Mandatory Metal: 5 Essential Guns N’ Roses Songs

Guns N' Roses' Axl Rose and Slash, 1991; photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Heavy music is full of legendary bands boasting deep catalogs stacked with iconic songs — sometimes it can be hard to know where to start, or what to consider their best. With that in mind, we present the “Mandatory Metal” lists, which collect what we consider to be the definitive tracks from various members of the metallurgic pantheon. Up today, Guns N’ Roses, those Sunset Strip sleaze-metal destroyers who welcomed all takers to their personal jungle of reckless debauchery and sweet emotion. GN’R are still going strong, packing stadiums with their reunited “Not in a Lifetime” lineup and they even be working on a new record, if the rumors are to be believed, but in our opinion, these classic cuts are their most essential. If you disagree, sound off on The Pit Facebook page.

“IT’S SO EASY”
ALBUM: APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION

GN’R at their nihilistic, venomous best.
Sample lyrics: “Turn around bitch I got a use for you/Besides you ain’t got nothin’ better to do/And I’m bored.”

“NIGHTRAIN”
ALBUM: APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION

This 100-proof rocker spoke volumes about the Gunners’ destructive lifestyle.
Sample lyrics: “I got a Molotov cocktail with a match to go/I smoke my cigarette with style.”

“ONE IN A MILLION”
ALBUM: GN’R LIES

An inappropriate use of the “N” word couldn’t keep this hard-driving acoustic number from being one of the group’s most electrifying recordings.
Sample lyrics: “Radicals and racists/Don’t point your finger at me/I’m a small-town white boy/Just tryin’ to make ends meet.”

“RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO HELL”
ALBUM: USE YOUR ILLUSION 1

The kickoff to two bloated, fatty albums was, ironically, a lean, mean, thrashin’ machine.
Sample lyrics: “I said I’m right next door to hell/An so many eyes are on me/Right next door to hell/I never thought there is where I’d be.”

“THE GARDEN”
ALBUM: USE YOUR ILLUSION 1

Axl and Alice Cooper team up for one of this album’s few perfect moments.
Sample lyrics: “Like a mouse inside a maze/Wandering round 4 daze/With a smile upon my face/I never wanna leave this place.”