This rock group version included Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, Slash, Duff McKagan, and Steven Adler. Known for their raw heavy metal sound on stage and their rebellious, wild lives off stage, Guns N' Roses exploded on the music scene in the late 1980s.
Formed in Los Angeles in the mid-1980s, Guns N' Roses took its name from several groups that some of its members had played in previously, including L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose. Rose and Stradlin had known each other from Lafayette, Indiana, where they both lived before Stradlin moved to California as a teenager. Rose came to his rebellious bad boy attitude naturally, having run into trouble numerous times growing up. Other band members shared connections, too. Stradlin and Slash had attended the same Los Angeles high school, and Slash and Adler were friends. The group was part of the L. A. heavy metal scene, which included Motley Crue and Poison. Unlike these other groups, however, Guns N' Roses avoided the popular trappings of big hair, tight pants, and heavy make-up. Gritty and grungy, they appeared to be as reckless and rambunctious as their music and made no excuses for their hard-partying ways.
Before landing a recording contract, Guns N' Roses released an EP entitled Live Like a Suicide. It contained four songs, two of which were covers of songs by Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. They signed a deal with Geffen Records in 1986 and the following year released their first full album, Appetite for Destruction (1987). Initially, the album failed to make much of a splash with its first single "Welcome to the Jungle."
The second single, "Sweet Child O' Mine," showcased a softer side to Guns N' Roses. Featuring tender, sentimental lyrics, the song's video received heavy play from MTV and helped push their album up the charts. Both the song and the album reached number one in 1988. "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Paradise City" also made the charts. Guns N' Roses became one of the most popular rock acts of the time.
To capitalize on their success, G N' R Lies was released in 1989. It featured the four songs from their earlier EP and four new tracks. While the ballad, "Patience," struck a chord with listeners, many people were outraged by the lyrics in some of the other songs. With its cavalier tone about killing a woman, "Used to Love Her" has been found offensive by many. And "One in Million" seemed to go out of its way to offend nearly everyone by including derogatory comments about African Americans, immigrants, and homosexuals.
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