Band Members Axl Rose, Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin, Steven Adler, Matt Sorum, Dizzy Reed.
Like I said in the spotlight blog about Metallica, when I was growing up, it came down to Metallica and Guns N’ Roses as the top bands. For me, I always liked Guns N’ Roses better. Their music was rawer and more varied and at that time Metallica’s long instrumental intros got tiresome sometimes, now I appreciate it more. Today I want to look back at the story of one of the world’s biggest and controversial bands.
They started playing around in the LA club scene and there they were signed by Geffen Records. In 1987 their debut album Appetite for Destruction was released. The album contained the classic songs Welcome to the Jungle, Sweet Child O’ Mine and Paradise City. The album really was rare compared to other popular Metal albums. The lyrics were also different and the subject matters made the band very popular. I remember seeing a concert special on a local network in Puerto Rico and from then on they became my first real favorite band. Appetite for Destruction is still one of best-selling debut albums in America.
For most of the last years of the ‘80’s the band toured a lot and managed to release Gn’R Lies, one side had covers and recorded as live performances and the other side had acoustic songs including the hit Patience. The album included the controversial song One in a Million where Axl expressed his feelings without holding back. I think that was released to give them more time to record what would become their next album.
It really took them a while to release new music and the fans were anxious. In 1991 and thanks to a little movie called Terminator 2: Judgment Day, we got the first new song from the band. The song You could be mine was released with a cool music video with Arnold as the Terminator. Later in September 1991 in a surprising move, instead of releasing it as a double album, they released two separate albums called Use Your Illusions I & II. The albums debuted number 1 for Illusions II and number 2 for Illusions I. the albums were lifted by the many music videos they released for the album. This remains to this day one of my favorite albums, considering them both as one double album, the songs on the album are really big and epic. The song Coma is a masterpiece written by Axl and Slash, a 10-minute epic song. The album also includes what would be known as the trilogy because of the connection in the music videos, starting with Don’t Cry, followed by the beautiful November Rain and concluding with the expensive video for Estranged. They released a lot of singles from the album, maybe as they toured they still sounded on the radio and MTV.
This is the part where as a fan I was so disappointed, after the tour the band just fell apart to the point where only Axl and Reed remained in the band. The last album they released was a punk cover album called The Spaghetti incident?! Axl reformed the band and began the long process of recording Chinese Democracy. The new band performed live and had successful tours but it just did not the sound the same. Is hard to recreate what Slash and Duff gave to band.
Finally, in 2008 Chinese Democracy was released. The album was successful, but not as the other Guns N’ Roses albums were. There are a few factors that I could say were reasons that it did not reach higher levels of success. The first one I think was promotion other than concerts. The album had good songs in it that could have gotten airplay and the other is clear, it was Axl and a band, not the real Guns N’ Roses, for me in particular Slash and his guitar melodies are just hard to replace.
The fans had a ray of hope as the band was to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, but once again it did not happen. Axl declined the induction and was the only member not there, along with Izzy who did not go either.
But in 2015, after years of waiting Slash and Duff rejoined Guns N’ Roses and even though other original members were not included, for me it was enough. They got together for Not in this lifetime tour. They did not come to perform where I live, but I saw a few of the concerts on YouTube and they sounded great.
It is still a possibility that we will get a new Guns album with Slash and Duff once again in the band, I hope so and I hope it’s a good album. They were really at the top and they just could not sustain it like Metallica did, fighting through adversities to remain a band.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rbm6GXllBiwhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSUY9ItDRREhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SbUC-UaAxEhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ef_bRP3YuGg