Monday, March 26, 2012

Appetite for Destruction at 25

Appetite for Destruction turns 25 this year. That means a fruitless media blitz about whether the original lineup will reunite, the inevitable Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction and cash-in tribute albums, shows and special issues are upon us.

Some will say that Guns N' Roses have finally become safe and acceptable enough to be occupied by the mainstream. But it's been that way from their debut album--GNR were the most popular, written about and argued over band of their time. They were also far and away the best rock band on the planet, that increasingly rare example of artists who create cutting-edge music that also conquers the world.

The best albums are comparable to the best books or movies--great works of art that transcend time and genre, reward repeated visits and hold interest in their entirety. They spawn peers and imitators, but leave them all in the dust. Appetite for Destruction is one of those albums, and more. It's the greatest metal or hard rock album of all time, surpassing even the perfect works of Black Sabbath, AC/DC and Metallica.

What a huge deal for a 15-year-old to stumble upon Appetite for Destruction. Having held onto it for nearly half my life now, it sounds even better than it did on the ride back from Sam Goody. I can listen alone, the whole way through with headphones or pick out individual songs to soundtrack my day. If Appetite for Destruction is there, I can listen. I'll make time for it.

Over the next few months, I'll be giving each of Appetite for Destruction's 12 tracks its own post. Welcome to the jungle.

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