Greatest Hits (Guns N' Roses album)

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Greatest Hits
GreatestHits Guns'n'Roses.jpg
Greatest hits album by
ReleasedMarch 23, 2004
Recorded1987–1994
GenreHard rock, heavy metal
Length79:18
LabelGeffen
ProducerGuns N' Roses, Mike Clink, Bill Levenson
Guns N' Roses chronology
Live Era '87–'93
(1999)
Greatest Hits
(2004)
Chinese Democracy
(2008)

Greatest Hits is a compilation album by the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, released on March 23, 2004. Released by Geffen Records in part because of the delay in the making of Chinese Democracy, the album was subject to lawsuits by band member Axl Rose and former band members, in an attempt to block its release due to its track listing.

Despite the album having almost no promotion, it reached number one on the UK Albums Chart[1] and number three on the Billboard 200 chart upon its release.[2] Greatest Hits re-entered the Billboard 200 at number three in March 2012, selling about 85,000 copies as part of a promotion by both Amazon and Google Play that saw the album sold for 25 cents for one day.[3] The album has proven a popular seller, selling over six million copies in the United States by 2018.[4] Greatest Hits is one of the longest charting albums in the Billboard 200 era,[5] being one of only seven albums to notch at least 400 weeks on the chart by June 2017.[6] As of July 2018, it has spent 441 weeks on the chart.[7] According to ChartMasters, the album has sold 13,610,000 copies in equivalent album sales.[8]

Lawsuit[edit]

Axl Rose immediately tried to block the release by suing Geffen, saying it would ruin his focus on Chinese Democracy and if he were to get the album finished and released sooner, the Greatest Hits album would be selling more, leaving the album unnoticed. Former bandmates Slash and Duff McKagan helped Rose file the lawsuit against Geffen, although they did not speak to each other in person.[9][10] This failed and the album was released under Geffen Records' rights.[11][5]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[12]
NME9/10 stars[13]
Pitchfork3.9/10[14]
StylusD+[15]
Ultimate Guitar9.4/10[16]

The album received mixed reviews, with several critics complaining of the track listing, feeling several notable songs were missing. AllMusic criticized the album for "(giving) an inaccurate portrait of the band", saying "it bears all the hallmarks of a slapdash compilation, hastily assembled by the label as a way to buy time between releases. There are no liner notes, the cardboard packaging is flimsy, (&) the remastering isn't notable."[12] The review singled out "Nightrain", "Estranged", "It's So Easy", "Mr. Brownstone" and "Used to Love Her" as songs that should have been on the album but weren't.

Pop Matters stated the album "does nothing to enhance the legacy of a once-proud rock band. There are no hidden insights into the inner workings of the group, no lost classics, and no evidence of their contribution to a new generation of musicians. Instead we are left with an inflated sticker price for a Pandora's box of tracks..."[17] Pitchfork criticized the compilation for having too many covers, as well as not including songs such as "Out Ta Get Me", "Used to Love Her", and "One in a Million".[14] BBC criticized the songs for being dated.[18] The Maneater stated "The appearance of the album gives the impression of a record company that focused solely on the fact that people would buy the album even if it were wrapped in brown wrapping paper." and criticized the compilation for not including songs such as "Estranged", "Mr. Brownstone", and "Pretty Tied Up".[19]

In a positive review, NME stated " It’s packed with pomp, spunk and circumstance, makes blokes want to fight and girls want to dance. What the fuck else is there?".[13]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Original albumLength
1."Welcome to the Jungle"Guns N' RosesAppetite for Destruction (1987)4:32
2."Sweet Child o' Mine"Guns N' RosesAppetite for Destruction5:55
3."Patience"Axl Rose, Izzy StradlinG N' R Lies (1988)5:56
4."Paradise City"Guns N' RosesAppetite for Destruction6:47
5."Knockin' on Heaven's Door" (Bob Dylan cover)Bob DylanUse Your Illusion II (1991)5:36
6."Civil War"Rose, Slash, Duff McKaganUse Your Illusion II7:42
7."You Could Be Mine"Rose, StradlinUse Your Illusion II5:44
8."Don't Cry" (Original version)Rose, StradlinUse Your Illusion I (1991)4:51
9."November Rain"RoseUse Your Illusion I8:57
10."Live and Let Die" (Paul McCartney & Wings cover)Paul McCartney, Linda McCartneyUse Your Illusion I3:02
11."Yesterdays"Rose, West Arkeen, Del James, Billy McCloudUse Your Illusion II3:18
12."Ain't It Fun" (The Dead Boys cover)Cheetah Chrome, Peter Laughner"The Spaghetti Incident?" (1993)5:10
13."Since I Don't Have You" (The Skyliners cover)Jackie Taylor, James Beaumont, Janet Vogel, Joseph Rock, Joe Verscharen, Lennie Martin, Wally Lester"The Spaghetti Incident?"4:18
14."Sympathy for the Devil" (The Rolling Stones cover)Jagger/RichardsInterview with the Vampire soundtrack (1994)7:36
Total length:79:18

Personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[20]

Guns N' Roses[edit]

