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)
Genre
Length8:57
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
Music video
"November Rain" on YouTube

"November Rain" is a power ballad by the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses. Written by the band's lead singer Axl Rose, the song was released as a single in 1992 from their third studio album, Use Your Illusion I (1991). It features a sweeping orchestral backing and is one of Guns N' Roses' longest songs.

"November Rain" peaked at number 3 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] Since its release, the song has sold over 1 million copies worldwide.

History[edit]

According to Tracii Guns, former L.A. Guns guitarist and founding member, Axl Rose had been working on the song since at least 1983. In an interview, he said the following about "November Rain":

When we were doing that EP for L.A. Guns, like '83? He was playing "November Rain" — and it was called "November Rain" — you know, on piano. The guitar solo is amazing. Way back then. It was the only thing he knew how to play, but it was his. He'd go, "Someday this song is gonna be really cool." And I'd go, "It's cool now." "But it's not done", you know, he used to say. And, like, anytime we'd be at a hotel or anywhere, there'd be a piano; he'd just kinda play that music. And I'd go, "When are you gonna finish that already", you know? And he'd go, "I don't know what to do with it."

In 1988, Waggle Records (Pty.) Ltd. released in Australia a two-LP set titled November Rain/In Concert and Beyond of an unidentified concert featuring a rough, acoustic version of the song.[2] This early version of the song features finger-picked acoustic guitar, Rose on lead vocals, and a chorus of vocals in the background, as in the Use Your Illusion I album version, but does not feature the extended guitar solos or the breakdown outro. As such, this live version clocks in at a running time of approximately 4:43.

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 he told to the 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 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 to second place 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]

The song is written in key of B major and B minor.

In July 2018, the music video became the first music video from the 20th century to receive one billion views on YouTube.[13]

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,[14] 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.[15] 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.

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.[16]

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 have made statements supporting this idea.[17][18] The similarity in production, style and plots can be considered evidence of this intent.

On July 2018, it became the first video made before YouTube's founding to surpass one 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. On the Chinese Democracy Tour, each of the guitar solos is played by a different guitarist. Robin Finck (2001) or Richard Fortus (2002–present) plays the first one, Finck (2001–2007) or DJ Ashba (2009–2015) plays the second one, and Buckethead (2001–2002) or Bumblefoot (2006–2014) plays the final solo. Since 2001, Rose sings the two last outro verses in a higher octave.

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.[19]

In Houston, on August 8, 2016, Rose's piano went badly out of tune. He noticed it during the first verse, but ultimately stopped at the beginning of the second verse. After laughing off the incident, he finished the song with a broken piano.

Track listings[edit]

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

Personnel[edit]

Guns N' Roses

Additional musicians

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

Chart performance[edit]

Although the song peaked only at number 9 in Germany, it remained on the chart for 51 weeks.

In Australia, "November Rain" stayed in the top 10 for 22 weeks, the longest of any non-chart-topper in history, and reached number 2 on the end-of-year charts despite only reaching number 5. It was featured on the end-of-year charts in two consecutive years (1992 and 1993, where it appeared at 36). 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 between April and November, ending 1992 as New Zealand's second best-selling single.

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[46] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Germany (BVMI)[47] Gold 250,000^
Italy (FIMI)[48] Platinum 50,000*
Netherlands (NVPI)[49] Gold 40,000
New Zealand (RMNZ)[50] Platinum 10,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[51] Gold 400,000^
United States (RIAA)[52] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ billboard longest n shortest
  2. ^ Guns 'n Roses- November Rain @Discogs.com Retrieved 10-26-2014.
  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. ^ 50 Greatest Guitar Solos Archived July 12, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Rock, The. "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. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "mvdbase.com - Guns 'n' Roses - "November rain"". mvdbase.com.
  15. ^ "SoYouWanna.com - Learn What You Wanna Do". Soyouwanna.com. Archived from the original on November 28, 2006.
  16. ^ Guns N' Roses – The Making of 'November Rain' (part 3) on YouTube
  17. ^ Guns N' Roses – The Making of 'November Rain' (part 4) on YouTube
  18. ^ Guns N' Roses – The Making of 'November Rain' (part 6) contd on YouTube
  19. ^ "Flashback: Guns N' Roses Play 'November Rain' With Elton John". Rolling Stone. 2 April 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  20. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Guns N' Roses – November Rain". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  21. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Guns N' Roses – November Rain" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  22. ^ "Ultratop.be – Guns N' Roses – November Rain" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  23. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 1987." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  24. ^ Pennanen, Timo. Sisältää hitin: levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972. Otava Publishing Company Ltd, 2003. ISBN 951-1-21053-X
  25. ^ "Lescharts.com – Guns N' Roses – November Rain" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  26. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Guns N' Roses – November Rain". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  27. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – November Rain". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  28. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Guns N' Roses" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  29. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Guns N' Roses – November Rain" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  30. ^ "Charts.nz – Guns N' Roses – November Rain". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  31. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Guns N' Roses – November Rain". VG-lista. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  32. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959-2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  33. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Guns N' Roses – November Rain". Singles Top 100. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  34. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Guns N' Roses – November Rain". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  35. ^ "Guns N' Roses: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  36. ^ "Guns N Roses Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  37. ^ "Guns N Roses Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  38. ^ "Guns N Roses Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  39. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 50 Singles 1992". ARIA Charts. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  40. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts - Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts - 1992". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  41. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1992". Dutch Top 40. Archived from the original on April 14, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  42. ^ "Jaaroverzichten - Single 1992". Single Top 100. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  43. ^ "End of Year Charts 1992 - Top Selling Singles of 1992". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  44. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1992". Longbored Surfer. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  45. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 50 Singles 1993". ARIA Charts. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  46. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  47. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Guns N' Roses; 'November Rain')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  48. ^ "Italian single certifications – Guns N' Roses – November Rain" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  49. ^ Dutch certifications nvpi.nl (Retrieved January 12, 2009) Archived December 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  50. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Guns N' Roses – November Rain". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  51. ^ "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.
  52. ^ "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]