Guns ‘N’ Roses Follow Up

Greatest Hits, label conflict & lawsuits

In September 2003, Eddie Trunk played a previously unheard track, "I.R.S.", on his radio show, given to him by baseball player Mike Piazza. The band management heard about the nationwide leak, and obtained a cease and desist order for all stations that had a copy of the track. Axl Rose had played several new songs at a strip club in Las Vegas two months earlier to gauge the reactions of the crowd.

In February 2004, Geffen said, "Having exceeded all budgeted and approved recording costs by millions of dollars, it is Mr. Rose's obligation to fund and complete the album, not Geffen's." By March 2004, Geffen had pulled funding from Chinese Democracy. Around then, band manager Merck Mercuriadis  stated that "The 'Chinese Democracy' album is very close to being completed". According to a 2005 report by The New York Times, Rose had allegedly spent $13 million ($20,280,797 in current dollar terms) in the studio by that point. Mercuriadis rejected the budget claims made by The New York Times, claiming the sources had not been involved in the project in several years. The album was frequently described as "the most expensive album ever made".

In March 2004, since Axl Rose had failed to deliver a new studio album in more than ten years, Geffen released Guns N' Roses' Greatest HitsSlash and Duff McKagan joined Axl Rose in suing Geffen to stop the release of the album, which was compiled without authorization from any current or former band members. The lawsuit was thrown out and the album went triple platinum in the US, eventually going on to be the third-longest-charting album in the Nielsen SoundScan era. McKagan and Slash also joined Rose in an unsuccessful effort to prevent the release of The Roots of Guns N' Roses.

The band was scheduled to play at Rock in Rio Lisboa in May 2004. However, Buckethead left the band in March of that year, causing the band to cancel the show. Buckethead reportedly left the band because of the "inability to complete an album or tour", according to his manager. Axl Rose claimed "the band has been put in an untenable position by guitarist Buckethead and his untimely departure. During his tenure with the band, Buckethead has been inconsistent and erratic in both his behavior and commitment ... His transient lifestyle has made it impossible for even his closest friends to have nearly any form of communication with him whatsoever."

In February 2006, demos of the songs "Better", "Catcher in the Rye", "I.R.S.", and "There Was a Time" were leaked on to the Internet through a Guns N' Roses fan site. The band's management requested that all links to the MP3 files and all lyrics to the songs be removed from forums and websites. Despite this, radio stations began adding "I.R.S." to playlists, and the song reached No. 49 on the Radio & Records Active Rock National Airplay chart in the final week of February.

In August 2006, Slash and McKagan sued Rose over publishing and songwriting credits, which Rose's lawyer claimed were due to a "clerical error" while changing publishers.

Lineup changes and resuming tour

Following a recommendation from guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani, guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal joined Guns N' Roses in 2006, replacing Buckethead. Thal made his live debut with the band at the  Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on May 12, 2006, the band's first live show in over three years.

Five warm-up shows before a North American tour were held in September 2006. The tour officially commenced on October 24 in Miami. Drummer Frank Ferrer replaced Brain, who took a leave of absence to be with his wife and newborn child. Coinciding with the tour, the song "Better" was featured in an internet advertisement for Harley-Davidson in October 2006. Keyboardist Dizzy Reed stated that the release was an accident, with two versions being made—one 'experimental edit' featuring a demo of "Better" and one with "Paradise City". The ad with "Better" was mislabeled and inadvertently uploaded online for a day before being replaced by the intended ad with Paradise City.

In November 2006, shows in Portland, Maine were cancelled, with the band claiming that the cancellations were "due to limitations imposed by local fire marshals". Axl Rose later apologized in a statement, stating "We have chosen to take the public heat for these events in order to have another shot at the future today with a new album."

In December 2006, Axl Rose released an open letter to fans announcing that Merck Mercuriadis had been fired as the band's manager. He revealed that the last four dates of the North American tour would be cut so the band could work on post-production for Chinese Democracy. He also set a tentative release date for the album for the first time since the album's announcement: March 6, 2007. On February 23, 2007, Del James announced that the recording stage of Chinese Democracy was finished and the band had now moved onto mixing the album. However, this proved that March 6 release date would be impossible to achieve, and the album once again had no scheduled release date.

