Let’s kick off the album reviews in #GnRWeek with the big one. Appetite for Destruction. What a debut album. What an album, debut or not. It is officially the most successful debut album of all time and has broken loads of records.

(They had of course released Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide previously but I’ll not cover that just now because those tracks appear on G N’ R Lies later.)

It’s incredible to think that Appetite is their first studio album. You would think a young band like this would put out an album or two with maybe a few good songs but they would take a while to find their feet. Not Guns N’ Roses. They exploded onto the scene with Appetite and every song is great.

Some of them had brought their own songs to the table, which then get absorbed by the band. Izzy brought ‘Think About You’. Duff wrote ‘It’s So Easy’. Road Crew (consisting of Slash, Duff and Steven) had started ‘Rocket Queen’, and ‘Anything Goes’ had been originally penned by HollyWood Rose (with Axl and Izzy). Then together they all wrote hits like Sweet Child O’ Mine, Welcome to the Jungle, Nightrain, Paradise City and others. They were playing all these songs on the L.A. strip for a couple of years so they had them perfected when they came to record Appetite.

Even the artwork caused controversy, with the original cover, depicting a monster attacking a robot that has just raped a female. This obviously helped fuel their notoriety. Here’s a picture of a vinyl LP I have with that version of the cover.

Appetite for Destruction

And then of course they changed it for the absolutely iconic GnR cross with all of the band members depicted as skeletons. This image has been spoofed so many times. Great album cover.

Appetite cross

Appetite for Destruction is a name that epitomises the band and it is an album that is a snapshot of the band’s true origins. All of them sharing a flat, writing together, playing together, partying together. It’s got a raw energy that is hard to replicate. They didn’t care about what the current musical tastes were in the industry. They didn’t adhere to any kind of musical structure in terms of bridges etc. They just wrote what they wanted to play, and the result is a very raw, organic album that still stands up today.

Here are the tracks in my order of preference. I’m not going to do any kind of proper musical review, as I’m no expert, but I’ll add my brief thoughts next to each song.

12. My Michelle – Never liked this song as much as other songs on the album. It gets a bit funky right near the middle, but it doesn’t last long. And the rest of the song feels a little languid compared to other tracks.
11. It’s So Easy – I find the main parts a bit repetitive, particularly with Axl’s vocals being quite monotone. But I do love the breakdown where it slows down for a bit.
10. You’re Crazy – I much prefer this version to the slower version that appears on Lies.
9. Out Ta Get Me – This is one of the songs on Appetite that isn’t too complicated, but having said that it has an interesting mix of a few styles in there, giving it quite an interesting structure. I really like it, but it doesn’t quite reach the top half of this list.
8. Mr. Brownstone – I love how different this song is. It really stands out as being a bit unique in some ways I feel, right from the different drum beat at the start.
7. Rocket Queen – Good song. I’ve never really liked the effects on Axl’s voice on this one though. Awesome breakdown in the middle, and of course brilliant that the moaning noise is of a girl (Steven’s girlfriend I believe) that Axl actually had sex with in the recording studio.
6. Anything Goes – I love this song. It’s got a really funky start. The whole song is pretty funky actually with lots of time changes and interesting beats going on.
5. Think About You – This is a great little song. Really goes for it right from the start.
4. Paradise City – Many people will have Paradise City as there number one song on this album. I used to absolutely love it but perhaps it was overplayed as it isn’t hair than the no.4 spot. There are certainly some great bits in it and it’s fantastic for a sing along or karaoke. Great music video for it. I can imagine this one is the best one to hear live at a show though. They normally end on it.
3. Nightrain – Fantastic song. The vocals in the verses are very catchy and it’s a great one to sing along to. Also a good strong chorus. Nice guitar solo in the middle too. One of those ones where it’s annoying that they fade out the song in the middle of a great guitar bit. Totally captures the atmosphere of Appetite and their drunken living due to it being named after their favourite cheap wine.
2. Welcome to the Jungle – I just love the rawness of this song. It sounds almost primal. Particularly the opening. Total raw, unadulterated energy.
1. Sweet Child O’ Mine – This just has to be my no.1. For a long time it was my favourite song, period. Slash’s guitar riff intro just transports me to my adolescence. The song has beauty, rock, structure and depth. And despite it being overplayed everywhere, including my bedroom, I still love it as much today as I did then. That says a lot.