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Guns N'Roses, rock band
American hard rock band Guns N 'Roses from Los Angeles appeared in the US in 1985, now it's one of the most popular hardcore in the world.

Guns N'Roses, rock band

Guns N'Roses, rock band

Guns N 'Roses, rock band

Monsters of Rock

Rock music has long ago stepped beyond small clubs and dance floors. Its commercial success is out of the question, though this music genre has its clear leaders among a variety ofbands and performers. Guns N 'Roses, the American hard rock band from Los Angeles, is one of them. The quantity of CDs sold worldwide exceeds 150 million pieces.

These days the band's popularity ratings are as high as in the 90s of the 20th century. The number of people who wish to buy tickets toGuns N 'Roses’  rare concerts is tremendous. At all times they appear to packed houses. Huge amount of fans yearn to hear their favorite hits in live performance.

How it all began

Guns N 'Roses was formed in 1985 by guitarist Tracii Ganz from L.A. Guns and vocalist Axl Rose from HollywoodRose. After working in different bands, they decided to create a joint group. Though Tracii Ganz soon left it for his previous band, leaving only his name in the title. Thus, Guns N 'Roses has coined its name from the names of its founders.

The band’s classic lineup was finalized by the end of 1985. The band comprises vocalist AxlRose, guitarists Slash and IzzyStradlin, bassist DuffMcKagan and drummer StevenAdler. The group signed with GeffenRecords and in 1986 released its first album.

The title of the first mini-album was quite ingenious– “EP Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide”. It had the form of live records of the band's concerts. There were lengthy disputes whether the songs from the album were actual concert recordings. When you listen to those songs, you can hear noises, whistles and fan cries, but the performance and consolidationquality leave the feeling of a studio-released product. And so it was, in fact. In one of the later interviews the musicians confessed that the studio-made recording was overdubbed with crowd noise.

Mass Popularity and scandals

Guns N 'Roses became famous when their debut album “Appetite for Destruction” came out in 1987. The album met with resistance and controversy all along. First of all, the original EPcover was changed. Various religious organizations deemed its design too provocative and demanded to ban the album’s sale. But even a modified design didn’t pacify the rock haters much.

 The record company had problems with the music video release on MTV. The label representative had a hard time trying to convince MTV executives to play “WelcometotheJungle”. The agreement stipulated that the clip was to be initially played only once and at five a.m. In spite of it, a lot of hard rock fans took notice of the video, and they soon began requesting MTV to show it again.

As a result, some music critics started talking about “WelcometotheJungle” as of the best things MTV showed in 1987. In the end, the album sold about 30,000,000 copies worldwide.What surprises most is that the 18,000,000 units sold in the US made it the country’s bestselling debut album. Guns N 'Roses’ longplayerholds this record until now.

Guns N 'Roses’ next album, “G N' R Lies”, came out in November 1988.It consisted of four earlier recordings from the “Live?!*@Like a Suicide” mini-album and four new songs. Like the previous EP, “G N 'R Lies” raised scandals and assaults on the band group. The musicians were again pressed to change the album cover which, in some people’s opinion, offended women’s feelings and dignity. Then it was the lyric’s turn to be attacked. The song "Onein a Million" raised accusations of racism and homophobia. There was a reason for it. Rose honestly conceded that he was not a gay men supporter, and those black people from the songwere real criminals who had once tried to rob him.

Resounding Success

The band was flushed with success in 1991 when two new studio albums were released - Use YourIllusion I and UseYourIllusion II. Though the recording was not an easy job carried out in band turmoil (the drummer Steven Adler was unable to perform because of his drug addiction, other band members hardly pursued a health living either), the albums were pretty fantastic.

“Don'tCry”, “NovemberRain”, “CivilWar” and the cover of Bob Dylan's “Knockin 'onHeaven'sDoor” became absolute hits. “Don'tCry” was included in both albums, but with two different versions of lyric. Music videos to the main hits were shown on all major music channels.

"NovemberRain" reached number 3in US charts and won the prestigious MTV VideoMusicAward for best cinematography. By the way, this song is still very popular in Russia. Just look at the number of its query translations on the Internet. Besides, it was the first time in music history when both albums reached the highest Billboard Hot 100 charting rate. Never before the same band had managed to peak at No.1 and No.2 at once.

After the release of the albums, the band members embarked on the "Use Your Illusion World Tour". The performances were planned not as just ordinary concerts, but as well-staged shows - with a guitar solo from Slash and an extended jam on familiar songs. Everything was done to make old compositions sound more interesting.

After the tour was completed, the band released their fifth album, "TheSpaghettiIncident?". The EP came out on November 23, 1993 and was composed of cover tracks only. Guns N 'Roses used to be good at singing other people's songs before (for example, "Knockin' onHeaven'sDoor" or "Wheredowegonow?"). But it was the first time they released a full cover album. As it had been with other EPs, this one also caused a scandal. The album had an unadvertised cover of the song "LookatYourGame, Girl", written by the notorious murderer Charles Manson.

The inclusion of that song caused outrageous controversy in mass media. Even after Slash released a statement that he would donate all his performance royalties from this song to Bartek Frykowski, the son of one of Manson's victims during the Tate murders, it didn't help. The album received rather cool reviews from music critics. In fact, it has become the last band recording to date in which we can hear Slash's guitar work.

Guns N 'Roses: yesterday and today

In the early 90's tension arose between Axl Rose and Slash. Musicians are often not capable to collaborate when they reach the top of their career. Slash officially quitted Guns N 'Roses in October 1996 and started his solo career. At the beginning of 1997 other bandmates were also gone from Axl. He had to find new musicians remaining the only original member in the band.

Guns N 'Roses' fans had to wait for the new album for many years. The sixth studio recording, "Chinese Democracy", was released on November 23, 2008. The recording process took 7 long years, and it ranks among the most expensive rock albums ever produced.

According to Rose, the costs exceeded $13 million.  Band fans looked forward to the EP release also because Buckethead, one of the most talented guitarists of our time, was incorporated in the recording. The album was doomed to success, and it debuted at No.3 on the Billboard chart. At the beginning of 2009, the EP was certified Platinum. 

A new wave of success for Guns N 'Roses witnesses worldwide tours over the next few years. Billboards announcing the band's concerts could be found in Moscow in 2012.

Everything moves in this world, so the band's life also changes. In 2015 its lineup changed again. Slash and McKagan's rejoin in Guns N 'Roses caused delight among their fans. Obviously, it was made to boost commercial success, though the musicians also speak of new music and collaborative ideas. Today the band takes part in various festivals, but most of their fans are waiting for them to release another great album.

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