Tuesday, July 21, 2009

22 Years Ago Today: Guns N' Roses release "Appetite For Destruction"...

'Appetite for Destruction' is the debut studio album by American hard rock band Guns N' Roses. Released in 1987, it was well-received by critics and topped the American Billboard 200 chart. As of September 2008, the album has been certified diamond (plus 18x platinum) by the RIAA, accumulating worldwide sales in excess of twenty-eight million as of October 2008. The album still remains the fastest-selling debut album in history. 'Appetite for Destruction' is considered by many to be one of the greatest hard rock albums of all time.


Axl Rose stated in 1988 that many of the songs featured on the album had been written while the band had been performing on the Los Angeles club circuit, and a number of songs that would be featured on later Guns N' Roses albums were considered for Appetite for Destruction, such as "Back Off Bitch," "You Could Be Mine" and "Don't Cry".

While the songwriting credits are credited to all five band members, many of the songs began as solo tracks that individual band members wrote separate from the band, only to be completed later. These songs include "It's So Easy" (McKagan) and "Think About You" (Stradlin). "Rocket Queen" was an unfinished Slash/Adler song that was written from their earlier band Road Crew, whereas "Anything Goes", written by Hollywood Rose and included in their compilation album The Roots of Guns N' Roses, was later re-written for Appetite.

Other songs on the album reflect the band's reaction to the debauchery of the L.A. rock and roll underground, like "Welcome to the Jungle" (Rose wrote the lyrics while in Seattle about an incident in New York City). Some of the songs focus on the band members' younger years, like "Out ta Get Me", which focuses on lead singer Axl Rose's constant trouble with the law as a youth in Indiana. The band also based songs off of their assorted female companions, reflected in the songs "Sweet Child o' Mine," "Think About You," "My Michelle," "You're Crazy," and "Rocket Queen."


In 1989 Rolling Stone ranked Appetite for Destruction as the 20th best album of the 1980s. The same magazine later ranked it at sixty-one on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
In 2001, Q magazine named Appetite for Destruction as one of the 50 Heaviest Albums of All Time. In 2004, Q magazine also named Appetite for Destruction as one of the greatest Classic Rock Albums Ever. In 2003, VH1 named Appetite for Destruction the 42nd Greatest Album of All Time. In 2002, Pitchfork Media ranked Appetite for Destruction 59th on their Top 100 Albums of the 1980s. It was ranked 18 in Spin magazine's "100 Greatest Albums, 1985-2005".

Suggested listening:

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