Study Guide

Welcome to the Jungle

Welcome to the Jungle Introduction

In a Nutshell

"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

ArtistGuns N' Roses
Year1987
LabelGeffen Records
Writer(s)Axl Rose, Slash
Producer(s)Mike Clink
Musician(s)Axl Rose (vocals), Slash (guitar), Izzy Stradlin (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass), Steven Adler (drums)
Learn to play
AlbumAppetite for Destruction

Music Video

Influences on Guns N' Roses

AC/DC
Aerosmith
Hanoi Rocks
The New York Dolls
Queen
The Rolling Stones
T. Rex

Influenced by Guns N' Roses

Avenged Sevenfold
Black Label Society
Buckcherry
Bullet for my Valentine
Korn
Velvet Revolver

Welcome to the Jungle Resources

Books

Slash (2008)
Slash and co-writer Anthony Bozza tell the guitarist's personal history, with a heavy focus on his time with Guns N' Roses.

Reckless Road: Guns N’ Roses and the Making of Appetite for Destruction (2007)
Marc Canter's photo journal of the early Guns N' Roses days gives a great look at the band as they formed in earlier projects, and then evolved into the Guns N' Roses of Appetite for Destruction.

Albums

Appetite for Destruction (1987)
Their debut album, arguably one of the very best hard rock albums ever made, contains few duds. Most of the album's songs are of the caliber of its singles "Welcome to the Jungle," "Paradise City," and "Sweet Child O' Mine."

Use Your Illusion I (1991)
Part one of GNR's follow-up album, I has some good hard rock as well as the epic hits "Don't Cry" and "November Rain."

Use Your Illusion II (1991)
Part two of the band's follow-up album, II features some excellent longer songs, including the fan favorite "Estranged" and GNR's best post-Appetite rocker, "You Could Be Mine." Also check out a great track with bassist Duff McKagen singing called "14 years."

Chinese Democracy (2008)
Surrounded by media myth a decade before its release, Chinese Democracy was always destined to fail to match rumors of its greatness—but that doesn't mean that it isn't a great record.

Images

Appetite for Destruction Reissue Album Cover
After the original cover proved to be too controversial, this one, based on a tattoo that Axl has on his wrist, was sent to the press instead.

The Band
Left to right: Izzy Stradlin, Steven Adler, Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan.

The Logo
This logo, designed by Slash himself, has stuck around for the past twenty years on the shirts of teenage boys everywhere.

Rolling Stone Cover
The band finally got big public attention in 1988.

The Band Gets Bigger
Only a few years after GNR dropped Appetite, they kicked out drummer Adler, got Matt Sorum from The Cult, and added keyboardist Dizzy Reed.

Axl Rose Circa 1987
Here is Axl Rose, hair floofed up with what we can only hope is hairspray.

A Match Made in Heaven
Say what you will about crotchless chaps, it won't change that Axl and Slash were an iconic team during GNR's reign as biggest band in the world.

Slash
Slash hasn't changed at all over the years, though he now has his own line of Les Paul guitars.

Appetite for Destruction Cover
This is the original album cover, based on Robert William's painting "Appetite for Destruction." This cover was eventually replaced.

Movies & TV

Welcome to the Videos (2003)
A visual history of Guns N' Roses that makes some decent sense of their transition from being a group of L.A. punks, as in "Welcome to the Jungle," to the biggest rock band in the world in "Paradise City" and "Estranged."

Websites

Guns N' Roses Official Site
Here is the official site of Guns N' Roses, in their current formation.

MyGNR.com
Despite a frustrating state of affairs, Guns N' Roses has diehard, devoted fans, which MYGNR.com represents well. The site includes a large online forum community, frequently updated news, and some rare audio, to boot.

Video & Audio

"Sweet Child O' Mine" Music Video
GNR's only #1 single, "Sweet Child O' Mine" had a music video that was one of the first to be a music video of shooting a music video.

Live at the Ritz
One of their more famous concerts, the band's performance at the Ritz in 1988 is also one of their best.

"Welcome to the Jungle" in 2006
Axl and the new Guns prove they've still got it.

Live at the Ritz
One of their more famous concerts, the band's performance at the Ritz in 1988 is also one of their best.

"Welcome to the Jungle" Music Video
Here's the music video.