In the Artist Spotlight this week – Guns ‘N Roses. Listen for a GNR song all this week around 3:45 in the afternoon and call in to win tickets to their November 13th show at Target Center!
Guns N’ Roses is an American hard rock band founded in Los Angeles, California in 1985.
The band has released six studio albums: Appetite For Destruction in 1987, G N’ R Lies in 1988, Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II in 1991, The Spaghetti Incident? (a covers album) in 1993 and, after 15 years and with only one member of the original lineup remaining, Chinese Democracy in 2008. They also released an EP titled Live Like A Suicide in 1986.
The group was formed in early 1985 by Hollywood Rose members Axl Rose (vocals) and Izzy Stradlin (rhythm guitar) and L.A. Guns members Tracii Guns (lead guitar), Ole Beich (bass) and Rob Gardner (drums). The band created its name by combining two of the members’ names. A short time later, Beich was fired and replaced by Duff McKagan, and Guns was replaced by Slash after not showing up to rehearsal. Slash had played with McKagan in Road Crew and with Stradlin during a short stint in Hollywood Rose. On their first tour (from Sacramento, California to Duff’s home town of Seattle), Gardner quit and was replaced by Slash’s friend, Steven Adler.
Their 1987 breakthrough, Appetite For Destruction, (18-times platinum and the highest-selling debut album of all-time), coupled with the success of the hit single “Sweet Child O’ Mine” in 1988, took the world by storm. “Appetite” was full of raunchy hard rock with blistering, anthemic guitar riffs and snarling vocals.
The followup EP, “GNR Lies”, contained four songs from their debut EP, three new acoustic songs, and an acoustic version of “You’re Crazy”. The album sold well and got into the top 10 alongside Appetite. By the end of the 1980s, they were one of the most popular bands in the world.
The band then started a world tour to support the albums. During this tour, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin quit the band due to differences with Slash, Sorum and McKagan due to his newfound sobriety and Stradlin’s anger at Rose’s management of the band.
In 1996 and 1997, Slash, Sorum and McKagan all left the band for good, leaving Rose as the only remaining charter member of the band. The three later formed rock supergroup Velvet Revolver with former Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland and guitarist Dave Kushner.
Slash, McKagan and Sorum still play together in Velvet Revolver. However, Izzy Stradlin, original GN’R rhythm guitarist and co-composer of many of the band’s most successful songs, has not joined them. He did however play a few dates as a guest with GNR in the summer of 2006. Keyboard player Dizzy Reed, while not a founding member of the band (joining in 1990 in the Use Your Illusion period), remains in the current incarnation.
GNR’s current lineup includes Rose (lead vocals), Stinson (bass), Fortus (rhythm guitar), Thal (guitar), Pitman (synth), DJ Ashba (guitar), Frank Ferrer (drums—touring replacement and now member of the band) and Reed (keyboard and congas).
Appetite For Destruction (1987) #1 US Billboard, 18x Platinum
G N’ R Lies (1988) #2 US Billboard, 5x Platinum
Use Your Illusion I (1991) #2 US Billboard, 7x Platinum
Use Your Illusion II (1991) #1 US Billboard, 7x Platinum
The Spaghetti Incident? (1993) #4 US Billboard, Platinum
Live Era: ’87-’93 (1999) #45 US Billboard, Gold
Greatest Hits (2004) #3 US Billboard, 3x Platinum
Chinese Democracy (2008) Platinum
The above figures represent US sales only and do not constitute worldwide figures, which are much higher.