"Welcome to the Jungle" gave the world its introduction to Guns N' Roses, and what an introduction it was. Menacing, aggressive, raunchy, and overflowing with sexual danger, the song's in-your-face attitude almost (but not quite) made you overlook its undeniably catchy pop sensibility… until you realized that your head was bobbing uncontrollably along to the beat. The first track on the monster debut album Appetite for Destruction, this was the song that helped transform a bunch of near-homeless, drug-addled Hollywood social deviants into what was, for a time, the biggest rock band in the world.
Welcome to the jungle, baby. You gonna die.
About the Song
Guns N' Roses
Axl Rose (vocals), Slash (guitar), Izzy Stradlin (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass), Steven Adler (drums)
Explore the ways this song connects with the world and with other topics on Shmoop
Axl Rose, Slash, and the rest of the guys in Guns N' Roses probably didn't think of themselves too much as literary types. But in "Welcome to the Jungle" they tapped straight into one of the most timeless literary tropes we've got – the jungle as the site of civilization's disintegration, where people give in to their more animalistic desires. Wouldn't this track feel right at home in Lord of the Flies or Heart of Darkness? Oh the horror, the horror…
On the Charts
"Welcome to the Jungle" eventually reached #7 on the Billboard Top 100.
The song was voted the "greatest song about Los Angeles" in a Blender poll.
VH1 has given "Welcome the Jungle" some serious rock honors: it was #2 in the network's "Greatest Metal Songs" countdown and #1 in their "Greatest Hard Rock Songs of All Time."
Appetite for Destruction remains the fastest selling debut album of all time, with total sales approaching 30 million.