On the 21st July, 30 years ago, Guns ‘N’ Roses shocked the world with their debut album, Appetite For Destruction. They were the shining star in the burgeoning underground scene in Los Angeles, taking glam rock hooks and the attitude of punk to give credibility to a style of hard rock often scoffed at by critics. Three decades later, over which Guns N Roses have been through more ups and downs than any band should be able to handle, Appetite For Destruction still sounds just as relevant.
Since debuting on July 21st, 1987 the album, which barely cracked the Billboard 200 upon it’s released, would go on to be one of the biggest selling albums of all time. Appetite For Destruction continues to maintain its popularity and has achieved multi-platinum status around the world, including a colossal 18 times platinum in the U.S alone. Not bad for a band who were just seen as another group of misfits from LA.
When Guns ‘N’ Roses unveiled Appetite For Destruction, they received a backlash by their detractors, largely due to the controversial image on the original issue of the album and claims that it glamorised the ‘sex, drugs, rock & roll’ cliché that was running riot through the ‘80s hard rock scene. Yes, ‘It’s So Easy’ and ‘Mr Brownstone’ are very much about those subjects, but they are true to the lives of the members of the band, and convey a sense of realism that some musicians dare to talk about. Wrapped in a gritty shell of blue’s infused riffs from legendary guitarist, Slash, and the unique vocal range of Axl Rose, they offered something far more real than the ‘hair metal’ mainstream.
Repackaged with the now iconic ‘cross’ sleeve, and spawning hit singles such as the soaring anthem, Paradise City, and the serene-yet-powerful song that rock fans love to hate, Sweet Child Of Mine, Appetite For Destruction is now considered one of the greatest albums of all time. The influence of Guns ‘N’ Roses can be heard throughout rock and metal, and it is ultimately thanks to their debut album.
While they may have seen a downturn in the years that directly followed the album, and the less said about their comeback album, The Chinese Democracy the better, the landscape of rock music would be vastly different without Guns ‘N’ Roses. Now, several members of the original line up are back together and touring, proving they are much more than just a nostalgia act, cementing their legacy as one of the all-time greats.
Following the 30th Anniversary of their debut, new music from Guns ‘N’ Roses could arrive in the future, according to guitarist Richard Fortus.
“Everyone is excited about (recording a new album),” said Fortus during a recent interview. “There’s a really magical thing now with the band. It feels like a new band. It feels like the best version since I joined, and it’s the most fun for me. There’s so much excitement around it.”
Fortus has been part of Guns ‘N’ Roses since 2002, and is currently performing with the band during as part of their ‘Not In This Lifetime…’ world tour. He also contributed to the recording of their 2008 album, The Chinese Democracy.
“We haven’t started recording anything, when I say that, as far as in the studio doing an album. We’ve been recording a lot of stuff, just ideas, assembling ideas, but not going into a studio and actually tracking a new record,” Fortus added. While nothing is set stone, Fortus also praised the vision of vocalist Axl Rose when it comes to the arrangement of new songs. “I think the genius of Axl is his ability to assemble songs, from different parts, and make them feel cohesive as a song. I’ve never seen anybody able to do that in the same way.”
You can read the full interview over at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
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