In February 2007, the 'final' version of "Better" leaked online to positive reviews. On May 4, 2007, three more tracks leaked from Chinese Democracy: An updated version of "I.R.S.", "The Blues", and the title track. All three tracks had previously been played live. Guns N' Roses embarked on the 2007 leg of the Chinese Democracy World Tour in Mexico in June, followed by dates in Australia and Japan. The songs "Nice Boys" and "Don't Cry" (appearing as an instrumental Bumblefoot solo) were played for the first time since the Use Your Illusion Tour.

The tour ended on the twentieth anniversary of Appetite for Destruction's release date, in Osaka. During this tour, the band featured vocalist Axl Rose, Robin Finck, Ron Thal and Richard Fortus on guitars, Tommy Stinson on bass, Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman on keyboards and Frank Ferrer on drums.

Album release and promotion

In December 2007, Eddie Trunk reported that the album was done and handed over to Geffen Records, but delayed due to issues with the label. The following month, reports that the delays were disagreements between Geffen and Axl Rose on marketing emerged. In February 2008, Rose's manager, Beta Lebeis, debunked Eddy Trunk's suggestion and stated the band is "in negotiations" with the record label, and the album had been finished since Christmas 2007.

On March 26, 2008, Dr Pepper announced a plan to give everyone in America – except the band's former guitarists Slash and Buckethead – a free can of Dr Pepper if the band released Chinese Democracy  before the end of 2008. Axl Rose stated he was "surprised and very happy" about the announcement, adding, "As some of Buckethead's performances are on our album, I'll share my Dr Pepper with him."

On March 27, 2008, the day after Dr Pepper's announcement, the band members announced that they had hired a new management team, headed by Irving Azoff and Andy Gould.

Amidst industry rumors in April 2008 that a release was coming soon, nine tracks purported to be from Chinese Democracy were leaked to a website on June 19, 2008, but were quickly removed due to a cease-and-desist letter from the band's label. Six of the leaked tracks had surfaced previously in some form, while three were new. On July 14, 2008, Harmonix, in conjunction with MTV Games, officially announced the release of a new song from Chinese Democracy. The song, entitled "Shackler's Revenge", was released through the new game Rock Band 2. The song "If the World" debuted October 10, 2008, playing in the end credits of the Ridley Scott film Body of Lies.

On October 22, 2008, after several months of speculation, band management, Best Buy, and Interscope Geffen A&M Records issued a joint press release confirming that the much-anticipated release of  Chinese Democracy in the US had been scheduled for November 23, 2008, as a Best Buy exclusive.  Several days before its official release, the band streamed the entire Chinese Democracy album on the group's Myspace page. The album was streamed over three million times, breaking the Myspace record for most streamed album ever.

Chinese Democracy, the band's sixth studio album and its first since 1993's "The Spaghetti Incident?" was released on November 22, 2008, in Europe and Australia, on November 23, 2008, in North America, and on November 24, 2008, in the United Kingdom. Chinese Democracy debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 but undersold industry expectations. The album's divided reception led to it being included on several publication's year end worst-of lists, as well of best-of lists.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction and Appetite for Democracy (2009–2014)

On February 6, 2009, Axl Rose gave his first interview in nine years when he sat down with Billboard's  Jonathan Cohen. Axl Rose said that there was no chance that he would ever agree with a reunion with Slash:

"What's clear is that one of the two of us will die before a reunion and however sad, ugly or unfortunate anyone views it, it is how it is. Those decisions were made a long time ago and reiterated year after year by one man."

Axl however stated that he was open to working again with Stradlin and McKagan:

"I could see doing a song or so on the side with Izzy or having him out on tour again. I'm not so comfortable with doing anything having more than one of the alumni. Maybe something with Duff, but that's it, and not something I'd have to really get down into, as I'd get left with sorting it out and then blamed on top of it. So, no, not me."

In March 2009, the band announced that DJ Ashba would be the new lead guitarist, replacing a departing Robin Finck, who rejoined Nine Inch Nails.

