25 years ago today Guns N’ Roses made history when “November Rain” entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest song (8 minutes, 57 seconds) to crack the US Top 20. A 9 minute song is pretty epic in its own right but GnR weren’t happy with just having an epic single. Axl wanted an epic music video to accompany the song and that’s exactly what he got… one of the most epic (and expensive) music videos ever made!


Directed by Andy Morahan (who also directed the videos for “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham, “West End Girls” by Pet Shop Boys and the rare live version of “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” by Bryan Adams among others), the video is one of the most popular music videos ever and cost an estimated $1.5 million to produce in 1992, making it the most expensive music video at the time. As of July 2017, the official video is the most viewed video on YouTube not made in the 21st century, with over 822 million views. Wow.


Did we mention that it cost over 1 million dollars to make? This video was epic in every way, with 18+ hour shoots, thousands of extras, supermodel actresses, intense aerial photography and iconic locations. It is pretty much a musical short movie.


They needed four rain machines and 200 extras for the funeral scene. They hired over 1500 extras during the live concert scenes and actually played for the extras (as opposed to miming to a pre-recorded track) to keep the crowd entertained. And Slash’s iconic guitar solo was shot in New Mexico and it is the same chapel that was featured in the 1985 movie Silverado.


It really is one of our favourite music videos of all-time and it’s popularity on YouTube is a testament to its continued relevance. But if you’re looking for the deeper meaning of “November Rain”, we’re stumped. According to Axl, it is based on a short story by Del James. But we like Slash’s response when he was asked what the song was about:

“To tell you the truth, I have no idea [what ‘November Rain’ is about].”

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Filed under: 1992, guns-n-roses, music-videos, november-rain