Recording a truly classic Rad album is no easy task. I mean a lot of bands can come out with a couple of classic jams. Release a Rad single once every couple of years. Gain a following due to their badass live show. How many bands however, have recorded a truly timeless Rad album? You know one of those CDs you could throw in, and not have to skip a single track.Literally EVERY single song, from track 1 through track 13 is totally Rad. I mean what kinda band could possibly sustain 24/7 Radness throughout the entire recording process of an album? That doesn't seem feesible. That is of course, unless you are the band responsible for this week's Friday Afternoon Rad Jam: GUNS N' ROSES.
There have been lots of classic albums recorded in rock history. Lots of albums that you could pretty much listen to in their entirety. Consult any "greatest ever" list from Rolling Stone or Vh1 and debate which one's your favorite. GNR's "Appetite For Destruction" however is by far and without question the Raddest CD of all time. There is zero debate. If there were a list compiled of the Raddest albums in music history Appetite would be ranked 1-5. The "worst" tracks on Appetite (Anything Goes and You're Crazy come to mind..) would easily be the best songs on a modern rock album/radio station today. This band and the recording of Appetite were an un unprecedented overload of Rad. Take every element possible you can think of that exemplifies true badass Rock and Roll music, multiply it by ten and throw it in a blender, and you might come close to summarizing the creation of Appetite.
If you were to think of Appetite and songs I might pick for a Friday afternoon Rad jam, the albums major hits would probably be the first come to mind. Welcome to the Jungle, Paradise City, Sweet Child O' Mine..you know your usual GNR jukebox classics. I have chosen instead to select the final track on Appetite, "Rocket Queen" as this week's Friday Afternoon Rad Jam. It is my personal favorite GNR song of all time, the best song on Appetite, and perhaps the song that truly showcases everything GNR represents. I don't know if there is another song that perfectly toes the line between being a totally dirty rock jam and a power ballad. I mean how do you really strike a perfect balance between writing a a rocking, raunchy Rad jam and recording a love song? Generally you gotta do one or the other. Rocket Queen somehow pulls this off by basically combining two separate songs into one classic Rad jam.
The first part of Rocket Queen is a dirty, angry letter to this girl that Axl and the rest of the band were infatuated with when they were coming up in the LA rock scene. A so called "queen of the underground scene," aka some totally hard partying rad groupie/aspiring singer. Part 1 of one kinda lets this girl know what's up and emphasizes that Axl and the boys aren't naive and generally won't take any shit from some stupid bimbo under any circumstances. Halfway through the song you hear what appear to be some sexual moaning from some woman. Yeah Axl decided that to drive his point home, he needed to record himself banging some chick on record and throw it into the mix. By "some chick" I mean...drummer Steven Adler's girlfriend. Yeah when you discuss the recording of Appetite you get ridiculous fact nuggets like this that are too crazy to make up. Suffice to say Adler wasn't particularly happy about this, but hey bands like GNR don't let disputes over women get in the way of their number 1 priority: Making Rad music.
Axl claimed he wanted to end this balls to the wall dirty rock record on a positive note, so that's where part 2 of Rocket Queen comes in. The band suddenly turns down their tendency to rock your fucking ass off..just a notch..and erupts into a totally Rad breakdown. Here Axl takes some time out to be like.."Look even though I just bitched you out, and we hate each other, and I like threw a lamp at you that one time...I still love you...so just know that if you ever need anything I'll be there." If that's not a rock and roll love affair summarized in a nutshell, I don't know what is. And then of course the entire band takes you out on a group jam session and Axl closes this Rad jam by wailing out his final caring sentiments. Boom. Perhaps the best (and only) "Rad Power Rock Jam/Anthem/Love Ballad" ever. Enjoy your weekend folks. Make sure people realize that while you might be a little young honey, you ain't naive.