Guns N’ Roses is an American hard rock/heavy metal band from Los Angeles. They were formed in 1985 and have experienced many changes in personnel over the years. Their classic line-up, as signed to Geffen Records in 1986, consisted of Axl Rose (vocals), Slash (lead/rhythm guitar), Izzy Stradlin (rhythm guitar), Duff McKagan (bass), and Steven Adler (drums). The current line-up represents a Guns N’ Roses reunion of sorts and consists of Rose, Slash, McKagan, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Melissa Reese, guitarist Richard Fortus and drummer Frank Ferrer. Guns N’ Roses has released six studio albums to date, accumulating sales of more than 100 million records worldwide, including shipments of 45 million in the United States. Guns N’ Roses one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time.
Guns N’ Roses’ debut album, Appetite for Destruction (1987), reached number one on the Billboard 200 a year after its release, on the strength of “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, the band’s only single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Appetite for Destruction has sold approximately 30 million copies worldwide, including 18 million units in the United States, making it the best-selling debut album of all time in the USA, as well as the eleventh best-selling album ever in the United States. The success of the debut was followed by the controversial eight-song album GNR Lies (1988) which reached number two on the Billboard 200.
The twin albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II (1991) debuted at number two and number one on the Billboard 200 respectively and whilst they did not capture the imagination in the same way as the debut, have sold a combined 35 million copies worldwide, including 14 million units in the United States. The cover album “The Spaghetti Incident?” (1993) was the band’s last studio album to feature Slash and McKagan.
After more than ten years in the making and several lineup changes, Guns N’ Roses released the long-awaited album Chinese Democracy (2008) which, at an estimated $14 million in production costs, is the most expensive rock album to ever be produced in music history. It debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 but sold relatively poorly, despite a mostly positive critical reception. Classic era members Slash and McKagan both rejoined the band in 2016.
Guns N’ Roses has been credited with reviving the mainstream popularity of rock music, at a time when popular music was dominated by dance music and glam metal. Its late 1980s and early 1990s years have been described as the period in which the group brought forth a hedonistic rebelliousness reminiscent of the early Rolling Stones, a reputation that had earned the group the nickname “the most dangerous band in the world”. The band’s classic lineup, along with later members Reed and drummer Matt Sorum, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, in its first year of eligibility.