In June 2009, it was reported that manager Irving Azoff had been "fired, then re-hired, then fired". A year later, Azoff's company Front Line Management sued Axl Rose, claiming he "violated an oral agreement to pay 15% of earnings, or nearly $2 million, from a lucrative concert tour" and seeking $1.87 million in unpaid fees. Axl Rose filed a $5 million counter-lawsuit against Azoff, saying that Azoff sabotaged sales of Guns N' Roses' comeback album, attempted to force Rose to reunite with his estranged former bandmates, failed to promote Chinese Democracy, and filed suit for "commissions he didn't earn and had no right to receive". The lawsuit was settled in 2011. Several years later, Guns N' Roses' management, led by Rose's former personal assistant Beta Lebeis and her family, stated that previous tensions led to an ultimatum of "no more managers".

Guns N' Roses headlined the Friday night at Reading Festival 2010 and closed Leeds Festival two days later. Guns N' Roses was 58 minutes late coming on to the stage, and because of a curfew issued by Reading Council the band's set ended at midnight. Rose orchestrated fan frustration toward the organizers, citing the strict curfew. Further late showings caused issues; during a concert on September 1, 2010, in Dublin, the band was over an hour late arriving on stage. Rose stopped the band in the middle of the second song, "Welcome to the Jungle", after multiple bottles were thrown on stage to warn the crowd.

After another bottle was thrown, the band left the stage during the fourth song of the set. The band returned to the stage an hour later to finish the show. Former bassist Duff McKagan joined the band on stage for the first time since leaving the band on October 14, 2010, at The O2 Arena, in London, England. He performed four songs with the group: "You Could Be Mine", "Nice Boys", "Knockin' on Heaven's Door", and "Patience". The appearance was said to be a spur-of-the-moment decision, as he and Rose happened to be staying in the same hotel. Rose told the audience, "There was this guy at the end of my hallway playing all this loud music and shit. What the fuck? Oh—it's Duff!". Duff McKagan later joined Guns N' Roses for two Seattle shows in December 2011 and had his band Loaded open for Guns N' Roses.

Guns N' Roses performed at Rock in Rio 4 on October 2, 2011, during heavy rain, playing "Estranged" for the first time since 1993. Guitarist Bumblefoot stated that due to the conditions, it was the "worst concert he's ever been a part of". Two months later, during a performance in Nashville, Tennessee, "Civil War" also made a return after an eighteen-year absence. On November 10, 2011, Axl Rose gave his first TV interview in years to Eddie TrunkDon Jamieson and Jim Florentine of That Metal Show, discussing his whole career and the band's future.

Izzy Stradlin joined the band for a surprise performance at a wedding in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2012. Also in July 2012, the band toured Israel for the first time since 1992. NME reported that year that the band's tour security said they had been instructed by Guns N' Roses' management that anyone wearing a Slash T-shirt not be allowed into the tour venue.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction

On April 14, 2012, Guns N' Roses were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Slash, Duff McKagan, Steven Adler, Matt Sorum and Gilby Clarke reunited for the induction. Clarke, who was not inducted, performed at the request of Sorum. The band performed "Mr. Brownstone", "Sweet Child o' Mine", and "Paradise City", with Alter Bridge and Myles Kennedy on lead vocals. Rose did not attend and had asked not to be inducted, writing in an open letter that the Hall of Fame "doesn't appear to be somewhere I'm actually wanted or respected". Izzy Stradlin and Dizzy Reed also declined to attend the induction.

At the ceremony, the crowd booed Rose's name and chanted "Fuck Axl". Afterwards, Rose released a statement saying he did did not understand the purpose of the Hall of Fame, how it was funded or how acts are chosen. In an interview, Slash said that none of the band initially wanted to take part and were uncertain of how it would proceed.

Up Close and Personal and Appetite for Democracy tours

In early 2012, the band announced the upcoming Up Close and Personal Tour, with shows in the United States and Europe. The shows themselves varied considerably in comparison to the previous Chinese Democracy Tour. All of the North American shows took place in smaller-scale clubs, not large arenas or stadiums. All pyrotechnics were removed from the shows.

