Appetite for Destruction is the debut studio album by Guns N' Roses, released in 1987. It entered the Billboard charts at the modest 182nd position upon release. A modest critical success at the time, the album began to creep up the charts thanks to strong word of mouth. Aided by a successful - and still in-demand - appearance on MTV's "Live At The Ritz" series and the release of number-one hit "Sweet Child O' Mine", Appetite reached the number one slot in August 1988 and would remain on the charts for 147 weeks. Contemporary pop culture critics noted that shock value made up much of the Gunners' appeal, cynically exploiting taboo subject matter for more press; this censure presumably only helped matters.
Appetite continues to draw praise for its successful blend of Blues Rock riffage, Punk Rock intensity, accessible melodies, and its warts-and-all take on the band's journey to rock stardom. While an occasional source of Hype Backlash—some consider it over-derivative of Aerosmith, in particular—Appetite frequently scores at or near the top of "greatest album" lists across several rock genres.
- "Welcome To The Jungle" (4:31)
- "It's So Easy" (3:21)
- "Nightrain" (4:26)
- "Out Ta Get Me" (4:20)
- "Mr. Brownstone" (3:48)
- "Paradise City" (6:46)
- "My Michelle" (3:39)
- "Think About You" (3:50)
- "Sweet Child O' Mine" (5:55)
- "You're Crazy" (3:25)
- "Anything Goes" (3:25)
- "Rocket Queen" (6:13)
- Steven Adler - drums
- Duff McKagen - bass, vocals
- W. Axl Rose - lead vocals, synthesizer, whistle, percussion
- Slash - guitar
- Izzy Stradlin - guitar, vocals, percussion
You know where you are? You're in the trope list, baby! You're gonna die!
- Album Filler: In an extremely rare case, intended filler track "Sweet Child O' Mine" became the band's single most famous song. The last minute even features Izzy Stradlin repeatedly asking "Where do we go?" - the band hit a brick wall trying to complete the lyrics, and after Axl started questioning "Where do we go? Where do we go now?", the producer suggested that that become the last line. In spite of all that, a signature riff, an emotional vocal and a series of famous solos have made an iconic song out of a bit of "circus music" the band publicly bashed.
- Badass Boast: "It's So Easy" has the straightforward "See me hit you, you fall down!".
- Be Careful What You Wish For: "It's So Easy" is a song about the emptiness of getting everything you want and living an easy life.Ya get nothin' for nothin' if that's what you do
Turn around bitch I got a use for you
Besides, you ain't got nothin' better to do,
And I'm bored!
- Big Rock Ending: Most tracks. "Think About You" and "Rocket Queen" stand out for capping out tender songs\parts.
- The Big Rotten Apple: "Welcome To The Jungle" applies the tropes to Los Angeles rather than the traditional New York City, as explained during the Ritz show.Axl: 'Bout five or six years ago, I hitch-hiked here and ended up stuck out in the middle of this place. Climbed up out of the free-way, this little old black man comes up to me and my friend with our backpacks and about ten bucks between us, and he goes, "You know where you are? You in the jungle, baby! You gonna die!" That's a true story, that ain't no lie! So, welcome to the jungle, Ritz!
- B-Side: Live covers of "Whole Lotta Rosie" and "Knockin On Heaven's Door" made it onto the back of Appetite singles.
- Contemptible Cover: The original cover◊ naturally provoked controversy, causing record stores not to stock the album until the record company came up with the more familiar "five skulls" cover. The original idea has been subject to a Mythology Gag or two over the years.
- Crazy Survivalist: "Out ta Get Me" is about a guy who's paranoid of the danger, but believes he can fend off the perils.
- Creepy Cool Crosses: How else would you call the cross on the album cover, featuring five skulls of the band members?
- Deconstruction: Of hedonistic Hair Metal subject matter, especially drug addiction and sexual conquest.
- Design Student's Orgasm: The original controversial album cover by Robert Williams. The replacement cover is by Billy White Jr.
