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Rock times are back

Known as one of the most aggressive rock bands of all times, Guns 'N' Roses make a comeback with a compilation of its big hits


"Take me down to the paradise city, where the grass is green, and the girls are pretty, take me home..."

THESE ARE lines from "Paradise City", a track from the 1987 album by Guns N' Roses' called Appetite For Destruction. One of the biggest hits the band ever produced till today, the song went on to become the undisputed "mantra" for the youth worldwide. Those were the golden days when rock music signified "energy" and "aggression" of the youth. Most bands went overboard with this excuse, but the money and (un) popularity that came bundled with the success of the album, not only encouraged and idolised the scary, "living on the edge" lifestyles of rock stars. Guns N' Roses belonged to such an age, but it is interesting and surprising to find that the band is still a hot favourite among listeners for a bundle of songs that make sense, a few which shake a leg, and a few more that can exercise your head and neck muscles.

Like any successful rock band, Guns N' Roses too has seen a few members leave and enter the band at regular intervals, and it currently features seven members, lead by W. Axl Rose on the vocals (the word Axl is an interesting abbreviation for something that hardcore fans of the band would definitely be knowing!). William Bruce Rose is the real name of this "bad boy" of the group. Starting his singing career at the age of five in a local church in Indiana, he was kicked out of the house at the age of 16, only to become the founding member of Guns N' Roses. Dizzy Deed (or Darren Deed) on the keyboards is the second member who has been part of retro rock bands such as The Wild and Bootleg & Johnny, while the San Diego born Tommy Stinson, the bass guitarist, has collaborated for a rock remix with P. Diddy (formerly Puff Daddy) for a popular song called, "It's all about the Benjamins". The other members of the band include Robin Finck and Richard Fortus on the guitars, Brain (or Brian Mantia) on the drums and Chris Pitman on the keyboards. Brain and Chris came into the band in 2000, and are thus the new guys of Guns N' Roses.

One would expect an album of new songs on a comeback by a band of GN'R's caliber — and in this respect, the Greatest Hits album (Geffen/Universal Music; CD; Rs. 395), is a let down. But one look at the power-packed play list of 18 tracks will help forgive the guys and race back your memories to the days of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" and "Sweet Child O' Mine". Spanning across the more popular albums such as The Spaghetti Incident, Appetite For Destruction, Lies, and Use Your Illusion, the songs reflect the consistency of the band in both fast-paced tracks and slower, more meaningful ones. "Welcome To The Jungle", GN'R's earliest hit kicks off the compilation that picks up tempo with "Paradise City" before slowing the tempo with "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "November Rain". Other tracks include "Patience", "Live and Let Die", "Don't Cry", "Yesterdays", and more.

On one hand, the album serves as a remembrance of GN'R's anthemic music, but one is still left waiting for some new tunes.

A. VISHNU

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