Guns N’ Roses
Writer(s): Axl Rose (see lyrics here)
Released: February 18, 1992
First Charted: September 28, 1991
Peak: 3 US, 13 CB, 2 RR, AR 15, 4 UK, 5 CN, 5 AU, 3 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.6 UK, 2.15 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 1500.0 video, 565.33 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
“November Rain” hit the album rock chart in September as soon as Guns N’ Roses released their highly anticipated Use Your Illusion albums. However, it wasn’t released as an official single until February 1992 and it wasn’t until June that it finally hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart, eventually peaking at #3. With a running time of nearly nine minutes, it is the longest song to reach the top 10. WK The original version was 25-minutes long. SF Guitarist Slash said they band jokingly called it “the ‘Layla’ song.” WK
Lead singer Axl Rose started working on the song in 1983 SF and it was first recorded in 1986 prior to the band’s monstrous Appetite for Destruction album. That version has since been released on an expanded, box set-version of that album. Lead singer Axl Rose wanted to tackle the song again, giving it “a sweeping string arrangement,” WK but the rest of the band were reluctant, wanting to focus on more direct rock songs. WK
The video was one of the most expensive ever made, costing more than a million and a half. SF It was the first made prior to the founding of YouTube in 2005 to pass the one-billion-views mark. WK Rose is portrayed as marrying then-girifriend Stephanie Seymour and later grieving at her funeral. The video, as well as the song’s original lyrics, are based on the short story “Without You” by Del James. SF
NPR’s Stephen Thompson called the song “one of the ultimate hard-rock power ballads.” NPR New Zealand listeners of radio station The Rock ranked it #1 of all time in 2006. WK
First posted 2/1/2021; last updated 8/6/2022.