Our 10 Most Underrated Guns N’ Roses Songs looks at a band that most people can agree is one of the most sensational rock bands of all time. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, they basically owned the rock scene. However, when the typical rock bands look was the most important thing due to the popularity of hair metal, Axl, Slash, and company came out and said we can do better than looking good. In 1987 their debut album, Appetite for Destruction was released. It has sold over 30 million albums, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time, and it still holds the title of the best-selling debut album of all time. That was an impressive feat when it happened, but even more so now, almost 35 years later.
Although all the members of Guns N’ Roses (and there have been many) have brought skill and passion to the band – most people would agree that Slash and Axl made Guns N’ Roses the powerhouse that they were and still are, considering the number of concert tickets the ‘Not in This Lifetime’ tour generated.
Slash is in most people’s top 10 lists of best guitarists of all time. What he can do on a studio album is skillful and impressive, but it is nothing compared to what he can do live in concert. Axl Rose is impressive, and at the height of his career, no one could touch him. He had a range of five octaves which is remarkable for any singer, regardless of the genre of music. He was also a fantastic lyricist before it was popular to notice the tremendous depth in songwriting. Whereas Axl had help from other bandmates in many songs, he was usually heavily involved in the process.
Guns N’ Roses songs are amazing for a combination of the skill of the band members, the gritty but so impressive singing and the amazing lyrics and ideas that are in each song. I am sure you know some of their best songs from their catalog but what about some of their more underrated songs? Here is our list of the 10 Ten Underrated Guns N’ Roses songs – we hope you find some new favorites.
# 10 – The Garden of Eden
Opening up our 10 Most Underrated Guns N’ Roses songs list is actually one of the shorter songs written and performed by Guns N’ Roses It is less than 3 minutes long. It is a quick song and was also written pretty quickly. According to Slash, they wrote “The Garden Of Eden,” while the band was rehearsing for a bunch of Chicago shows. There is not a lot to the lyrics either, but the chorus is exceptionally catchy: “This fire is burning, and it’s out of control, It’s not a problem you can stop It’s rock n’ roll. ”
# 9 – Double Talkin Jive
The song’s first line is “Found a head and an arm in da garbage can.” But, unfortunately, that is a true story. Police found body parts in a dumpster near one of the studios the band was recording at. Besides that shocking opening, of the song ” Double Talkin Jive,” this short song is pretty awesome with lyrics people can both relate to in their own lives and see how famous people might see the world.
# 8 – 14 Years
The song is a clap back at the band’s critics who claimed that they did not pay their dues before becoming successful. However, like with most bands, this just is not true. Almost all commercially successful bands were in the game for a long time before hitting it big-whether this was together as a band, or being members of various bands. Although this has never been officially confirmed, many people believe the song’s actual title, “14 Years,” refers to how long Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin were friends by the release of the song. Even though there has never been an official confirmation, the song was only played live when Izzy was a band member.
# 7 – Locomotive
In the right circumstances, this could have been another “November Rain.” However, if you are not a die-hard fan who has heard all the songs, you miss out. In fact, this song some be much higher on the list as there are just so many good songs to choose from. This is another song that starts fast-paced and angry about a failed relationship. Of course, near the end of the song, a piano solo breaks out with about 2 minutes to go, and the music becomes softer and really interesting.
# 6 – Coma
“Coma,” is the longest track Guns N’ Roses have ever released. It comes in at 10 minutes and 14 seconds, and unlike most popular, modern songs – this track has no choruses. Many hard-core Guns N’ Roses fans think this is their best song on either of the Use Your Illusions albums, but many casual fans do not even know this song exists. Axl and Slash were two of the contributing writers on this song, and they both have powerful stories of what the song and lyrics meant to them.
Axl says he wrote the song based on when he overdosed on a bunch of pills that he took when he was overloaded with stress. He says he remembers being in the Coma and thinking that he had work to do, the album needed him, he had to tour, and he came out of it. Slash says he was in a heroin delirium at the time of writing it. So writing the song for him did not follow any strict process. He was just being Slash, and he is still really proud of this song.
