101 of 113 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD
In 1987, Guns N' Roses exploded onto the national scene with "Appetite for Destruction." It was their first and best album. On the first track, "Welcome to the Jungle," Slash's beginning riffs and Axl's eerie howl set the stage for the rest of the songs. "Jungle" is a no-holds-barred look at the dark, drug-infested world beneath the glitz-and-glamour exterior of Los Angeles. "It's So Easy" shows the heart of the band: Axl's interplay with Slash and Izzy Straldlin. "Night Train" is another exploration of the sex, drug, and alcohol-fueled world of an L.A. club band at the time that Guns was coming up. "Out Ta Get Me" is the first glimpse of Axl's paranoia and self-absorption, which would ultimately lead to the band's downfall. "Mr. Brownstone" is a song about (surprise!) heroin, and with the lyrics "the show usually starts around 7. We go on stage around 9," it would prove prophetic about the chaotic nature of Guns N' Roses and their live concerts. "Paradise City" begins in (and the choruses return to) a Southern-Rock style, but is mostly the blues-and-punk-flavored hard rock that made them famous.
"My Michelle" is the darkest song Guns N' Roses ever produced. It's the semi-true story of a girl trying to grow up in L.A. without any support from her family, and then falling prey to the demons of wanton sex and drugs. "Think About You" is one of the most under-rated Guns songs. It's a sweet ballad about first love, but set to a hard-rock beat. Not a power-ballad, but a great song that never got the acclaim it deserved. "Sweet Child O' Mine" is another love song set to a rock beat, and showcases Slash's unique talents as a guitarist probably better than any other song on the record. "You're Crazy" shows the band's punk influences. "Anything Goes" is a straight rocker about a mutually self-destructive relationship. The record ends with "Rocket Queen," one of their best, and least appreciated. Slash and Izzy's guitar greatness are on display here probably better than anywhere else in the album. "Rocket Queen" also shows Axl's vocal and song writing talent. It starts as a rocker about a virile young stud (probably Axl) and an older woman. But after the famous interlude, (if you don't know what I mean, find out for yourself,) the song switches gears seamlessly, to a mellow ballad about friendship and love through tough times. It's a truly amazing song.
The cassette version of "Appetite" is the first album I ever bought. Time has not diminished the impact of these songs for me. Guns N' Roses are my personal favorite band, and "Appetite" is their high point. As they say, once you reach a peak, it's all downhill, but that's not important. What is important is to remember them as what they were: a definitively groundbreaking band.
377 of 451 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
One afternoon in 1986, I was relaxing in my bedroom after a long day at school when a song came on the radio that changed my life forever. Between the glorious screeching of the lead singer and the unforgettable guitar riffs, it sounded like nothing I'd ever heard. When the song was over, I listened intently until the DJ said, "That was `Welcome to the Jungle' by a band out of L.A. called Guns n Roses and they've just released an album titled Appetite for Destruction." I immediately called up my friend, Chris, and told him I'd just heard the most incredible song and filled him in on the details.
Chris could always be counted on to do the right thing so I wasn't particularly surprised when he showed up at my parents' house that night in his beloved beige Ford Escort with a brand new cassette in its tape deck. We picked up our Smiths-loving feminist friend, Cynthia, and headed down to Hampton. As `It's So Easy' blasted out of the Escort's cheap speakers, Cynthia's face turned crimson and she became enraged, "What is this crap?" she yelled.
"It's our new tape by Guns n Roses," Chris said in his most soothing voice, "Just relax and enjoy it."
"Turn around btch, I've got a use for you!," ordered Axl.
That was all Cynthia could take. "Turn that misogynistic sht off," Cynthia screamed.
Chris and I couldn't help but laugh. Cynthia was a good friend, but not that good. I mean we had just discovered perhaps the greatest album of all time and Cynthia wanted us to cut it off due to a few of Axl's more colorful turns of phrase. She'd have to endure it. And endure it she did - until "Rocket Queen" ended and we started it all over again. Probably not a night Cynthia recalls fondly, but Chris and I sure enjoyed it.
