Tuesday, March 1, 2022

"Paradise City" by Guns N' Roses

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3767
Date:  01/14/1989
Debut:  85
Peak:  5
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Hard Rock, Glam Metal

Pop Bits:  Upon release, the band's debut album Appetite for Destruction was having little success and was on the verge of disappearing. Their label, Geffen, finally stepped in and got MTV to start pushing one of the band's videos. That did the trick and a year and a half later the band would be one of the hottest in the country. The album would spend four weeks at #1 and generate a pair of Pop hits including the #1 "Sweet Child O' Mine" and the #7 "Welcome to the Jungle." To keep the momentum going, this follow up single was issued out. It would reach #14 at Rock while becoming the band's third Pop Top 10. The hit would ignite sales of the album and it would reach #1 for a fifth week in mid-February. By that point in time it would also be certified for sales of over 7 million.

ReduxReview:  Here's another winner from the band's excellent debut album. The opening of this song had "epic" written all over it. What followed were charging verses and an arena-ready chorus. It also featured the only keyboard part found on the album. The guitar licks/hooks were aplenty with Axl Rose's voice soaring above them all. The double-time finale threw the song into overdrive and by the time it ended you were spent, out of breath, and on glam metal cloud nine.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  As far as actual product moved, Appetite for Destruction is still the biggest selling debut album of all time in the US. However, it took a while to get there. At the time of its release, the biggest selling debut LP was Boston's 1977 self-titled effort. It stood at the 9 million mark. Sales continued over the years and eventually it would be at the 17 million mark in 2003. Appetite for Destruction would also continue to sell over the years and in 2008 it would reach 18 million in sales surpassing Boston's debut. Based on product sold, no other artist's debut album has surpassed that mark and it still holds the record. Yet that's not fully the end of the story. In 2016, the RIAA changed its rules on certifications due to the growing popularity of streaming and music services. Instead of being based solely on product, new rules pad the numbers with audio and video streams along with track-based album equivalent numbers. With those new rules, certifications for another debut album shot up. Cracked Rear View, the 1994 debut LP by Hootie & the Blowfish reached the 16 million certification in 1999. After the RIAA rule changes in 2018, the LP was suddenly certified at 21x platinum. That was 5 certification levels above the Guns N' Roses debut. However, those extra certifications were mainly all due to streaming and not actual physical sales. Therefore, if you look at what debut album actually sold the most physical copies, Guns N' Roses still rule. If you want to consider just certification level (sales plus streaming), then Hootie rules the day as of 2022.


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