Guns N 'Roses - a legend band formed in 1985 in Los Angeles. Everyone knows their songs, and Axl's screaming voice or the characteristic image of Slashare recognizable all over the world. The band is often on tour so as part of the preparation before the next concerts of the group, we present you information about each song from the compilation Greatest Hits released in 2004 by GN'R.
1. Welcome to the Jungle
Opening track from the band's debut album, Appetite for Destruction from 1987, as well as a compilation of GN'R's best songs - Greatest Hits. The song was released as the second single promoting the first, rated by many as the best, Guns N 'Roses album. Axl Rose, the band's singer, admits that the inspiration for the lyrics was some incident in New York. While the band's frontman and his friend were coming off the bus, a homeless man, wanting to scare the young guys, shouted to them: "You know where you are? You're in the jungle baby; you're gonna die!" - that is the later lyrics of one of the band's greatest songs. Slash, the group's lead guitarist, said the song was written in about three hours.
2. Sweet Child O’ Mine
Third single also from Appetite for Destruction. One of the group's most popular songs, Sweet Child O 'Mine, was created by accident. The famous guitar solo opening the number was Slash's warm-up during one of the band's rehearsals. Axl liked it immediately and then wrote the lyrics. Slash personally doesn't like neither the song nor his riff. Fortunately, we have a different opinion about that 😉 Also the music video was recorded during the Guns rehearsal. In the clip, you can see the girls of each band member and even the dog of Izzy Stradlin- the guitarist of GN'R at the time.
Single from the band's second studio album - GN'R Lies from 1988. As the name suggests it is quite a slow track from Guns N 'Roses. It is believed that the melody and lyrics were created by Axl and allude to his relationship problems with his ex-wife Erin Everly. The song is played at practically every concert of the band but not in an acoustic version like in the original.
4. Paradise City
Another single from the debut album Appetite for Destruction. In live performances the song is mostly played as an encore to close the show. The song was allegedly written in a van when the band was returning from the concert, drinking alcohol and playing acoustic guitars. Slash stated that this is his favorite Guns N' Roses song.
5. Knockin’ on Heavens Door
Not everyone knows that the famous song Knockin' On Heaven's Door was written by Bob Dylan. However, it is the cover of Guns N' Roses that is by far the most popular version of the song. It was featured on the band's fourth studio album, 1991's Use Your Illusion II and was released as the second single from the CD. The song was also featured on the soundtrack of the film Days of Thunder.
6. Civil War
The song was originally released on the charity compilation album Nobody's Child: Romanian Angel Appeal for Romanian orphans. Then, in 1991, the song was released on the Use Your Illusion II album. Civil War, being a protest song was very well received in many countries taking first places on the charts. Guitar riff to the song - used as a sound-check, as well as the whole idea of Civil War was born like Sweet Child O’Mine, also in rehearsals. Once slightly forgotten, nowadays the song is played at virtually every GN'R concert.
7. You Could Be Mine
The seventh single from the Use Your Illusion IIalbum. The song is also the musical theme of the 1991 movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day - Arnold Schwarzenegger invited the band members to dinner at his own house to negotiate a deal. The music video for You Could Be Mine contains many shots from Terminator but in the clip also the band members were somewhat mixed in with the plot of the film. The song is a staple ever since and is allegedly about Izzy Stradlin's failed relationship with his girlfriend.
8. Don’t Cry
A ballad, two versions of which were released simultaneously on different albums. The version with original lyrics is the fourth track of the Use Your Illusion Ialbum, while the version with an alternative lyrical part was included in the Use Your Illusion II album. The song was written in 1985 under the working title Don't You Cry Tonight, just after the band's formation (as most of the band's songs). It tells about Izzie's ex-girlfriend, who then dated Axl but the couple had to split - it was her who told the frontman of the band the words 'Don't cry'. The next night, Axl and Izzy wrote the song in 5 minutes. Unfortunately, by the time the clip was shot Stradlin left the group so he is not featured in the video for the song he co-wrote.
9. November Rain
Single from the band's third studio album - Use Your Illusion I from 1991. The clip for November Rain was one of the most expensive music videos in the history of music. Its production cost 1.5 million dollars. It was a pioneer within the first large-scale music videos of the 90's. The over 9-minute song has many interpretations. On the one hand, it tells about the hardships of love, the need of every human being to feel their own space and distance. On the other hand, the song is a kind of plea for love and an admission that it is a feeling everyone longs for. November Rain is the longest song in history, which got into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. It is also a staple at the group's concerts.
10. Live and Let Die
Another cover of the Guns N 'Roses most popular songs, this time originally written by Paul and Linda McCartney. The band released Live and Let Die as the second single from Use Your Illusion I. Axl Rose and Slash were fans of the McCartney song but weren't aware that they both liked it. One night while talking about covers they came across this song and immediately decided to record their own version. The clip for the song is the last one to feature Izzy Stradlin.
The third track from the Use Your Illusion IIalbum. The first black and white version of the video featured a band playing in an empty warehouse. Later, however, a second version of the clip was made, combining shots from the play in the warehouse and photos of the band members taken during the Use Your Illusion Tour. There are also pics of Steven Adler, the former GN'R drummer and Izzy Stradlin who had left the group by then. The clip was included in the compilation of music videos of the band Welcome to the Videos.
12. Ain’t It Fun
Cover of a song by Dead Boys. Guns recorded their version in 1993 for their fifth studio album - the cover album The Spaghetti Incident?. Michael Monroe from the rock band Hanoi Rocks performs vocals in the song.
13. Since I Don’t Have You
Another song from the cover album The Spaghetti Incident?. This time Guns N' Roses covered a song by The Skyliners. The GN'R version was released as the third single from the album. The video features actor Gary Oldman (who played the villain a lot at the time) as a smiling demon who constantly mocks singer Axl Rose. The clip was the last one featuring original members Duff McKagan and Slash. It is also (so far) the last music video to be released under the name "Guns N' Roses".
14. Sympathy for the Devil
Closing track from the Greatest Hits album - a cover of The Rolling Stones. The song was released as a single in 1994 and was not featured on any studio album - just this compilation. The song was featured in the closing credits of the film Interview with the Vampire. The Guns N’ Roses version was recorded two years before Slash left the band in 1996. By then the group was about to split and the guitarist himself said that Sympathy for the Devil was "the sound of the band breaking up". As we know, fortunately everything ended well and Guns N' Roses joined their original line up again 😉