  • W. Axl Rose – lead vocals, percussion on "Welcome to the Jungle", whistling on "Patience" and "Civil War", synthesizer and whistle on "Paradise City", piano on "November Rain"
  • Slash – lead guitar, acoustic guitar on "Civil War" and "Sweet Child o' Mine", lead acoustic guitar on "Patience"
  • Izzy Stradlin – rhythm guitar (on tracks 1–2, 4–11), rhythm acoustic guitar on "Patience", backing vocals on tracks 1–11
  • Duff McKagan – bass, backing vocals, rhythm acoustic guitar on "Patience"
  • Steven Adler – drums (on tracks 1–2, 4, and 6), backing vocals on "Patience"
  • Matt Sorum – drums and backing vocals on tracks 5, 7–14
  • Dizzy Reed – keyboards and piano on tracks 5–14, organ
  • Gilby Clarke – rhythm guitar and backing vocals on tracks 12-13
  • Paul Tobias – rhythm guitar on "Sympathy for the Devil"

Additional personnel[edit]

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[21] 2× Platinum 80,000^
Australia (ARIA)[22] 9× Platinum 630,000^
Belgium (BEA)[23] Gold 25,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[24] Gold 50,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[25] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Germany (BVMI)[26] Platinum 200,000^
Greece (IFPI Greece)[27] Gold 10,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[28] 6× Platinum 90,000^
Italy (FIMI)[29] 2× Platinum 200,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[30] Gold 100,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[31] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[32] 6× Platinum 90,000^
Poland (ZPAV)[33] 2× Platinum 40,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[34] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[35] Platinum 60,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[36] Platinum 40,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[37] 6× Platinum 1,800,000^
United States (RIAA)[38] 5× Platinum 5,000,000^
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[39] 4× Platinum 4,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chart Stats – Guns N' Roses". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on December 5, 2012. Retrieved December 7, 2008.
  2. ^ "Charts & Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on March 23, 2012. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
  3. ^ "GUNS N' ROSES: 'Greatest Hits' Sells 85K Copies In One Week As Part Of 25-Cent Promotion". Blabbermouth.net. March 21, 2012. Archived from the original on March 23, 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  4. ^ Caulfield, Keith (January 5, 2018). "Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Nat King Cole Collects First Top 40 Album in More Than 50 Years". Billboard. Archived from the original on January 6, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Chart Moves: Guns N' Roses 'Hits' Longevity Milestone, 'Pitch Perfect' Still Selling Strong". Billboard. Archived from the original on March 1, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  6. ^ "Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Guns N' Roses 'Greatest' Hits Landmark 400th Week on Chart". Billboard. Archived from the original on August 9, 2017.
  7. ^ "Guns N' Roses Greatest Hits Chart History". Archived from the original on May 9, 2018.
  8. ^ "CSPC: Guns N' Roses Popularity Analysis". March 1, 2018.
  9. ^ Krgin, Borivoj (February 18, 2004). "Report: Guns N' Roses may sue to block 'Greatest Hits' album". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Archived from the original on February 14, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  10. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon (May 4, 2004). "Axl Rose Sued By Ex-Guns N' Roses Bandmates". MTV News. Archived from the original on February 14, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  11. ^ Krgin, Borivoj (May 14, 2006). "Guns N' Roses: 'Greatest Hits' Certified Triple Platinum". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Archived from the original on February 14, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Greatest Hits - Guns N' Roses - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  13. ^ a b "NME Album Reviews – Guns N' Roses : Greatest Hits". NME. 2004-03-19. Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
  14. ^ a b "Guns N' Roses". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on May 6, 2013.
  15. ^ "Guns n Roses – Greatest Hits – Review". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on February 29, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
  16. ^ "Guns N' Roses: Greatest Hits - Reviews @ Ultimate-Guitar.com".
  17. ^ "Guns N' Roses: Greatest Hits". April 15, 2004.
  18. ^ "Music – Review of Guns N' Roses – Greatest Hits". BBC. Archived from the original on April 3, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
  19. ^ "The Maneater". www.themaneater.com.
  20. ^ Greatest Hits (Media notes). Guns N' Roses. Geffen Records. 2004.
  21. ^ "Discos de oro y platino" (in Spanish). Cámara Argentina de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  22. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. February 13, 2017. Archived from the original on October 22, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  23. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 2004". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  24. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Guns N' Roses – Greatest Hits" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos.
  25. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Guns 'N Roses – Greatest Hits". Music Canada.
  26. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Guns 'N Roses; 'Greatest Hits')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  27. ^ "Greek album certifications – Guns N' Roses – Greatest Hits" (in Greek). IFPI Greece.
  28. ^ "Irish album certifications – Guns N Roses – Greatest Hits". Irish Recorded Music Association.
  29. ^ "Italian album certifications – Guns'N'Roses – Greatest Hits" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana.
  30. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Guns N Roses – Greatest Hits" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Select 2004年5月 on the drop-down menu
  31. ^ "Certificaciones 2004". AMPROFON (in Spanish). Facebook. 2004. Archived from the original on May 9, 2018. Retrieved 2013-05-26.
  32. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Guns N' Roses – Greatest Hits". Recorded Music NZ.
  33. ^ "Polish album certifications – Guns N' Roses – Greatest Hits" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  34. ^ "Spanish album certifications – Guns N' Roses – Greatest Hits" (PDF) (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Select album under "Chart", enter the certification year in the field "Year". Select the certification week in the field "Semana". Click on "Search Charts".
  35. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2004" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden.
  36. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Guns N' Roses; 'Greatest Hits')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien.
  37. ^ "British album certifications – Guns N' Roses – Appetite Greatest Hits". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Appetite Greatest Hits in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  38. ^ "American album certifications – Guns N' Roses – Greatest Hits". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  39. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2013". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.