Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction (1987)

When I first heard this album, I was arguably at a point in my life where I could not consistently produce coherent, rational thoughts -- after all, I was eight! -- but the fact remains that this was, indeed, my first taste of rock 'n' roll. The above artwork is somehow a preserved relic from my stubborn little days as a child artiste. I'm not sure why I still have it, but it's kind of interesting. Even more interesting, in retrospect, is why my parents let me listen to this, of all albums. I suppose this accounts for my omnipresent devilish grin in all matters unholy and my sincere lack of decorum in anything regarding social order.

Ok, so the album -- nostalgic waffle aside -- is exceptionally good, despite the soon-to-be ridicule I already anticipate receiving from two otherwise splifficated musical fiends. This is where Slash the guitar god makes his first entrance and more notably, where GNR totally snorts rock and roll from off a table and trashes your living room. But enough of its historical import -- this album rocks. You know when an album starts with a doozy such as "Welcome To The Jungle" that awesomeness is in store for your ears. Hell, that's all you need to hear, I think, with its brazen taunts and indomitable menace -- how could this not be the future of rock? And who said rock was dead? Ok, this was 1987, the year of the mush, the long scuttlebutt and dreck accumulated from an otherwise useless and musically soulless decade (Fuck you Depeche Mode! Fuck you Tears For Fears!). Just as well, this is a mite better than the homogenized rock we have posing as the real thing today, where classic rock rip-offs like The White Stripes are actually refreshing.

Sidetracked again. "Nightrain" is delicious. "You're Crazy" is fucking crazy. "Sweet Child O' Mine" is positively fucking sick. If Slash's guitar tone hadn't been burned into your consciousness by this track, it surely is now. Super fucking tasty. "Paradise City" -- OMFG! These guys never did anything like this again, so cherish it. Granted, I dig some of the stuff from Lies; but nothing was ever as brutal, bombastic, fresh and irreverent as this. Those who believe that this album contains weak riffs, I think, are misguided, as they may be mistaking the Use Your Illusion I and II monstrosities instead. A


Master Cianan said...

Guh. Weak riffs are aplenty in this album. Let me be more specific. There is a certain symmetry I like to hear in riffs. And while certain of the songs on this rekkid do conform to the various kinds of leaps, changes, and intervals I enjoy, most do not. "sweet child" works for me because it's a positively sick lead played over a solid, classic, and "safe" progression. "Night train" sounds like a wet noodle squeezed through sizzling EL34 tubes to me. "Mr. Brownstone" just makes me mad. This album is played with impeccable bombast and the tones are superb. I just happen to hate the notes. "welcome to the jungle" would be pretty good if not for Axl's stuttering caterwauls in betsy johnson tights. "you're crazy" just sucks. Again, limp riffing is to blame. I've always appreciated the band for what they were when they came onto the scene, and for just how much filthier they were than their peers, and I do indeed love some of their songs. But, alas, my geometrically calibrated ears simply cannot enjoy the majority of their catalog, as awesome as Saul Hudson actually is.

"I used to love her" from lies is fucking great too.

The Mad Hatter said...

I was expecting far worse. Perhaps Chuck will come through; he did start the ruckus. I never bought into the idea of Axl, even for this album; it's always been about what Slash does that makes me interested. Even on the Illusion albums, there's some tasty stuff; but alot of it is the grandstand caterwauling of Axl fucking Zeppelin. Yeah, "Used To Love Her" is great, and I think the version of "You're Crazy" is better on that album as well. Even "One In A Million," as jarring as it is lyrically, is pretty good.

Master Cianan said...

Ah, one in a million. Well, Axl's "nigger" lyric doesn't strike me as being intended as a racist remark, considering that Slash happens to be black. Not that anyone has ever seemed to notice that small fact.

But yeah, I'm not interested in trashing the band or the album, it's just that, well, most of the riffs are "blah" to me. And I'm eagerly awaiting chuck's inevitable attack. It should be fun.

taotechuck said...

I may be splifficated, but you, my friend, are deafecated.

It's like listening to Ethel Merman on a coke binge.

The Mad Hatter said...


Tepid, man. Tepid. Where's the hate? Come on now, you know this is the place to speak your mind without having to feel like you have that dull cow glow of etiquette wherein mundane and mindless ass-slapping proliferates? Skewer me already.