On August 13, 2012, the band announced a residency at The Joint in Las Vegas entitled "Appetite for Democracy", celebrating the 25th anniversary of Appetite for Destruction and the fourth anniversary of Chinese Democracy. On November 21, 2012, the band's performance in Vegas was taped in 3D and was screened across theaters in 2014 before being released as Appetite for Democracy 3D on July 1, 2014. In October 2012, Guns N' Roses performed an acoustic set at Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit  show. The performance was widely panned by critics, and Axl Rose claimed an onset of strep throat  hampered his vocals. The band launched a South American tour in early 2014, including shows in Brazil and Portugal. For several shows, former bassist Duff McKagan rejoined the band to fill in for Tommy Stinson, who had previous commitments to touring with The Replacements. The group headlined the Revolver Golden Gods awards show, with McKagan on bass, on April 24, 2014. During the ceremony, Rose was awarded the Ronnie James Dio lifetime achievement award.

From May 21 to June 7, 2014, the band returned to Las Vegas for its second residency at The Joint, titled No Trickery! An Evening of Destruction.

Progress on a follow-up to Chinese Democracy

In an MTV phone interview with Kurt Loder in 1999, Axl Rose said he and the then-new band had recorded enough material for a double album. In an informal chat with Rolling Stone magazine in February 2006, Rose stated the band had 32 songs in the works. While appearing on various fan message boards in December 2008, Rose stated several working titles of songs for a possible future album. Former drummer Brain mentioned working on a 'club remix' of "Shackler's Revenge", stating that Rose planned to put out a remix album of songs from Chinese Democracy.

Several band members mentioned they had been collaborating on ideas and working on a new album throughout the late 2000s and early 2010s. In October 2012, Rose said, "All the guys are writing, and we recorded a lot of songs over the years. We'll figure out what we feel best about". In August 2013, a new song entitled "Going Down" was leaked online. The track features bassist Tommy Stinson on lead vocals, with Axl Rose providing backing vocals. Bumblefoot confirmed the song to be legitimate on his Twitter. Spin described it as "a country-tinged, mid-tempo lighter-raiser with lyrics about how "you've got nothin' good to say / Keep your mouth shut."

In an interview in June 2014, Rose commented on upcoming plans:

"We recorded a lot of things before Chinese was out. We've worked more on some of those things and we've written a few new things. But basically, we have what I call kind of the second half of Chinese. That's already recorded. And then we have a remix album made of the songs from Chinese. That's been done for a while, too".

Slash and Duff McKagan rejoin, tour and future (2015–present)

On July 27, 2015, guitarist DJ Ashba left the band, citing his commitments to his family and his other band, Sixx:A.M. Ashba released a statement saying "I have reached a point in my life where I feel it's time to dedicate myself to my band Sixx:A.M., my adoring wife and family, and to the many new adventures that the future holds for me." Several days later, music journalist Gary Graff reported that a 'confirmed source within the band' had told him that Ron Thal had left the band after the 2014 tour. No official announcement from Thal or the band was made. Tommy Stinson then left the band, citing personal reasons making him unavailable to tour.

On December 29, 2015, several days after a Guns N' Roses-related teaser was released to movie theaters, Billboard reported that Slash was set to rejoin the band and a "reunited" lineup will headline Coachella 2016. Rose was set to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live! the following week to talk about the future of the band, but his appearance was cancelled due to "unforeseen circumstances". Guns N' Roses was officially announced as the headliner of Coachella on January 4, 2016, with KROQ reporting Slash and Duff McKagan were rejoining the band. The Coachella festival confirmed via press release that McKagan and Slash were rejoining.

Not in This Lifetime... Tour

On March 25, 2016, the band announced the Not in This Lifetime... Tour. The tour's name was a reference to a 2012 interview in which Axl Rose, when asked about when a potential reunion would happen, responded "not in this lifetime". A previously unannounced warmup gig at the Troubadour in Los Angeles took place on April 1, 2016. Melissa Reese replaced Chris Pitman as the second keyboardist after Pitman quit. During the show at the Troubadour, Rose fell off a monitor and broke his foot. Rose was given Dave Grohl's customized throne that Grohl had used to perform when he broke his leg at a concert.

The band's first scheduled concerts with Slash and Duff McKagan took place at the newly opened T-Mobile Arena on April 8 and 9, 2016. At the performance at the first weekend of Coachella, AC/DC guitarist Angus Young joined the band on stage (Rose was set to join AC/DC as a touring vocalist). During the band's show of July 6, 2016, in Cincinnati, former drummer Steven Adler joined the band on drums for "Out ta Get Me" and "My Michelle". It was the first time since 1990 that Adler performed with the group. Adler would later join the band at shows in Nashville, Los Angeles, and Buenos Aires.

