The second incarnation of my blog
Based on the top 100 albums in Rolling Stone magazine’s top 500, I have set myself the challenge of hearing and appraising each album. I hope to be surprised and educated along the way.
At number 62 is Appetite for Destruction by Guns N’ Roses. It was released in July 1987, eventually becoming the best-selling debut album. With approximately 28 million copies sold worldwide, it is also one of the best-selling records ever.
We kick off with Welcome to the jungle with its killer guitar riff, layers of guitars and lots of vocal layers too. Now, I should really hate Axel Roses vocals because they are whiny screechy and not actually very good however they seem to fit the power of the song. What a great opener.
It’s so easy and Night train are not the best songs in the world, both quite bland in their construction and melody. However, they do keep the energy up with some blistering guitar work.
Out ta get me is pure ACDC! They weren’t even trying to disguise the fact it seems. There is a great little rhythmic start to Mrs Brownstone, but it loses it after that a bit.
Paradise City has it all: the riffs, the hooks, the melody, the edgy guitars, the lead guitars etc etc. It’s such a well crafted melodic song that you can imagine yourself in the open top car in the sunshine along the highway with this blasting out to the point where it is just distorting.
My Michelle takes us from ACDC to Iron Maiden. Although the whole album is heavy(ish), this is the most metal of all. Think about you sounds like a ballad that has been ramped up to become a rocker. It also has Robert Plant style vocals all over the place. Once again, it is a song with power, but it’s just adequate.
You then get to the brilliant Sweet Child o’ Mine which has the wonderful guitar, melody and sound throughout. And again, just picture yourself in that car in the sunshine. This was probably the high point of Guns N’ Roses whole career for me and has all of the necessary ingredients for a wonderful rock track. It’s worth checking out the Sheryl Crow cover, which is also pretty good.<
You’re Crazy is a rocker that goes on a bit repeating the same line over and over. It’s just filler, as is Anything goes. They really aren’t very good songs, with bland obvious production and lyrics. Rocket Queen comes close to the quality of the singles, mainly because there is a tune in the mix and it has some different sounds.
The album is fine, but it has three problems: firstly, Axel’s vocals are a bit much to take for a whole 12 songs. There are times when I thought that I needed a rest from his squealing. Secondly, some of the songs just are poor and should have been b-sides at most. And finally, there are the singles… they are just too good and overshadow the rest of the tracks.
If you find yourself on a long drive across the desert in deepest USA, you could do worse.
My rating: 6/10
Standout tracks: Welcome to the jungle, Paradise City, Sweet Child o’ Mine
Listen to the album here.
See the Top 100 here.