Master Cianan,

Yeah, "One In A Million" in fact does sound sarcastic (I hope); but that doesn't make me blast it in the backyard for the neighbors to hear.

taotechuck said...

Hatter, you've caught me at a bad time. You deserve to be skewered, but I... I don't have it in me right now. I just feel so, so, so tolerant.

I've talked to my doctor and he's prescribed meds, so I'm hoping this state of acceptance and harmony won't be a permanent thing. But for now, I'm plagued by thoughts like, "Maybe I'm wrong about this album. Maybe Axl Rose really is good. Maybe I need to stop calling the album, "Appetite for DeStupid."

In fact, I'm going to go listen to it right now.

... pause ...

... pause ...

... waiting for Rhapsody to load...

... pause ...


Appetite for Destruction is a big ol' turd. From the opening little screamy thing that Axl does, it's just lame. And what the hell is with the sex noises during "Welcome to the Jungle?" And "my serpentine?" What does that mean? I mean, I know what it means, but it's just STUPID.

Everyone was so up in arms when this came out, because it was dirty. Yeah, I can see how it's dirty when compared against something like Dokken (rhymes with Rockin'!), but not when it's compared against something that doesn't suck.

Appetite is a fucking rock cliché. Even worse, it's a rock cliché that was done better by other clichéd bands like AC/DC and Aerosmith.

Sheryl Crow's cover of "Sweet Child O' Mine" was no worse than GnR's original. That speaks volumes. Sheryl Crow is awful, and everything she has done is awful. The fact that her cover was no worse than the original irrefutably proves that the original is awful.

Like mullets and Camaros, this should be avoided at all costs. I assumed you'd know that, Hatter, and I was wrong. You simply proved that when I make assumptions about your musical taste, you end up looking like an ass.

Oh, and Cianan? "I Used to Love Her" is a stupid, stupid song. Even if you were being sarcastic, you should be embarrassed for using the words "fucking" and "great" in the same sentence as that song title (unless, of course, you were writing "it sure would be fucking great if that piece of shit song had never been recorded").

Hey, I think my meds are starting to work! Thank goodness!

The Mad Hatter said...

From a person who listens to Killers leftovers, you've surely got some nerve bashing on Sheryl Crow. I mean, she's a damned lovely musician, worthy of unequivocal veneration and praise. Hell, I'd give her the Congressional Medal of Honor just having to brave all of those angry combatant people who hate her beautiful beautiful music. Where's the love on the Santa Monica Boulevard? Ahem.

Oh, and you're entitled to your, uh, medicated outbursts and other nonsense. Just remember, I cannot be made to look the part of an ass, because I already am one. No one I know dances around like a mad hatter around their living room to Bungle's "Disco Volante," with arms-flapping, feet-kicking, head twitching in a complete flailing bodily spasm. Top that, okay? I am beyond embarrassment, as is my shit-stained partner in crime.

I'm going to listen to "Mr. Brightside" now and shoot myself in the face. Oh, wait. I did that with Pet Sounds. Nevermind.

Master Cianan said...

Aw, Chuck. "used to love her" is just totally entertaining, whether you like it or not. And since I like it, you can holler all you like, I don't care.

As for camaros... I'm more of a mopar guy, but I'll cut chevy a break since they gave us the Malibu/Chevelle and the even greater El Camino SS. But no camaro is complete with out a mullet and a primer-grey quarter panel, it's true.

If it's hating you want, you should pester the hatter to post an email exchange we had a year ago about Bob Geldof. It resurfaced the other day when coldplay was brought into the fray...

The Mad Hatter said...

I just sent it to you Chuck; make sure to check your email.

Starrlight said...

I Used To Love Her is one of my favorites. Sign me up for Hatter's ass club cause I like AFD to.

And did someone just bring up Mr Bungle?!

The Mad Hatter said...

Bungle rules!

Perplexio said...

There's a great dirty jangleyness reminiscent of the Stones in the guitars on this. I'm guessing that's largely due to Izzy Stradlin being so heavily influenced by Keith Richards.

I may be in the minority, but I actually prefer the over the top symphonic bombast of the two Use Your Illusion albums over Appetite for Destruction.