GNR Album Review- Appetite for Destruction

For those of you who are faithful readers of my blog, or listeners of my show know that I am a huge Guns N Roses fan. It is my estimation, with good reason that they were the last hard, fast and dirty rock n roll band, rock n roll in its purest un adulterated state. However their time together would be short lived. How then did they become the biggest, most dangerous band in rock in roll. With the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony fast approaching, it is time for a song by song all album review of Hollywood’s favorite sons, Guns N Roses.

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Appetite for Destruction

The Gun’s first album hit the world July 1987, reaching number 1 on Billboard charts, and it’s singles Welcome to the Jungle, Paradise City, Sweet Child of Mine, and Nighttrain all charted as well. Often touted as one of the greatest Heavy Metal albums of all time, lets delve in and see why.

Welcome to the Jungle

If you have been to a sporting event in the last 20 years chances are you have heard this song. Axl wrote the lyrics upon his arrival to Los Angeles from Indiana. From a small town to the Jungle like city. Welcome offers the sleaze, grime and high pitched scream that would make GNR famous, it is a song that held up with time and is a perfect beginning to their storied career.

It’s So Easy

This song reflects the bands heavier, punkier almost NWBHM side. Al, instead of the trademark high voice, uses his deep pounding voice, one that he used previously more in bands before developing his trademark yell.


An ode to their favorite two buck chuck, (that is still available, good al’ Modesto wine). This song is as hard and fast as the best of em. I’m sure all college students, and many others reading this can identify with Nighttrains callin card “loaded like a freight train, flyin like an airplane, feelin like a space brain one more time tonight” and frankly, it won’t be the last as long as this record is playing,

Out Ta Get Me

For those of you who know, Axl always had some rough times with the police. This song is filled with that perfect teenage angst of me against the world. Ready to go to war with anyone. Ready to rage because they are invincible. One of rock music’s hallmarks is being able to reflect the social anxieties of the age. And if you need a song like that for the late 80’s, Out Ta Get Me is a perfect choice


Perhaps my least favorite tune on this album, this plodding tune is one about certain member drug of choice at the time…. Smack. One of the best lines in the song however, ‘show usually starts round 7, get on stage around 9’ perhaps foreshadowed the bands infamous tradition of starting hours later than scheduled.

Paradice City

Another one of those songs that everyone has to have heard somewhere, if not everywhere. This song has been described by Slash as one of the hardest to record to the raging guitar solo at the end. Traditionally live they would jam it out for an unspecified time, and once recording happened they had to really figure it out. Also, Slash did not really like the chorus “where the grass is green and girls are pretty”, he though it was sissy, so in the early days, when playing live, he would sing, ‘where the girls are fat and have big titties’. Indeed, that may be some paradise certainly.

My Michelle

If a previous diddy was about smack, this one is about cocaine. My Michelle is a haunting tune thanks to its slow build transition to hard rocking anthem. Axl’s voice is mean and dirty, Slash’s guitar is grimy and sleazy. Perhaps the perfect GNR representation.

Think About You

A more romantic song on this album, Think About You is your pretty standard hard rock song pining over a girl. We have all been there, I’m sure some of you are right now. Not much more to say, great break-up song.

Sweet Child O’Mine

Along with Jungle and Paradise, this is probably the most well known and played Guns N Roses song. About Axl’s then love interest Erin Everly, this song is an incredibly well constructed song musically, lyrically and vocally. Although Slash wrote the intro as a joke it has become synonymous with the Guns N Roses image and it all comes together, building up the angst of young love to the final explosive climax. Slash’s guitar work, Duff’s bass, and Axl’s vocals are masterfully done.

You’re Crazy

If Think About You was the sad break up song, this is the ‘thank god its done’ break up song

Anything Goes

This is probably the most forgotten GNR song. It has its roots in Axl and Izzy’s earlier band Hollywood Rose. A decent, good song, reflective of the era it was made.

Rocket Queen

One of the funkiest GNR tunes. Rocket Queen is a personal favorite. Live versions include Slash melting faces and blowing minds on the talkbox. Fun fact about this song. In the breakdown they needed something to fill in space. So if you are familiar they used sex noises. Not to unusual. What is however, is that those noises are real and unique. Axl took a friend of the band, particularly Steven, and had his way with her in the recording booth to get those authentic moans.

Tine in to my radio show The Pumpkin Patch every Friday 1-2 PM at

-Jack O’ Lantern


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