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Appetite for Destruction

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Appetite for Destruction

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:52 am


[Original cover]

[Second cover]

Release date:
July 21, 1987

Track list:
01. Welcome to the Jungle
02. It's So Easy
03. Nightrain
04. Out ta Get Me
05. Mr. Brownstone
06. Paradise City
07. My Michelle
08. Think About You
09. Sweet Child o' Mine
10. You're Crazy
11. Anything Goes
12. Rocket Queen

"It's So Easy"- Released: June 15, 1987
"Mr. Brownstone"- Released: July 21, 1987
"Welcome to the Jungle" - Released: October 3, 1987
"Sweet Child o' Mine" - Released: August 17, 1988
"Paradise City" - Released: November 30, 1988
"Nightrain" - Released: July 29, 1989
"My Michelle" - Released: 1989

March–April 1987 at Rumbo Studios, Canoga Park, CA; Take One Studio, Burbank, CA; The Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA and Can Am Studio, Tarzana, CA
Final overdubs and album mixing at Mediasound Studios, NYC
Original mastering at Sterling Sound, NYC

Axl Rose – lead vocals, percussion on "Welcome to the Jungle", synthesizer and whistle on "Paradise City", additional percussion
Slash – lead guitar, co-rhythm guitar.
Izzy Stradlin – rhythm guitar, backing vocals, co-lead guitar on "Nightrain" and "Think About You", percussion on "Paradise City", additional percussion
Duff McKagan – bass guitar, backing vocals
Steven Adler – drums

Mike Clink – production & engineering
Steve Thompson – mixing
Michael Barbiero – mixing
George Marino – LP & cassette mastering
Barry Diament – CD mastering
Dave Reitzas, Micajah Ryan, Andy Udoff, Jeff Poe, Julian Stoll, & Victor "the fuckin' engineer" Deyglio – engineering assistance
Robert Williams – "Appetite For Destruction" painting
Michael Hodgson – art direction & design
Robert John, Jack Lue, Greg Freeman, Marc Canter, & Leonard McCardie – photography
Tom Zutaut – A&R coordination
Teresa Ensenat – A&R coordination
Stravinski Brothers/Alan Niven – career affairs
Boulevard Management – business affairs
Bill White Jr. – cross tattoo design
Andy Engell – cross tattoo redrawing
Robert Benedetti – tattoos (at Sunset Strip Tattoo)

