As we recently reported here on TG, the legendary Guns ‘N Roses album Appetite For Destruction hit twenty-five this year.
It’s an anniversary that makes me feel increasingly old every five year mark, especially considering it was an album that hit me right between the eyes when I was in high school, but it is indeed an amazing masterpiece. The fans knew it when we heard it, and if it came out today I think it would still blow people away.
You almost wouldn’t know Appetite hit its 25th anniversary this year, because you’re not seeing tributes to it anywhere, Axl’s not going to talk about it, but Slash was asked about the milestone recently for Fuse TV and the Australian radio show Triple M, and you can understand him when he says he’s too close to it to feel the way we fans do.
“Appetite is not what you’d call a favorite record [of mine]. I never even thought of it that way. It’s a good record, but, to me, it’s still that record that we made at the time when all that sh*t was happening. When we recorded [those songs], it was just what we were doing [at the time], and so I still look at it that way. I don’t see it as being the big record that other people see it as; I’m too close to it.”
As Slash told Guitar World for Appetite’s 20th anniversary, the album was basically the band’s club set, and a lot of first albums usually are. (If Van Halen’s first album wasn’t their club set, it’s pretty close). And as Slash has noted previously, the Appetite line up “were definitely the only five guys that could have made up that band. I don’t think any of the other configurations could have possibly worked to make up what Guns N’ Roses really was.”
And indeed, contrary to Axl thinking he is the band, line-ups can be real one in a million combinations that only work with a small handful of guys. Billions of people in the world, but only four could have been The Beatles, right? And as Keith Richards said of songwriting, the best songs usually write themselves, and apparently this is how it went with Appetite.
“The actual arrangements and the music itself would come together within an hour,” Slash continued. “We’d be playing a new song in a club after only having worked on it a couple of hours.”
Rolling Stone reported that even at the beginning of the millennium Appetite was selling 200,000 copies a year, how’s it done to date? Well, according to a report on Blabbermouth.net, 18 million copies in the States and 30 million copies worldwide.