Rising from the ashes of two of the leading bands in Hollywood’s Sunset Strip glam rock scene, L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose, Guns N’ Roses came together in the mid-80s and immediately stuck out from the rest of their contemporary glam peers. After the release of their 1986 debut EP “Live?!*@ Like A Suicide!” they had already established themselves locally as a force to be reckoned with and earned the right to reject the “glam” label with their sleazy new take on rock n’ roll. It wasn’t long before a major label picked up on them and they released their debut full-length “Appetite for Destruction”.
Appetite For Destruction was released in 1987 but only became commercially successful a year later.
Fusing hard rock and heavy metal with elements of punk and blues-inspired melodies, Appetite kicks off with one of Guns’ most well-known anthems “Welcome to the Jungle”, perfectly portraying their life on street with guitarist Slash’s catchy opening riff and dirty guitar licks, along with singer Axl’s infamous screeches and “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll” lyrics.Written by Duff, Guns’ punk rocker bassist, “It’s So Easy” is a bass-driven song with obvious punk rock influences. Vocals are shared by both Duff (bassist) and Axl (singer) and this song features some of the sleaziest porno-inspired lyrics you might ever come across.Next is a booze, and more specifically cheap wine, inspired song, “Nightrain”, one of my personal favorite tracks on the album. The song features a very catchy opening guitar melody with Izzy and Slash (guitars) sharing solos throughout the song.Built on a riff that probably made AC/DC want to hit themselves for not coming up with it first, “Out Ta Get Me” describes the paranoia of being constantly chased and features some of Axl’s most angry vocals on the album.
Built on a very groovy main guitar riff, “Mr. Brownstone” portrays a life of drug addictions and the struggles that come along with it, reflecting the band’s lifestyle at that moment. Oh, Brownstone is heroin by the way. It’s really cute how they call him a Mister isn’t it?Definitely the ultimate Guns N’ Roses anthem, “Paradise City” is also one the band’s greatest hits and definitely a crowd favorite at live shows, often played as the final encore song of the set. It’s kind of a tale of life on the streets and dreams of someday… well… not living on the streets. The main riff has a heavy/thrash metal feel to it, and at the end the song just breaks down and comes back to life in double tempo (rawr)Written by the band as a dedication to a very special girl, but definitely not intended as a love song, “My Michelle” basically describes the lifestyle of a teenage drug-addict with some pretty obscene lyrics and a guitar riff that defines sleaze rock. (Tramp)“Think About You”, one of those nice rock ballads, is I think one of the most underrated and overlooked songs on the album, the chorus to this song just seems to trap itself inside my head for a few days after every time I listen to it (which I just did, dammit :/)
Perhaps known as the band’s biggest and best charting hit, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” is definitely one of the greatest rock n’ roll ballads of all time, specifically memorable for it’s well-known guitar intro riff, screeching yet soulful vocals, and orgasmic extended solos compliments of Slash.“You’re Crazy” is a very lively, fast-paced song that ought to keep you on your toes wondering what the hell is going on for the whole 3 minutes of it. After listening to it a bunch of times over, I have come to the conclusion that whoever wrote it thinks somebody is crazy.“Anything Goes” is another one of those songs that describes sex with a girl and wanting to have it. What really interests me in this songs though is the funky effects that can be heard throughout the song, especially the talk-box.“Rocket Queen” is the perfect way to finish off the album, kicks off with a nice solid drums and bass intro which builds into the main riff and then along the way breaks down and reincarnates as a ballad. The really cool thing about this song is that they actually incorporated real live sounds of singer Axl having sex with some chick. Yeh, they actually had sex in the studio and recorded it. Seriously, pay close attention to minutes 2.18 till 3.11, you’ll see what I mean o.o
So there you have it, an album every hard rocker on earth should definitely own and know by heart. Might also interest punks, metalheads, and people who have a crush on Axl.