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GN’R Mixer: This Is Why They Did NOT Include ‘November Rain’ on ‘Appetite’

"Appetite for Destruction" mixer Steve Thompson was recently asked by rock journalist Mitch Lafon about why "November Rain" wasn't featured on Guns N' Roses' monumental 1987 debut even though it was written during that period. He replied:

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“I loved the song, but I think that the direction of this record was to be more punk rock in your face.

“And I felt ‘November Rain’ wasn’t quite [suited for this album]. Great song, it had great potential.

“Obviously when it came out on [1992’s] ‘Use Your Illusion I,’ Axl did what he had to do to complete his vision on where it went.

“It’s amazing we had ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ on the record, knowing that we’re going for that punk-rock thing. I think it was a good thing.

“The only nightmare we had was… The song was about 6 minutes long, and we got a call from the record company – ‘Guys we need you to edit it down to 3 minutes and 20 seconds.’

“I said, ‘Oh, shit, how are we gonna do this?’ So we wound up editing it down – Slash fucking hated it, because we had to take out some of his guitar parts out!

“So we sat down and I said, ‘Slash, this is just a radio promotion tool. We have the ultimate version of ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ on the album. The singles have the time span of whatever. Don’t worry, this is what they need as a tool.’

“I can’t blame him. If I was a guitar player I’d be pretty pissed off too, but there was nothing we could do. I mean, how do you edit a six-minute song?”

Apart from “November Rain,” other songs written in the same period and released on subsequent records include “You Could Be Mine” and “Don’t Cry.”

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