Saturday, April 16, 2011

Essential Albums of the 80s: Guns N' Roses - Appetite for Destruction

A lot of '80s rock music sounds relatively tame to my post-grunge ears. Appetite for Destruction not so much. Guns N' Roses blustery 1987 debut was a sharp shot of adrenaline for hard rockers softened by too much makeup and too many synthesizers. "It's So Easy" has guitar and bass interplay that reminds me of a lot of '90s music. It was their first single, although not a hit. "Welcome to the Jungle," the band's second single was their breakthrough, signaling their shameless, high-energy style. "Nightrain," has a musical guitar melody courtesy of the band's guitarist Slash--one of few rock musicians that's not a singer to become a mainstream name himself. The band's other big name, its lead singer Axl Rose, sings with raspy mania, which he barely reigns in, even on the group's #1 hit, the more genteel love song, "Sweet Child O' Mine," or its radio-friendly follow-up hit "Paradise City." As explosive as this debut was, the band's subsequent career was underwhelming. After the epic two-part punch of 1991's Use Your Illusion albums, the band released a covers album and then didn't produce another album for 15 years, 2008's Chinese Democracy.

Best: Sweet Child O' Mine, Paradise City, It's So Easy, Welcome to the Jungle

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