# 5 – The Garden
Even though “The Garden,” was released in 1991, it was actually written in 1987 before Appetite For Destruction came out; it just did not make the cut for that album. This song is definitely about drugs. However, the song has an entirely different feeling and vibe than most other Guns N’ Roses songs. It is not hard-hitting, nor is it a ballad – it is an original and can stand on its own as unique.
Quite possibly the unique sound, especially when Axl is singing – it is pretty hypnotic-like you do not want to miss a word, is what makes it such an underrated song.
The underrated Guns N’ Roses song “The Garden,” was released as a B side to “Estranged,” but never as a single on its own. It is one of Guns N’ Roses rare treasures that you would not know about unless you owned the album and listened to all songs on an album, over and over again, not just the hits. This was more common during the time of album releases instead of song downloads.
The ‘creepy can’t look away vibe’ can be intensified when you learn that besides the song being about heroin, it might have also been inspired by Charles Manson as Rose had met him and the cult members tending Manson’s garden. So, there’s that.
# 4 – Mr. Brownstone
Although Axl is listed as a songwriter, the original lyrics and concept came from Slash and Izzy Stradlin. They were both heroin addicts at the time, and brownstone is a slang word for heroin. So they were at Izzy’s girlfriend’s house talking about how much being a heroin addict sucked, and the concept and original lyrics were born.
The song is basically a day in the life of an addict and what it is like always chasing that high. Like most of Guns N’ Roses work, it is a hard-hitting song with catchy lyrics you want to sing along with Axl. This was another great song from the Appetite For Destruction album.
# 3 – It’s So Easy
Although this song was pretty big, it was eclipsed by other pieces on the Appetite For Destruction album, such as “Welcome To The Jungle,” “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” and “Paradise City.” It is also hard to say this is underrated as the band plays it at virtually every show. Still, except for fans who only liked the original album, it usually does not make it in a top 5 or top 10 list.
The song is highly sexual in nature, but it is not just about sex. The whole point of the song is that when you are rich and famous, everything is easy. You do not have to work for anything you want. People just give it to you – sex, drugs, friendship, gifts- it does not matter what you want, you can have it. So even though they were not rich and famous yet, the same principle went towards being in a band and having groupies and fans. Because everything becomes easy, life becomes tedious. So you start looking for more dangerous things to get or be given to you because life has become empty.
# 2 – Estranged
“Estranged,” can be best described as a power ballad – but one that is over 9 minutes long. The premise of the song is twofold. First of all, it is about getting older and dealing with change. Secondly, it is about losing someone you love.
The song is a big song that features multiple verses, no set chorus, and both guitar and piano solos. Some Guns N’ Roses songs are like this – they are more of an experience than a single idea. There was a video for this song, and like all things Guns N’ Roses and the 1990s, it is a bit crazy. Apparently, the video had a 4 million dollar budget. The video itself showed, which includes Axl jumping from a massive ship into the river and swimming with dolphins. Let’s not forget Slash’s guitar solo, where he rises from the water and then plays while he was standing on water. Amazing.
# 1 – Don’t Damn Me
“Don’t Damn Me,” is the rock equivalent of a diss track, and it is a good one. It was written by Axl Rose, Slash, and Dave Lank. This was a clap-back song regarding the public backlash of the lyrics in their song “one in a million,” which was on the G N’ R Lies. That song included racist and homophobic words and ideas. The band knew it would offend many people and released it anyway. They went as far as to apologize to those who would be offended by the generalizations in that song on the cover and in the album notes.
Even if this was not a general diss song aimed at all his haters, it would still be a great song – pure Axl explaining in a non-apologetic voice that this is who he is. Regardless of the topic of this song, I think most people can relate to the lyrics.
10 Most Underrated Guns N’ Roses Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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