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SoulMonster

November Rain

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November Rain

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 07, 2010 4:22 am


NOVEMBER RAIN


Album:
Use Your Illusion I, 1991, track no. 10. Released as a single in June 1992. The single peaked at number 3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it the longest song in history to enter the top ten of that chart.

Written by:
Axl Rose.

Musicians:
Drums: Matt
Bass: Duff
Lead and Rhythm Guitars: Slash
Rhythm Guitar: Izzy
Vocals, Piano, Keyboard Orchestra: Axl
Synthesizer Programmers: Axl, Johann
Background Vocals, Choir: Axl, Matt, Shannon, Stuart Bailey, Izzy, Duff, Dizzy, Reba Shaw

Live performances:
This song was premièred live at Deer Creek Music Center, USA, May 29, 1991 and has been a staple at live shows since then. In total it has, as of {UPDATEDATE}, at least been played {NOVEMBERSONGS} times.
From wikipedia:
The song is composed in the key of C major aside from the coda, which is in C minor, but since the guitars, basses and piano are tuned a half step down, the song sounds as if it's in B major and B minor. At 8:57, it is the second-longest song on the album, the longest being the 10:16 "Coma." It is the third-longest song by Guns N' Roses followed by the 9:24 "Estranged" from Use Your Illusion II. Its distinct symphonic overtone owes to a sweeping string arrangement, orchestrated by Rose. At around seven minutes in, the song fades and then builds into a two-minute coda featuring lead guitar by lead guitarist Slash, accompanied by vocal chants. This song is listed at number six in the The 100 Greatest Guitar Solos list by Guitar World. This song is also rated #9 in the Richter Scale best songs of all time. "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. It was voted #2 on the Rock 1000 2007, being beaten out by "Back in Black" by AC/DC. The song was placed at #140 on Pitchfork Media's Top 200 Tracks of the 90s.

Lyrics:
When I look into your eyes
I can see a love restrained
But darlin' when I hold you
Don't you know I feel the same
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change
And it's hard to hold a candle
In the cold November rain

We've been through this such a long long time
Just tryin' to kill the pain
But lovers always come and lovers always go
And no one's really sure who's lettin' go today
Walking away
If we could take the time to lay it on the line
I could rest my head
Just knowin' that you were mine
All mine
So if you want to love me
then darlin' don't refrain
Or I'll just end up walkin'
In the cold November rain

Do you need some time...on your own
Do you need some time...all alone
Everybody needs some time...on their own
Don't you know you need some time...all alone

I know it's hard to keep an open heart
When even friends seem out to harm you
But if you could heal a broken heart
Wouldn't time be out to charm you

Sometimes I need some time...on my own
Sometimes I need some time...all alone
Everybody needs some time...on their own
Don't you know you need some time...all alone

And when your fears subside
And shadows still remain
I know that you can love me
When there's no one left to blame
So never mind the darkness
We still can find a way
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
Even cold November rain

Don't ya think that you need somebody
Don't ya think that you need someone
Everybody needs somebody
You're not the only one
You're not the only one


