Guns 'n' Roses - Appetite For Destruction (Vinyl LP)

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G n' R were formed in 1985 and eventually signed to Geffen records after two years of hard graft (and, one suspects just as hard playtime) in the rock clubs of LA. It was these two years of bawdy experience that would be the inspiration for their first album, Appetite For Destruction. This is what makes Appetite such an oddity. It inhabits a strangely hermetic place, concerning itself as it does with the scene in which the band were born, whether it be the band's girlfriends (Sweet Child O'Mine, My Michelle), their chemical intake (Mr Brownstone, Rocket Queen) or just LA, itself (Welcome To The Jungle). Even the band's appearance verged on the parodic. While they were at odds with the prevalent glam metal stylings of bands like Motley Crue (with whom they toured) or Bon Jovi, the band themselves - all cowboy boots, bandanas and leather - hardly broke the mold. Yet they traded on a dynamic that balanced them between the lifestyle they portrayed and the no-nonsense kick-ass aesthetic of their sound. Punk metal was born.

And let's make no bones about it, this band after two years of club dates on the Strip could play. Steven Adler's drums sound huge, while Slash's riffs had yet to descend into cliche; his snarling Les Paul force fed through a growling wah-wah. Axl Rose's cartoon squeal of indignation was the perfect summation of the band's philosophy of good times to be had living on the 'edge'. Appetite... never lets up... Never had hedonism sounded so good.

But perhaps the real innovation about this band was the way they were marketed. Having lost touch with their grass roots support while recording this album, it was David Geffen's intervention at MTV that saw their video for Welcome To The Jungle put on strict rotation, opening the wallets of middle America and eventually, the rest of the world. This was, then, metal for a new age in media.

Of course, the band couldn't make a move without courting infamy. The original sleeve by hot rod icon, Robert Williams, had to be withdrawn after right wing protesters (and record stores) began to boycott the album. Re-sleeved it finally racked up sales of 25 million. It remains their crowning glory. The soap opera that now sees the band reduced to Axl and some session men continues, but on Appetite... they were still hungry, still capable of turning on the fireworks and, most importantly, still making a noise that your parents would detest.

 



This is a glimpse of the future--and not because of its huge influence and umpteen million sales. The poor-little-rich-boy protest "Out ta Get Me" intimates that Axl Rose's egotism and martyr complex were soon to grow bigger than his head; still, Appetite's night-train wreck of punk and metal sounds and sensibilities make it more than just an emblem of its time. Whether GN'R are dancing with "Mr. Brownstone", penning a callow kiss-off letter to some chick named "Michelle", or passing out on somebody else's sofa, this was and remains a savage journey to the heart of the American--or at least the Hollywood--dream.

By: Rickey Wright


G
G1 Welcome To The Jungle
G2 It's So Easy
G3 Nightrain
G4 Out Ta Get Me
G5 Mr. Brownstone
G6 Paradise City
R
R1 My Michelle
R2 Think About You
R3 Sweet Child O' Mine
R4 You're Crazy
R5 Anything Goes
R6 Rocket Queen


 

180 gram reissue

Geffen Records