Articles Tagged: Guns N’ Roses

Certain Songs #569: Guns N’ Roses – “Civil War”

Guns civil war Album: Use Your Illusion II
Year: 1991

One of the fun parts of doing something like Certain Songs is that I get to finally explain some of my long-held but hardly-expressed theories. Which I have a lot of!!

And here comes one of the most indefensible: not only is Use Your Illusion II the greatest Guns N’ Roses album, it’s the greatest metal album ever made by Americans.

You’ll, of course, note that “Americans” qualifier. Because Led Zeppelin. And maybe even Black Sabbath & Deep Purple. So if you’ll accept that (and that GN’R qualify as “metal”) — and of course there’s no reason you have to — then what’s better?

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Certain Songs #568: Guns N’ Roses – “November Rain”

Guns november Album: Use Your Illusion I
Year: 1991

In the early 1990s, if you wanted to prove how big of an artist you were, it wasn’t about your riders or groupies or drugs or private planes.

Nope. It was about how big your videos were. We didn’t know it at the time, but the early 1990s was the the last great moment of the MTV-oriented video era, and Guns N’ Roses took full advantage of the gynormous budgets guaranteed by their stardom to make ridiculously over-the-top videos that matched both their ridiculously over-the-top songs and their ridiculously over-the-top egos.

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Certain Songs #567: Guns N’ Roses – “Double Talkin’ Jive”

Guns Use 1 Album: Use Your Illusion I
Year: 1991

Izzy Stradlin was always my favorite. While he could have seemed like the lukewarm water between Axl Rose’s fire and Slash’s ice, to me he was also the guy who embodied the straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll groove at the heart of Guns n’ Roses.

He was also arguably the best songwriter in the band, which was why their first move after he left was to do a covers album, and their second move was to break up.

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Certain Songs #566: Guns N’ Roses – “Sweet Child O’ Mine”

Guns Appetite For Destruction Album: Appetite For Destruction
Year: 1987

Right. This song. A number #1 hit single in 1988, which seemed a little weird even then, because it wasn’t like it as a slow power ballad, or even a conventional pop song that ended with the chorus repeating over and over again.

But what “Sweet Child O’ Mine” did have was loads of drama, and a weird seat-of-your pants feel to it that somehow connected deeply to just about anybody who heard it.

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Certain Songs #565: Guns N’ Roses – “Paradise City”

guns paradiseAlbum: Appetite for Destruction
Year: 1987

Has there ever been a more perfectly crafted stadium rock song? Especially when you consider that it was by a band that hadn’t even come close to playing stadiums?

Sure, I guess you could make a case for “We Will Rock You / We Are The Champions,” but Queen were already huge by the time time News of The World came out, and I still think that “Paradise City” is — at the very least — more relatable. After all, very few of us well ever be champions, but we all got a shot at paradise.

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