There’s this whole big-hair-80s-hard-rock thing that happened in LA and kind of took over rock music for the 80s into the 90s. Guns N’ Roses were a part of that, of course, but they were also the real deal in an ocean of glam and glitter.
5. “Welcome to the Jungle” (1987): The second release off their mega-debut album Appetite for Destruction, this is a tight introduction to what the band would mean to rock.
4. “My Michelle” (1987): This was, for a time, my favorite song off the Appetite album. Gives you a flavor for the ways punk and other musical genres influenced their brand of metal.
3. “Patience” (1989): It’s a pretty ballad, a requirement for hard rock bands at the time. While there’s not much new here, the trope is on display in a masterful way. Maybe what makes this so good is that the intensity of Axl Rose can actual work with something so soft.
2. “Locomotive” (1991): From the 1991 album Use your Illusion II (which was really one album split in two), this song is a nice mix of early 90s hard rock with their 80s origins. It’s more than one song crammed into more than 8 minutes of guitar rock. Guns N’ Roses mastered a genre, even the genre’s demise.
1. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (1987): It’s one of the best songs ever. So much so you’ll probably never stop hearing it.