Band members talking about the album:
[Our first video] is going to be realistic and it might show a lot of violence so it might get banned. There's a lot of violence in the world. That's the environment we live in and we like to show what we live in rather than hide it and act like everything is nice and sugary. Everybody likes to paint their pretty pictures, but that just ain't how it is. It just seems easier to know the rougher side [of life] than the more pleasant side just because it's more readily accessible [Los Angeles Times, July 1986].
About recording for Geffen: I have something I want to do with Guns & Roses and this is part of me that I want to get out and take as far as I can. That can be a long career or it can be a short explosive career--as long as it gets out and it gets out in a big way [Los Angeles Times, July 1996].
[The debut record] is due on the first of April [KNAC, December 1986].
Talking about the name of the record: There's millions of names, we haven't picked one yet. When the record is done we'll probably decide [KNAC, December 1986].
Adding: The name, "Guns N' Roses Record"...yeah [KNAC, December 1986].
About fearing that Geffen would subdue the band [in regards to how the end product would be]: Haha, that's why we went with Geffen. We went with om Zutaut who signed [...] and Motley Crue to Elektra and he went to Geffen and he was looking for a band he could just go balls out with. In a matter of fact, in one of the songs, when we just went in and we laid down the song and I left out some obscenities and they told me to go and re-do them[KNAC, December 1986].
Adding: It's like whatever we do they are behind it [KNAC, December 1986].
Adding: We have total artistic control! [KNAC, December 1986].
Talking about whether the songs on the EP will be on the LP: No. Definitly not. It will be new stuff.[KNAC, December 1986].
[...] the next one [= Appetite for Destruction] will probably be ten songs [...][KNAC, December 1986].
I doubt there will be any covers on [Appetite for Destruction][KNAC, December 1986].
We’ve got our progressions already planned out. How we’re going to grow. This record’s going to sound like a showcase. I sing in, like, five or six different voices, so not one song is quite like another, even if they’re all hard rock. In the last year I’ve spent over thirteen hundred dollars on cassettes, everything from Slayer to Wham! – to listen to production, vocals, melodies, this and that. I’m from Indiana, where Lynyrd Skynyrd were considered God to the point that you ended up saying, ‘I hate this fucking band!’ And yet, for our song Sweet Child O’ Mine I went out and got some old Lynyrd Skynyrd tapes to make sure that we’d got that downhome, heartfelt feeling.[Sounds Magazine, April 1987].
Talking about working in the studio: It was all right. We did the set… We went in the studio with the same attitude that we have when we go on stage. It was really not that… It's not that involved. [...] Some of us play guitars, one guy plays drums, and one guy sings. And we just do this and then, you know…[...] We're not… [inaudible] through our fucking… [inaudible] Electric Light Orchestra, or anything. [inaudible] I mean, I have respect for people who go in and take a lot of time to get the shit right. But we… [inaudible] It's a rock n' roll band [June 1987].
Talking about working in the studio: I mean, if you look at recording in a very simple way… I mean, that's the only way to look at it, you're getting the band on a tape. On a tape and put it on a record, you know. [...] We just go play and the record what you're playing [June 1987].
Talking about the songs on the record: Umm, well… Yeah, we write a lot. We got a lot of songs next time too. But we write all the time, so everything we… We try… I don't know, stuff get stale, you know. If you don't do something in music right away then it's like… It's really sort of like, a step downward to go back to it, you know. [...] and there's songs that we used to play that didn't make the album, simply because we were just bored with playing them…[June 1987].
With our record right now - it's like there's a lot of barriers that need to be broken down because people have got used to what they're supposed to hear. A lot of bands -- look, even Judas Priest did it, they decide, okay, we're going to try selling out and see if that works, they toned their music down and tried to appease somebody else besides themselves and it cost them. But the public is conditioned on what they're allowed to like, and if something's too far out of the norm, even if it's cool, they won't - we want people to realise man, just play whatever the f* *k you want to play, not what someone else thinks you should play, so that's what we've done.

I sing in about five or six different voices - that are all part of me, it's not contrived - and there's a ballad, there's one song that's kind of like Black Sabbath goes to Ireland, there's two guitar players that play very different from each other - one plays an '80s blues electric guitar and the other guy's completely into Andy McCoy and Keith Richards - and they've figured out a way to fit it together
[Kerrang!, June 1987].
I think [the record's] going to kick ass. It's against the - mainstream grain. It's definitely a case of you'll either love it or hate it - which is good, as long as you notice it[Kerrang!, June 1987].
Talking about the original cover: No, it wasn't banned by the record company, it was banned by a lot of stores. The record company was actually pretty much into it. It was banned by Warner Brothers, they wouldn't produce the album cover that way so we had to hire an independent artist to put the album cover together. [MTV, October 1987].
With this particular album, Appetite for Destruction, we wanted to put the rock and roll out first, the hard stuff out first[Interview after show, October 1987].
There were a lot of record stores that didn't like the [original] cover and had a different opinion on what it meant. So we knew that was going to happen but we wanted to get the cover out so then we made another cover. So basically there are two covers because we weren't stupid, we didn't want to limit our sales and plus we like both covers[Interview after show, October 1987].
Adding his drunken thoughts: Plus it's a catch-22 'cause we were putting out the first record, right, I mean the first cover, sold so many [?], and we changed it [inaudible, fumbling words]...shit! The first cover's inside the inner sleeve so it's a catch-22. It doesn't really matter, y'know? [Interview after show, October 1987].
I don't really care about the PMRC. I think it is stupid. [...] When the parents hate it, the kids love it [Interview after show, October 1987].
The more stickers they put on records, the more records we sell. It's the whole philosophy of being a teenager and rebellion [Interview after show, October 1987].
About the original cover: I submitted it as a joke. But I thought it kind of described us. Here's this girl that's just been ravaged by this robot; mechanized society. And then here comes the hand over the fence to kill the monster, steal the girl away and make her our girlfriend. [...] [The critics] think it promotes rape. But that's not looking at the picture right. [...] I've noticed that there are so many things you can get away with, except on records [BAM Magazine, November 1987].
It was done live, pretty much. Like, the drums, the rhythm guitar, the bass, are all live in the same room so there's bleeding of the instruments into each other mics and things like that. Just to get as much energy and live feel to the songs.

