I disagree. I think that it would have been easy to keep producing the same albums over and over like other successful bands do once they find their niche (KISS anyone?) but they (or apparently Axl mainly) wanted to explore different musical stylings and treatments. Look at the hard rock/ Heavy metal scene before UYI's came out. After the success of song like "November rain" where Axl plays piano on a sad rock ballad, or with the punk like speed of "perfect crime" we see the variety that the style allows. Fast forward, and we see things like Metallica hooking up with an orchestra for S&M, KISS follow suit. We see more options an alternatives in hard rock. If any current rock musician does not claim GnR as one of their heaviest influences, then they're either a liar, fourteen years old, or located on a moon orbiting jupiter. With the latest (finally) GnR album (or Axl and a bunch of randoms as they could also be called) we see further experimentation, flamenco guitar, more varied vocals, exploring the music. True, it's no "welcome to the jungle" but I think that's a good thing. Music is an art, and what's the point in copying what's already been done, even if you were the one to do it? big respect to Axl for his musical ambition, this new album may one day be considered his masterpiece, though, having said that, I would gladly donate a kidney to get the original line up back together, and would travel across the world to see them live.
I think the original lineup was well on its way to becoming one of the greatest bands. Appetite and the Use Your Illusion albums were incredible. Had they stayed together for another good decade and released 3-4 more solid albums, they'd be rock and roll royalty today.
Just look at Izzy Stradlin's solo work and Slash's Snakepit. All of that stuff was incredible. The only thing was Izzy's stuff was missing the killer guitars and Slash's stuff was missing the godly songwriting. Even the new GNR album showcases Axl's genius, but it's missing the killer guitars and Izzy's style.
If they ever reunite, it will be one of the biggest reunions in rock and roll history.
Can anybody out there name a better rock album than Appetite for Destruction? I can't think of another band who ever put 12 straight tracks on an album that I don't feel like skipping a few. For that reason alone I say the original GN'R are legends. Plus they were not faking like so many '80s bands. They were the antidote because they were real. They dressed against the grain of the time, had serious drug and alcohol problems, fought among themselves and with everybody else. I got into this band about the same time as the whole world in '88 and the memories are still strong where I couldn't care less about most other bands of the time. YES, this band is legend and I'm kinda like the other guy who said he'd give a kidney if the original 5 would reunite. Though I don't know if they'd be worth a kidney these days. Maybe I'd give one if I could time-travel and see them.
I would definitely have to say it would be a hard call, but definitely would have to lean more towards one of the greatest Appetite for Destruction is simply outstanding and Use Your Illusion wasn't too shabby at all either. The point in question is after all that though, had they been able to come together and kick out a few more albums somewhat close to Appetite than their status for sure would be cemented also because they have such a unique amazing sound unlike most any other band out there that like U2, the Stones, and Beetles just to name a few have a distinct and undeniable sound that makes them.... well "them". Here's hoping for a reunion maybe someday hopefully.
Another vote for wasted potential - Axl was a great frontman for a great band, but P. Vo called it right - the heart and soul of GnR was the mix of Izzy and Slash - they were a little more Young brothers than Lennon/McCartney, but somewhere in between. Axl's ego got in the way and what could have been one of the great bands fizzled out. They are doomed to be more Oasis than Stones or Floyd because they just don't have enough great output to put them in that same league, and after the first album they were a little too hit and miss (again, the ego).
They are definitely one of the best bands ever. They are not a one album wonder. To dismiss everything they put out after Appetite for Destruction would be crazy. "Civil War" and "November Rain" are two of their best songs (produced afrter Appetite for Destruction). Yes, they were best in the original lineup, but GNR also made Slash And Izzy recognizable today. If nothing else the original lineup should be seen as one of the greatest rock bands
NO!!! Not enough great albums. A couple of great albums doesn't put them in the same league as THE WHO , THE STONES , DEEP PURPLE , RUSH , FLOYD , THE BEATLES and GENESIS , ect... Even METALLICA , had more great albums than , G N' R , did.
They could have been one of the greatest if they hadn't fallen apart so soon. They also don't have the history of those other great bands and / or the influence.
I could write the same thing about , NIRVANA.
One of the only artists to be considered one of the best with only 3 great studio albums was JIMI HENDRIX. He changed guitar playing and rock music with just 3 studio albums and 1 of those albums was a double album.
However G N' R's music , does deserve it's place in rock history.
Yes... Bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Pink Floyd, are overrated... Patience, Sweet Child O' Mine, none of the so called "legendary" bands, ever put out songs anywhere near that good.
I think they clearly had the potential to be one of America's greatest rock and roll bands. AFD was (and probably will be considered) one of the greatest debut albums of all time. They had everything going for them at that time.