Band members talking about the song:
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" [Source unknown, pasted from Wikipedia]
Prior to releasing Appetite for Destruction: (...) Tom [Zutaut] did manage to get us into the studio with Manny Charlton, the guitarist for Nazareth, at Sound City Studios on Whitsett and Moorpark out in the Valley. We worked on demos of 'November Rain', which was about eighteen minutes long in its original version, so needless to say we really needed to sit down  and focus on arranging it [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York. p. 151]
If it is not recorded right, I'll quit the business [Rolling Stone, November 1988]
Being asked if there really gonna be a 15-minute song on the next album filled with synthesizers and strings: [Laughing] Could be. There's talk. We constantly disagree and keep changing from one day to the next [By Mike Greenblatt, 1991]
Axl came up with the skeleton form of it when the band was just formed, he came up with the piano version of it. But there was never any band version of it. [...] It's not an easy song to play as a rock and roll band. It's like heavy guitar, bass, drums, and you know all this loud shit and it's a gentle song. [...] It was difficult but I think we did a good job of bringing a certain subtleness to the song from the usual brashness of what Guns N' Roses is. [...] I play with a lot more...finesse [Making fucking videos, 1991?]
When we went in to do [Appetite for Destruction] it was coming down to between [November Rain] and Sweet Child. And I knew November Rain wasn't done. I didn't want anybody to help me write it. And at the same time I knew that it was going to take a lot of work to do what I wanted to do and I really didn't feel capable, and that people around me where understanding what I wanted to do, so we decided to save it. [...] I knew the only reason I couldn't get it recorded right was if I couldn't gather enough belief in the people around me to take the time and put the effort in to get it right on tape. [...] Tommy Lee was a major influence on the song. The first time I saw 'Home Sweet Home' and watched the part he did on the piano it made me realize that I could take what I did know about piano and focus it into something simple but very serious. Because I think the part that he does on 'Home Sweet Home' is beautiful, it's very simple, but it's the right part. And that's the approach I took to 'November Rain', that's what got me started when I saw that video on MTV and started on 'November Rain'. What is really wild about it is being just overwhelmed by the sounds, and working with all these new sounds. I mean, I am a rock band breed, just working with, for the most part Guns N' Roses works with guitars, drums, vocals, bass, but working with strings, [?] horns and certain bells, it's almost like it is magical [Making fucking videos, 1991?]
It was such a long song. It was pretty hard to put together for Guns N' Roses, because it was all [...] Axl playing piano. That was totally new and different to Slash and Duff [...] Needs a lot more drums, needs a lot more tom-toms. I set up more tom-toms. 'Cause Axl said to, 'Try to make this sound like Nigel Olson type drumming'. [...] "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me", that type of thing, big fills, big huge tom fills. One of Nigel's trademark back on these albums was the way he played the same fill a bunch of time. If you listen to 'November Rain' it is the same tom fill about 25 times. Pretty much a signature fill. [...] And that is the only time Axl said 'play it sort of like this'  [Making fucking videos, 1991?]
'November Rain' has been around since before Appetite. It's been worked on here and there. It used to be twenty minutes long. I came up with most of the picking lines that go throughout the song when Axl was playing on piano and I played it on acoustic. Usually you get an idea in a day, whether or not the song's worth doing. If you decide the song is worth doing, then you work hard on it during the course of a night, to get it to where's everybody's comfortable. It evolves after that. When we'd finally gotten an arrangement for 'November Rain', years later I came up with a couple of new parts. When we went in the studio, I came up with most of those solos. The tail-end solo, that high-pitched thing, I came up with when Axl came up with the piano chords a long time ago [No Illusion, Guitar Magazine, April 1992]
Vocally, l purposely wanted the sound I have on that. I'm very happy with it, even though it's very abrasive. (...) One of the things like about the vocal roughness in 'November Rain' is that anyone can think that they can sing it as good or better. They can feel like a part of it [James (1992) I, Axl, RIP - Sep/Oct/Nov, 1992]
It’s a song that when it first surfaced it was Axl playing the piano. It was way before Appetite For Destruction came out, and we’ve been ditting around with it for years. It used to be like 25 minutes long. Everything’s that’s on the record, most of it, all the melodies and all that, just came off the top of my head. When we finally decided to record it, it pretty much came naturally. There’s some new stuff in it [Guns N' Roses: The Hits - 1992]
