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Saturday, December 3, 2011

"Paradise City"

Guns N' Roses - Paradise City (1987)

Instantly recognizable.

The guitar lick that opens this track exemplifies the song. Sounds simple and upbeat but when you listen it's actually far more complex than you first thought. The drum beat that kicks in forces you to clap along. It actually reaches into your ears and grabs your pecs and your delts and your biceps and makes your clap your hands together.

There is a synthesizer running through the song. It's really easy to hear at 0:42-1:01 before the first guitar solo. Axl and Slash fought bitterly over the inclusion, but ultimately Axl won. It's the only song on the album with a synth, but the rift between the two only got bigger. Slash gets even on the track by ripping up some incredible solos and dominating the double time section at the end of the song.

Lyrically the song is heavy. Sure the chorus is fun for the whole family (Slash did try to introduce the line "where the girls are fat and they've got big titties, but the rest of the group shouted him down) , but the verses are serious business. A juvenile delinquent abandoned by everyone ends up with the death penalty after undisclosed crimes, and the nation is all heading down the same path. Pretty heavy stuff for a metal band out of L.A.

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