Guns N’ Roses may have peaked in the 1990s before their lead guitarist Slash quit the band in 1996, but that doesn’t mean the band’s legacy has died or faded away – quite the opposite. The year 2018 has been a big one for the American band in more ways than one.
The band is currently on a landmark reunion tour, Not in This Lifetime, which, according to Forbes, is closing in on $500 million in revenue, making it the fourth-highest grossing tour of all time. At the same time, their classic 1987 debut album Appetite For Destruction, which is one of the most successful albums in recording history, recently made a comeback to the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart after more than 29 years.
On top of all of this, the music video (above) for the group’s timeless ballad November Rain just set a record on YouTube, by crossing the billion-view landmark. Forbes reports that this makes November Rain the first music video from the 1990s to hit the billion mark, and also the first video that was created before the YouTube era to achieve it.
To be sure, this is nothing compared to, say, Luis Fonsi’s Despacito, which has over five billion views, but for a band that was making music videos before YouTube even existed, it’s a pretty impressive feat. Guns N’ Roses is also the biggest band from the 1980s on YouTube, thanks to the video for Sweet Child O’ Mine, which has over 692 million views.
November Rain is the same video in which frontman and lead vocalist Axl Rose is portrayed as marrying model Stephanie Seymour, with Slash playing those slick guitar solos in front of the deserted church. A lesser known fact is that the video, which was directed by Andy Morahan, was inspired by a short story titled Without You by Del James, in which a blues musician tries to cope with with the suicide of his girlfriend.
November Rain has been a steady hit since it was released 26 years ago, and the video was averaging over half a million views every day in 2017, with much of the band’s popularity coming from Latin countries like Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. It remains one of the most expensive videos of all time, with a budget of $1.5 million.