After the release of “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” nothing was ever the same for Guns N’ Roses. Their debut album, Appetite For Destruction, hit the shelves in July 1987 and initially struggled to make an impact. The album debuted at No 182 on the Billboard 200 and its first two singles, “It’s So Easy” and “Welcome To The Jungle” didn’t do much better.
The stage was set for a breakthrough single, and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” couldn’t have been more perfect. From guitarist Slash’s luminous opening riff to its skyscraping chorus, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” was a big-hearted rock anthem with depth and an air of melancholy, demonstrating the beating heart beneath GNR’s sleaze-rock exterior. It was released as a single in June and topped the US Billboard chart. All of a sudden, Guns N’ Roses had become the biggest rock band of their generation.