Guns N' Roses are one of the most iconic bands ever, and in many ways defined the post-glam image of what a rock musician should look like. In the years since their so-called original lineup fell apart, the drama continues and reached another peak when Axl Rose refused to perform at their Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction.
With all that drama, it's easy to forget that they wrote plenty of incredible songs that still sound original decades later.UG readers know more than a thing or two about Gn'R, so on Wednesday we asked them to nominate their favorite Gn'R tracks. Thousands of votes later, the results are in.What are the best Guns N' Roses songs ever? Read on to find out.
10. "Sweet Child O' Mine" From "Appetite For Destruction"
This might as well be a dictionary definition for the term "power ballad". It was probably the band's biggest hit as their only number one single in the US, but legends say guitarist Slash played the opening riff as a joke and later called the song a simple "string skipping" exercise. The lyrics "where do we go now?" were from Axl literally asking producer Mike Clink what the song should do in the finale.
9. "You Could Be Mine" From "Use Your Illusion II"
James Cameron picked this song as the official theme to the film "Terminator 2: Judgement Day", and there's some cool references to Gn'R in the film too - notice how the Terminator takes a shotgun from a box of roses.
8. "Mr. Brownstone" From "Appetite For Destruction"
Slash and Izzy Stradlin wrote this song while complaining about being heroin addicts (you can probably guess what they mean when they say "Mr. Brownstone"). "I used to do a little, but a little wouldn't do, so the little got more and more. I just keep trying to get a little better, said a little better than before," sing the lyrics about drug tolerance and what it's like to live the tedious life of a drug addict.
7. "Welcome To The Jungle" From "Appetite For Destruction"
Axl wrote the lyrics about this metaphorical jungle while visiting Kingston, Washington, near Seattle. It's a rural but relatively large city, and Axl apparently wrote about how it looked to him and how it's established local economy meant you could get hold of anything - and to a rockstar, that's pretty useful.
6. "Rocket Queen" From "Appetite For Destruction"
Axl Rose: "I wrote this song for this girl who was gonna have a band and she was gonna call it Rocket Queen. She kinda kept me alive for a while. The last part of the song is my message to this person, or anybody else who can get something out of it. It's like there's hope and a friendship note at the end of the song."
5. "Civil War" From "Use Your Illusion II"
Rock stars aren't exactly the most qualified commentators on human conflict, but it won't stop them from trying. Axl asks "What's so civil about war anyway?" and calls all war a civil war. 90s rock stars might have be easier to take seriously if they didn't generally indulge in a relentlessly hedonistic lifestyle, but there you go.
4. "Nightrain" From "Appetite For Destruction"
An ode to cheap wine with a high alcohol content, namely the Night Train Express brand which was popular with the band in their early days. The band often play it as the last song of their set before the encore.
3. "November Rain" From "Use Your Illusion I"
At first glance "November Rain" looks like the indulgent results of giving a band loads of cash to record a big budget orchestral score, but Axl had actually been working on the track since 1983. He always knew there was something special about it, but it took almost a decade to find a home.
2. "Paradise City" From "Appetite For Destruction"
This is Slash's favorite Gn'R song. He wrote the opening guitar in the back of a tour van, and wanted the verse lyric to open with "Where the girls are fat and they've got big titties." Axl offered a more attractive alternative, and Slash was outvoted. It's probably they most loved anthem and often closed their live sets.
1. "Estranged" From "Use Your Illusion II"
At 9 minutes and 23 seconds long, this is Gn'R's second longest song and one of their most progressive tracks ever. There's no set chorus, and evolves with everything from sentimental pianos to soft whale-like guitar sounds. Axl says it was written during a low point when his marriage to Erin Everly was annulled.
How does the list stack up compared to your personal favorites? Let us know what you think in the comments.