Appetite For Destruction – Guns N’ Roses – 1987
Claimed Sales: 30m
First listen?: Yes
Format Listened?: Apple Music
Guns N’ Roses are what happens when yo combine just about everything in Rock music that was selling during the 70s and 80s. Aerosmith meets AC/DC with radio friendly hooks and a vocal performance from Axl Rose on the right side of crazed, Appetite For Destruction is rock in it’s most commercially viable form. Despite having the rebellious nature of Punk, a controversial album cover was pulled at the last minute replaced by the cross artwork we know now, this isn’t exactly the most intelligent record on this list. The ‘I’m getting drunk tonight’ anthem Nightrain sets the bar pretty low quickly, while Mr Brownstone follows as a loosely veiled metaphor for heroin. It’s not clever, but in most ways it doesn’t have to be as the hooks are big and the riffs from Slash are even bigger. Appetite For Destruction is at it’s best when it’s at it’s dumbest on opener Welcome To The Jungle. The ‘na na na na na knees’ bit is the sort of annoyingly catchy moment that makes songs like this have so much mass appeal. Pretty much every song on Appetite For Destruction follows this formula, Out ta Get Me is a song so instantly recognisable next to the major hits that I had to check it genuinely was a different song. ‘Take me down to the paradise city, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty’ is a terrible chorus, but somehow it’s one of the most memorable moments on Appetite for Destruction. Possibly the biggest outlier is the biggest hit of all, Guns N’ Roses’ classic Sweet Child O’ Mine. Basically a ballad next to the torrent of thrashing anthems that precede it, it’s by far the strongest writing on the record and by far the best guitar solo from Slash too. It’s probably the only song here that wouldn’t sound better in an arena, the recording here shows the whole band at their very best. I didn’t exactly go into Appetite For Destruction expecting to love it, but as a record it’s obvious to see why it became one of the biggest selling debut albums of all time. It’s a big stupid rock record and that’s sometimes not a bad thing to be.
Will I listen again?: Probably not.
Best Track: Sweet Child O’ Mine is undeniably the best song here.