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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

“Hungry Like the Wolf”

Duran Duran | 1982

This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

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