Guns N' Roses

Guns N' Roses bio, timeline, discography, pics & more

  • Axl Rose Guns N' Roses

    Guns N' Roses photo
    Axl Rose in New York (2006)

Guns N' Roses Biography

The origin of this controversial Hard-Rock group can be traced back to 1983 when childhood friends vocalist Axl Rose, born William Bruce Rose and guitarist Izzy Stradlin, legal name Jeff Isbell, started their first band called Rose in Los Angeles, California USA. Two years later the pair hooked up with bassist Duff McKagan and re-named the band Guns N' Roses; the group was completed by the addition of guitarist Slash, real name Saul Hudson and drummer Steve Adler.

The quintet began to perform live at many underground L.A. venues, issuing their first EP in 1986; this 4-song set led to a contract with Geffen who eventually released their breakthrough album "Appetite For Destruction" in July 1987; it became the biggest selling Rock debut of all time, reaching the #1 position on The Billboard Top 200 chart a year after its release and continued to sell strongly, approaching the 18 million mark and more than 28 million copies globally. The first hit single was the album's opening track, "Welcome To The Jungle", it peaked at #7 on The Billboard Hot 100 and stuttered at #37 on The Mainstream Rock chart, but it was the second single, "Sweet Child O' Mine", that catapulted Guns N' Roses to stardom, the song shot to #1 on The Billboard Hot 100 and hit #7 on the U.S. Rock airplay chart and was also a worldwide smash making it into the top 10 in Australia, U.K. and several European countries. "Paradise City", grabbed a #5 spot on The Billboard Hot 100, a #14 slot on The Mainstream Rock Tracks and was another European top 10 hit for the band. The final single, "Nightrain", reached #26 on the U.S. Rock airplay chart.
In the fall of 1988 the group released their second album, "G N' R Lies", which quickly ascended up the U.S. Top 200 chart hitting #2 and going 5 times platinum; its single, "Patience", peaked at #4 on The Billboard Hot 100, reached #7 on The Mainstream Rock Tracks and debuted in the U.K. top 10. In early 1989, Guns N' Roses, had two records simultaneously in the top 5 of The Billboard Top 200 with over 20 million copies sold worldwide.
Around this time their career was littered with incidents involving drugs and alcohol abuse; Rose was also accused of racism and homophobia for "One In A Million" offensive lyrics.
During the recording sessions of the subsequent two albums, Adler was fired for alleged drug addiction and replaced by drummer Matt Sorum from The Cult, the band added Dizzy Reed on keyboards; eventually, in September 1991, "Use Your Illusion I" and "Use Your Illusion II" were issued simultaneously; the two records went straight to the top 2 spots on The Billboard Top 200 chart. Two singles preceded the release of the pair of albums: the anti-war song "Civil War" hit #4 on The Mainstream Rock Tracks and the cover of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door", entered the top 20 on the same chart. A string of hit singles followed: the American Top 40 hit, "Live And Let Die", barely sneaked into the top 20 of The Mainstream Rock list but "Don't Cry" shot to #3 on the Active Rock radio chart and peaked at #10 on The Billboard Hot 100, "You Could Be Mine" was also a top 3 smash on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks, "Yesterdays" peaked at #13 on that same chart and "Estranged" followed it up at #16. "Use Your Illusion I" notched one of the biggest Rock ballad from the '80s, "November Rain", which peaked at #3 on The Billboard Hot 100 and reached the #15 position on The Mainstream Rock Tracks. By the fall of 1991 Stradlin left the band, he was replaced by Gilby Clarke.
The last official studio recording of the '90s for Guns N' Roses was 1993's "The Spaghetti Incident?". This collection of mostly Punk covers was released at a time when the Gunners was reeling from both internal dissension and the great Grunge explosion of 1991 that made the band seem passe. The 13-song set peaked at #4 on The Billboard Top 200 Albums chart spawning two sizable hit singles with "Since I Don't Have You" and "Ain't It Fun", both songs made the U.K. top 10 and the latter peaked at #8 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks; the third single, "Hair Of The Dog", narrowly missed the top 10 on the same chart.
Then followed a period of the band's uncertain future, in 1994 a new incarnation of the band covered The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy For The Devil" for the soundtrack to "Interview With The Vampire", the single became a top 10 hit on The Mainstream Rock chart.
Slash officially left the band in October 1996 and two years later, after the departure of McKagan, Axl Rose became the sole legal owner of the band-name.

By the end of 1998, a totally new version of Guns N' Roses had emerged; comprised of a revolving door of members, the core group included Rose, Nine Inch Nails' guitarist Robin Finck, keyboardist Dizzy Reed, The Replacements' bass player Tommy Stinson and multi-instrumentalist Chris Pitman. The group released a new single titled "Oh My God" in 1999, featured on the soundtrack of the movie "End Of Days", it only reached #26 on The Mainstream Rock chart.

In March 2006, 100 XR was one of the stations that played a new Guns N' Roses' song called "I.R.S.".
This track came from the band's long awaited album, "Chinese Democracy", arguably the most anticipated LP in Rock history. It was released in November 2008 and the title-track was the first official single lifted off the 14-song set.

 

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  • Guns N' Roses band lineup 1987 Guns N' Roses band lineup 1987
    The band line-up 1987