Guns N' Roses
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Guns N' Roses 'Appetite For Destruction' | For The Record
Guns N' Roses erupted out of Hollywood's Sunset Strip like a perfect storm of raw punk energy, rock and roll swagger, and enough post-glam aggression to blow any house down. Their debut album, Appetite For Destruction, perfectly captured the chaos and debauchery — along with a touch of tenderness — on its way to becoming the best-selling debut album in U.S. history with over 18 million copies sold.
Released July 21, 1987, Appetite … arrived at the peak of glam metal's heyday, and while they drafted off the popular genre's aesthetic, there was something much more unpredictable and volatile about GN'R, and that intangible magnetism comes through on their debut. Produced by Mike Clink, the album introduced the world to frontman Axl Rose's masterful whisper-to-a-shriek vocals and lead guitarist Slash's tasteful-sustain-to-blues-on-speed guitar playing.
From the opening delay-soaked guitar notes of "Welcome To The Jungle" to the epic album closer, "Rocket Queen," there's no coming up for air on Appetite For Destruction. Even the album's implied ballad, "Sweet Child 'O Mine" managed to surprise, introducing one of the most enduring opening guitar riffs ever written, showing a sensitive side of Rose, and building into one of Slash's most iconic guitar solos that explodes into a flurry of notes before breaking all the way down to a soft-spoken chant. It seemed like Guns N' Roses could go anywhere they wanted to go on their debut album.
This same invincibility could be felt on the album's more anthemic singles "Paradise City" and "Nightrain" which featured Rose's angst-heavy verses set against melodic choruses that would have stadium audiences singing along. The album also covered edgier ground in the unhinged "Out Ta Get Me" and "You're Crazy," and showcased the group's versatility and ambition in songs such as "My Michelle" and "Think About You"— territory that would be explored further in the G N'R Lies EP and Use Your Illusion albums that would follow.
GN'R released five singles from the album, "It's So Easy," "Welcome To The Jungle," "Sweet Child O' Mine," "Nightrain," and "Paradise City." Appetite… mounted a slow climb up the charts, finally reaching No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in August of 1988, almost a full year after it entered the chart at No. 182. Rolling Stone ranked the album No. 62 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Three decades later, Appetite For Destruction remains one of the most popular and influential rock albums ever recorded. Guns N' Roses reunited in 2016 for the Not In This Lifetime… Tour in 2017 and will commemorate their debut album with Locked N' Loaded, a massive 73-track box-set full of rarities and a remastered two-LP 180-gram vinyl version of Appetite…, due out on June 29.