Guns N’ Roses Albums Ranked from Best to Worst


Image of Slash performing live.

Guns N’ Roses albums ranked (Pictured: Slash from GN’R) – Story and photo by Anne Erickson

Guns N’ Roses albums ranked: Audio Ink Radio ranks all of GN’R’s studio sets

A band like Guns N’ Roses only comes around once in a generation. Armed with the powerful tenor of Axl Rose, head-spinning guitar playing of Slash and deep grooves of Duff McKagan, Guns N’ Roses were one of the most influential rock bands on the 1980s and 1990s. Their influence is still felt today. So, what are Guns N’ Roses’ albums ranked, from best to worst?

There are no duds in Guns N’ Roses’ catalog, and their early works were pristine. But, of course, turbulence hit fairly early in the band’s career. Rose left the band in the mid-1990s. For years, Rose had his own version of Guns N’ Roses touring, and while the players were extremely talented, they obviously weren’t Slash and McKagan. Meanwhile, Slash and McKagan did their own projects, from the rock band Velvet Revolver to Slash’s solo music with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. Then, in 2016, Rose, Slash and McKagan got back together for their massive “Not in This Lifetime” tour.

To pay tribute to Guns N’ Roses’ decades of rock, Audio Ink Radio presents Guns N’ Roses’ albums ranked from best to worst. Reach out to us with your picks on social media or via the contact email at the end of the feature.

6. “Chinese Democracy” (2008)

How many times did Guns N’ Roses fans have to hear about the band’s long-lost “Chinese Democracy” before it suddenly arrived? Many, many years. All the hype made it very difficult to put out an album that was worth the wait. “Chinese Democracy” arrived in 2008, about 15 years after their previous release, 1993’s “The Spaghetti Incident?” Even though “Chinese Democracy” came at a time when the original band wasn’t together, it had some great tracks, such as “Better” and “Street of Dreams.” The album also debuted at a high No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified platinum. But, it can’t compete with the band’s classic-era material.

5. “The Spaghetti Incident?” (1993)

“The Spaghetti Incident?” came at a rough time for Guns N’ Roses. They had just wrapped up a drama-filled tour behind their popular “Use Your Illusion” albums. So, what’s a band to do? They released “The Spaghetti Incident?” which was unique, in that it was a covers set. Here, Guns N’ Roses didn’t just pick popular songs to cover. They picked some random tracks, such as Nazareth’s “Hair of the Dog” and the hidden cover of Charles Manson’s “Look At Your Game, Girl.” It’s a creative set, and Guns N’ Roses did a stellar job. But, it doesn’t stand up to their original music.

4. “GN’R Lies” (1988)

Guns N’ Roses’ blockbuster debut, 1987’s “Appetite for Destruction,” often overshadows their sophomore album, “GN’R Lies.” But, “GN’R Lies” should get more attention. The album brings together songs from a previously released live EP, as well as unplugged tracks recorded on acoustic guitars. One of Guns N’ Roses’ most popular hits, “Patience,” lives on this album. While “GN’R Lies” has a bit of a “filler” feel, it’s still a top-notch release.

3. “Use Your Illusion II” (1991)

Guns N’ Roses were fiery hot in 1991, and they hit No. 1 on the charts with their “Use Your Illusion II” album, which included out “Use Your Illusion I” for the ranking. The album was a companion to “Use Your Illusion I” and featured some unique cuts, such as a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” The album’s original singles weren’t too shabby, either, as “You Could Be Mine,” “Yesterdays,” “Civil War” and “Estranged” were played incessantly on rock radio stations around America.

2. “Use Your Illusion I” (1991)

“Use Your Illusion I” arrived the same day as “Use Your Illusion II,” as they were companion albums. The first set debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard chart, while the second set went to No. 1. Even with a lower debut, “Use Your Illusion I” stands out with its bread-and-butter hard rock. Major stand-outs include the epic “November Rain” and the band’s cover of “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney and Wings. Let’s not forget “The Garden” featuring Alice Cooper. Both “Use Your Illusion” albums went seven times platinum, and both deserve recognition.

1. “Appetite for Destruction” (1987)

We simply couldn’t put anything but “Appetite for Destruction” at No. 1 on this list. The 1987 album isn’t just Guns N’ Roses’ strongest sets. It’s one of the greatest hard rock albums of all time. “Appetite for Destruction” marked Guns N’ Roses’ debut album and introduction to the music world. It debuted at No. 182 on the Billboard Album chart, but boy, did it grow. Today, it’s one of the best-selling rock albums of all time. The infectious sounds of Axl Rose, Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler pierced the ears and hearts of 1980s rock fans. Moreover, songs such as “Paradise City, “Mr. Brownstone,” Welcome to the Jungle” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” are still popular today. For its powerful impact on the music world and timeless songs, “Appetite for Destruction” is No. 1 on our tally of Guns N’ Roses’ albums ranked.

Foo Fighters also have some great rock albums. Find Audio Ink Radio’s ranking of Foo Fighters’ albums here.

Have a comment or feature suggestion for Audio Ink Radio? Reach out to managing editor Anne Erickson at

Anne Erickson
Posted by Anne Erickson | Features, Music, Rock

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