The songs that are more subtle are the ones where I really have to buckle down and make sure I've got it, especially if the guitar part's the main voice of the song. On songs like "Estranged" and "November Rain," I have to stop for a second and slow myself down, make sure that I hit the notes correctly so that they don't go out of tune, or the vibrato's not too hectic. [Guitar For The Practising Musician, November 1992]
recounting an episode from rehearsing for Use Your Illusion: Seven weeks and five days later, Axl finally arrived. We had two days left in the studio and were anxious to show him all of the new material. He sat there like we were putting him through some kind of torture. Plain and simple, Axl wasn't interested in our material! He just wanted to record a new song he had been working on called 'November Rain.' He sat at the grand piano in the studio and played it for us. I thought to myself, "That's nice, but that's it?" He had only like two verses written. Duff, Slash, and I had thirty-three songs in the can, ready to go, but Axl wouldn't give them the time of day ["My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, p182]
'November Rain' has been around since before Appetite. It's been worked on here and there. It used to be twenty minutes long. I came up with most of the picking lines that go throughout the song when Axl was playing on a piano and I played it on acoustic. Usually you get an idea in a day, whether or not the song's worth doing. If you decide the song is worth doing, then you work hard on it during the course of a night, to get it to where everybody's comfortable. It evolves after that. When we'd finally gotten an arrangement for 'November Rain,' years later I came up with a couple of new parts. When we went in the studio, I came up with most of those solos. The tail-end solo, that high-pitched thing, I came up with when Axl came up with the piano chords a long time ago [Guitar For The Practising Musician - April, 1992]
'November Rain' is about not wanting to be in a state of unrequited love, 'Estranged' is about acknowledging it, and being there, and having to figure out what the fuck to do [Making fucking videos, 1992?].
'November Rain' had been ready to go on Appetite for Destruction, but since we already had 'Sweet Child O' Mine,' the majority of us agreed that we didn't need another ballad. Besides, the original demo of that song was eighteen minutes long give or take, and none of us cared to conquer it in the studio at that point. It had been a song that Axl tinkered with for years, whenever there was a piano present; it had been around forever and it was finally getting its due. Axl had been annoyed when Tom Zutaut suggested that we hold it until the next album, because that song meant a lot to him. He let it go, though he resented that decision for years [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York. p. 298]
You know, the first time I heard November Rain, I thought: "What is this shit? What does Axl is doing behind the piano? I want rock!" But I was new in GNR and I thought "Matt, you leave The Cult and now you're in the greatest hard rock band of the world…" He sat at the piano and I was thinking "This is shit". Then the song came out, and it's the biggest thing we've ever done! [Interview in French magazine, 1996]
There were a few songs that were very involved guitar-wise on those albums. 'Estranged' was a big, long song. I used a Les Paul Gold Top on it; I recorded all of the melodies on the rhythm pickup with the tone turned all the way down. 'November Rain' was tough, too, as was another Axl song called 'Breakdown.' Those were all piano driven and they needed accompaniment; the guitar and bass parts had to be thought out and done precisely. Those songs were all pretty fucking cool, I have to say, but they took some work. (...) 'November Rain was recorded in one day but we put in long hours ahead of time to get all of the arrangements just right. The funniest thing is that the guitar solo that ended up on the record is the exact same one that I played the first time I heard the song years before [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York, pp 316]
[Axl] did the same [adding synthesisers] for 'November Rain' with all of those fucking string arrangements - they were all synth. I've heard songs with real strings that sound less authentic [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York, pp 318]
The thing with 'November Rain' was that, back then, it was, like, this 20-minute epic that just went on forever. We were never able to edit it down until we did it for the Use Your Illusion albums. [...] Tom Zutaut [Guns N' Roses A&R representative at Geffen at the time] was the one who said, "Let's save that for another record." And I think Axl was a little miffed about that [20 Years of Appetite, Classic Rock Magazine, July 2007]
Talking to the crowd during the break before the outtro of November Rain: It's a long song. Those lighters get pretty fucking hot, don't they? [laughing] [On stage at Roskilde, Denmark, 29 June, 2006]
