Guns N’ Roses’ ‘November Rain’ First Video Older Than YouTube to Hit 1 Billion Views
Guns N' Roses' cinematic "November Rain" video just turned 30 last month, and in a new trailer created by YouTube, it was confirmed as the very first video older than YouTube to have ever hit 1 billion views.
YouTube uploaded a video clip yesterday (July 14) commemorating 10 years since Psy uploaded the mega-hit “Gangnam Style” on the video platform. Within six months, the video had garnered 1 billion views, which became the very first video to reach the benchmark on YouTube, and thus kicked off their Billion Views Club.
While many of the other accolades have been awarded to major popular artists such as Justin Bieber, Drake and Katy Perry, Guns N' Roses were given a special shout-out of their own. Their 1992 video for "November Rain" was the very first video that was made pre-YouTube to reach the milestone, also making it the first '90s video to do so. Additionally, "Sweet Child O' Mine" was the first video from the '80s to hit 1 billion, which are both displays of how classic and timeless their music is.
"It's easy to forget just how big a billion really is. If released pre-internet, while it's not the only metric for timelessness, it means the music has traveled through time and the fandom came with it and evolved," YouTube's Head of Catalog Music Ryan Thornton praised in YouTube's blog post.
Furthermore, Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" was the first '70s video to join the Billion Views Club. See the honorary Billions Club video below.
"November Rain" first reached 1 billion views in July of 2018. The epic video is over nine minutes in length, so with the human attention span only being about eight seconds long [via Cross River Therapy], it's actually quite impressive that it now has nearly 2 billion. However, the perplexing storyline probably has a lot to do with its popularity.
For instance, we still have no idea how former model and ex-fiance of Axl Rose Stephanie Seymour's character dies in the video, and we still don't know who the dude that jumped through the wedding cake is (other than it's not Riki Rachtman). We do know, though, that the two most-replayed scenes during the video are Slash's legendary desert guitar solo and the funeral, thanks to the site's new "most-replayed" feature.
MTV reported in 2009 that the video cost the band $1.5 million to make, which made it the most expensive video at the time of its release. But, considering the amount of views it has, Guns were wise in their investment. Plus, it made for a cool little movie paired with the videos for "Don't Cry" and "Estranged."
Also, not to throw digs at YouTube or anything, but the real ones own the Welcome to the Videos DVD.