No. 12: Guns N Roses, ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ – Top 100 Classic Rock Songs
It’s hard to believe there was a time when Guns N’ Roses weren’t absolutely huge. But in reality, if it weren’t for the second chance ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ granted them, the world at large could have missed out on a lot of great music. And yes, some drama.
Although it’s considered a masterpiece now, the band’s major-label debut, ‘Appetite for Destruction,’ hardly set the world on fire with it was first released in 1987. Even the mighty ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ didn’t connect fully upon its first run at radio.
Little by little though, Guns N Roses’ popularity grew via word of mouth and fiery live performances, and by the time second single and future Top 100 Classic Rock Songs inductee ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ dropped a year later, the band would be thrust into the spotlight once and for all.
Whether they intended it or not, the video for this track helped soften the band’s rough n’ tough image for many listeners. For all of the bravado and rage heard in other tracks on ‘Appetite…,’ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ showed the band did indeed have a heart capable of revealing a sentimental side once in a while.
Ironically, the popularity of this track would help give a second life to the group’s initial ‘Appetite..’ single, ‘Welcome To The Jungle,’ sending it back up the charts and into the Top 10. Together with the epic ‘Paradise City,’ Guns N’ Roses’ chance at a place in rock history was assured.
For as popular as the band would be from 1987 through 1994, ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ is surprisingly the band’s only No. 1 hit on the Billboard Singles Charts. That being said, ‘Appetite For Destruction’ remains one of the best-selling records in American history, having moved more than 18 million copies to date.
Watch Guns N Roses Perform ‘Sweet Child of Mine’