1. A fascinating frontman (red haired, green toothed, snake dancing screamer that sounded like NO one else who just oozed danger) 2. A Top Hatted lead guitarist who smoked everybody else at that time with his raw, gutsy, bluesy licks. What tone! 3. A brilliant songwriter named Izzy Stradlin who was secretly the glue behind the band. Coolest guy to play rhythm guitar since Keith Richards 4. An underrated drummer in Steven Adler that epitomized that "loosey goosey" back beat that eluded SO many bands. Incredible.
What's important to note that they were riding against the current of modern rock and roll at that time. They were raw and wore denim and leather. They were friggin' dangerous and their music reflected that. They looked like a gang that were angry against everything! Rebellion at its purest. I loved them until Axel's ego sabotaged the entire operation. Success has its price. Once Izzy left, it was all over.
They are not one of the greatest bands of alltime. They had one of the greatest debut albums of alltime but, one album does not a career make. Potentially they couldve been but Axls stupidity and arrogance/selfishness cost them that. They got blown off the stage by Aerosmith and Metallica when I saw them in concert. They hit like a Perfect storm. Any earlier and they wouldve been ignored because Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath(DIO), Motorhead etc. ruled the world. Any later and grunge and thrash were happening. They were just better than the other hairbands at the time. Great bands have several great albums not just one.
Stephen I agree. The Guns N' Roses story is one of wasted potential, wasted musicians (heroin, it's a hell of a drug), and out of control ego. They had a very good debut and some excellent EP's and then two ballad bloated follow up recordings. Which were followed up an album of covers?!? By the time of Chinese Democracy the band was long dead. CD should be considered an Axl solo album. Three albums rife with filler and a covers album doesn't make a band one of the best of all time. If the original poster had made the claim that they were the best hair metal band of all time I'd agree. They were the only one I could stand.
Guns N' Roses was a band that was capable of creating incredible rock music. The problem is that I can count the amount of times they did so on two hands. A 10-track "best of" is more than enough of these guys.
GNR is on the short list of the most overrated bands in history. They don't deserve anywhere near the praise they receive.
It is an insult to compare them to bands like Led Zeppelin, the Doors, Beatles, Stones, Floyd, etc.
It is rare to find anyone that is not a rabid GNR fan that would claim they are among the best ever.
For what Guns accomplished in the short time they had together is amazing, BUT - the true measure of greatness is album consistency. Appetite and Lies were perfect! Use Your Illusion 1&2 could have been shaved down to one album. More focus was needed but most of the band was battling drug and alcohol addiction while Axl had that growing EGO problem. Replacing Steven Alder was necessary, but when Izzy Stradlin left in 91' Guns N' Roses were finished. Izzy was the true heart-beat of the band and when he quit the rest was history as they say. The Spaghetti Incident? just SUCKED! In fact I can't even call it a GnR album. The Chinese Democracy is an Axl Rose solo album. So are they the greatest band ever - No, definitely not! Are they one of the best bands of all time - Yeah, sure. They did something amazing in a very short space of time.
Even after the space between old and new GnR... Chinese Democracy.... all the bad press.... etc. Axl has tons of faithful old fans and tons of excited new fans!! The man is loved by many. Doesn't seem to matter what smack is said about him, either, people are still flocking. He was and still is a creative genius when it came to writing music. If it wasn't for his ego, those other boys wouldn't have been global. On their own, they woulda been a mediocre band struggling to get gigs. The other boys had huge drug problems. Axl was getting the worst of them and they were getting the bad side of him. I know there's a ton written about him and how volatile he was, but those were his demons and he couldn't control them. In my opinion, it was those demons sparking the fire under the music. The other boys had demons, too. They tempered theirs with drugs and booze. The more high they were, the more they were running from them. What's the point of getting so high you can't stand or talk? Axl is a genius. Sometimes geniuses are hard to handle. Sometimes geniuses take awhile to reboot. He has humbled himself. He is working his way back from hell, if you ask me. Late bloomer in the personal growth department, perhaps? As for GnR fame... the YUI 1&2 releases stayed in the top 2 billboard spots for how long? GnR made history releasing them at the same time! THANKS TO AXL. Slash and Duff, who hated the direction Axl was going, got into the RRHoF partly because of Axl's over-the-top thinking. IMO, he was too progressive for them and I'd guess they were annoyed they'd have to work so hard. Anyone ever notice how long the tracks are? Axl had an ego bigger than life and Slash, Duff, and Stephanie worked diligently to crush it. Give the guy a break. Let history be history. No hard feelings towards the other band members but I really dig Axl for his genius talent with music, as you can tell. :) Not sure if Duff or Slash have ever been referred to as musical geniuses...but I loooove them, too! The combination was magical. Not to mention the rest of the crew made the frosting extra sweet, too!