The track I get the most amount of grief for, from drummers, is November Rain. The reason I did that tom fill so many times is I felt it was a musical part. A lot of drummers were like, 'Why'd you play the same fill so much?!'" Me and Axl were sitting in the studio late one night, having a couple of drinks and listening to Elton John, a song called Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me." Axl goes, 'Do you hear that?' I'm like, 'Yeah, I love Nigel Olson, man'. He says, 'Do that on the song we're going to record tomorrow!' We'd rehearsed it but I didn't have all the fills and stuff, it was just a groove. In the end of November Rain I get into that whole marching band trip [6 Career Defining Record of Matt Sorum, Rhythm Magazine, July 2009]
At one point I ate a whole bowl of spaghetti while playing November Rain [AFD Q&A, August 2010]
I think you give [“November Rain”] to Axl. That was his thing. He worked on it for so long, but that’s Axl. It’s a three-chord song, you know? But it took seven years or something, and at some point, you’re kind of like, “All right, dude, it’s a beautiful three chords.” The guy’s one of the best vocal melody writers ever, I think. By the time we finally recorded that song, it was like, “Okay, good, we finally got that up and out of the way.” You could tell it was gonna be a big song when we recorded it [The Onion A.V. Club, May 2011]
Commenting on him, Slash and Matt being apparently at a loss to articulate their feelings about the song in the documentary "The Making Of November Rain": I’ve never seen that video. I think I was at a loss to articulate anything when that video was made, ’92 or ’93. Those were the dark years [The Onion A.V. Club, May 2011]
Right from its inception, when Axl and I first played November Rain, the same guitar melodies that are in the recorded version came through. There was definitely a spark between the two of us. It was hard to arrange that song and Estranged, because they were so open-ended and we had to cut November Rain. But those were Axl's epic piano pieces and they were both breakthrough guitar solos for me. Real melody solos, y'know? I had some good sounds and they were melodically very spontaneous [Music Radar, September 2011]
At El Compadre , in the parking lot where Axl played me November Rain for the first time. 20 yrs ago. Slash and Duff were inside drinkin Tequila shots And I sat in his car to hear the mix [Twitter, February 2012]
that fill was Axls idea As a musical phrase that carried on through the trilogy , Don't Cry and Estranged. Those albums UYI 1 n 2 Have sold 20 million combined. [...] remember kids drumming isn't all about fancy drum fills and splash cymbals ask Charlie Watts, Ringo and Phil Rudd [Twitter, August 2012]
I’ve never really tried to figure [the music video] all out to be honest. I know that it was quite the production. I guess it was kind of my first taste of the Hollywood sort of thing, and how things are made in Hollywood. I know that there was a scene where we are all at a wedding and, you know, in that scene it rains and people scatter because of the rain and what not. It had to be postponed because it was actually raining. Everything has to be controlled and you can’t really control the weather. I always thought that it was ironic and funny, but that’s how they do it here. [Lubbock Online, May 2013]
Talking about the best solo in the setlist: End of November Rain Smile [REDDIT AMA, December 2013]
Talking about the meaning of music video: You know what?! To tell you the truth, I have no idea. Well, it was a concept. The song itself is pretty self-explanatory, but the video is so complex. And I remember when Axl was writing it, it just became … It was so epic, it was like a movie. And I, not being a huge videos and making videos especially, I just showed up for my scenes. I [would] write my own scene and do in my section. I never paid attention to the rest of the whole production. So at the end of the day, I never really knew … I knew there was a wedding in there somewhere and I was not into the concept of the wedding [HuffPost Live, September 2014]

Selected videos:
'November Rain' performed at unknown show:



Last edited by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:45 am; edited 45 times in total
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Re: November Rain

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:37 pm

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Re: November Rain

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:47 am

November Rain is currently the 9th most viral track on Spotify in the UK:

UNITED KINGDOM

1. Bon Iver, "Beth/Rest (Rare Book Room)," (4AD)

2. Masters in France, "Playin' With My Friends" (A&H Records)

3. Jakwob, "Blinding" (Boom Ting Recordings)

4. R. Kelly, "I Look To You" (Arista Records/RCA Records)

5. Christina Perri, "A Thousand Years (feat. Steve Kazee, Part 2)" (Chop Shop/Atlantic)

6. Ben Pearce, "What I Might Do (Club Mix)" (MTA Records/Mercury Records)

7. Matt Corby, "Brother" (Atlantic Records UK)

8. C2C, "Down The Road" (On And On Records)

9. Guns N' Roses, "November Rain" (Geffen Records)

10. Avenged Sevenfold, "Carry On" (Warner Bros.)

http://omg.yahoo.com/news/spotifys-top-10-most-viral-tracks-184511978.html
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