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Album Review: ‘Appetite for Destruction’ by Guns N’ Roses

Guns+N+Roses+1987+debut+album+Appetite+for+Destruction.+Guns+N+Roses+-+Appetite+For+Destruction+by+Lawren+is+licensed+under+Some+Rights+Reserved
Guns N’ Roses 1987 debut album “Appetite for Destruction”. Guns N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction by Lawren is licensed under Some Rights Reserved

I have been listening to all kinds of music my entire life, but 80’s-90’s rock has always been a favorite genre of mine. I have been around music my entire life being my dad has been in several bands and recently got to do a country music festival in St. Lucia. Guns N’ Roses has always been one of my favorite bands, and I have always really appreciated the musicianship that the band brings to every record.

Today I will be reviewing Guns N’ Roses 1987 debut album Appetite for Destruction. The album came out on July 21st 1987 and has to this day sold over 30 million physical copies, and as of 2023, has 2.4 billion streams.

 

“Welcome To The Jungle”-  9.6/10

“Welcome To The Jungle” is one of the most iconic 80’s rock songs of all time. Choosing this song as the first song on their first album was one of the best choices the band could have made. Lead guitar player, Slash, opens the songs with a riff using a delay pedal that sets the tone of the anthem. The musicianship showed throughout the song brings out the strengths of every member of the band whether it is Axl Rose hitting high notes, Steven Adler doing a difficult drum solo of the toms during the break down of the song, or either of the guitar players showing their skill using unique techniques such as scraping, tremolo picking, or dive bombs with the whammy bar. This song is a classic and one of the most recognizable 80’s songs of all time and deserves my 9.6/10 rating.

“It’s So Easy”- 7.0/10

While this is still a good song, it follows the classic verse, chorus, verse, chorus model that many songs do. The chorus is a great part of the song though. The breakdown and calmness of the slow section of the chorus shows vocal control out of Axl, but overall doesn’t show the band’s musical capabilities.

“Nightrain”- 8.8/10

The driving tempo and guitar riffs in this song make it a fun one to listen to. After having a song like “Welcome To The Jungle,” Nightrain showed that Guns N’ Roses has a wide capability for composing music. While some may say this song gets repetitive, I think for the type of song they were looking to construct here, it was fitting. This is one of the songs where you can really hear their Van Halen, Thin Lizzyand ZZ Top influences.

“Out Ta Get Me”- 6.6/10

This is one of the weaker songs off of the Appetite for Destruction album, but is still a solid song. Axl Rose uses a similar singing style to what he uses in “Nightrain.” Slash’s guitar solo is mediocre, and he has had much better constructed solos, this song is still catchy nonetheless.

“Mr. Brownstone”- 9.2/10

“Mr. Brownstone” is one of my personal favorites off of the album. They use a consistent driving tempo to keep the song moving with good rhythm just like they did in “Nightrain.” The lyrics reference and portray a story about the band’s, specifically Axl Roses, drug use and his built up tolerance. Along with his life on the road. The song has one of the most catchy chorus’ out of all the songs on the album.

“Paradise City”- 9.8/10

This is by far my favorite song on the album. This is a 6 minute and 45 second long masterpiece that was beautifully constructed. This is GNR’s 3rd most popular song of their discography, although I think it is the best song they have every released. Slash and Izzy Stradlin’s guitar parts compliment each other so well in this song along with the impressive and difficult bass-line played by bassist Duff McKagan.  The change in mood throughout the song, the story telling, and the creative change of dynamics are just some of the reasons that this song is as amazing as it is. The increased tempo, the hammer ons, the tremolo picking, and the double bass at the end of the song as it comes to a dramatic finish give it the perfect ending to cap off the best song on the album. Being one of the most popular 80’s songs of all time, and rightfully so, this song is my highest rated song on the album.

“My Michelle”- 7.5/10

This song is in a nice place in the album and serves as a good follow up song to “Paradise City.” This song was written about a classmate of Slash’s that mentioned that she always wanted someone to write a song about her. Axl initially made it a sweet and romantic song, but then became unhappy with his work, because the mood of the song did not match Michelle’s life. This song is just another song to most listeners, but once you know the story behind it, you can develop a respect for it that makes it a pretty cool song.

“Think About You”-  6.7/10

This isn’t my favorite song on the album although the drum piece in this song is very intricate and changes many times, which I can respect. Again, Slash has had many better guitar solos, and I believe the song again just doesn’t show the musical talent of the band as a whole.

“Sweet Child O’ Mine”- 9.7

It’s rather evident why this song got the score it did. It is one of the most iconic songs from the 80’s and has one of the most, if not the most, recognizable intros of all time. Slash actually wrote the intro riff by accident, and it just worked. Some consider this song a power ballad, some consider it a mid tempo rocker, whatever you consider it to be, it is evident that this is one of the greatest, and catchiest rock songs of all time. The lyricism in this song along with the vocal performance from Axel Rose make this song great as it is, but the motion and flow of the song makes it a creative masterpiece. Slash’s mini solos during the bridge of the song really add to the slow long build up of one of, if not Slash’s best solo. The build up at the end of the solo to amp up the volume and mood of the song, then bringing it back down into a breakdown feel, then right back up to a high energy ending make this song nothing short of beautiful.

“You’re Crazy”- 8.0/10

This high tempo song is one of the more catchy ones on the album. Axl Rose does a good job of showing his vocal range and ability in this song, as well as the Slash and Izzy with high tempo riffs and drummer Steven Adler in keeping perfect time at a such a high tempo. I do really enjoy this song, and I believe it should get more credit.

“Anything Goes”- 7.3/10 

This is also one of the more catchy songs on the album which is always appreciated. You hear some different sounds in this song, such as a different and unique sounding guitar solo. You also hear Axl’s ability to extend a note for a long period of time. Although this is not one of my favorite songs off the album, it does do an amazing job showcasing elements of Axl’s voice.

Rocket Queen”- 7.8/10

I really enjoy the intro to this song and the slow build up to the first verse. The intro almost has slight resemblance to “Radio Ga Ga” by Queen. This song has a really unique riff compared to the rest of Slash’s style. This is another one off of the album that I think needs more credit.

 

~Overall Rating~

8.2/10

Although through average of song score, this is one of the best debut albums of all time and will go down as one of the greatest albums in history. Overall I give the album as a whole, a personal score of 9.2/10.

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About the Contributor
Carson Reichel, Journalist
Grade: Senior Favorite Sport: Football Favorite Season: Fall Favorite Food: Chicken Alfredo Hobbies: Music and Frolfin