Monday, June 27, 2022

"Patience" by Guns N' Roses

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  3862
Date:  04/08/1989
Debut:  66
Peak:  4
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  By this point in time, the band's debut album Appetite for Destruction had hit #1, sold over seven million copies, and spawned three Pop Top 10 hits including the #1 "Sweet Child O' Mine." It was also nearly two years old. Released in the summer of '87, it took a long while for the LP to finally take off. When it did, it kept the band busy and unable to record new material. To keep up their momentum, it was decided that a stop-gap album would be assembled and pushed out. Titled G N' R Lies, the LP consisted of four tracks from their 1986 EP Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide and four acoustic style tracks. Of those four acoustic tracks, one had been previously used as a b-side, one was a re-recording of a track from Appetite, and two were new. The album got released in late November of '88 and by March of '89 it was already certified double-platinum. Then in April as the single "Paradise City" was wrapping up its chart run, the band went ahead and issued out this single from the new album. The ballad would quickly rise up the charts getting to #4 Pop and #7 Rock. It would sell well enough to go gold. The hit would push the LP to a new peak of #2 and by August it had sold another million copies. No other singles would be released from the album.

ReduxReview:  This acoustic ballad was a major change of pace for the band and it was the perfect single to release after a series of scorching glam metal tracks. It showed that the band could be just as lovelorn and sappy as any other artist. I liked that the recording of the song nearly sounded like a spontaneous session and the way Rose's voice went up the octave for the final stretch. I enjoyed the song and was really the only one on G N' R Lies that was truly memorable or worth anything. The balance were toss away things with one that should have been put in the trash and never seen the light of day (see below). Sadly, the lingering taste of the controversy sort of tainted this song because it was associated with the album. That's too bad as I still like this anomaly from the band's catalog.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Where Guns N' Roses went, controversy would typically follow and that certainly was the case with G N' R Lies in a couple of ways. First, the original cover image sparked some backlash. It was done like a tabloid newspaper with headlines and articles that included the track titles. It also had some unfortunate "story" headlines like "Wife-beating has been around for 1,000 years." A couple of these lines would be replaced on further pressings. Second, the new song "One in a Million" proved very controversial and dogged the band for years. Axl Rose's lyrics included the n-word and a derogatory term for gay men. Many people, including rock music critics, denounced the track as being racist and homophobic. Even members of G N' R didn't want the track on the album knowing it would cause an issue, but Rose demanded it be included. Sure enough, it caused a bit of an uproar. At first Rose defended his lyrics, but not necessarily in a truthful way. It would take a few years before Rose would finally just state that he gone through a couple things in his life where he felt very vulnerable and it was his way to express his anger about the situations. While that seems plausible and most likely the truth, one could argue that Rose didn't have to take it to the extremes that he did, which got the band labeled by many as racist and homophobic. The song remained a bad apple in their catalog and the band more or less just set it to the side. They even chose to not include it on the 2018 box set for Appetite for Destruction, which included the G N' R Lies tracks.


No comments:

Post a Comment