Misfit Metalheads

To enjoy the red-hot rock 'n' roll of Guns N' Roses, you have to get past their violent, sexist and racist lyrics

For the original cover of their monstrously successful 1987 debut album Appetite for Destruction, Guns N' Roses selected a painting of a sinister robotic figure towering over a ravished female with her undergarments around her knees. The album, whose leitmotivs were violent sex, drug abuse, alcoholism and insanity, featured lyrics like "Tied up, tied down, up against the wall/ Be my rubbermade baby/ An' we can do it all." The record sold 14 million copies.

Buoyed by this success, the Gunners in 1988 exhumed some archival material and released a stopgap, extended-play album with such lyrics as "I used to love...

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