It was very hard to find someone to produce the record because some of the main producers of our favourite material from the 70s had changed their styles, their approach, or were burned out, you know, or people in the record industry wouldn't work with them anymore because they don't know what they are doing anymore [...] So it took us a long time to find Mike Clink. We work with him and it is basically a co-produced album. But, you know, we got him for a lure amount of money [...] and he gave us the freedom to do whatever we wanted which worked really good for us. He trusted me a lot in the studio with all the vocal ideas, 'cause most of the harmonies I came up with, like on 'It's So Easy' and 'Paradise City', I came up with the night I was recording those parts. Because I had never had the opportunity to work on them before.

[...]Some places you had ideas burning in your mind. In other places you didn't know what to do in that part but you heard this part and right when you heard it, you thought, "yeah, and this part will work in there, too, and what if I did this?" "Now I'll try this one to see if that works," and a lot of times you had things that work, some times you had things that didn't. And you just decide what was best at the moment, felt right, sounded good, take a tape home and listen to it that night and next day decide if you're going to keep it or not. It was real exciting, creative experience. It wasn't like we just in and had to lay down things just this way
[Interview with Sam Harris, December 1987].
Being asked if he would like to go back and change anything: No, the only thing I would like to do, I wish we had more time to mix but we were working on a release date and there were a couple songs that I didn't feel we had enough time to make just right. 'Paradise City' could have been a little clearer. We were mixing two songs a day to make the release date and there were all kinds of reasons why we had to make that release date, like getting a record out before [...] the month of August, there were tons of reasons why we had a certain amount of time to get it done. So we did as best we could. We didn't really compromise 'cause we still hit pretty close to the mark we wanted to hit. There really isn't anything I want to change...there's two words, I think, in that whole record that I didn't quite say the way I wanted to and I forget which words they were, without time to go back to find them and re-do them, and they're not out of key so no one else knows it, I am the only one who personally knows it [Interview with Sam Harris, December 1987].
Talking about other producers they considered: I can say that, anybody that I am naming, I can't say they were burned out or anything, 'cause I never met any of these people. First off we were interested in Mutt Lange [perhaps John Mutt Lange who produced a lot of rock records in the 80s and 90s] but he wanted a million dollars and he's busy anyway. That was one of them. Roy Thomas Baker [RTB would later work on Chinese Democracy] must be, just, kind of a psycho, I have [or "haven't] really looked forward to meeting him just because of that, I mean, he was an idea. The guy who did all the early Aerosmith stuff [perhaps Jack Douglas], the name's escaping me right now, uhm, I can't think of the name, but that guy was one of them. There were different people. It's hard to find people, you come up with the name on the record [...] discussions or something. But we talked to a lot of different people. We flew in Manny [Charlton] from Nazareth, but he wasn't quite...he is a really great guy, we love Nazareth, but he was kind of in a different sphere than us at the time so that it didn't quite work [...] it didn't quite feel right. We talked to Paul Stanley for about five minutes and he wanted to re-write 'Welcome to the Jungle' and something else so that was the end of the conversation and now he goes around saying he was going to produce the record but these guys were too crazy and this and that. No, there was no chance of him producing the record. We talked to him once. We did some stuff with Spencer Proffer [pre-production] who did the second Wasp tape ['The Last Command', 1985] and while that tape sounds really bold and powerful lour material sounded really weak so we kind of just shied [?] that, too. Our EP was recorded in his studio [Interview with Sam Harris, December 1987].
