It’s exactly 30 years ago that Guns N’ Roses released their debut album “Appetite For Destruction“. The controversy about the cover art at the time didn’t hinder the sales of the album – which still is one of the best selling debut albums of all time – and one of the best selling albums overall, ever. And all these years later, they came second on Billboard’s List of highest earning artists of 2016!
30 years of Guns N’ Roses. That’s a lot of beef, gossip, bickering, changes in the band’s line-up, hours of waiting in stadiums for the band to appear and years of waiting for a new album to drop. Luckily, they have released a lot of quintessential classics to make up for all of that! So my colleague Luca (who saw them live in the ’90s and went to see them again in Nijmegen, The Netherlands last week) and I (who saw them live in the ’90s and didn’t see them again last week as I was afraid the show would be a let down – yes I know, stupid decision) pick our favorite 5 Guns N’ Roses tracks to celebrate Appetite’s Anniversary!
Luca’s 5 favorite Guns N’ Roses Songs:
I think that a guitar player should communicate, rather than just showing how good they are. This song is a perfect example: Slash’s sound and melodies express the mood of the song in a great way. It sounds like the guitar dialogues and empathizes with the voice.
The song itself is great, but the intro is one of best debuts for a band. The crescendo creates a tension, the listener expects something coming soon. There is it: an epic riff. That’s hard rock!
This was my first favorite song when I discovered GnR. Maybe because it’s like several songs in one. Maybe because it’s at the end of the album, so it easily caught my attention. Maybe because of the guitar solo.
I think many people missed this song because it comes after “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” on the album. Most of the people I know did this, while they can’t forget “Knockin”. Many people ignored it because of profanity. Personally, I quickly had enough of “Knockin”, and always skipped to “Get In The Ring”. And, hey, I am Italian, so I can pretend I don’t understand the lyrics and focus on the music.
Ok, this is banal, but it reminds my of the first time I saw GnR live. A friend of mine lifted me up during the Godfather solo, but then Slash started with the legendary riff. The crowd moved and all of a sudden I was laying in the ground. I can say that this is my killer guitar melody!
Lilian’s 5 favorite Guns N’ Roses Songs:
From the acoustic ‘R’ side of “Lies”, “You’re Crazy” is the only track on that release that had already appeared on their previous album “Appetite For Destruction”. Apparently this is what the song originally sounded like, and it was adapted for “Appetite”. In it’s acoustic version it sounds very different, like they just recorded it when chilling in the dressing rooms before a gig. A bit country-like almost. It still magically exudes as much energy as the full on version, and Axl’s voice sounds great.
It was 1991 and at the time you could purchase cassette-singles. I didn’t get enough pocket money to buy those regularly, but I did spend my hard earned supermarket-shelf-stocking cash on this one. After “Appetite For Destruction”, this was the first single that was released from the upcoming “Use Your Illusion” albums, it had Matt Sorum on drums, and I remember the excitement about this new work. Still feel excited when I hear the intro!
3. “14 Years”
Again a money thing: when Use Your Illusion 1 & 2 came out, my sister and I couldn’t afford both so decided to get one each. She got the yellow ‘1’ and I got the blue ‘2’. I did end up listening to my copy a lot more, and “Yesterdays”, the above mentioned “You Could Be Mine”, and this one are my favorites. I love the piano on this track and it’s nice to hear Izzy singing here. We named our cat after him for a reason!
Difficult choice between “So Fine” with that awesome piano and Duff singing or… Ok, I am going to do it, I am adding “November Rain” to my picks. As a 15 year old girl, that song, and of course the video, was everything. More than 25 years later, I wouldn’t play this song as often as other tracks, but that guitar solo still does it for me. Not sure how to describe it. Goosebumps every time.
Agreeing with Luca on this one! My favorite track on “Appetite For Destruction”. I even used the lyrics “I see you standing, standing on your own. It’s such a lonely place for you, for you to be. If you need a shoulder, or if you need a friend, I’ll be here standing until the bitter end” for an art school project in high school. I must say it came as a shock to my system when I recently found out that the moaning on the record is actually the sound of Axl and a girl having sex in the studio. I wish I could somehow un-know that!