ROX Radio


Thursday, June 6, 2024

Iconic Vinyl: Appetite For Distruction by Guns n'Roses

This week's Iconic Vinyl is Appetite For Distruction by Guns n' Roses.

We're choosing this classic album because of the controversy surrounding the album's original cover artwork.

Of course this is a great album, the band's first full length and the best they ever released hands down. But it was that original cover that caused such a stink when Geffen released the album in July 1987. 

Having gained a reputation for both music and attitude, people expected slot from Appetite and they got it!

However, the lyrical content and the cover caused outrage (FFS!) In certain countries and this lead to a hurried re issue with a new, tamer cover that remains today even with subsequent re-issues which is a real shame.

The album's original cover art was based on Robert Williams' painting Appetite for Destruction.It depicted a robotic rapist about to be punished by a metal avenger. After several music retailers refused to stock the album, the label compromised and put the controversial cover art inside, replacing it with an image depicting a Celtic cross and skulls representing each of the five band members (top skull: Izzy Stradlin, left skull: Steven Adler, center skull: Axl Rose, right skull: Duff McKagan, and bottom skull: Slash). In a 2016 interview, Billy White Jr., who designed the tattoo with the cross and skulls upon which the album artwork was based, explained: "The cross and skulls that looked like the band was Axl's idea, the rest was me. The knot work in the cross was a reference to Thin Lizzy, a band Axl and I both loved."[19] The original cover was supposed to be on the 2008 vinyl reissue of the album, though the record label replaced it with the "skulls" art at the last minute.[20] The photographs used for the back of the album and liner notes were taken by Robert John, Marc Canter, Jack Lue, Leonard McCardie, and Greg Freeman.

The band stated the original artwork was "a symbolic social statement, with the robot representing the industrial system that's raping and polluting our environment."[21] In albums which were issued on double sided media (vinyl records and audio cassettes), the two sides were labeled "G" and "R", rather than the conventional "A" and "B". Tracks 1–6, which compose side "G", all deal with drugs and hard life in the big city ("Guns" side). The remaining tracks, which compose side "R", all deal with love, sex, and relationships ("Roses" side).

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