Great Metal Albums of 1987: Guns ‘N’ Roses- Appetite For Destruction

Welcome to the final post of the tour through 1987. Since it is the final post of another great year for metal, I thought I would go out in a blaze of glory, cue Guns ‘N’ Roses and “Appetite for Destruction.” This iconic album became a standard bearer for metal for the remaining years of the 1980s. People the world over love this album and my fear is that when I go into the meat of the album, there is not much I can say about it that hasn’t already been said.

In regards to what I’ve written about the album being a standard bearer for the last few years of the golden decade of metal, it did get off to a slow start in 1987. Some American critics dismissed the album at first, they felt stupid after, and even my sister originally branded them ‘Motley Crue rip offs and sexist pigs.’ British critics were kinder to the album although the more conservative, metal hating British tabloids weren’t. They put forward stories that the band did horrible things to poodles, (I’m not making this up.)

They did come to the UK in the summer of said year and played some gigs at the Marquee Club in London. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see them as I was getting married a week later and my future Mrs and I were flat hunting. Friends of mine did go and not only did they have a great time enjoying the kick ass show, they went for a curry with the band after. God, I’m jealous! My friends described it as a great night, Many years after, one of them, Dave, went on some seminar and was asked about one great thing he did, he responded that he had a curry with Guns ‘N’ Roses. He’s not sure if many people actually believed him.

Like I said, what can I say about “Appetite for Destruction” which hasn’t been already said over the many years? Songs? Not one of the tracks on the album can be considered ‘filler.’ All of them are monster tracks. Sure, there’s the singles. The most notable of those are “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Paradise City.” I love the harmonizing at the beginning of “Paradise City” and the way the guitars just get down and dirty after. “Welcome to the Jungle” is a just an in your face power rocker. Then there’s the most noted of the three, “Sweet Child o’ Mine.” Even thirty-five years on, Slash’s guitar solos on the track just totally blows me away.

For years, I’ve considered “Mr Brownstone” the hidden gem. The problem is that the track isn’t exactly hidden. It was released as a single, at least according to Wikipedia, but it didn’t have the chart success as the other three singles. In any case, it is my favourite track on the album. It’s just total sleaze metal here and what I like best is the fact the drug references totally got under the skin of the Reagan Administration. Another great point on the album for me is the closer, “Rocket Queen.” It actually sounds like two songs in one where the guitar tempo just completely changes and it does so in a fashion which takes the album out superbly. But whichever song on the album you like most, it will be a good choice.

Now let’s talk about musicianship. Sorry Dawn, I can’t agree with the Motley Crue rip offs label because GNR are much better musicians. The guitars of Slash and Izzy Stradlin could have been considered state of the art back then. While I would be the first to admit that Axl Rose has a huge ego, his vocal ability can’t be faulted, at least not by me and of course, Slash, Axl and Izzy are supported by a great rhythm section of Duff and Steven. It’s no wonder this band became a symbol for metal in the closing years of the decade.

Track Listing:

  1. Welcome to the Jungle
  2. It’s So Easy
  3. Nightrain
  4. Out ta Get Me
  5. Mr. Brownstone
  6. Paradise City
  7. My Michelle
  8. Think About You
  9. Sweet Child o’ Mine
  10. You’re Crazy
  11. Anything Goes
  12. Rocket Queen
Guns ‘N’ Roses

W. Axl Rose- lead vocals

Slash- lead, acoustic, slide and talk box guitars, backing vocals

Izzy Stradlin- lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Duff ‘Rose’ McKagan- bass, backing vocals

Steven Adler- drums

There should be no debate that “Appetite for Destruction” marked a major turning point for metal. While I never thought the sleaze went anywhere, I won’t debate those who say that the album brought it back to metal. On a personal note, like this iconic album, 1987 marked a major turning point for me. I started the year an angry young man but thanks to one woman, I found new direction in my life. It turned out to be a good year for Guns ‘N’ Roses and me.

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37 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1987: Guns ‘N’ Roses- Appetite For Destruction”

  1. You couldn’t have picked a better album really to round off that year. Just amazing. My first introduction to the band was from that single you mention, Mr Brownstone, which had been demoted to the ‘reduced section’ of my local record store because no one knew who they were. I still have my original cover art LP. Alas, never got to see them live (or have a curry with them!).

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Not a Motley Crue ripoff. In fact I would say a reaction against that whole scene!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. They broke out of the hair metal subculture and into the mainstream. Don’t know if they really count as hair metal – they were also like the 1980s Rolling Stones, edgy and dangerous.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I don’t think I’d count them as hair metal either but you have a point about them being like the 80s Rolling Stones. They were edgy and dangerous, especially if the poodles thing was actually true.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. A total no doubter. Just a massive album that reshaped the face of rock. Very nice way to conclude the look back at that year.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I wish we had curry places here in Canada so I’d know what Brits are talking about.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Damn fine album! One of the best debut albums of all time by any band (not the best, but one of them). I saw them open for Motley Crue on this tour and it was quite an adventure as Axel jumped off stage after about 3 songs, got in a fight and was arrested. Needless to say, a roadie came out to try and sing some songs. It was a strange evening.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. As soon as I saw the title of your post, Welcome to the Jungle started playing in my head! Haha! The power of great music! ❤️🎼🎸

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Not for me. Easily the most over-rated album of the millenium.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hold up, how did your friends end up having curry with Guns ‘N Roses?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. It’s funny that you wrote about this (great) album today. Because I saw my 19-year-old nephew the day-before-yesterday, and he was wearing a Guns ‘N Roses T-shirt!
    I told him “Nice shirt! I have the same one…except mine is 35 years old! And I have their “Use Your Illusion” shirt too from when I saw them at the Tokyo Dome in early ’93.”
    He said “Oh, is this a band? I just thought the shirt looked cool, so I bought it.”
    I thought “Oh! Generation gap!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, there is a generation gap. Fortunately, I educated my children on the Golden Age of Heavy Metal. Maybe you should play him some Guns ‘N’ Roses so he can see what he’s been missing.


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