Guns N' Roses
Appetite for Destruction


5.0
classic

Review

by BigHans USER (108 Reviews)
March 7th, 2012 | 114 replies | 7,252 views


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Axl’s mantra was an astounding array of flaws that perfectly summarize what an uncompromising prick looks like. And that is precisely the reason he is directly responsible for arguably the greatest hard rock record of all-time.

23 of 23 thought this review was well written

One of the more interesting paradoxes in life is the confounding fact that benevolence is rarely rewarded in a tangible sense and malevolence is often met with a great bounty. All of us have that friend who whines about how “nice guys finish last” as they contemplate going into a warm bathtub and applying the straight razor while listening to Elliott Smith’s second album because their girlfriend dumped them for a total a$shole, but it’s not just limited to them, and oddly enough, they aren’t full of sh*t. As long as the human quality of malevolence is met with some degree of intelligence, there is little question that person has a much greater chance of succeeding in this world than the guy who hugs puppies on Saturdays and is so nice to everybody that its impossibly easy to take his money, bang his wife, and get him to thank you afterward. This conundrum is most evident and prevalent in the business world, but it can easily be applied to more subjective subjects like art. An astute example of this lies in the study of one William Bruce Bailey of Indiana, aka, W. Axl Rose.

There is little doubt Axl has at least 3 major crippling personality disorders, legitimately enjoys inflicting pain upon others, cares about absolutely nothing but himself, worships at the altar of Axl Rose, narcissist, and revels in an astonishing universe of unmatched douchebaggery. According to Dante, there are 9 circles of hell applied to the distinct personality flaw of the individual and 7 deadly sins. Axl has at least 14 of the combined defective personality traits. The man is sinister and sly enough to slide under a door without grease and explosive and crazy enough to barge headfirst through it when he doesn’t get his way, similar to a toddler screaming for a bottle but about 7,685 times more dangerous. Sleazier than a politician, more vengeful than a menstruating female whose husband just f*cked her sister, and more recalcitrant than your average felon, Axl’s mantra was an astounding array of flaws that perfectly summarize what an uncompromising prick looks like. And that is precisely the reason he is directly responsible for arguably the greatest hard rock record of all-time.

“Appetite for Destruction” is famous for myriad reasons. 20 million albums sold, the presence of three of the most iconic songs in the history of hard rock, the notoriety, the drugs, the egos, they all added up to a fascinating carnage impossible for human nature to ignore. I could give you hundreds of reasons why Appetite is a great album. I could talk about the anthemic chorus of “Paradise City,” the intro to “Sweet Child O Mine,” how damn epic “Rocket Queen” is, the universal love for “Welcome to the Jungle,” how Guns N Roses laid waste to bands like Poison and Warrant by being an AC/DC/Aerosmith hybrid with a lot more raunch and melody at the same time, how awesome it was when Axl talked about Mad Dog 20/20, heroin, prostitutes, bondage sex, and every time he said f*ck in a tone that meant serious Goddamn business. All of that matters in a certain sense but none of it matters when we are discussing it as a pantheon album. The primary reason “Appetite” stands alone in its genre goes way beyond beastly riffs, killer solos, hooks, subject matter, energy, and anything else you can think of. Its clear separation is based upon the fact it literally embodies the unwritten notion of what hard and cock rock actually is. Every note, every riff, every line embodies a filthy sleaze, even when Axl is trying really damn hard to be introspective.

If you really think about the intangible reasons why people like this kind of music it’s easy to see how “Appetite” is the textbook definition of exactly what it should sound like. It’s easily the most “rock n roll” album of its genre and it isn’t even close (rock n’ roll meaning the well-publicized ideal of “sex, drugs, and rock n roll.”) I won’t dismiss the remaining band member’s accomplishments; “Appetite” wouldn’t be what it is without Izzy’s dirtier-than-Angus riffs, Duff’s rolling, infatuating bass grooves, and Slash’s eviscerating solos. But what ties it all together is this notion of sleaze, the fact that the sound and subject matter was absolutely no act to sell records. What you heard was actually who this band was, and the quintessential element that tied it all together was Axl. When Axl boasts about how the band always went on late in “Mr. Brownstone,” it’s because they literally could not stand, let alone perform, unless they were loaded up on black tar heroin. There is absolutely nobody else in rock that can pull off the misogyny of “It’s So Easy,” the outlaw underpinnings of “Out To Get Me,” the abusive, alcoholic overtones of “Nighttrain,” the impossibly judgmental “Welcome to the Jungle,” and the roach-motel sleaze of “My Michelle” other than Axl, for no other reason than every sardonic concept, every overpoweringly arrogant boast he made was precisely who he was.

