Guns and Roses (usually stylized as Guns n’ Roses) is an American band that was formed in California in 1985. The band had five founding members: Axl Rose – the guitarist; Slash – the lead guitarist; Izzy – the rhythm guitarist; Duff McKagan – the bass guitarist, and Steve Adler – the drummer. Unlike most bands’ origin stories, Guns and Roses didn’t go through a lengthy period of struggle. The band clicked together and developed its sound almost immediately, which saw them signed to a professional record label less than eight months after their formation.
A year after they were signed (less than two years after their formation), the band released their debut album, Appetite for destruction. The album immediately became a hit, thanks to its lead single, Sweet child o’ mine. Within a year, the album had topped the billboard 200 while the lead single was on top of the billboard 100. The album was both critically acclaimed and commercially successful.
The band went on to produce five more albums, each of which was critically acclaimed and achieved platinum status in terms of record sales. A notable fact about their release dates is that their fifth album, The Spaghetti Incident was released in 1993 while their sixth (and last) album was released 15 years later in 2008. During this 15 year period, the band had temporarily broken up with one of the band’s most recognizable members, lead guitarist Slash, leaving to pursue a solo career. During this break, and after the 2008 release of their last studio album, the band has toured extensively all over the world.
The band’s sound is best defined as hard rock. The band has also experimented with heavy metal and punk rock. In later years, especially in their Chinese Democracy album, the band has also incorporated elements of electronic rock within their music. Most of their songs feature the distinctly hard guitar riffs from Slash and the loud lead vocals from Axl Rose. In terms of content, most of their messaging has been related to partying or towards a counter-culture ‘fight the power’ theme. The band’s main influences have been AC/DC, The Rolling Stones as well as Aerosmith.
Regarding the accolades they have won, Guns and Roses have won multiple American Music Awards, MTV Music Awards and the World Music Awards. Despite the continued success that the band has enjoyed for more than three decades, they are yet to win a Grammy award, despite being nominated on three occasions. Appetite for Destruction, which sold 30 million albums worldwide, still holds the record of being the highest selling debut album of all time. Similarly, their 2007 tour made $480 million, which makes it one of the most successful tours of all time.
The bands legacy is hard to match. They are credited as being one of the inspirations behind the popularity of punk rock. Guns and Roses have been named as being an influence on most of the most successful modern rock bands, including hinder, fall out boy, and Nickleback. Due to their counterculture messaging and brash sound, they are still known as the most dangerous band in the world.