This 9-minute long epic video of a classic song by American hard rock band Guns N Roses tells the story of a couple getting married surrounded by family and friends, in what seems like a beautiful dream, only to see it all come to a brutal halt when death tears the couple apart and drives the man insane (through raging insomnia). A bit dark and depressing you say? But is it, in fact, reality or a nightmare?
The video features Axl Rose and his girlfriend of the time, model Stephanie Seymour, as well as all of the band members who are seen attending the wedding, and performing live in a theater with an orchestra.
Remember how incredibly frustrating it was when radio stations would only play the first few minutes of the song and stop right before the intense part, which everyone loved most? But that did encourage people to watch the video in order to enjoy the entire song and see the poor lovers’ fate when everything crashes and burns (or rather drowns). The “November rain” video won the “Best cinematography” award at the MTV VMAs. Incidentally, it reminds me of the 80’s decade when videos were often structured as movies, telling a complete story with the singer/frontman(woman) as the protagonist (Pat Benetar and Cindy Lauper videos come to mind instantly). The themes addressed here, however, and the really dark undertones, are very 90’s.
“November rain” appears on the twin release “Use your illusion I/II” which were great subsequent albums to the fierce (and awesome) “Appetite for destruction” which introduced the band to the world. I’ll post about that CD eventually.
Andrew Morahan who directed this video, also directed several other GnR’s videos, as well as videos from many other artists including Simple Minds, Ozzy Osbourne, George Michael/Wham!, Pet Shop Boys, The Human League, and AC/DC. I have not seen all of his work, but, at first view, this video distinguishes itself as one of his most memorable ones. I believe it also introduced the band to a wide – really wide- audience; hearts softened as Axl played classical piano, smiled at the priest, and suffered after a lost love, and Slash acted like a cute goofy ring bearer… this after Guns N Roses completely tore the place apart with Appetite for destruction. But it’s ok, this is no easy power-ballad, “November rain” is a great song.
Ultimate highlight of this video for me: Slash going out of the chapel to play his solo in the middle of the desert. 😉