Geffen RecordsGuns N’ Roses debut album, Appetite for Destruction, was released 30 years ago today. The record, which featured three hit singles — “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Paradise City” and the chart-topping “Sweet Child o’ Mine” — has sold more than 18 million copies in the U.S., making it the best-selling debut album of all time.
Though it was released on July 21, 1987, Appetite for Destruction didn’t reach the top of the Billboard album chart until August 6, 1988. It spent four nonconsecutive weeks at #1, establishing GN’R as one of the world’s most popular hard-rock bands.
The album was the only full-length Guns N’ Roses release featuring the band’s classic lineup of Axl Rose, Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler. By 1997, drugs and internal conflicts had led to the exits of Adler, Stradlin, Slash and McKagan.
A few years back, McKagan chatted with ABC Radio about his band’s Appetite for Destruction heyday, noting, “The chemistry was ridiculous. And, we had the best everybody in our band. The best singer. Izzy, the best rhythm guitar player/singer guy, songwriter guy. Slash — I mean, c’mon. At 19, he played like an old blues guy, but ferocious. And Steven, with that groove he created.”
Regarding Appetite, Slash told ABC Radio a few years ago, “I’m really, really proud of what that group of people accomplished…It’s become a very iconic album.”
Appetite for Destruction‘s enduring appeal is reflected by the popularity of Guns N’ Roses’ Not in This Lifetime tour, the band’s first trek to feature Slash and McKagan since the 1990s. According to Pollstar, it was the highest-grossing outing for the first half of 2017. The band will kick off a new North American leg of the trek on Thursday, July 27 in St. Louis.
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