- Drugs Are Bad: Played with. Drugs have negative consequences in these songs— users can't get out of bed, built-up tolerance creates a cycle of abuse, and the comedowns are awful— but the effects are depicted as positive as well. "When you're high, you never, ever wanna come down" indeed.
- Epic Rocking: "Paradise City" and "Rocket Queen", both surpassing 6 minutes and with some tempo changes (though the former only goes faster aside from a break).
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: LP and cassette releases split the tracklist across a "Side G" and a "Side R", referring to the "GNR" initialism for the band's name.
- The Immodest Orgasm: For the moans in "Rocket Queen", Axl banged Steven Adler's girlfriend seeking revenge on the studio (leading the liner notes to credit the guy who caught it on tape as "The fuckin' engineer"). Slash notes in his autobiography that she was loud enough during sex that he couldn't sleep.
- Intercourse with You: "Anything Goes". The opening lyric is even "I've thinking 'bout, thinking 'bout sex".
- Lyrical Dissonance: Due to Refrain from Assuming, many don't notice how the narrator of "Paradise City" is going through a hard life - thus the suffering verses lead to an uplifting chorus that is basically "I wanna go home!".
- Mood Whiplash: The most tender songs ("Think About You" and "Sweet Child O'Mine") are between two really loud and brash tracks with content bordering on Anti-Love Song ("My Michelle" and "You're Crazy").
- Ode to Intoxication: "Nightrain", for alcohol. "Mr. Brownstone" for heroin.
- One-Woman Song: "My Michelle", "Rocket Queen".
- Power Ballad: Album closer "Rocket Queen" inverts the typical structure, starting off as a heavy rock song about propositioning an older woman and winding its way down into a sensitive ballad.
- Precision F-Strike: Many songs.
"I see you standin' there/You think you're so cool/Why don't you just/Fuck off!""It's so easy, so fuckin' easy!"
- "It's So Easy"
"I got somethin' I been buildin' up inside for so fuckin' long!""I'm fuckin' innocent!"
- "Out Ta Get Me"
"But that old man he's a real motherfucker"
- "Mr. Brownstone"
"You're crazy (oh yeah) You're fucking crazy!"
- "You're Crazy".
- Radio Friendliness: The band had a curious relationship with this trope, picking lyrics at times specifically to write "something that would get played on the radio" (particularly "Paradise City") but responded poorly to changes from without, leading to Creator Backlash against "Sweet Child O' Mine", whose single cut lost a solo. This, combined with Axl's sense that the then-emerging classic rock format cheapened songs by overplay, may have had something to do with the rash of radio-unfriendly marathon ballads on the Illusion twins.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: "My Michelle" about a friend of the band, a girl named Michelle Young, whose father indeed worked in the pornography industry and whose mother had suffered through a drug addiction and died.
- Real Song Theme Tune: "Paradise City" serves as the theme song for Burnout Paradise, though it's not quite a perfect fit for such a cheerful game.
- Refuge in Audacity: The original album cover featured a painting of a rape robot by Robert Williams. Certain songs glorify alcohol, drugs and sex.
- Same Content, Different Rating: The "clean" and explicit versions of the album are the same. The "clean" version is simply an unstickered version intended to be sold at Walmart and other locations that refuse to sell stickered content.
- Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: The album's lyrics in a nutshell. Izzy even described "Think About You" as "a quick love song about drugs, sex, Hollywood and money".
- Skull for a Head: The band members on the album cover.
- Spell My Name with an "S": "Nightrain" is a homage to a cheap Californian wine brand named Night Train Express, deliberately spelled wrong in the song's title.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Think About You" and "Sweet Child O'Mine". The last half of "Rocket Queen" too.
- Take That!: "Sweet Child O' Mine" was the target of a famous Take That! from the Red Hot Chili Peppers on 1989's Mother's Milk, which used the famous riff at the end of "Punk Rock Classic", a song about pay-for-play.
- You're Insane!: "You're Crazy", where the insanity leads into break-up.