Tuesday, July 21, 1987

Guns N’ Roses released Appetite for Destruction

First posted 7/21/2013; updated 6/14/2019.

Appetite for Destruction

Guns N’ Roses


Released: 7/21/1987


Charted: 8/29/1987


Peak: #15 US, #5 UK, #7 CN, #7 AU


Sales (in millions): 18.0 US, 1.95 UK, 30.4 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: hard rock/metal


Quotable: “The best metal record of the late ‘80s.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide


Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Welcome to the Jungle (10/3/87, #7 US, #24 UK, #37 AR, sales: 0.5 m)
  2. It’s So Easy (6/15/87)
  3. Nightrain (7/29/89, #93 US, #17 UK, #26 AR)
  4. Out ta Get Me
  5. Mr. Brownstone
  6. Paradise City (1/21/89, #5 US, #6 UK, #14 AR)
  7. My Michelle
  8. Think about You
  9. Sweet Child O’ Mine (6/11/88, #1 US, #6 UK, #7 AR, sales: 0.5 m)
  10. You’re Crazy
  11. Anything Goes
  12. Rocket Queen

Review:

“Guns N’ Roses’ debut, Appetite for Destruction was a turning point for hard rock in the late ‘80s – it was a dirty, dangerous, and mean record in a time when heavy metal meant nothing but a good time.” AMG Guns N’ Roses embraced “the wasted rock star lifestyle with such earnest determination that you’d think they invented it.” GW As guitarist Slash said, “When we had to go up against whatever was going on at the time, there were no gritty rock bands, and we were sort of a break-through rock band, sort of a fluke in a way.” GW

On the surface, Guns N’ Roses may appear to celebrate the same things as their peers – namely, sex, liquor, drugs, and rock & roll.” AMG In addition, this is music “wallowing in a bluesy, metallic hard rock borrowed from Aerosmith, AC/DC, and countless faceless hard rock bands of the early ‘80s.” GW However, GNR were an “L.A. blend of surface glamour and nasty underbelly.” BL Their debut album is a mix of “exquisite pain, uncorked rage and pure rebellion meet[ing] in a full metal racket.” UT The band “played lacerating music that was tough, ugly and sometimes misogynistic.” GW “There is a nasty edge to their songs, since Axl Rose doesn’t see much fun in the urban sprawl of L.A. and its parade of heavy metal thugs, cheap women, booze, and crime.” AMG Their music was “tough, ugly” GW and built on a “sleazy sound that adds grit to already grim tales…[which made] Rose’s misogyny, fear, and anger hard to dismiss as merely an artistic statement; this is music that sounds lived-in.” AMG

Initially radio and MTV didn’t embrace the album, but label honcho David Geffen finally convinced the video music channel to give the band a chance. “Once music fans got a look at Guns N’ Roses, they liked what they saw: five tough dudes who weren’t all gussied up like Cinderella.” GW but made “raw, hard-driving, classic-sounding rock and roll.” GW It was “metallic enough for metalheads but melodic enough for the chicks. Glam Metal kids weren’t embarrassed to be seen with it, yet Bob Seger fans could drink beer to it.” GW

The band also demonstrated an ability to write hits. On Sweet Child O' Mine, Rose showed the band wasn’t just about being fast and loud. He showed he also was vulnerable. AMG It was unique as power ballads went – it rocked out even as it went straight for the heart.

Elsewhere “the charging Welcome to the JungleAMG and the driving Paradise City showed that there was still a place in the top ten of the pop charts for the rockers as well. These were gritty tales in which Rose was “conveying the fears and horrors of the decaying inner city.” AMG He did the same thing on other album cuts, such as the well-known “heroin ode Mr. Brownstone.” AMG

“But as good as Rose’s lyrics and screeching vocals are, they wouldn’t be nearly as effective without the twin-guitar interplay of Slash and Izzy Stradlin, who spit out riffs and solos better than any band since the Rolling Stones, and that’s what makes Appetite for Destruction the best metal record of the late '80s” AMG and the “hardest-rocking outfit since Aerosmith.” BL


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Monday, July 6, 1987

50 Years Ago Today: Benny Goodman recorded “Sing Sing Sing” (7/6/1937)

Updated 1/26/2019.

image from music100.info

Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)

Benny Goodman

Writer(s): Louis Prima, Leon Berry (see lyrics here)


Recorded: 7/6/1937


First Charted: 4/9/1938


Peak: 7 US, 12 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales *: -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)


Radio Airplay *: --


Video Airplay *: --


Streaming *: --


* in millions

Review:

By the start of the Swing era in 1936, Benny Goodman was its king. He started playing clarinet professionally at the age of 16 and formed his own permanent band by the time he was 25. “Sing, Sing, Sing” was the band’s most renowned performance with solos by Benny as well as drummer Gene Krupa (on his last hit before leaving the band) and trumpeter Harry James. This instrumental includes interpolation of “Christopher Columbus,” PM-179 a Chu Berry song which was written for Fletcher Henderson. SS-42

“Sing, Sing, Sing,” which Goodman called a “killer diller,” NPR’99 was the closer at the bandleader’s legendary Carnegie Hall concert on January 16, 1938. It was the first time jazz comprised a full concert instead of being part of a larger show SS-42 and marked the birthplace of the legitimacy of the genre. NPR’99

“Sing, Sing, Sing” was written by Louis Prima in 1936, but was dramatically reworked as an instrumental by Goodman to become what Steve Sullivan called “the all-time house rocker of the swing era” in his book Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings. SS-42 He credited the song with exemplifying “the sky-high excitement of Big Band jazz at its greatest.” SS-42

Helen Ward, who was initially slated to sing on the track, noted that Gene Krupa was supposed to stop drumming at the end of the third chorus, but when he kept going, Goodman chimed in with his clarinet. The reslt was an eight-minute cut which took up both sides of a 12-inch 78 rpm record, a break from the traditional three-minute recordings which could fit on a 10-inch 78. WK The recording was immediately well-received: Down Beat magazine’s Tom Collins said the performance “will make record history.” SS-43


Resources and Related Links:

Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.

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