Contact Us

When Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Appetite for Destruction’ Finally Hit No. 1

As one of history’s milestone hard rock albums, and the biggest-selling debut ever, Guns N’ RosesAppetite for Destruction has been exhaustively dissected and scrutinized over the years.

But what many people seem to forget all these years later is that Appetite was anything but an instant success story. In fact, Guns N’ Roses’ initial project didn’t reach No. 1 in the U.S. until Aug. 6, 1988, more than a year after its release.

Before then, and for much of the album’s gradual, 57-week rise up the charts, Guns N’ Roses felt like yet another promising hard rock band, doomed to remain something of a well-kept secret amongst diehard fans of the style rather than breaking through to the masses – never mind one capable of conquering the world and becoming perhaps the definitive rock band of the ’80s (with all due respect to U2 and the Police).

To be sure, Guns N’ Roses’ decadent image and inveterate troublemaking (not to mention drug-taking) hardly seemed ready for prime time – nor was it suitable for widespread, PG-13 consumption. What’s more, Geffen Records’ promotion strategy, which saw them appealing first to core hard rock and metal fans with first singles, “It’s So Easy” and “Welcome to the Jungle,” may have actually been unnecessarily conservative.

But, whatever the circumstances, Appetite was, much like Nirvana‘s Nevermind a few years later, born an unstoppable juggernaut — fated to break through every adverse music business obstacle (and common sense) through sheer strength of public acclaim. And that’s precisely what happened once the third single “Sweet Child O’ Mine” began steamrolling its way to No. 1 that August.

With it, a full year of hustling for attention and opening for other bands on tour – not to mention many more before that simply trying to start a band and get a record deal – seemed to pay off overnight in the eyes of outsiders and new fans. Nevertheless, by year’s end, Guns N’ Roses were well on their way to becoming the world’s biggest rock band.

And they owed it all to the little album that could, Appetite for Destruction: once a little red caboose, later a bullet train, now a hallowed iron horse of classic rock.

The Top 100 Albums of the ’90s

You Think You Know the ’92 Guns N’ Roses / Metallica Tour?

Next: Top 10 Guns N' Roses Songs

Best of 106.9 Classic Rock

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for All Access Pass quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive All Access Pass contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.