- Alternative & Modern Rock
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There seems to be a lot of milestone anniversaries in the year of 2007. I've already talked about the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and the 40th anniversary of the infamous Monterey Pops Festival and the "Summer of Love". I'm also already looking forward to later this year discussing the 30th anniversary of the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols album, and the 40th anniversary of Cream's legendary Disraeli Gears... And those are only the anniversaries I can remember...
There is another anniversary that is definitely worth remembering in the next few days though, and that is the 20th anniversary of Guns n' Roses' Appetite For Destruction earlier this month.
The raw, gritty, no holds bar hard rock and roll of Guns n' Roses has achieved something of legendary status over the years with just about everyone knowing at least one song from the band, or at the very least their titles, or the band name, and all with actually a pretty small catalog of music. From the first time I heard "Welcome to the Jungle" I thought this band was just great as they were so primal, edgy and raw, but at the same time anthemic, extremely catchy and amazingly fun to listen to. Also it was a definite plus that they, for the most part, steered away from some of the more clichÃ© moments of hair metal and the music scene at the time and created a sound that was pretty identifiable.
Listening back on the album that propelled them to fame, Appetite For Destruction, it still hits hard with Axl Rose's wailing screeching vocals and the twin guitar attack of Izzy Stradlin and Slash anchored by a rock hard rhythm section. Some people might stick to the hits, and there are a few on this album, but some of the other songs are absolute gems, especially "It's so Easy", "My Michelle" and "Rocket Queen". In fact, in my mind, this album reads better than some of the Guns n' Roses Best Of collections that have been released.
Some people might also consider this album a turning point in hard rock history and (along with Metallica) consider Guns n' Roses a band that really helped to pull the metal/hard rock scene away from hair metal, and back towards a more angry style. I think that's debatable and really depends on how you want to look at the scene at the time, but it's definitely a great album to listen to; one of the must haves for any hard rock fan. It's quasi bluesy based hard rock meets punk energy is laced with anger, sleaze, booze and drugs throughout with such a stark honesty. Whether you consider that a good thing or not, the songs are still great hard rockin' party music through and through and make for a great album from start to finish.
There's a lot of hype surrounding this anniversary that has given rise to a number of rumors about possible a reunion, but then again there have been so many rumors involving Axl Rose and this band since way back in the early 90s that this isn't really surprising... I've been saying for a while, I'll believe it when I see it...
Still, this is such a classic album from start to finish that it is definitely worth acknowledging this anniversary... I'll be doing so by cranking up the ole' headphones and rockin' out to Appetite for Destruction before the month is out.