Things that are different about the new version of Guns N’ Roses ‘November Rain’

“November Rain” isn’t exactly the most festive song, but Guns ‘n’ Roses has shared a new version of the track to celebrate the beginning of the month. Included in the 30th anniversary edition of Use your illusion I, the updated rendition has a full orchestra, so there are some things about it that sound a little different.

Many people like to blame epic ballads like “November Rain” and “Estranged” for being one of the main catalysts that drove a wedge between the members of Guns N’ Roses in the early ’90s, but the beginning of ​​”November “Rain” goes all the way back to the mid-80s. Axel Rose wrote the skeleton of the track before the band even formed, and there are piano and acoustic demo versions you can hear when it was in its infancy. It was only a matter of time before Rose would release it, and he definitely knew it didn’t belong Appetite for destruction.

Guns N’ Roses, “November Rain” 1986 Piano Demo Version

When Guns started working on Illusion album, they were already one of the biggest bands on the planet, so Rose was extremely careful during the recording process. What many also don’t realize is that he composed “November Rain” entirely on his own, creating the orchestral sounds and string arrangements on a synthesizer. The video shows scenes of them playing it with an orchestra, and they’ve performed it live with one before, but the 1991 studio version was all Rose in the studio.

Slash added his own touch with his solos, but the singer even suggested that Matt Sorum to play drum fills equivalent to Elton John“Don’t let the sun go down on me.”

The updated version of the track features the same performance by the band, but the orchestration has been re-recorded with a 50-piece orchestra, conducted and arranged in 2021 by Grammy Award-winning composer Christopher Lennertz, replacing the original synthesized orchestration. by Rose. It was mixed by Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree.

So what actually sounds different about it?

Guns N’ Roses’ ‘November Rain’ flute

YouTube – Guns N’ Roses

The intro

Well, this one is kind of obvious since the entire intro is orchestration. But the very first piano note even sounds different from the original because the mix is ​​so much clearer. That said, the intro still stays incredibly true to the original, but the string section is a bit more pronounced, and around the 1:01 mark you’ll hear an ascending string melody that matches that of the piano, which didn’t exist in the original version. The flute melody is also slightly more muted.

Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose ‘November Rain’

YouTube – Guns N’ Roses

Rose’s vocals

No, they weren’t re-recorded, so they aren’t actually various. But the mix makes them stand out a little more, so the spotlight really shines on them. That rasp is the chef’s kiss.

Guns N’ Roses’ ‘November Rain’ orchestra scene

YouTube – Guns N’ Roses

The strings below the last verse

During the final verse, where Rose sings, “And when your fears fade / And shadows still remain / I know you can love me / When there’s no one left to blame,” there is another string melody that did not appear in the original.

Guns N’ Roses’ ‘November Rain’

YouTube – Guns N’ Roses

The outro

Perhaps the best part of the whole song, the outro of the new interpretation is where things get really spicy. The build-up to Slash’s explosive guitar melody is somehow even more dramatic than on the original – mainly because the string section sounds like it’s getting ready for war. Due to the mix, more of Rose’s vocal harmonies can be heard, as some of the upper register vocals must have been drowned out in the older version. We have confirmed that no new vocals have been added.

So there you have it. Guns N’ Roses managed to re-release “November Rain” while still keeping secret how Stephanie Seymour’s character dies in the video. We may never know. Check out the new version of the song below to see if you notice any other differences. The 30th anniversary editions of Use your illusion I and II released Nov. 11 — pre-order your copy here.

Guns N’ Roses – ‘November Rain’ (2022 Version)

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