Song Stories

“November Rain”

Guns N' Roses | 1991

Axl Rose was working on “November Rain” before Guns N’ Roses even formed, back in 1983 when he was still part of L.A. Guns. He knew he was onto something big but kept revising the song until 1991 when Guns N’ Roses recorded the nearly nine-minute version that made it onto Use Your Illusion I. The song was inspired in part by Elton John, and Rose told Rolling Stone, “We’re competing with rock legends and we’re trying to do the best we can to possibly be honored with a position like that.” The recorded version features two guitar solos, a string arrangement and background vocals from Blind Melon frontman Shannon Hoon, who died of a drug OD just a few years later.

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Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

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