Then over time, a funny thing happened. "Welcome to the Jungle" became a hit and "Sweet Child O' Mine" became a cultural phenomenon. All the girls (Cynthia included) who previously despised Guns n Roses fell madly in love with them once they heard Axl serenading Erin Everly's eyes in song. Even our classmate Jenny, a Kate Bush fan whose Sapphic tendencies were just beginning to blossom, began raving incredulously about Axl being a poet after hearing "Sweet Child O' Mine" on the radio. Yes, those were pretty weird times and we have Axl, Slash, Izzy, Duff, and Steven to thank for them.
Appetite for Destruction provided me with a musical identity. I'd spent the first few years of high school in the classic rock scene because that's what I heard on the radio and I didn't own any music of my own. My mom and dad listened to classical and country, respectively, at the time and it just didn't seem possible to bring rock music into our house. For one thing, I never really had much spending money so I just quietly listened to the radio in my room hearing the same classic rock songs over and over. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed them, but when I heard Appetite for Destruction, it was like a void had been filled within me. As a shy person myself, Axl shouted all the things I and countless other kids like me in America wanted to shout but couldn't. Even if I wasn't dancing with Mr. Brownstone, taking the Night Train, or dating a girl whose daddy worked in porno, at least I knew Axl was. References to GnR became commonplace in and around our high school. I can't tell you how many times Chris and I told Cynthia she had "nothing better to do" and that we were "bored". At the McDonald's in Lightfoot, John Martin leaned against a refrigerator, inhaled deeply, and claimed to "smoke his cigarette with style."
With Appetite for Destruction, more than for any other album in my collection, the stories and memories are endless. For better or worse, it helped make me the person I am today. I have always been willing to accept that different people have different opinions on music, but I remember being horrified in the 1990s when GnR became a punchline for alterna-brats. Only a handful of bands have revolutionized popular music. We treat the others (Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana) reverentially, why not GnR as well? As far as I'm concerned, Appetite for Destruction is the best record released during my lifetime and probably the best rock record ever made. "Take that one to heart."
41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Oh, it was something all right. This loud, chugging, brutal nasty song on the radio about a jungle that made us want to jump up and down. My siblings and I were mesmerized in our little adolescent world and fascinated by the music. The television jumped with a video of this gross yet oddly beautiful frontman on his knees while the audience tries to drag him into the maelstrom he created. The lanky bass player gives us this knowing wink on the downbeat while a top hated guitar player and some bored looking gypsy coax monstrous sounds out of their guitars. And it made our little suburban life look so dull.
Our joy and elation knew no bounds the day our dad came home from work with a slight detour at Turtle's Records and Tapes (ask your grandparents, kids) to buy something called a CD of that band's album. Rejoice, we thought, for musical enlightenment was moments away. We went berserk inside while my audiophile father put on the disc and turned the volume knob up unreasonably high. The thundering, echoing riff tore through our house and we danced with glee. The song finished, we giggled and grinned as the next song started and my whole outlook changed. It sounded like a train having a bullfight with a tornado. Sister in a Sunday dress? Why is the singer's voice so low and murky? Is that sleaze? Why isn't he high-pitched? Standing up? Think I'm so cool? Well of course...Oh my God....what did he just say?
And then I saw the look on my father's face change, and knew it surely matched the look on my mother's face while she was loading the dishwasher, trying to ignore the din from the den. My father's hand nearly tore the knob off the volume as he cut off the music and shuttered us out of the den; we knew our little party was over. I'm sure my mother's stare sent daggers at my father while we were ushered over to the kitchen area. Why? Who knows, perhaps they wanted to observe if we were about to mutate into something hideous and barbaric like the music that had played just moments ago. I can't debate the merits of my father letting us listen that night. I just knew that from then on, things were different. We snuck into the den before my parents came home from work and listened to the album again and again. We copied it onto tapes to carry with us and listen to in our rooms when our parents thought we were sleeping. Music became this new, huge, menacing beast. It could be a release, a celebration, a call to arms, or whatever I wanted it to be. I knew of this place called LA, I just didn't know it could be so gritty, so unappealing, and yet so alive.
