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Guns N' Roses

At a time when pop was dominated by dance music and pop-metal, Guns N' Roses brought raw, ugly rock & roll crashing back into the charts. They were not nice boys; nice boys don't play rock & roll. Guns N' Roses' music was basic and gritty, with a solid hard, bluesy base; they were dark, sleazy, dirty, and honest — everything that good hard rock and heavy metal should be. There hadn't been a hard rock band this raw or talented in years, and they were given added weight by Axl Rose's primal rage, the sound of confused, frustrated white trash vying for a piece of the pie.

Guns N' Roses released their first EP in 1986, and the following year, the band released their debut album, ‘Appetite for Destruction’. They started to build a following with their numerous live shows, but the album didn't start selling until almost a year later, when MTV started playing ‘Sweet Child O' Mine’.  Soon, both the album and single shot to No. 1, and Guns N' Roses became one of the biggest bands in the world. Their debut single ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ was re-released and shot into the Top 10, and ‘Paradise City’ followed in its footsteps. By the end of 1988, they released ‘G N' R Lies’ – whose inflammatory closer, ‘One in a Million’ sparked intense controversy. 

Guns N' Roses began work on the long-awaited follow-up to ‘Appetite for Destruction’ at the end of 1990. After being delayed for nearly a year, the albums ‘Use Your Illusion’ parts ‘I’ and ‘II’ were released. Messy but fascinating, the albums showcased a more ambitious band; while there were still a fair number of full-throttle guitar rockers, there were stabs at balladry, acoustic blues, horn sections, female backup singers, ten-minute art rock epics with several different sections, and a good number of introspective, soul-searching lyrics.

The advent of grunge, spearheaded by Nirvana, changed the musical landscape – and rumours began started flying that the band were about to break up. Rose remained out of the spotlight, and the band underwent several line-up changes. In 2008 the band released ‘Chinese Democracy’ – a record that was over a decade in the making – and embarked on a world tour. In 2012 the band, in its original line up, was inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In 2016 the band announced they were reforming to headline the US festival Coachella to great excitement from fans.

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'Sweet Child O' Mine'
Guns N Roses's YouTube