Friday, July 15, 2016

Original Versus Cover - Sweet Child O' Mine

Some songs were never meant to be covered, and most of the songs on the original Guns N' Roses album Appetite for Destruction qualify for that category. You can play your own versions of those songs live, God knows I was in enough bands that pulled off some pretty bad versions of Guns N' Roses tunes, but don't record them.

(Writer's Note: After watching some bands play Guns N' Roses covers on YouTube, maybe people should just leave the Guns N' Roses to Guns N' Roses.)

There is just something about the original lineup of Guns N' Roses that makes them untouchable when it comes to covers. Axl Rose has a horrible, awful voice, but the only place that voice works is in Guns N' Roses songs. I've seen Axl and the original lineup live and Axl simply cannot sing. But the band could play, and that is another reason why people should just leave Guns N' Roses music alone. Slash and the guys had a sound together that will never be duplicated, and that sound is what drove the songs. To try and re-create those songs with a different sound is pointless.

Let's start this one off with an example of Sheryl Crow's appetite for destruction when she butchers Sweet Child O' Mine:

No emotion, no anger, no intent to injure. This is the elevator music version of this song, and there is nothing redeeming about elevator music. I understand that she took a song and reworked it in her own style, but the song simply does not work in her style. If you castrate a Guns N' Roses song, you are left with bad music.

As a point of comparison, here is the original Sweet Child O' Mine:

The first thing that stands out like a sore thumb when you put this original next to Crow's cover is the missing iconic guitar lick in the intro of Crow's version. This is a dirty and rough love song that no one should ever try and cover. As with any song by Guns N' Roses, there is just too much Guns N' Roses in this song to allow any cover to stand on its own,

Verdict: Give Slash a bottle and tell him that his work is still the best

George N Root III is a music lover who appreciates what Guns N' Roses really meant to rock music. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3, or send him a message at