Nearly twenty years on, I can look back and say that this record changed me the way it changed everyone else here. Suddenly, a life that I never knew about was achingly clear in these songs. And yet, it didn't turn me into a hooligan, drug dealer, Satanist, misogynist, troubled youth, or any other assorted thing that parents seemed to fear about this band. Maybe I had good parents who taught me a difference between what you hear and what you do in life. Sure, maybe if I had been older and in LA I could've fallen into a vortex like that, but from my own perch, this album lived it's own life for me, and I wore out the CD player and taped copy in my walkman listening to these booze soaked tales of struggle and survival, heartbreak, rage, and misunderstanding. Nearly every song is a gem and deserves a good listening before written off as a "weak" track.
And like every defining group, you'd go back and source their influences. I knew about the Beatles, but not really the Rolling Stones. Aerosmith? Weren't they in that video with Run DMC? What's a New York Doll? Things like this weren't clear to a 12 year old, and learning how Izzy crafted his sound in search of a Keith Richards vibe, or Slash's blues burn based on a Boston band, made music that much better, and helped define this album on it's own merits.
At the risk of heresy, I'd say this album was as important as "Nevermind the Bollocks...Here's the Sex Pistols" and defined an era just as well. America was confused, bored, occupied, and in a deep malaise and the result was this record.
I stopped borrowing the old, worn out CD a while ago, dismissing it as unsophisticated dinosaur rock in an age of grungy plaid flannel, trip-hop and BritPop. And yet when I think about how many bands formed and made music just as important and life-changing because of the influence of Appetite for Destruction, it makes me miss it that much more. I'll be ordering my own copy soon. Will I let my daughter listen to it when she reaches 12? Probably not, but you never know. She may figure out how the work the CD player one night when her mother and I are asleep...
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I like a lot of classic rock, and I have some pretty famous albums like Dark Side of the Moon, Led Zeppelin IV, and more, but this is my favorite out of any of those. The first GNR album that I got was Greatest Hits, but i think this album is more of a greatest hits album than that one was.
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE 10/10 - a great song!! the intro to this song is amazing and its a great way to start the album. this song definatly lives up to all the hype.
ITS SO EASY 9/10 - another really good song with a good solo from Slash.
NIGHTRAIN 8/10 - a pretty good song, but not as good as the others, I think the intro is pretty cool.
OUT TA GET ME 7/10 - an ok song, but probably my least favorite on the album.
MR. BROWNSTONE 10/10 - a great song with a really cool intro. i think this song should have been on the greatest hits album.
PARADISE CITY 10/10 - a classic GNR song that is hard not to like.
MY MICHELLE 8/10 - after the intro, the song becomes harder rock like the others and its a good song overall.
THINK ABOUT YOU 8/10 - when i first heard this one i didn't like it that much, but the more i listened to it the more i liked it. its a pretty addicting song and is good overall.
SWEET CHILD O' MINE 10/10 - along with Welcome to the Jungle, this is the best GNR song. the intro is really good, and this song has one of my favorite solos by Slash in it. if you don't like this song, then you just don't like rock music.
YOU'RE CRAZY 9/10 - a really fast song that has some pretty cool parts in it. there's not much to say about this song except that it's just good.
ANYTHING GOES 9/10 - another fast song with a really cool sounding solo from Slash.
ROCKET QUEEN 10/10 - the more i listen to this song, the more i like it. i like the beginning of it, but the last 2 minutes are even better, especially the ending. this song is really underrated.
Not only are the songs on this album good, but when you listen to the whole thing, it sounds the best. If you don't like the lyrics of this album, then at least get the edited version, but the cussing ads to the affect.
Get this album!!