The tour featured additional guest performers, including Sebastian Bach, more appearances by Angus Young,  Angry AndersonP!nkBilly Gibbons and Dave Grohl.

In November 2017, Guns N' Roses was announced as the headline act at the UK Download Festival in June 2018. In addition, they won Top Tour/Top Draw at the 2017 Billboard Touring Awards. They were nominated for Top Touring artist and Top Rock Tour, as well as Top Duo/Group at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. The next year, they were nominated again for Top Rock Tour and Top Touring artist. They also headlined the 2018 Graspop Metal Meeting, alongside Iron Maiden and Marilyn Manson.

The tour was a financial success, grossing over $480 million by December 2017 and at that time was listed as the fourth highest-grossing concert tour of all-time. By the end of the tour in December 2018, the tour had grossed $563.3 million, making it the then second-highest grossing tour, behind U2's U2 360° Tour.

Appetite for Destruction remaster

On April 30, 2018, billboards in several large cities, as well as a website (GNR.FM), were spotted with the tagline "Destruction Is Coming". The website was updated with a countdown clock to May 4, 2018, and a snippet of the song "Shadow of Your Love" playing. Journalist Mitch Lafon stated the campaign was for a deluxe edition of Appetite for Destruction. A video announcement was inadvertently released a day early, detailing the "Appetite for Destruction: Locked N' Loaded" edition. The boxed set includes 73 songs on four CDs (49 of which were previously unreleased), seven 12-inch 180-gram LPs, remastered versions of Appetite, an EP of B-sides, a 96-page book with unreleased photos, 12 lithographs, and assorted replica memorabilia. "Shadow of Your Love" was released as a single on May 4, 2018, the band's first single in almost a decade. To promote the release, a previously unseen music video for "It's So Easy" was released on Apple Music, as well as several promotional singles. The box set was released on June 29, 2018, to universal critical acclaim.

2020 Stadium Tour, new recordings and Use Your Illusion remaster

Axl Rose discussed Slash and Duff McKagan rejoining in a June 2016 interview, stating "It was always looked at as a possibility, but it never seemed right or felt right". During the interview, Rose also reiterated his intention to release new Guns N' Roses music in the future. Slash later commented on the tour, telling Aerosmith's Joey Kramer in an interview with WZLX that "We all were pretty positive (the reunion) would never happen, so it's still sort of blowing our minds. ... But everybody's really getting along great and I think everybody's come a long way, and it's all cool."

In 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, various band members continued to discuss plans to release a new Guns N' Roses album.

In 2020, the band announced a North American stadium tour, as well as several festival dates, billed as a new tour instead of a continuation of the Not in This Lifetime... Tour. In September 2020, the band's  Greatest Hits album was re-released (with "Shadow of Your Love" added), including a vinyl pressing for the first time.

In June 2021, Guns N' Roses announced they would return to the road with the We're F'n' Back Tour, touring the United States from July to October. The tour was later announced to extend into 2022 with legs in Europe, Latin America, and Oceania.

On August 6, 2021, after debuting the song onstage at Fenway Park a few days earlier, the band released the single "Absurd", their first new material released since 2008. On September 24, another single, "Hard Skool", was released. Both singles are reworkings of songs from the Chinese Democracy sessions. The "Hard Skool" physical release was announced as both an EP and a vinyl single with different track listings, with the former released on February 25, 2022, featuring "Absurd" and live tracks.

Later in 2021, Slash stated that the band had been reworking Chinese-era songs for future release. In 2022, he further confirmed that the band was working on more new songs that might be compiled later, stating "There's new Guns material coming out as we speak, and we'll probably keep putting it out until the entire record's worth of stuff is done". He later said that two more of these singles would probably be released by June.

On September 20, 2022, the band announced a remastered deluxe box set of the two Illusion albums, Use Your Illusion (Super Deluxe Edition), released November 11, 2022. The box set features both albums remastered, alongside two live concerts from 1991 (New York) and 1992 (Las Vegas), a blu-ray of the New York concert, photographs & memorabilia. The box set was preceded with a live version of "You Could Be Mine" as the lead single.

