In case you have been so sorely deprived of ever having heard the rock and roll legend that is Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite For Destruction, let me be the bearer of fortune, for today we go down a road of no return. Together we will embark on a highway of treacherous debauchery, lauded hedonism and all round bad-assery.
Never has there been an album quite like this, and almost certainly never will there be. It’s easy to forget that this was the band’s first effort, as it was so prodigiously definitive. It broke ground when it first came out and changed the game for hard rock, taking its rightful place as the best selling debut album of all time, selling 30 million copies to date worldwide. This year on August 6 marks its 30 year anniversary rising to number 1 on the U.S. album charts, a feat your shoe-gaze garage band could only dream of.
Appetite For Destruction is huge, heavy, sexy and outright dangerous; you feel like a member of the Hell’s Angels clad in leather and chains, revving up your Harley and menacing through Monterey just hearing it. It spawned iconic classics such as “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, “Welcome To The Jungle” and “Paradise City”, but the hits don’t stop there. This album is the epitome of Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll, exhibit A being the song “Mr. Brownstone”, about suffering a crippling heroin addiction while on tour, set to a hard hitting riff you can’t help but bang your head to no matter how dark the content. Then there’s the fan favourite “Rocket Queen” that literally features audio porn (the story goes that singer Axl Rose invited then drummer Steven Adler’s girlfriend into the recording studio to “summon the beast with two backs” and recorded her moans to use in the track). Put all that together with deep thrashing drums and face-melting guitar solos, brought to you by the one and only Slash, and you have a recipe for chaos to satiate that eponymous craving.
Classic albums like this never just fade into the distance, and Appetite for Destruction isn’t one that’s going anywhere anytime soon. On June 29 earlier this year, the super deluxe edition entitled Appetite For Destruction: Locked and Loaded was released which serves as THE ultimate tribute to the prowess and grandeur of the initial release; it even put the album back in the Top 10 in the Billboard 200 for a short time (where it’s currently sitting at 79). The reissue features an extra three discs worth of live versions, alternate takes of tracks and a couple of previously unreleased singles. For the obsessive collectors out there, an extravagant box set (to say the least) is available which includes vinyls, pins, patches, posters, replicas and a whole lot more, all in a hand-painted vault with a 3D reimagining of the cover. Undoubtedly all of this doesn’t come cheap, clocking in at a whopping $999, but a true fan’s love (and wallet) holds no limits. However if you care more about buying a house before you turn 50 than you do excessive merch, then the whole thing is available on Spotify and iTunes.