At the beginning, things were not easy for Guns N' Roses, their first tour to Seattle was not a success and in Los Angeles they were all sharing a very small apartment that they called the "hell house". The money was not there but the creativity was. They quickly composed a lot of their big hits around thattime, including Don't Cry and Welcome to the Jungle. They started to gain popularity and played clubs such as the Troubadour and the Roxy in late 1985 and early 1986.
After a while they caught the attention of the record companies but these people were a bit scared to sign the band because of their tendency to party and consume large amounts of drugs and alcohol. But in Spring 1986 GeffenRecords takes the chance and offer them a contract. Axl, Slash, Izzy, Duff and Steven started recording material for their first album. At the end of the year they released 10,000 copies of an EP called "Live like a suicide" featuring 4 songs: Reckless life, Nice Boys, Move to the city, and Mama Kin. This album was not live though, they simply added crowd sounds to make it sound like it was live. Thisrelease is very popular with collectors and you will need to spend a lot of money if you want to own one of these. You can find them from time to time on eBay.com.
In the summer of 1987, Guns N' Roses' "Appetite For Destruction" album is released, not without some controversy ("controversy", remember that word, it will come up frequently!). The image on the album cover featuring a rape scene isjudged too offensive and many retailers refused to sell the album for that reason. Geffen therefore decided to change it for the cross logo on a black background (this logo is actually a copy of one of Axl's tattoos; a tattoo that he later altered to "remove" Slash & co.). Once again the original cover became a collector item but it's more common and affordable than "Live like a suicide"After the release of "Appetite for Destruction", Guns N' Roses go on the road and they start to have some success, but it is going slow and nobody had any idea of what would happen to them later. They released a few singles, made a video for "welcome to the jungle", they opened for some big rock bands such as Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden. Things were going well but they were not very famous. However,when the song "Sweet Child O'Mine" came out, Guns N' Roses popularity EXPLODED. "Appetite for Destruction" quickly entered the top-10 and stayed #1 for a long time. They were selling millions and millions of copies of their record. In the second half of 1988 when they became big, they were on tour with Aerosmith and a lot of people were more interested by the opening act GNR than Aerosmith."Appetite" was such a success that it broke a new record for the best selling debut album of all time.
From that moment Guns N' Roses became rock legends and they were everywhere, all over MTV, front pages of magazines, and they were the hottest band to see. By the end of 1988 they released a small album featuring the 4 tracks previously released on "Live like a suicide" + 4 new accoustic tracks:Patience, Used to love her, You're Crazy, and One in a Million. This album immediately sold millions of copies and GNR became the only band with 2 albums in the Billboard top-5 simultaneously (They did it again in 1991).
Once again, some controversy, Axl used the words "nigger" and "faggots" in the song "One in a million" which caused a lot of bad publicity, but there's no such thing as "bad...