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Hear A Never-Before-Heard, Piano-Only Demo Of Guns N' Roses' 'November Rain'

There are reissues of classic albums, and then there are reissues like Guns N' Roses' Appetite for Destruction box set, a 73-song opus that includes several dozen previously unreleased songs. Out Friday, the package (also available in less expansive/expensive editions) includes a trove of studio recordings from 1986 — including a very early, piano-only demo of "November Rain."

In its final form — the one heard on 1991's Use Your Illusion I — "November Rain" became one of the ultimate hard-rock power ballads, selling more than a million copies, in spite of a nine-minute running time. But here, you get to hear it without the guitar solos and lavish production: It's just Axl Rose, playing the song at a piano at L.A.'s Sound City Studios in 1986, working out the bones of what "November Rain" would become. And, at 10-plus minutes, it's still as epic as anything.


TheAppetite for Destruction"Locked 'N Loaded" edition comes out Friday via .

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)