List of Top 20 Guns N' Roses Songs

In their heydays, Guns N' Roses made quite an impact on the world of rock music. Legends in their own right, the controversy-marred band members gave us some memorable hits in the eighties and early nineties. Buzzle brings you a list of the best songs of GnR.
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Guns N' Roses song - November Rain
Where are they now?
Barring Axl Rose, all members of the original Guns N' Roses including Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan, and Steven Adler quit the band. GnR in its current avatar has Dizzy Reed, Tommy Stinson, Chris Pitman, Richard Fortus, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, Frank Ferrer, and DJ Ashba.
Those born in the eighties, including yours truly, were certainly a lucky lot when it came to music, especially music that we grew up listening to. Duran Duran, AC/DC, Mötley Crüe, Poison, and yes, who can forget the inimitable Guns N' Roses?

Good ol' times those were, and it's hard to believe that it's been close to 30 years since GnR's early beginnings. Yes, the iconic band still does feature Axl Rose (a shadow of his former self), but lacks the thunderous power of Slash's and Izzy's guitar, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler.

Nevertheless, as a throwback to the days bygone, we've compiled a list of GnR's greatest hits. Play them back, reminisce, and get all misty-eyed.

Best Songs of Guns N' Roses

"Sweet Child O' Mine"
Released: August 17, 1988
Album: Appetite for Destruction
This song happens to be the band's first and only number 1 single in the U.S. A smashing hit, it ranks number 37 on Guitar World's list of "100 Greatest Guitar Solos", and at number 198 on Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Its famous opening riff was also voted number 1 riff of all time by the readers of Total Guitar magazine.
"November Rain"
Released: September 17, 1991
Album: Use Your Illusion I
Probably GnR's best work till date, and a certain number 1 in my humble opinion, "November Rain" has several elements that make it the superb song that it is. However, the 3 guitar solos by Slash are no less than legendary, which make the song stand out. Since the departure of Slash, each of the 3 guitar solos in the song was played by a different guitarist, including Robin Finck, Richard Fortus, DJ Ashba, Buckethead, and Bumblefoot.

"Patience"
Released: April 1989
Album: G N' R Lies
The inspiration for this track is generally assumed to be the difficult relationship between Axl Rose and now ex-wife Erin Everly. Alternatively, it has also been stated by the band that Izzy Stradlin wrote the song about his ex-girlfriend Angela Nicoletti McCoy.
"Welcome to the Jungle"
Released: July 21, 1987
Album: Appetite for Destruction
"Welcome to the Jungle" is the number often used to open Guns N' Roses' concerts, being featured at almost every show. In 2009, VH1 bestowed the honor of naming it the greatest hard rock song of all time.

"Paradise City"
Released: July 21, 1987
Album: Appetite for Destruction
According to lead guitarist Slash, this song was written in the back of a rental van as they were on their way back from playing a gig in San Francisco with the band Rock N Riders. GnR fans remember it best for its iconic lyrics, Take me down to the Paradise City, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.
"Estranged"
Released: September 17, 1991
Album: Use Your Illusion II
Axl Rose was admittedly "bummed out" when his marriage with Erin Everly was annulled, and "Estranged" reflects his personal troubles of the time. Also known for its music video, it is the longest song on Use Your Illusion II, and Guns N' Roses' second longest song. It has several verses, no set chorus, and many distinguished guitar and piano solos.

"Knockin' On Heaven's Door"
Released: September 17, 1991
Album: Use Your Illusion II
A cover version of the Bob Dylan hit, GnR began playing it in their live performances in 1987. A studio version was recorded in 1990, which later underwent minor modifications for the 1991 album Use Your Illusion II.
"Civil War"
Released: September 17, 1991
Album: Use Your Illusion II
"What's so civil about war, anyway?" is what Axl seeks to ask in this song, which is a thinly-veiled protest. There are references to the contradiction of war being 'civil', stating further that war only "feeds the rich while it buries the poor."