45 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2001
Format: Audio CD
APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION was a shot in the arm for the sorry state of hard rock in the 80's. All the other big bands of the era were more into looks than music, while the musically sound bands didnt get their due. WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE kicks off the album and it is an angry tribute to life in LA and breaking into the music business. ITS SO EASY is another hard rockin song that keeps the listener intensely hook into this record. NIGHTRAIN is a straight ahead in your face rock song that just blows you away. MR. BROWNSTONE is the bands story of playing with heroin and it epitimizes the rock n roll lifestyle right before your eyes. PARADISE CITY is a epic song should be considered up there with STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN or FREEBIRD. SWEET CHILD O' MINE is another classic tune that starts off with that great guitar intro. MY MICHELLE starts off with a dark, sinister sound that it maintains throughout. THINK ABOUT YOU is a love song in true Guns fashion. ROCKET QUEEN is the last song on the album and it is a truly great song. It has a somewhat dark mood to it midway through it changes tempo and slows down and it still comes off great. This album was a brief look as to what the future could have been for this band before drugs and internal conflicts finally tore them apart. This album is a must own and stands up there with all the great Stones albums from 68-72
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2003
Format: Audio CD
In 1987 few bands sounded as raw and powerful as Guns N' Roses. While many bands took on a very polished and sometimes wussy sound, GNR came out with a very real sound. Much of the material on this album reminds me of Aerosmith around 1975-1976. Welcome to the Jungle is probably one of the greatest songs ever. Sweet Child O' Mine is an awesome ballad. Other standouts are Rocket Queen, Paradise City, Mr. Brownstone, Nighttrain, and It's So Easy. While Axl has a good voice for this record Slash is the heart and soul of this record. His guitar playing gives this record some balls. While many other hard rock and hair metal albums of this time have gone forgotten, this gem still stands out and still sells. Why? Because it was real. I read in a magazine that the tracks on the album did not take more than three takes each. It's too bad Axl went on an ego trip and sacked everybody. Now his guitarist wears a KFC bucket on his head. If he knew what was good for him, he would get Slash, Izzy, Duff, and Steven and hit the road without canceling their shows. In 1987 they had something real great. If you don't have this album, get it now.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2004
Format: Audio CD
When "Hollywood Rose" and "Guns" merged to form the best band of the 80's(and the 90's, for that matter)they kicked off their career with the masterpiece called "Appetite for Destruction." To agree with most of my preceeding reviewers, I will concur that the album, although somewhat overplayed, is anything but overrated.
Kicked off with the group's adrenaline pumping anthem, "Welcome to the Jungle," is GnR's ultimate song. Although far from my favorite, nothing speaks for the band like their angry, expressive opening track. Moving on to a song you haven't heard, "It's So Easy" is a memorable, highly loveable tune. Instantly one of my favorites on the CD, this song will expose you to another aspect of this multifaceted band. "Nightrain," my second favorite song on the album, is as explosive and energetic as it is fundamentally excellent and diverse. "Out ta' Get Me," although not one of their best, is a fun and fast punkish song. I like it, and on other CDs it would shine, but compared to the other material we have here, it falls short. Speaking of other excellent material, next we are introduced to the criminally underrated, lyrical gem of "Mr. Brownstone." From underrated, to slightly overrated, we now are taken down to "Paradise City" which holds most of its glory in the last minute and a half.
Next up, powerful, robust, controversial, and wonderful is "My Michelle." This is the album's most headbanging song, one that you can't hum while standing still. "Think About You" is a pleasant change of topic from the prior songs. Personally, I don't think it lives up to the hype that it gets from a lot of other reviewers. Still an excellent song, but not in my top five for the CD. Following is my undisputable favorite, not just on Appetite, but for any by GnR. "Sweet Child o' Mine" opens with a riff that started as a joke, but has grown to be my favorite intro to any song (following perhaps "Purple Haze". The lyrics, sweet and idiosyncratic to their bad-boy image, are part of what makes Guns n' Roses such a diverse, superb group. The end gleams just as bright as the intro, and everything in the middle is perfectly worthwhile--and that is a vast understatement. It's difficult to follow Child, but "You're Crazy" is the song given that position. This song, like "Out ta' Get Me" would be better if it was on another album, but it's still a good song, definetly enjoyable, albeit only enjoyable. Next is the only filler on the whole album, "Anything Goes." I enjoy the guitar part, but the lyrics aren't very strong with the exception of the opening verse. The chorus is not well written. Lastly we are brought to the six minute plus "Rocket Queen," a song that showcases voice distortion the right way. Solid lyrics, and a simple yet fitting guitar part make this an appropriate closer for one of the best albums of all time.
