Musical style GNR
The music of Guns N’ Roses is a fusion of punk rock, blues-rock, heavy metal and classic rock and roll. In the 1990s, the band integrated keyed instruments (played by either Rose or Reed, and accompanied on tour by Teddy Andreadis) into the band, and for roughly half of the Use Your Illusion tour, added a horn section to the stage. While Reed has remained on some of the Chinese Democracy demos, tours since 2000 have not included wind instruments, though the band has employed synthesized horns on some of their new songs.
A heavy influence on both the image and sound of the band was Finnish band Hanoi Rocks (singer Michael Monroe and Rose have collaborated on various occasions). Rose has stated that the band was massively inspired by bands like Queen, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones , and Rose Tattoo and also that the sound of Appetite for Destruction was influenced by AC/DC, Aerosmith, The New York Dolls and Hanoi Rocks.
Guns N’ Roses signed with a major label within eight months of their inception and topped national sales charts weeks after garnering late hours airplay on MTV. Appetite for Destruction is the highest-selling debut album of all time.
Their peers in the music industry often spoke highly of the band: Ozzy Osbourne called Guns N’ Roses “the next Rolling Stones.” In 2002, Q magazine named Guns N’ Roses in their list of the “50 Bands To See Before You Die”. Also, the television network VH1 ranked Guns N’ Roses ninth in its “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock” special, and also ranked 11th on “Top 50 bands”. Appetite for Destruction appeared in the Rolling Stone Magazine special issue “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Guns N’ Roses #92 on their list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. “Welcome To The Jungle” had also been voted “Best Rock Song”.
The band has not been free of criticism. The flagrant alcohol and drug abuse by some members of the group, and Axl’s fondness of Charles Manson T-shirts, were used by the media to portray Guns N’ Roses as a poor example and negative influence on their young fans. The long periods of time that the band took to release albums were also a source of heavy criticism (the band’s second album, GN’R Lies, was actually an EP and an old EP packaged together, and one of the songs was an acoustic cover of one from the band’s debut album, it took from 1987 to 1991 to come up with a proper follow up to Appetite for Destruction, and it took over 15 years to release Chinese Democracy).
Frontman Axl Rose has become a source of both controversy and criticism since the other founding members left the group. His constant elusiveness, such as the fact that he has not held a press conference since 1994, has led to several stories claiming he is suffering from bipolar disorder. Music critics have blamed Rose for the break-up of the original group, have criticized him for continuing the band after the original members had departed and have questioned the constant change in band members. They also cite his neurotic behavior and sense of perfectionism as a cause of personal conflict and the long delays between albums.