There aren’t a ton of songs about the month of November, but of the few that exist, some are classics. Guns N Roses, Gorillaz and Morissey have all recorded songs with that month in the title. Here’s my list of the best November songs, counted down from seven to one.
Best November Songs #7: November Spawned a Monster by Morissey
I’ve never been much of a Morissey fan but this up-tempo track from 1990 is a fun listen. Though November is in the song’s title, the music video offers a much different visual: Morissey gyrating around in a rocky desert.
Best November Songs #6: November Has Come by Gorillaz
Gorillaz, the alt-rock band composed of cartoon characters (actually fronted by Damon Albarn), released Demon Days in 2005 and scored the hit “Feel Good Inc.” Another appealing track on that record is “November Has Come,” a slow, dark tune featuring hip hop artist MF Doom, who co-wrote the track with Albarn.
Best November Songs #5: Sweet November by Mia
Not to be confused with the Sri Lankan “Paper Planes” singer/rapper, Mia Grobelny is a dance DJ who records on her own label Sub Static Records. This minimal, near-instrumental song never changes pace. It’s ostensibly a dance song, but it sounds like it would fit in better on a Pure Moods compilation. The 2004 track features a few lightning crashes at the three-minute mark, but mostly it’s a straightforward atmospheric groove.
Best November Songs #4: Gone Till November by Wyclef Jean
He’s not going to be president of Haiti, but Wyclef Jean still has his music to fall back on. The ballad “Gone Till November” was Jean’s biggest hit, reaching #7 on the pop chart and impressing Bob Dylan enough that he agreed to make a cameo in the song’s music video. Jean also performed the song at the Grammy Awards, right before the infamous incident in which Ol’ Dirty Bastard of the Wu-Tang Clan rushed the stage to interrupt a speech by Shawn Colvin.
Best November Songs #3: November Rain by Guns N Roses
I used to have a hard time enjoying “November Rain” because it’s so over-the-top, so epic, that it actually comes off as phony. I get the feeling Axl Rose put this endless track together in a deliberate, contrived effort to write his “masterpiece,” rather than having the song come together organically. I still feel that way, but now I have to admit Axl’s piano verses aren’t half bad. Neither is the climactic ending. And those Slash solos are amazing.
Best November Songs #2: November Blue by Avett Brothers
The Avett Brothers are just mesmerizing. If you’re not familiar with their work, do yourself a favor and get acquainted. It’s folk music, but with the energy of punk and the lyrical sensitivity of old-school singer-songwriters. Taken from their 2002 album Country Was, the rollicking “November Blue” showcases the group’s harmonies and top-notch instrumentation.
Best November Songs #1: Mr. November by The National
Acclaimed Cincinnati indie rock band the National have built a cult following over the past ten years, and “Mr. November” is one of their best songs. The track from 2005’s Alligator, which Pitchfork named the #40 album of the 2000s, is highlighted by powerful drums and explosive choruses in which singer Matt Berninger yells repeatedly, “I won’t f**k us over, I’m Mr. November!”
Best November Songs: Sources