Why Guns ‘N Roses is One of The Greatest Pure Rock Bands Ever



Guns 'N Roses

Why Guns ‘N Roses is One of The Greatest Pure Rock Bands Ever

Guns N’ Roses is one of the greatest pure rock and roll bands that has ever been associated with the two words that categorize the genre. 

Disagree?  I am sure that many of you do.

The statement is not that they are one of the greatest bands of all time, it is that they are one of the greatest pure ROCK N’ ROLL bands ever.

This is different than when defining the greatest bands ever, in that the qualifications to achieve top tier status within this category are simply not the same.

Being a kick as rock and roll band means that your music can be played loud, as a soundtrack to a fight, at a party, or simply driving blindfolded.

The band members are basically out of control; they ask no questions, need no permission, and makes no apologies.

The crew of Guns n’ Roses could not have written a better description of themselves.

Steven Adler (drummer) original band member, fired after Lies album for heroin abuse.

Duff McKagan (bassist) “whose own past included stealing a purported 133 automobiles.”-Rolling Stone

Slash (guitar) do I really need to explain why Slash, one of the greatest rock guitarists ever, is pure rock and roll?  If Yes, leave.


Axl Rose, where to begin?  Rose defined what a front man rock star should be.  He was the quintessential, narcissistic, spit in your face, throw you off the stage (which he did) cross between Steven Tyler and Mick Jagger.  He was a great rock star, until he wasn’t.

Guns N’ Roses was all of the above when they released Appetite for Destruction (1987), which was the biggest selling debut in rock history.

 “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Sweet Child o’ Mine” (both number one singles in 1988), were songs that even grandma was turning up just a little bit louder when they came on the radio.

“Paradise City” was also on that album, which in just those, comprises three tracks that are first, musical greatness and second, songs that could be used as examples of rock to show the foreign exchange student.

Following Appetite, the rocker mentality was really rocketed into the next dimension.  The next album GN’R Lies, was popularized for “Used to Love Her”, though personally “Patience” should be more widely recognized.  The album was less famous for the music because the public outcry against the band for using racial slurs was rampant.

The rock shows became more violent and more intense as popularity grew; in 1988 two fans died in crowd disturbances at England’s Monsters of Rock Festival.

Next, Slash provided those watching the 1990 American Music Awards with a speech where he basically just used obscenities the entire time, which I remember and it was awesome.

Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II marked the final decent for the band, but the albums did go platinum.  “November Rain” would prove to be the final widespread success of the band.

Rumors, more like stories, of drug abuse spiraling out of control became publicized, which is also a qualifier for the pure rock and rollers royalty room.

Axl then refused to go on stage with Slash and Duff until they would sign away the rights to the name, which Axl has denied, and in years since referred to Slash as a “cancer.” 

Rose then refused to show up to their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because he did not want to share a stage with his former band.

Now, he has reunited with his bandmates and is doing a world tour which will net the band members millions of dollars. Now that is rock and roll.

The music of Guns n’ Roses is still relevant today, but they will always be known as much for their off the stage misconduct, as their in studio brilliance; and that is what makes them one of the best pure rock and roll bands ever. 

-Chris McDonald