Sunday, May 20, 2012

Appetite for Destruction: "Out ta Get Me"

"Out ta Get Me" is the first valley on Appetite for Destruction. Most great albums, and all the best ones, have a few songs that change the pace, direction and quality. These moments emphasize the best parts of the album by not being one of them.

Out of context, "Out ta Get Me" is one of the best rock songs of the '80s. The bridge could teach a class on guitar harmonies.

I wonder how many people took Axl's paranoid lyrics seriously when Appetite came out. In 1987, folks were probably pumping their fists to the "They won't catch me" chorus, but now that we've heard "One in a Million" and "Coma," "Out ta Get Me" reads more like a response to the Miranda rights than a barroom chant.

On Appetite, "Out ta Get Me" is the action movie sequence where the bad guy introduces himself by torturing and killing his first onscreen victim. It's unsettling, exciting and nobody's favorite part of the movie, but it builds the story and adds character. As much as I'd enjoy a movie of all action scenes, or an album of all "Nightrains," neither would be entirely effective. Die Hard needs Hans Gruber to kill Mr. Tagaki, and Appetite for Destruction needs "Out ta Get Me."

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