When the first song on a band’s first album is one of the rockingest, most blistering, pulse pounding, shreddingest, most absolutely electric pure rock anthems of all time, you know that you’re looking at a special group. For the uninitiated, I am referring to “Welcome to the Jungle” a song that is more or less precisely what a gold standard rock and roll track looks like. What’s really crazy is that the rest of the album lives up to its opening track. From the opening seconds of “Welcome to the Jungle” to the closing bars of “Rocket Queen” and everything in-between, Guns N’ Roses’ 1987 debut album is, to this day, one of the best pure hard rock albums ever released. And for that reason, I selected this gem to open the 2nd ever Musical Training Plan, and I really couldn’t feel much better about it.
What do I even need to say about this album? The cover is awesome, Axl’s vocals are iconic, Slash shreds track after track, there isn’t much to complain about here. Appetite for Destruction is rock and roll in its basest form. It can be angry at times, but stays cocky, fun, loud, and most of the tracklist is about sex, drugs, or both. It never gets old though, I mean I’m biased but earlier this week I listened to this album start to finish two times in a row on a bike ride, and it rocked. Guns N’ Roses manages to shake it up either just enough from track to track or throw in a refresher at just the right time. The placements of “Paradise City” and “Sweet Child of Mine” as the 6th and 9th tracks, respectively, in a primarily hard rock record are just about perfect ways to bookend the more relaxed stretch of the album. Honestly though, these 12 tracks could be in any order and I would still love this album, they’re all just really good.
Appetite for Destruction has an obscene amount of style, providing high-octane and reckless rock and roll but manages to bring a commendable level of substance to go with it. At times more mature and aware than it need be with tracks like “Mr. Brownstone” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, there is enough to keep you coming back again and again beyond the easy to enjoy well crafted rocking. There is a lot to love about this album, but as I always do, I’m going to single out one specific thing that puts it over the top. This one was really hard for me because Axl’s iconic vocals and legendary songwriting (“KN-N-N-N-N-N-KNEEEEES, KNEEEEEEES”) really put a smile on my face. I would be lying though if the lifeblood of this album was anything other than Slash’s guitaring. The whole way through Slash delivers memorable guitar riffs and face melting solos that make kids like me wish they knew how to shred. The guitar is always perfectly placed, complimenting the vocals at times, driving the musicality of the whole band, or jumping to the forefront for an absolutely sickening solo, Slash wins this album.
While I know that I’m a rocker at heart and am very biased, this album should still provide some great entertainment for anybody. Specifically the songs “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, and “Paradise City” are pretty hard to hate. Still, I really hope that anyone participating enjoys this album as much as I do. And if you’re about really accessible entertainment over art albums, I encourage you to relish this one, because tomorrow won’t be so light.
They’ll all be good though, trust me.
Here is Guns N’ Roses 1987 debut: Appetite for Destruction
Benny the Jet, rocking and rolling away.