GUNS N ROSES
US heavy-rock band, Guns N’ Roses, formed in the mid-80s. Axl Rose (originally named William Bailey, but changed his name to an anagram of ‘Oral Sex’) and Izzy Stradlin met in 1984.
They formed a band with Tracii Guns (guitar) and Rob Gardner (drums) and were named in turn, Rose, Hollywood Rose and L.A. Guns. Soon afterwards, Guns and Gardener left, replaced by drummer Steven Adler (drums) and guitarist Slash. With bassist, Duff McKagan, the band was renamed Guns N’ Roses and in 1986, the band signed to Geffen Records. During 1987 they toured extensively. In 1988, Rose was kicked out but was reinstated within three days. ‘Appetite For Destruction’ sold 20 million copies worldwide and reached US number 1 within a year. ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ was used on the soundtrack of the Clint Eastwood movie ‘Dead Pool’. It was the album that propelled them to stardom.
The band toured regularly, but also controversially in the US and Europe and in 1989, ‘G N’ R Lies’ became a transatlantic hit. However, Guns N’ Roses’ career was littered with incidents involving drugs, drunkenness and public-disturbance offences. In 1990, Adler was replaced by Matt Sorum, followed by Dizzy Reed for a 1991 world tour. The band then released ‘Use Your Illusions I and II’ – reaching US numbers 1 and 2, preceded by a cover version of Bob Dylan’s ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’. Slash’s growing reputation led him to make guest appearances for Dylan and Michael Jackson.
At the end of 1993, the covers album ‘Spaghetti Incident’ was issued. Duff released his debut solo album and Stradlin was replaced by a number of guitarists including Zakk Wylde (ex-Ozzy Osbourne), who fell out irreconcilably with Axl before recording a note. Slash confirmed Rose’s departure in November 1996, reversed in February 1997 when Rose allegedly purchased the right to the Guns N’ Roses name.
Backed by new personnel, Axl embarked on ‘The Chinese Democracy’ tour and finished the bands long awaited new album. On November 13, 2008, ten days before the official release of the ‘Chinese Democracy’ album, the ‘Chinese Democracy’ single topped the general iTunes Music Store chart in Greece, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Finland. In addition to being the No. 1 song and No. 1 rock song in these countries, it became the No. 1 rock song on iTunes in the U.S., Canada, France and the U.K.
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