Trivia

Hard

The Longest Song To Make It Into The Top 10 Billboard Hits Is?

American Pie
November Rain
Purple Rain
Pyramids
Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash playing in front of a New Mexico church in the song's video.
Guns N’ Roses/VEVO/YouTube

Answer: November Rain

While a wide variety of music has climbed the Billboard charts over the years, there’s usually one defining characteristic that unites pop songs, rock songs, and songs of all stripes: Billboard topping songs are usually short and radio friendly.

Every now and then, however rarely, a song comes along that breaks the mold and captures the attention of the public with long arrangements and b-side spanning play. One of the earliest long songs to break into the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 list (eventually topping the charts in early 1972) was Don McLean’s enigmatic 1971 hit “American Pie”. To this date, it still holds the record for the longest song, 8 minutes 42 seconds, to hold the number one slot.

The longest song to break into the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10, however, outpaces “American Pie” by almost a half minute. That distinction belongs to the 1992 smash hit power ballad “November Rain” by Guns N’ Roses. The song features a sweeping and lengthy orchestral backing, guitar solos, and all the trappings you’d expect of an epic power ballad from one of the most popular rock bands of the late 20th century. Impressively, the song lyrics, the band arrangements, and the orchestral arrangements were all composed by lead singer Axl Rose. Rose worked on the song on and off again for around a decade before it was released—the final cut weighs in at 8 minutes and 57 seconds.

It would be remiss of us to not discuss the accompanying music video. Not only was “November Rain” the longest song to ever break into the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10, but at the time of its release, the music video, with a budget of 1.5 million dollars, was the most expensive music video ever created. The video included footage of an orchestra playing, naturally, the orchestral portions of the ballad as well as the then-girlfriend of Axl Rose, model and actress Stephanie Seymour, as the bride in the epic story along with footage of the story unfolding in various settings, including multiple churches.

And if all that trivia isn’t enough to satisfy you, here’s an extra deep cut from the trivia archives: the remote church seen here (with guitarist Slash playing in the foreground), was in the New Mexico desert and, coincidentally (or not, given how scenic it is) makes an appearance in the 1985 cowboy film Silverado.

Trivia

Very Hard

The First Commercially Viable Strain Of Penicillin Was Created From Mold Found On A?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Video Game First Inspired Widespread Controversy?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Cities, Due To How Many Hawaiians Visit It, Is Called The Ninth Island?

Trivia

Hard

What Was The First Video Game Console To Ship With A Modem And Online Gaming Support?

Trivia

Hard

A Demonym Is A Word That Identifies A Person By?

Trivia

Easy

Which Gemstone Was Believed To Protect The Wearer From Drunkenness?

Trivia

Hard

Which Star’s Height Added $150,000 To Star Wars Set Construction Costs?

Trivia

Hard

The Point On The Earth’s Surface Farthest From Its Center Is Located At?

Trivia

Easy

For Their April Fool’s Day Prank In 1965, The BBC Claimed They Could Wirelessly Transmit What?

Trivia

Hard

Which Day Of The Week Is The Rainiest?