There aren’t many songs that rock harder than this one. So much so, that VH1 actually voted it the greatest hard rock song of all time in 2008!
It’s a song that came together very fast from the top notch guitar riff laid down by Slash, and some lyrics that Axl Rose had penned.
As with all these things, the stories surrounding the lyrics of songs can be very apocryphal, but the gist of it is that the song is about a guy from a small town going to L.A., where there is a lot of seedy things going on.
Guns ‘N’ Roses were, at that time, intimately familiar with many of these seedy goings on. So I guess it comes from the heart…
It’s driven by that blistering guitar shredding, almost like Metal, and Rose’s distinctive singing. The verses are almost spat out, with a cool cadence in play. The verses are suitably anthemic for a Guns ‘N’ Roses hit, with the “Welcome to the jungle” line contrasted very well with the “I wanna watch you bleed”.
There’s a breakdown followed by one of Slash’s world class guitar solos, and then that furious verse kicks in again.
The song is from the classic 1987 album, Appetite For Destruction, and was released as a single twice because the first time it didn’t fully live up to its commercial potential.
Rock music will probably never reach these levels of rockiness again…