Sunday, May 27, 2012

Appetite for Destruction: "Paradise City"

Want to hear what a perfect song sounds like?

The day that aliens invade the Earth and threaten us with extinction unless we provide them with our greatest rock song, this is what I'll offer them. Hopefully the extra-terrestrials will have good taste.

How did a motley (not Mötley) band of gentlemen stumble onto a song like this? Who gave these guys seven minutes and a synthesizer and told them to not screw it up? The now iconic chorus was fought over and almost didn't make it to the record. Somehow it did, and note-for-note, every moment comes in at exactly the right time--the whistle, the "So far away" part, the false ending, the glorious two-minute outro. As a band, it's GNR's greatest performance, their audition for rock immortality.

There isn't much hope in following up "Paradise City" without getting obliterated. The players seem to know this--both Axl and Slash's projects having been closing shows with "Paradise City" for decades now. But on Appetite for Destruction, we're just six songs in, and haven't even gotten to their biggest hit yet. If it had all ended here, Guns N' Roses still would've claimed the most dynamite metal release in history. But even when they've created the perfect rock anthem, GNR are still five guys who don't know when to stop.

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