Song of the Day 10/11

Posted: October 11, 2011 in J.C. Personal
Tags: ,

Today’s song is one that I can’t help but turn way up whenever I hear it, like this morning. From 1987’s Appetite for Destruction, this is the only single on the album to use a synthesizer. “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses went to number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, sits about the half-way point on VH1’s 40 Greatest Metal Songs of All Time and is listed at 453 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The story of the songwriting, according to the band members is that it was written in the back of a van after a gig. Slash states that the band was messing around after a show and he began playing the opening riff to “Paradise City”, Duff McKagan and Izzy Stradlin began playing along and Axl Rose sang the well-known line “Take me down to the Paradise City” and Slash continued with “Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty”. Slash changed the lyric when he sang it a second time to something offensive. He wanted this to remain as the actual lyric but he was outvoted by the other members.

The song is about someone who has given up everything, ignored his parents’ warnings and left home to follow his dreams. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out and now he thinks back on home (which for Axl and Stradlin was Lafayette, IN), comparing it to paradise. The concrete jungle of LA sounds glamorous, but the singer finds out that the grass is not greener. According to the lyrics, either there is no grass or it is not at all green.

“Paradise City” seems to be a warning for those fantasizing about stardom, but is comes from a band that has sold over 100 million albums worldwide, released the highest selling debut album of all time with Appetite for Destruction, and released two albums at the same time that debuted in the top two spots on the Billboard 200, Use Your Illusion I and II.

So if you ever get stars in your eyes and dreams of the big life, remember the warning of one of the biggest bands of the late 80s and early 90s. Your chances for success are slim and it is likely that you will wish for someone to take you home.

See ya on the “B” side.


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