November Rain (8:58)

Cover of Use Your Illusion I

From Use Your Illusion I and 71 other releases

“November Rain” is a single by the band Guns N’ Roses, written by lead singer Axl Rose and released in June 1992. The music video for this song, also released in 1992, quickly became the most requested video on MTV, and won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Cinematography. It features a sweeping orchestral backing and is one of Guns N’ Roses’ longest songs.

“November Rain” appears on the album Use Your Illusion I. At 8 minutes and 57 seconds, it is a rock ballad in the tradition of Stairway to Heaven, Free Bird, and Bohemian Rhapsody. It is the second-longest song on that album, the longest being the 10-minute Coma. Its distinct symphonic overtone owes to a sweeping synthesized string arrangement, played by Axl Rose. 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 to reach the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. The song peaked at #3 on the chart, becoming the band’s sixth and last Top 10 hit and eighth and last top 40 hit to date. On the radio, “November Rain” is sometimes played in a shortened version of approximately six minutes, but many rock stations continue to play the full version. This song is listed at number 6 in “The 100 Greatest Guitar Solos” by Guitar World. “November Rain” was voted #1 on the Rock 1000 2006, an annual countdown of the top 1,000 rock songs by New Zealand radio listeners.

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