The record's selling alright [Interview with Sam Harris, December 1987].
Talking about the reasons being the limited radio exposure: [Being a new band] is part of it, and the music, and the controversy around us. People think that every song in our record has the word 'fuck'. Four songs have obscenities in them. Four songs, not 12, four. And we're not asking them to play those four, I'm saying, pick one of the others. Also, you know, we have loud guitars, real guitars, real drums. The guitars not the same way on other peoples' records as they are on ours [Interview with Sam Harris, December 1987].
Talking about producers for the album: Tom Werman [a big glam rock producer] didn’t work. We tried out a whole bunch of those fuckers, and the reason we went with Mike Clink was because we’re so set in our ways that we didn’t want anybody to re-write our songs. So what we did for the album was, we signed up with an engineer, who was really hot shit. He produced the album. Basically he just got all the sounds, and produced it. He just basically got Guns N’ Roses on tape. [...] You should have seen him. When we first met him he was Mike Clink and then after a while with us he was Mike Clink plus 15-20 years. After we finished the album there was a complete difference. Then he started going out, he started screwing around with all these different girls, he broke up with his girlfriend. Then he started getting difficult about jobs. He started getting real picky [Rock Scene Magazine, August 1988].
When you get like a Tom Werman (not putting him down-he did a great job on the last Crue album), when you get a “producer” they’re gonna try to do something of their own, when they haven’t been around the whole time you’re bands’ been playing in the dirt. Therefore, where do they get the right to tell you to change this lyric or that riff? You know what I’m saying? That makes sense, right? So, we found a guy who would parlay our sound onto a tape, therefore onto a record, therefore into a record store, and therefore into somebody’s house, onto their turntable. [...] Tom Werman came down to our rehearsal like this (puts his hands over his ears) going, ‘Fuck.’ We never heard from him again [Rock Scene Magazine, August 1988].
Each song on the album was done in maybe two or three takes. We just went in and played. [...] We knew what we wanted to do, so we went in there and kicked ass on the record, and we got done with it [Rock Scene Magazine, August 1988].
Being asked why it didn't take just a week then to do the record: That was just for the basic tracks. The bass, drums, rhythm guitar, and the song structure. Then we went into the studio and I played leads on top of that. At the time the basic tracks were being recorded, I put dummy guitar tracks on there (cause I don’t like to wear headphones) then went back into the studio and just ripped through the whole album, with it coming out through the monitors real loud [Rock Scene Magazine, August 1988].
Being asked which parts of the record he is unhappy with: Unhappy about? It’s like, why get unhappy about it? Why spend that much time being unhappy about it? Fuck it! If there’s something that we aren’t exactly pleased with, it’s twelve songs. Twelve songs to get exactly perfect. . . It doesn’t matter, it’s like there’s little things here and there, where you know you would have liked it a bit different, but it doesn’t matter cause it’s done. It’s there, and you might as well like it cause if you don’t you can put yourself into an early grave worrying about something that you can’t do shit about [Rock Scene Magazine, August 1988].

Last edited by Soulmonster on Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:28 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Appetite for Destruction

