1988, Guns N' Roses started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Sweet Child O' Mine', the group's first US No.1, a No.24 hit in the UK.
Guns N' Roses is an American hard rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1985. The classic lineup, as signed to Geffen Records in 1986, consisted of vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler. Today, Axl Rose is the only remaining original member, in a lineup that comprises Use Your Illusion–era keyboardist Dizzy Reed, lead guitaristsDJ Ashba and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, lead and rhythm guitarist Richard Fortus, bassist Tommy Stinson, drummer Frank Ferrer and keyboardistChris Pitman. The band released six studio albums, accumulating sales of more than 100 million albums worldwide, including shipments of 45 million in the United States.
A year after its release, Guns N' Roses' debut album Appetite for Destruction (1987) reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, on the strength of the hit "Sweet Child o' Mine", their only single to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album has sold in excess of 28 million copies worldwide, including 18 million units sold in the United States, making it the best-selling debut album of all time in the U.S. The success of their debut was followed by the eight-song album G N' R Lies (1988). The twin albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II (1991) debuted at No. 2 and No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and have sold a combined 35 million copies worldwide, including 14 million units sold in the United States alone. The cover album "The Spaghetti Incident?" (1993) was the band's last studio album to feature Slash and McKagan. After more than a decade of work and many lineup changes, Guns N' Roses released the long-awaited album Chinese Democracy (2008) which, at an estimated fourteen million dollars in production costs, made it the most expensive album to ever be produced in music history.It debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 but underwhelmed industry expectations, despite mostly positive critical reception.
Guns N' Roses have been credited with reviving the mainstream popularity of rock 'n' roll, at a time when popular music was dominated by dance music and pop metal. Their late 1980s and early 1990s years have been described as the period in which they brought forth a "hedonistic rebelliousness" reminiscent of the early Rolling Stones, a reputation that had earned them the nickname "The Most Dangerous Band in the World". The band's classic lineup, along with later members Reed and drummer Matt Sorum, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, their first year of eligibility.
The "Sweet Child O' Mine" video depicts the band rehearsing in the Huntington Ballroom at Huntington Beach, surrounded by crew members. All of the band members' girlfriends at the time were shown in the clip. Rose was dating Erin Everly at the time, whose father was Don Everly of The Everly Brothers fame. Duff's girlfriend Mandy from the all-female rock band "The Lame Flames" was there, as was Steven Adler's girlfriend Cheryl. Izzy Stradlin's dog was also featured. The video was extremely successful on MTV, and helped launch the song to success on mainstream radio.
In an effort to make "Sweet Child O' Mine" more marketable to MTV and radio stations, the song was cut from 5:56 to 4:12, with much of Slash's guitar solo removed. This move drew the ire of the band members, including Axl Rose, who commented on it in a 1989 interview with Rolling Stone: "I hate the edit of 'Sweet Child o' Mine.' Radio stations said, "Well, your vocals aren't cut." "My favorite part of the song is Slash's slow solo; it's the heaviest part for me. There's no reason for it to be missing except to create more space for commercials, so the radio-station owners can get more advertising dollars. When you get the chopped version of 'Paradise City' or half of 'Sweet Child' and 'Patience' cut, you're getting screwed."
The edit was released on the 7-inch vinyl format of the single as a 'Remix' while the 12" vinyl format contained the longer LP version.On an interview on Eddie Trunk's New York radio show in May 2006, Axl Rose stated that his original concept for the video focused on the theme of drug trafficking. According to Rose, the video was to depict an Asian woman carrying a baby into a foreign land, only to discover at the end that the child was dead and filled with heroin. This concept was rejected by Geffen Records.There is also an alternative video for "Sweet Child O' Mine" with different shots, all in black and white.