In addition to solid songs all around, some details that put make this CD great, not good. First of all are Axl's vocal overdubs allowing him to sing backup with his signature style, but in the foreground with one of the many other dimensions of his voice. Squealing guitar solos from Slash are wonderful, (he's my favorite guitarist) but I'm also glad to see Izzy ALWAYS strong on rhythm, and occasionally on lead. Good drumming adds to the mix, and the bands entirely "F&*@ 'em all" attitude is what really makes GnR the best band of the 80's. In my opinion, no one better has come along since them.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2004
Format: Audio CD
During an age where the Rock world was dominated by ridiculous makeup-wearing, party-hardy hair bands and prissy shredding, along came Guns 'N Roses and their album 'Appetite For Destruction'. The gritty and down-and-dirty Rock 'N Roll sound they brought with them was something not heard since the days of the Stones. There isn't one filler to be found, and every song had the potential to become a hit single. Every track on here is a winner. From the snarling guitars of 'Welcome to the Jungle' to the punk bass-influenced 'It's So Easy', you can't doubt such genius. "Think About You" and "Sweet Child" reveal the band's heartfelt side, two good love songs. 'Nightrain' is a great blues rocker while the mean riffs of 'Out to Get Me' scream paranoia and speed metal wreaks havoc in 'You're Crazy'. "Mr. Brownstone" is as lyrically impressive as it is musically. The rest of the album is as equally good.
Frontman Axl Rose isn't a flawless singer, but he gets the job done. Guitar players Slash and Izzy are definitely the best axe attack duo since Keith Richards and Ron Wood. Slash is a great lead guitarist, with his trailblazing work in the outro of 'Paradise City', the wah-wah pedal inducing 'Sweet Child 'O Mine' and slide guitar in 'Rocket Queen'. But also look out for Izzy's soloing in 'Nightrain' and 'Think About You'. Rhythm players Duff and Steven keep everything tight each track. Many believe 'Appetite' is an overrated album, but do not know the impact it made. The sound is rather outdated today, but the songwriting showcased here is still unmatched, heavy at times but still melodic. All this while staying true to Rock roots. GNR was the band that put good Rock back on the map. However, they would unfortunately soon fall to the likes of Nirvana. This was truly the last time the whole world was exposed to the real roots of Rock 'N Roll.
Best moments and highlights of the album? Get a dose of Axl's incredible vocal range in the transition from 'Welcome to the Jungle' to 'It's So Easy'. Keep a close ear out when Izzy and Slash switch off solos right in the middle of 'Nightrain'. Also, listen to when the album shifts from the end of 'Think About You' to the intro of 'Sweet Child 'O Mine'. There's nothing quite like it.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Guns & Roses exploded on to the world stage in 1986/7 with this rock-monolith. Every track is aggression and angst filled long before grunge gave us the same anthems. The combination of sheer awesome savagery in playing, singing and production is breathtaking even today, 14 years later and it still makes the spine tingle. That unmistakable G'n'R sound has been often immitated, but here it still sounds fresh - sharp, taut and yet gloriously sleazy at the same time.
Despite their young age when they recorded this, this is a serious piece of mature metal-hardware - like Dr Frankenstein, it's unlikely they knew exactly what they were creating... and they created a masterpiece.
Everyone knows that "Paradise", "Jungle" and "Sweet Child" are fantastic, but what are often overlooked are the remaining tracks, most of which are equally good. If an album is judged worthy by how many bands it's influenced, styles it created or air-guitarists it inspired, then this is certainly a masterpiece. Rock was never the same. The Illusion albums tried (perhaps too hard?) to equal this historic slab of metal, but not even it's creators could match the original and best.
The best metal album ever. No argument.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Perhaps the greatest rock album of all-time. It's debatable, but certainly in the Top 5. GN'R burst onto the scene with "Welcome to the Jungle", which was a fitting song to make a splash with. Also happened to be one of the most successful rock songs of the 1980's. Next was "Sweet Child O' Mine" which is arguably the greatest rock song of all-time. It's not even debatable that the song has THE best guitar solo ever written. Slash was on fire on that track, and I know professional guitarists, who play guitar for a living who can't even come close to handling that song.
"Paradise City" was the next release, and at the time, it broke MTV records for the most days at #1 on Dial MTV, which was the early version of TRL. At the time, you could get away with having a 6 minute video, but these days, it would most certainly be cut down to 4.
Almost every song on this album is great. Every album has a few weak songs, and yeah, a few of these songs weren't all-time faves of mine, such as "Anything Goes", but overall, Appetite for Destruction solidified itself as one of rock's finest albums. I wouldn't change a thing about it.