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:01 am

If you can play your songs good live you don't have any real problems in the studio. We did the basic tracks in two weeks. We'd have all the amps set up in one room. We had the guitar amps isolated and the bass direct and Steve's drums were in the room and we played in the room off the drums, putting all the tunes down in two weeks. Once in a while Slash would do a live solo and he usually would go back and recut them. He is a perfectionist in a lot of ways [Guitar for the practising musician, September 1988].
About the rawness of the record: Because we did basic tracks in two weeks and then I went back in. Izzy did the basic tracks, that's it. Otherwise what's coming out of the left speaker is what we did in two weeks. Everything he did was in mono. I went back in and did all the stereo stuff. Izzy is on the left, I am on the right and I'm stereo with the echo and the slide stuff. I'm more distorted than Izzy [Guitar for the practising musician, September 1988].
About recording with scratch vocals: When we were going to do that Axl got a sore throat so he ended up doing it later. There were previous recordings where we recorded with vocals. We spent time with Manny Charlton from Nazareth. He came over because we were thinking bout having him produce the record. We were in the studio for two and a half days and we did everything live. We recorded 25 or 30 tunes. We never did anything with that album but we have the masters to it. It's something where we'll go back and pick through it. A lot of the stuff that comes out when your just jamming as a band is the best [Guitar for the practising musician, September 1988].
I went in and did basic tracks and played along with the drums and bass and Izzy. I would screw around but keep the actual song going. Then I would go back later and redo the whole rhythm and all the leads in front of the monitor in the control room. I had the monitors cranked up really loud and would just play along[Guitar for the practising musician, September 1988].
In the studio our drummer is completely hyper. We'd do a song two or three times and if you don't get it you move along. Sometimes you'd have to slow him down. Even now when I listen to him these songs sound kind of fast. Plus we were so excited to finally be working on a record. We were signed for a year before we actually got in with the right people and knew this was it [Guitar for the practising musician, September 1988].
Talking about what they did that year before production started: We tried out a lot of different people for producing. We worked with Manny for three days. We tried a lot of people who wanted to come in and change the music. We were totally against that. You figure if there's nothing else you have it's your music. At least you can say this is my record. We stuck with that [Guitar for the practising musician, September 1988].
Talking about the PMRC sticker: The sticker's pointless [laughs]. It means nothing either way. And if I don't say the word "fuck" or whatever on the next record that's just because it wasn't put in that song, you know, it's nothing to do with, we don't writ songs based on sales or anything else, we just write songs about how we feel [...] [MTV Headbanger's Ball, September 1988].
Adding: We don't write words to put "fuck" in them, it is just life stories. When you talk to somebody on the streets, when you talk to somebody anywhere, swearwords will come into it [MTV Headbanger's Ball, September 1988].
Being told that there are people protesting against the original artwork being on the innersleave of the record: Oh now it's the innersleeve? It wasn't good enough when we took it off the cover and put it on the inside. You know, that's... That blows. They can't...They can't do anything about it. [...] To us it was just a picture that looked sorta cool. [...] People have nothing better to do with their time than picking things apart and make a big deal out of stuff [MTV, October 1988].
Adding his thoughts: Exactly. I mean, for people to look at that sexist, or anything, I guess I can see what they're saying, you know. But we don't look at it that way, and that's the most important thing. If we don't look at it that way, we're not trying to make the sexist statement at all. And I think that's the most important thing. We didn't do that for any reason against women or whatever. And it doesn't matter. It's just artwork. [...] So go ahead. Let them do that, if that makes them feel... If they think they're doing something, then fine   [MTV, October 1988].
The reason, one of the main reasons [Appetite for Destruction's] doing so well, I could be wrong but, I think a lot has to do with timing, and just sort of, you know, the gap that we filled, as far as music's going [MTV, October 1988].
Reaction to Appetite going to number one on the lists: I mean, did that really happen to us? It's like, there's that, and then there's regular life. The rest is just words and numbers that don't really mean a thing [Kerrang!, December 1988].
Explaining Appetite's success: I think the only reason it could have possibly gone to Number One is we're filling some sort of void. That's really the only thing I can attribute it to. It's not because the songs are all huge hits - that's the last thing they are, they're just a bunch of dirty rock 'n' roll songs. So I figure, we're just like the resident down and dirty rock band in town at the moment. Everybody wants to have that record because it's not really that safe... and it looks cool next to George Michael records in their collection [Kerrang!, December 1988].
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Re: Appetite for Destruction

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:57 pm

Masterpiece review in Consequence of Sound:

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