Guns N' Roses continued touring with the Guns N' Roses 2023 Tour. On June 24, 2023, the band headlined Glastonbury Festival for the first time. The performance garnered mixed reviews – with some publications calling it one of the worst headlining sets in festival history – prompting the band to respond, claiming technical difficulties resulted in a poor mix.

On August 18, 2023, the band released a new single, the piano-driven song "Perhaps". The song's 'R-side' "The General" was released digitally and on the Perhaps vinyl on December 8, 2023.

Legacy, style and influence

Guns N' Roses signed with a major record label within eight months of the band's inception, and topped national sales charts weeks after garnering late hours airplay on MTVAppetite for Destruction is the highest-selling debut album of all time in the United States.

"Guns were five dudes with this shared vision. We met and it was the exact five right guys… The moment we got in a room and played the first three chords, we all knew it. We didn't have illusions that we were going to be huge or anything. But people started coming to our gigs and then labels started coming to our gigs and we made the record we wanted to make. And, all of a sudden, it hit, and it seems like a whole generation of the world had an affinity for that record."Duff McKagan

Many music industry peers spoke highly of GNR. Joe Perry (Aerosmith) stated that the band was the first to remind him of Led ZeppelinOzzy Osbourne stated that GNR could have been "the next Rolling Stones" if the classic lineup had stayed together. Country musician Steve Earle stated, in 1989, "Guns N' Roses are what every L.A. band pretends to be".

Gangsta rap group N.W.A., whom Guns N' Roses were early supporters of and befriended, named a song "Appetite for Destruction" after the Guns album of the same name. However, not all peers were positive, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain stated that his band was "not your typical Guns N' Roses type of band that has absolutely nothing to say".

Early Guns N' Roses music was a fusion of Punk rock, Blues rock, Hard rock, Heavy metal, and Glam metal. The Illusions albums saw the band branching out into Art rock, and featuring influences from Progressive rock, Folk rock, Progressive metal, Speed metal, Funk metal, and Industrial music"The Spaghetti Incident?" saw the group cover mostly Punk rock songs. Since its 1999 revival, the band has retained hard rock and piano rock features while including elements of Industrial rock, Electronic rockNu metal, Industrial metal & Trip hop. In the 1990s, the band integrated keyed instruments (played by either Axl Rose or Dizzy Reed) into the band. Teddy Andreadis was brought in as an additional keyboardist & harmonica player for the Use Your Illusion Tour, alongside multiple backing vocalists and a brass and woodwind section. Later tours saw keyboardist Chris Pitman (and after 2016, Melissa Reese) contribute Sub-bass and Synth parts, as well as reproducing the brass and string parts of songs electronically.

A heavy influence on both the image and sound of Guns N' Roses was the Finnish band Hanoi Rocks  (singer Michael Monroe and Axl Rose have collaborated on various occasions). Rose has stated that the band was massively influenced by groups like QueenAC/DC, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, and Rose Tattoo, and that the sound of Appetite for Destruction was influenced by AC/DC, Led ZeppelinThe WhoCheap TrickAerosmithVan Halen, the New York Dolls, and Hanoi Rocks. The band was also influenced by the likes of T. Rex, the Sex PistolsBlack Sabbath, and Accept. Rose's orchestral-style songwriting on the Illusion albums was influenced by the Electric Light OrchestraElton John, and Queen, particularly their album Queen II. Rose cited the influence of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in recording the title track of Chinese Democracy. Rose was heavily influenced by the industrial rock sound of Nine Inch Nails, changing the band's sound in the lead up to Chinese Democracy. Critics noted influences of Queen, Wings and Andrew Lloyd Webber on some songs on Chinese Democracy.

Guns N' Roses has influenced many modern rock bands such as Fall Out BoyAvenged SevenfoldMother Love BoneBuckcherryHinderManic Street Preachers, Nickelback, Bullet for My Valentine, Fozzythe StrokesSum 41, and Black Label Society.

Appetite for Destruction is credited with "(changing) hard rock's sensibilities at the time", and bringing a "danger, attitude and legitimacy" to rock, leading to a decline in the late-80's Glam metal craze. The band has been credited with helping re-popularize power ballads in Heavy metal music. "Welcome to the Jungle", frequently played at sporting events, is considered a sports anthem.