"Don't Cry"
Released: September 17, 1991
Album: Use Your Illusion I & II
"Don't Cry" is a power ballad, two versions of which were released simultaneously on different albums. The version with the original lyrics is in Use Your Illusion I, whereas the version with the alternate lyrics can be found on Use Your Illusion II. There is even a third version, officially released only on the single for the song, which was recorded in 1986.
"You Could Be Mine"
Released: September 17, 1991
Album: Use Your Illusion II
As against popular belief, "You Could Be Mine" was not the original choice to be the official theme of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. It did, eventually, and also went on to feature in Terminator Salvation. Arnold Schwarzenegger even appeared in the video as the T-800 on a mission to assassinate the band members.

"Live and Let Die"
Released: September 17, 1991
Album: Use Your Illusion I
"Live and Let Die" is the theme song of the James Bond film, Live and Let Die, written by Paul and Linda McCartney. It has been covered by several bands, with the GnR version standing out among the rest. The band first played it live at the iconic Wembley Stadium, London, on August 31, 1991.
"Yesterdays"
Released: September 17, 1991
Album: Use Your Illusion II
"Yesterdays" is a power ballad from the Guns N' Roses album, Use Your Illusion II. It also happens to be the only Guns N' Roses video, where Axl Rose has his hair tied into a pony tail (the other one being "Don't Cry").

"My Michelle"
Released: July 21, 1987
Album: Appetite for Destruction
The song is about a friend of the band, a girl named Michelle Young. She was quite pleased with Axl Rose's lyrical description of her life, especially appreciating its honesty regarding her drug addiction, the death of her mother, and her father's work in the pornography industry.
"Coma"
Released: September 17, 1991
Album: Use Your Illusion I
At over 10 minutes, it is the longest track released by the band. This song has been played live all of four times, owing to its length, and the strain it causes to singer Axl Rose. The lyrics are supposedly a depiction of the band's lifestyle between 1985 and 1989 and mainly their drug use during the period.

"It's So Easy"
Released: June 15, 1987 (U.K.)
Album: Appetite for Destruction
This song was the band's first single released just over a month before their first album, Appetite for Destruction released. It never saw the light of day in the United States and was rejected by MTV. It was, however, a permanent fixture in each of their concerts after Appetite for Destruction released.
"Bad Obsession"
Released: September 17, 1991
Album: Use Your Illusion I
The song written by Izzy Stradlin and West Arkeen is about tackling drug abuse and addiction, which had haunted the band even before they hit the big league. Michael Monroe, lead singer of Hanoi Rocks and a big influence on Guns N' Roses, played the harmonica and tenor saxophone on the studio version of the number.

"Back Off Bitch"
Released: September 17, 1991
Album: Use Your Illusion I
An old song, "Back Off Bitch" even predates the formation of the group. The song was regularly played during Guns N' Roses concerts before the release of Appetite for Destruction. This is one of the very few Guns N' Roses songs to stand out for the reason that it has Izzy Stradlin (and not Slash) playing a longer guitar solo.
"Mr. Brownstone"
Released: July 21, 1987
Album: Appetite for Destruction
This song again focuses on the band's addiction with heroin. It was written at a time when bassist Duff McKagan along with Axl Rose weren't entirely addicted, but Slash, Steven Adler, and Izzy Stradlin were, providing inspiration for the lyrics written by Duff and Axl.

"Ain't It Fun"
Released: November 23, 1993
Album: "The Spaghetti Incident?"
The song is a cover version of The Dead Boys number and is included in the 1993 GnR album, "The Spaghetti Incident?" It was also released as a single and was included on the Guns N' Roses Greatest Hits compilation in 2004. Michael Monroe from Hanoi Rocks has also lent his voice to the song.
"You Ain't the First"
Released: September 17, 1991
Album: Use Your Illusion I
Unlike most of GnR's work, where electric guitars are the norm, acoustic guitars were used in this song, lending it a folksy-rock touch. Tim Doyle playing the tambourine adds to the mood of the only song to feature three singers―Izzy Stradlin, Axl Rose, and Shannon Hoon.
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Published: May 13, 2014
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