Monday, December 6, 2021

"Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses

Top 10 Alert!
Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  3693
Date:  10/22/1988
Debut:  58
Peak:  7
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Hard Rock, Glam Metal

Pop Bits:  Guns N' Roses broke through in a huge way with the #1 gold-selling hit "Sweet Child O' Mine." It was the second single from their debut album Appetite for Destruction. For a follow-up, the band's label chose to reissue the album opener "Welcome to the Jungle." That track was originally the first single from the LP, but it only got to #37 at Rock while failing to make the Pop chart. Since it didn't seem to get a fair shake the first time around, the song was pushed out again after the success of "Sweet Child O' Mine." The second time around it would fare far better and make the Pop Top 10. Meanwhile, the album was selling like hotcakes and by the end of '89 it would already be at the 6 million mark.

ReduxReview:  This swaggering track is perhaps one of the most aggressive and brutal Top 10 hits of the era. Save for the brilliant breakdown that provided a bit of a respite from all the menace, the tune was unrelenting. It not only grabbed you, it shook the shit out of you. Then following Axl Rose declaring "you're in the jungle, baby - and you're gonna die!," a key change pushes the song into maximum overdrive. It's exhausting and thrilling. It is also one of the best metal songs of all time.


Trivia:  Just after the release of "Sweet Child O' Mine," Guns N' Roses would make an uncredited cameo appearance in a film. Both the band and "Welcome to the Jungle" would be featured in the fifth and final installment of the Dirty Harry franchise The Dead Pool. The movie had Clint Eastwood returning as Detective Harry Callahan. This time around he and his partner investigate the murder of rock singer Johnny Squares (played by a pre-fame Jim Carrey). Guns N' Roses appear in a couple of scenes. Once performing "Welcome to the Jungle" at Squares' funeral and then again in a dream sequence. Not long after the film was released in July of '88, "Sweet Child O' Mine" would become a huge #1 hit. The movie would received mixed reviews and its box office take wouldn't meet expectations. Still, it would generate another memorable quote from the series, which had spawned such pop culture references as "make my day" and "You've gotta ask yourself a question - do I feel lucky? Well do ya punk?" The memorable quote from The Dead Pool was a bit cruder than previous ones with Dirty Harry saying "Opinions are like assholes - everybody has one."


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