There were a lot of bands in the '80s who released timeless albums and jams we still remember, but none of them came close to capturing people’s attention like Axl and company. Guns N Roses in their prime were beyond a force of nature. If they would have existed in the internet era the internet itself would have exploded. This was beyond a collection of misfits; it was a brood of talented yet unequivocally flawed malcontents, all tied together by an insane yet brilliant leader. Axl wasn’t the only person in the band who slept with a bottle of vodka by the bed stand and ran out of veins to riddle with heroin, but he was easily the most cunning. Some people just think he’s a douche, but those are the ones that are more easily suckered by not realizing the man was a cartoonish evil genius. You can imagine him laughing maniacally after every episode, every million made, not because his plan was working, but because he was literally out of his mind yet intelligent enough to keep playing puppeteer. As time went on, the insanity slowly eroded the brilliance and we now have a bloated, corn row brandishing Axl and “Chinese Democracy,” but there is absolutely zero question during the brief stint in time when the madness collided with brilliance and the true embodiment of personality to music led to the creation of arguably the greatest hard rock record of all time. And it wouldn’t have happened if Axl wasn’t a colossal charlatan, a disgusting lowlife, a king among a$sholes. God bless him.



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user ratings (2338)
Chart.
4.1
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
BigHans
March 7th 2012



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

won't be reviewing for a very long time, so I figured I better get my favorite album done.

TheNotrap
March 7th 2012



8042 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Pos hard.
One of the greatest rock albums ever released.

Love it or hate it...that's a fact.

Digging: Accept - Blind Rage

NeutralThunder12
March 7th 2012



8742 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

album sucks

Nagrarok
March 7th 2012



8197 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good grief I'll have to get through this later but I'm sure a pos is in order. Sorry for bumping you down so fast btw, was probably posting at the same time. I'd actually imagine you'd done this for a 100th.

TheNotrap
March 7th 2012



8042 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

"...And it wouldn’t have happened if Axl wasn’t a colossal charlatan, a disgusting lowlife, a king among a$sholes..."

You speak wisdom.
This is true rock in your fucking face. The true thing. Sex, Drugs & Rock n' roll.

Shuyin
March 7th 2012



11465 Comments


lol this band has one of the coolest, craziest lead singers ever

Digging: Integral - Sercosa

WatchItExplode
March 7th 2012



3227 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I miss hard rock.....this IS the definitive hard rock album, I really don't see how that can be questioned.

BigHans
March 7th 2012



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Was going to be my 100th Nag but honestly I dont know when Ill review again. Some life changes coming that are going to seriously hamper my Sputniking.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2012



20443 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Awesome review Hans.

As I'm sure you already know this is also my favourite hard rock album and probably my favourite album of all time.

BigHans
March 7th 2012



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

m/

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2012



28466 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

hans make a turntable room im getting the new fireflight album

christian rock hard

Digging: Kimbra - The Golden Echo

BigHans
March 7th 2012



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I shall soon, young Padowin

BigHans
March 7th 2012



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

If this was a dick measuring contest this album is Tommy Lee and every other hard rock album ever is the Chinese dude from The Hangover

Gmork89
March 7th 2012



5510 Comments


Holy hell you reviewed it...

ConsiderPhlebas
March 7th 2012



6157 Comments


Great review, man. First paragraph is so unbelievably true.

Gmork89
March 7th 2012



5510 Comments


Review rules dude, one of your best I have read.

I think you accidentally said "India" instead of "Indiana" in the first paragraph btw.

Apollo
March 7th 2012



10298 Comments


Pos

Good job hans

BigHans
March 7th 2012



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks guys, and thanks for pointing out the error Gmork. Fixed.

Gmork89
March 7th 2012



5510 Comments


No prob man.

Apollo
March 7th 2012



10298 Comments


WELCOME TO THE JUUUUUNGLE



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