GUNS N’ ROSES – Appetite For Destruction
July 11, 2018, 11 months ago
(Geffen / UMe)
Originally issued 31 years ago in 1987, Appetite For Destruction has been remastered and re-released as a five disc (four CD, one Blu-ray) set, comprised of 68 songs in total. Truthfully, the differences between the original and the remastered versions of this classic are inaudible. Disc one is Appetite – the best-selling US debut album ever. Disc two, B-Sides N’ EPs, features seven of the eight songs from GN’R Lies; “One In A Million” has been omitted, presumably due to its controversial lyrical content. Again, very familiar material.
Discs three and four are the real gems, showcasing the Sound City Sessions from 1986. These 27 songs are being touted as previously unreleased. While that is true in official capacity, the vast majority of these demo recordings have been available on bootleg cassettes and CDs for years. However, this is where the remastering really comes into play. The original analog tapes have been cleaned up, offering much better sound quality while maintaining all the original grit. “Anything Goes” with alternate lyrics, covers of “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” by The Rolling Stones are succulent musical morsels. A trio of unfinished jam sessions: “Ain’t Goin Down No More”, “The Plague”, and “New Work Tune” are diamonds in the rough. A pair of Use Your Illusion songs also appear: “Back Off Bitch” and “November Rain”, as these were originally written for possible inclusion on Appetite. There’s actually two early versions of “November Rain” – one with just piano and vocals, the other only acoustic guitars and vocals. To hear what such an epic song became in its infancy is truly remarkable. There is some repetition throughout, for example: five versions of “You’re Crazy”, four versions of “Move To The City”, three versions of “Shadow Of Your Love”.
Disc five, the Blu-ray, has both an audio and video component. Appetite is remixed in 5.1 Surround Sound, along with five bonus tracks. The videos for “Welcome To The Jungle”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, “Paradise City”, “Patience”, and the previously unseen “It’s So Easy” are included as well. Unfortunately, there aren’t any interviews – past or present – with Axl Rose, Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin, or Steven Adler. Having the original members reminisce about the making of Appetite For Destruction, and what it’s become, would have been captivating.
And then there’s the incredible packaging! The Locked N’ Loaded Edition is housed in a custom 12x12x12-inch solid-wood box, wrapped in faux-leather, with a hand-sculpted and hand-painted 3D cross on its front doors. Individually numbered and limited to 10,000 units worldwide, this is being heralded as the Holy Grail for GN’R fans. In addition to all the aforementioned music, this box contains a treasure trove of collectibles and memorabilia, including: a 96-page hardcover book, seven 12” LPs, seven 7” singles, USB stick, lithographs, buttons, skull face rings and lapel pins, guitar picks, replica gig banner, flyers and ticket stubs, iron-on patches, bandana, temporary tattoos, and more. Of course, price will be the determining factor when it comes to purchasing, as such, paired down versions are also available. Namely, a Super Deluxe Edition with all five discs and a smaller selection of souvenirs, the 2-LP 180 Gram Audiophile Edition, the 2-CD Deluxe Edition, and the 1-CD Remaster.