Love them or loathe them, there are few bands that have had the impact that Guns N’ Roses have. They’re most famed for their crazed guitar solos, plucked by the fingers of the top-hat wearing Slash, and for the intense screams and yelps of front-man Axl Rose. Surprisingly, for a band that’s been going since 1987, they only have released six studio albums to date. That’s pretty incredible seeing as how popular the band have managed to stay, and just shows how their masses of fans appreciate the quality of their music, rather than the quantity.
In fact, they still manage to easily sell out world tours, and also regularly play at massive arenas in the US, such as the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, which they played back in August this year. The band are no strangers to Sin City though, having played there many times, and they even have a virtual slot machine game, showcasing their love for the joys that the city can bring.
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With the band showing no signs of slowing down, we thought it would be interesting to have a quick rundown of their studio albums, from worst to best.
6. Chinese Democracy
Going straight into last place with a bullet, it’s the album that apparently cost near $15 million to make, had recordings at fifteen studios, included seventeen different musicians, and took an immense eleven years to complete. Chinese Democracy was finally released in 2008, after several re-recordings and a constant feed of leaked drama from the sessions. Plus, the only original band member left on the album was Axl Rose.
So, was it worth all that time and effort? Well, no, not really. It got mostly mixed reviews and whilst it’s not truly awful, it is a whole lot of meh.
5. ‘The Spaghetti Incident?’
The band decided to release a covers album, and ‘The Spaghetti Incident?’ was released in 1993. It’s most notable for its secret inclusion of a Charles Manson cover, which the band caught a lot of flak for, which probably tells you everything you need to know about the quality of the album.
There are some solid songs here though, and the choice of covers is illuminating to the band’s inspirations. ‘Since I Don’t Have You’, originally a hit for doo-wop band The Skyliners in 1959, is a great vehicle for Rose’s stunning voice.
4. G N’ R Lies
With the band being red hot after the success of their breakthrough album, the band decided that their sophomore release, 1988’s G N’ R Lies, would slow things down a bit. Half of the album was a previously released live EP, but the second half was a bunch of brilliantly written, new acoustic tracks.
The only single to be released from the album was the ballad ‘Patience’, which became a huge radio hit, and Rose’s tuneful whistling could be found leaking from seemingly every speaker for months.
3. Use Your Illusion I
It’s hard to choose between the two Use Your Illusion albums that were both released on the same day, thirty years ago this year. Yet, we have to agree with the paying public at the time, who had Use Your Illusion I in second place in the Billboard charts when it was released in 1991, just behind its counterpart.
The album had some monster songs on it though, including ‘Don’t Cry’, a mesmerizing cover of Paul McCartney’s ‘Live and Let Die, and the epic rock opera ‘November Rain’, which has as many twists and turns as a rocking rollercoaster.
2. Use Your Illusion II
The monster hit ‘You Could Be Mine’, which featured heavily on the Terminator 2: Judgement Day soundtrack, was included on this album, which might’ve been the reason it clinched the top spot on the Billboard charts from its previously mentioned companion.
However, classic tunes like ‘Civil War’, ‘Yesterdays’, ‘Estranged’ and an ambitious cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Knockin on Heaven’s Door’, really make the album shine and add an emotional weight to the album that elevates it to this spot in the rankings.
1. Appetite for Destruction
There was only ever going to be one winner. 1987’s Appetite for Destruction, is such a fantastic piece of work that it straight up sounds like a Guns N’ Roses greatest hits album. Featuring a band at the peak of their creativity, with Slash delivering genre defining solos so good, they apparently had the guitarist himself drooling whilst recording.
The album is brilliant from start to end, with anthems such as ‘Welcome to the Jungle, ‘Paradise City’, ‘Sweet Child of Mine’, ‘It’s So Easy’, and ‘Nightrain’. No wonder it quickly catapulted Guns N’ Roses into the biggest band in the world.