In 2002, Q magazine named Guns N' Roses in its list of the "50 Bands to See Before You Die". The television network VH1 ranked Guns N' Roses ninth in its "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock" special, and also 32nd on its "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". Appetite for Destruction was ranked 62nd greatest album of all time in Rolling Stone magazine's special issue "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Guns N' Roses No. 92 on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".  "Paradise City" has also been voted 9th-best "Best Hard Rock Song" out of 100 candidates by VH1.

Guns N' Roses was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 14, 2012, in its first year of eligibility. The group is one of the world's best-selling bands of all time, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide, including shipments of 45 million in the United States. The U.S. release of the PlayStation game Mega Man X5 had the names of the game's bosses changed in honor of the band. Their song "Sweet Child o' Mine" has the most views on YouTube for a 1980s music video, and "November Rain" has the most for a 1990s music video, becoming the first from that decade to reach 1 billion views.

Several of the band's members are considered among the best in their respective fields and the world's most acclaimed, Axl Rose has been called one of the best vocalists of all time, Slash ranked as one of the best guitar players of all time, and Duff McKagan hailed as one of the best bass players in rock by publications ranging from Rolling Stone and NME to Time Magazine and Guitar WorldIzzy Stradlin was ranked as one of the best rhythm guitarists of all time by Ultimate Guitar, and Steven Adler was ranked as the 98th greatest drummer of all time by Rolling Stone. Later members were also ranked among the best in their field: keyboardist Dizzy Reed ranked among the greatest rock pianists by IROCKU, drummer Matt Sorum ranked among the best rock drummers by DRUM!, guitarist Buckethead was ranked among the fastest and most innovative guitarists of all time by publications such as Allmusic and Guitar World,  and studio drummer Josh Freese ranked among the top 10 drummers by Gibson.

Guns N' Roses has also received significant criticism throughout the years. The band received criticism for drug and alcohol use in the 1980s and early 1990s. Songs such as "One in a Million" and the band's cover of Charles Manson's "Look at Your Game, Girl" were considerably controversial upon release. In addition, some lyrics have been regarded as sexist. The band has also been criticized for tardiness and starting shows later than advertised. The long periods of time between albums are another source of criticism.

In October 2009, Ulrich Schnauss's record labels Independiente and Domino sued Guns N' Roses, alleging that the band had committed copyright infringement by using portions of Schnauss' compositions in the track "Riad N' the Bedouins" on the album Chinese Democracy. The band claimed the samples were obtained legitimately.

Chinese Democracy was banned in the People's Republic of China, due to perceived criticism in its title track of the Government of the People's Republic of China and reference to the Falun Gong. The Chinese government said through the media that it "turns its spear point on China".

In November 2023, the band was sued for copyright infringement (and their manager Fernando Lebeis was sued for sexual harassment) by their former photographer Katarina Benzova, claiming they "falsely claimed ownership" over photos she took and she suffered repeated unwanted advances from Lebeis during the twelve years she worked for the band.


Axl Rose – lead vocals, piano, percussion (1985–present)

Duff McKagan – bass guitar, backing and occasional lead vocals (1985–1997, 2016–present)

Slash – guitars, backing vocals (1985–1996, 2016–present)

Dizzy Reed – keyboards, piano, backing vocals, percussion (1990–present)

Richard Fortus – guitars, backing vocals (2002–present)

Frank Ferrer – drums, backing vocals (2006–present)

Melissa Reese – synthesizers, keyboards, backing vocals, sub-bass, programming, percussion (2016–present)

Touring members

Session musicians


Former members

Izzy Stradlin (Jeff Isbell) (1985-1991)

Rob Gardner (1985)

Tracii Guns (Tracy Ulrich) (1985)

Ole Beich (1985) †1991

Steven Adler (Michael Coletti) (1985-1990)

Matt Sorum (1990-1997)

Gilby Clarke (1991-1994)

Paul "Huge" Tobias (1994-2002)

Robin Finck (Robert Finck) (1997-1999 2000-2008)

Josh Freese (1997-2000)

Tommy Stinson (1998-2016)

Chris Pitman (1998-2016)

Buckethead (Brian Carroll) (2000-2004)

Brain (Bryan Mantia) (2000-2006)

Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (Ronald Blumenthal) (2006-2014)

DJ Ashba (Daren Ashba) (2009-2015)

Source: Wikipedia

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