SoYouWanna.com - Learn What You Wanna Do". Soyouwanna.com. Archived from the original on November 28, 2006.
  21. ^ Guns N' Roses – The Making of 'November Rain' (part 3) on YouTube
  22. ^ Guns N' Roses – The Making of 'November Rain' (part 4) on YouTube
  23. ^ Guns N' Roses – The Making of 'November Rain' (part 6) contd on YouTube
  24. ^ Thompson, Stephen (July 18, 2018). "'November Rain' Is The Oldest Song With A Billion YouTube Views – What's That Mean?". NPR.org. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  25. ^ Milman, Lilly (July 16, 2018). "Guns N' Roses Break YouTube Record With 'November Rain' Video: Report". Billboard. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  26. ^ "Flashback: Guns N' Roses Play 'November Rain' With Elton John". Rolling Stone. April 2, 2013. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  27. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Guns N' Roses – November Rain" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  28. ^ "Ultratop.be – Guns N' Roses – November Rain" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  29. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 1987." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  30. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 9 no. 12. March 21, 1992. p. 27. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  31. ^ Pennanen, Timo. Sisältää hitin: levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972. Otava Publishing Company Ltd, 2003. ISBN 951-1-21053-X
  32. ^ "Lescharts.com – Guns N' Roses – November Rain" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  33. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – November Rain". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  34. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 40, 1992" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  35. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Guns N' Roses – November Rain" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  36. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Guns N' Roses – November Rain". VG-lista. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  37. ^ "Notowanie nr542" (in Polish). LP3. July 10, 1992. Archived from the original on September 18, 2018. Retrieved February 22, 2019. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  38. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 9 no. 40. October 3, 1992. p. 26. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  39. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959-2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  40. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Guns N' Roses – November Rain". Singles Top 100. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  41. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Guns N' Roses – November Rain". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  42. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  43. ^ "Guns N Roses Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  44. ^ "Guns N Roses Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  45. ^ "Guns N Roses Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  46. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  47. ^ "The RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1992" (PDF). RPM. Vol. 56 no. 25. December 19, 1992. p. 8. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  48. ^ "1992 Year-End Sales Charts" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 9 no. 51/52. December 19, 1992. p. 17. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  49. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts – Top 100 Single–Jahrescharts 1992". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  50. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1992". Dutch Top 40. Archived from the original on April 14, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  51. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1992". Single Top 100. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  52. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1992". Longbored Surfer. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  53. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  54. ^ "Danish single certifications – Guns N' Roses – November Rain". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved March 28, 2019. Scroll through the page-list below until year 2019 to obtain certification.
  55. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Guns N' Roses; 'November Rain')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  56. ^ "Italian single certifications – Guns N' Roses – November Rain" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved April 26, 2017. Select "2017" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "November Rain" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
  57. ^ "Dutch single certifications – Guns 'n' Roses – November Rain" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved February 22, 2019. Enter November Rain in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  58. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Guns N' Roses – November Rain". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  59. ^ "British single certifications – Guns N' Roses – November Rain". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 9, 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type November Rain in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  60. ^ "American single certifications – Guns N' Roses – November Rain". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved December 31, 2015. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]