They weren’t called the most dangerous band in the world for nothing, Guns N’ Roses really lived up to the moniker. With their debut album becoming one of the greatest albums of all time, and their epic double album that followed, Guns N’ Roses has remained on top of the world for 35 years and it isn’t hard to see why.
These are the top 10 best Guns N’ Roses songs of all time.
10. Don’t Cry – Use Your Illusion 1 (1991)
Don’t Cry is said to be the first Guns N’ Roses song ever written, created by Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin back in 1985 shortly after the band was formed. The song is also the first part of the Use Your Illusion ballad trilogy, so this is one you definitely need to check out as the video ties into November Rain.
9. Madagascar – Chinese Democracy (2008)
The only Chinese Democracy song on this list, and that isn’t a knock on the album, that speaks more about how fantastic GNR are as a whole. Madagascar is a highlight of the album. Madagascar also features part of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech in the bridge and it has been reported that Axl Rose refused to released the album unless the band got clearance to sample it.
8. You Could Be Mine – Use Your Illusion 2 (1991)
Originally intended to be on the Appetite For Destruction album, You Could Be Mine saw its official release 4 years later and became part of the Terminator 2 soundtrack. The song is a great rock song where the listener can let their hair down and just rock out to the music.
7. Coma – Use Your Illusion 1 (1991)
Perhaps the most underrated song from the band, and it is great to see the song getting some much-deserved love and attention from the band as it has become a key part of their live set since the reunion in 2016. Coma is a 10-minute masterpiece that sums up the band. The music was written in a heroin delirium, while the lyrics were penned after Axl Rose overdosed on pills. The blend of both aspects of the song being written while neither member was completely in their right frame of mind produced one of the most harrowing, yet beautiful pieces of music there is.
6. November Rain – Use Your Illusion 1 (1991)
The shot of Slash playing Joe Perry’s 1959 Les Paul outside of the church for the first solo section of the song is an iconic shot in rock music videos. November Rain took many years to write, with Axl Rose chipping away at it every time he got an opportunity to sit at a piano, and it definitely paid off for the band. The song was first demoed back in 1986 during the making of Appetite For Destruction but didn’t see a full release until 5 years later on Use Your Illusion 1.
5. Estranged – Use Your Illusion 2 (1991)
Estranged in the conclusion of the epic ballad trilogy from the Use Your Illusion albums and definitely the best of all three songs despite being the one people often forget. While the song itself is fantastic, seeing it live takes it to a whole other level. And if you haven’t had the pleasure as I have, watch the video below.
4. Welcome To The Jungle – Appetite For Destruction (1987)
Perhaps the best album opener of all time, the delayed guitar riff and roaring growl from Axl feels gritty and dirty, the worlds most dangerous band has arrived and the listener is in danger. This song sums up everything that is great about Guns N’ Roses.
3. Nightrain – Appetite For Destruction (1987)
The song title and hook are referring to a brand of cheap alcohol and that sums Guns N’ Roses up to a tee. Nightrain is a fantastic rock out song, and my go-to when I turn on the album. While many people focus on the singles of AFD, which happen to be occupying the top spots of this list, there are plenty of other gems on this album, and Nightrain is one of them.
2. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Appetite For Destruction (1987)
Overplayed, but with good reason. Sweet Child O’Mine is one of the greatest rock ballads of all time. The opening guitar riff is one of rocks most iconic riffs and one that many guitar players out there have tried to emulate. There is no cooler shot in a music video than the camera looking up at Slash as he plays the intro of the song, it definitely looks cooler than your dad air-guitaring along at a wedding.
1. Paradise City – Appetite For Destruction (1987)
Rounding off this list is the rock anthem, Paradise City, and yes it is another song from Appetite For Destruction. But, that is because Appetite For Destruction is one of the greatest albums of all time (in my opinion), and is often hailed as the greatest debut album of all time. For three decades Paradise City has closed nearly every show that the band has played, and with good reason. If you want to send a crowd home happy, this is the song to do it.