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How would you describe GN'R's sound?

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I know many will jump and say "AFD" and I agree in principle, but hang on a second...Look at most other rock bands in the world, really, let's take, Aerosmith as a prime example. They spent their first few albums building up a sound, such to the point that you can easily describe an Aerosmith song. Same with Zeppelin. Other bands like the Stones never really found a musical identity - their 60s, 70s, and 80s material all sounds like it could be by different bands. GN'R on one hand went from AFD to the UYIs essentially - very big leap and change in musical direction between their first and second proper record. So they never had time to really cement a musical identity.

So, if you had to actually describe, say, in a sentence to someone GN'R's sound, in a full sentence without using "AFD" in any way, to someone who has never heard GN'R before, how would you describe GN'R's sound?

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Main influences:

Hard Rock, Blues Rock, Sleaze Rock

Additional influences:

Industrial, Ambient, Punk

 

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The best rock band of their era.  Broad range of music...from classic rock, bluesy rock, hard rock, to moderate heavy metal...with both slow and fast paced anthems.

 

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Sleazy rock and roll that emanated from the underbelly of L.A.

The band always felt like an incendiary device threatening to blow up without notice.

Much of that sleazy sound didn't carry into the UYI albums, though, which was a good thing because I have an eclectic taste and prefer bands to experiment, not repeat.

 

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Then first era was a mix of blues based classic rock and punk mixed with influences ranging from the rolling Stones, areosmith, led Zeppelin, and the sex pistols. All mixed together with timeless song writing.

The illusions era retained elements of the first era but added more emphasis on piano arranged songs with layerd orchestrations. More influences of Queen and Elton John mixed in with the original era influences.

The the third era expended slightly on the illusions era, more complex arrangements but mixed in with other more modern influences. 

 

What's interesting for me is the stuff that really didn't do altnfor me as a kid growing up is what I ended up loving the most now. I still love Appetite but it's pretty one demensional as far as mood and direction, it's a party record.. The material that I lean way more towards now are songs like estranged, locomotive, civil war, November rain, the garden, prostitute, twat, breakdown, til, yesterday's, the songs that I can get now that take you in and out of various moods. 

My favorite mainstream commercial rock band of all time hands down.

 

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Early GNR to me is early Aerosmith on steroids. You can really hear the influence Aerosmith had on the GNR guys, especially Slash. Both GNR and Aerosmith were at their best when they were just 5 guys playing blues based hard rock. You ask to describe the GNR sound, it's just that, bluesy hard rock.

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19 hours ago, Order of Nine said:

Then first era was a mix of blues based classic rock and punk mixed with influences ranging from the rolling Stones, areosmith, led Zeppelin, and the sex pistols. All mixed together with timeless song writing.

The illusions era retained elements of the first era but added more emphasis on piano arranged songs with layerd orchestrations. More influences of Queen and Elton John mixed in with the original era influences.

The the third era expended slightly on the illusions era, more complex arrangements but mixed in with other more modern influences. 

I agree, if I look at GnR collectively as a whole with each album the band grew up. AFD/Lies is the rough, wild, rebellious youth , UYI especially II is the young adult adding complexity and CD is the continued evolution. I've grown up too and as I loved AFD/Lies and considered it my life anthem for those years, today I love more of UYI II and CD. The next chapter, I hope there is one.....

Edited by Kwick1
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Aerosmith minus the harmonica to start off then a huge dose of Queen and Elton John crept in.  Aerosmith never really did the "Epic" songs like NR, Estranged, Etc.  Queen obviously did and I think that Freddie Mercury is probably the biggest influence on Axl's part of the "sound."

Queen seemed a lot like GNR in that, it seems the lead singer was the one that liked that epic/experimental sound.  The main difference being that Freddie Mercury didn't piss the whole band off and showed up on time for performances.  Well, that and he was so focused on putting out new music that he basically recorded until he was on his death bed.

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On 17/04/2018 at 2:50 AM, soon said:

A very creative and innovative hard rock band in a genre that doesnt necessarily demand much innovation, who aggregated and elevated all that had come before them.

 

This is essentially the perfect definition of Guns N' Roses' sound. Well done.

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Put hard rock, blues, punk, with elements of piano-oriented rock in a blender and you get something way more real and awesome than most other 80's rock bands at that time.  GNR definitely carries the torch that was lit by Aerosmith more so than their contemporaries in LA at that time

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