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"Welcome to the Jungle"
Single by Guns N' Roses
from the album Appetite for Destruction
B-side "Mr. Brownstone"
Released October 3, 1987
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl, 12" picture disc, CD
Recorded 12 March 1987
Genre Heavy metal[1][2], hard rock
Length 4:31
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Axl Rose, Slash
Producer Mike Clink
Guns N' Roses singles chronology
"It's So Easy"
(1987)
"Welcome to the Jungle"
(1987)
"Sweet Child o' Mine"
(1988)
Appetite for Destruction track listing
"Welcome to the Jungle"
(1)
"It's So Easy"
(2)
Greatest Hits track listing
"Welcome to the Jungle"
(1)
"Sweet Child o' Mine"
(2)
Audio sample
file info · help

"Welcome to the Jungle" is a song by American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, featured on their 1987 debut studio album, Appetite for Destruction. It was released as the band's second single on October 3, 1987 and reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart[3] and number sixty-seven on the UK Singles Chart.[4] In the United Kingdom, "Welcome to the Jungle" was backed with a live cover of AC/DC's "Whole Lotta Rosie", while in the United States the B-side was "Mr. Brownstone" from Appetite for Destruction. The 12" vinyl and 12" picture disc editions of the single also featured "Whole Lotta Rosie", in addition to live versions of "It's So Easy" and "Knockin' on Heaven's Door". In 2009 it was named the greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.[5]

Contents

Background and composition

"Welcome to the Jungle" was the first song co-written by lead vocalist Axl Rose and lead guitarist Slash. According to an interview published by Hit Parader in March 1988, "[Axl] wrote the words in Seattle. It's a big city, but at the same time it's still a small city compared to Los Angeles and the things that you're gonna learn. It seemed a lot more rural up there. [Axl] just wrote how it looked to [him]. If someone comes to town and they want to find something, they can find whatever they want."[6] Hit Parader also quoted rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin as summarising the song as "about Hollywood streets; true to life."[7]

Slash describes the development of the music of "Welcome to the Jungle" in his self-titled autobiography. As the band was trying to write new material, Axl remembered a riff Slash had played while he was living in the basement of Slash's mother's house. He played it and the band quickly laid down the foundations for the song, as Slash kept on coming up with new guitar parts for it. He credits Duff McKagan as coming up with the breakdown. According to Slash, the song was written in approximately three hours.[8]

The line "Welcome to the Jungle" was also featured in the 1984 song "Underwater World" by the Finnish glam punk band Hanoi Rocks, whom Axl Rose has cited as the biggest influence of Guns N' Roses. The songs have also similar tone and similar use of fifths (power chords).

Music video

In spite of the early morning airtime, the song's music video caught viewers' attention and quickly became MTV's most requested video. The video in question begins with a shot of Axl Rose disembarking a bus in New York and a drug dealer is seen trying to sell his merchandise while Rose rejects it. Slash can be seen briefly, sitting against a wall and drinking from a clear glass bottle in a brown paper bag. As Rose stops to watch a television through a store window, clips of the band playing live can be seen. By the end of the video Rose has transformed into a city punk, wearing the appropriate clothing, after going through a process similar to the Ludovico technique.

During an interview with Rolling Stone magazine about the music video, the Guns N' Roses then-manager Alan Niven said that he "came up with the idea of stealing from three movies: Midnight Cowboy, The Man Who Fell to Earth and Clockwork Orange."[9]

Reception

"Welcome to the Jungle" has been featured in many music lists relating in some way to 'greatest songs': Martin Popoff included the song at number nineteen his book The Top 500 Heavy Metal Songs of All Time;[citation needed] it was ranked the second "greatest metal song " by VH1;[10] it appeared at #467 on Rolling Stone' "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list[11], it appeared as number seven hundred and sixty-four on Q's "1001 Best Songs Ever" chart;[7] and the song was named the "greatest song about Los Angeles" in a poll in Blender.[citation needed] In 2009, it was named the greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.[5]

Cover versions

Live performances

During Guns N' Roses concerts, "Welcome to the Jungle" is usually played first as an introduction, live versions are very popular, and this song was always played during the Appetite For Destruction and Use Your Illusion Tours. The song is featured on the band's live compilation, Live Era: '87-'93.

Live cover performances

  • The song was used as the concert introduction during concerts in Shakira's world tour, the Tour of the Mongoose. The song would then die down to a violin, which would play an Arabian tune. The violin would stop, the music would build up, and Shakira's hit song, Ojos Asi, would begin.
  • Australian rock band Mammal frequently cover "Welcome to the Jungle" live, incorporating the first verse and chorus of the song as part of their own song "Inciting".
  • Pink performed the song at her 2003's Try This Tour.

Legacy

"Welcome to the Jungle" has made its place as one of Guns N' Roses most popular songs and is considered a classic anthem of the eighties. The music video is considered one of the best videos made by the band and has won many awards. It might possibly be the lead single from Appetite For Destruction. The Music Video was very popular on MTV and many other music channels and it has so far been Guns N' Roses second most requested video on MTV after "November Rain". It is very successful on radio stations and has entered the Rock'N Roll Hall of fame.

In 2009, the readers of Rolling Stone magazine rated it the greatest sports anthem.[13]

Sampling

  • Samples from the song were used in the drum & bass track "Smash TV" by Chase & Status.

Appearances/references in computer & video games

  • In the video game Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories, the character Axel makes a reference to the song where he states, "Welcome to the Colosseum; we've got fun and games!"
  • The song is playable in a beta of the music video game Rock Band.
  • The song is a master track in the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, where you play it with Slash after beating him in a boss battle with an originally-composed track by him.
  • There is a quest in World of Warcraft in the Stranglethorn Vale called "Welcome to the Jungle"
  • The song was in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as a song on the radio. The song was also played during the trailer for the game.

Appearances in other media

  • The first major usage of the song was in the movie The Dead Pool.
  • The song is played during the opening credits of 1989 Lean on Me starring Morgan Freeman.
  • The song appears two times on the 1997 biographical movie Selena first in the scene where Suzette (Jackie Guerra) and Deborah (Seidy Lopez) are giving Chris Perez (Jon Seda) his haircut, then it plays in the scene where Chris and his friends trash up the hotel room, where Selena and her bandmembers and family were staying at, only to be stopped by two security guards.
  • In the film The Kingdom a team of FBI agents travel to Saudi Arabia. Jennifer Garner's character jokes to a colleague played by Jason Bateman, "You're in the jungle now" to which he replies "Thank you Axl."
  • The song has been used four times in The Simpsons. It has been featured in "Marge on the Lam" (when Marge was going out with Ruth), "Eight Misbehavin'" (when Apu's children are being exploited), "Skinner's Sense of Snow" and "Mobile Homer" (when Bart and Lisa are partying with Homer in his new RV). Also, in "Bart Has Two Mommies", Ned Flanders sings a parody of the song while padding his backyard so that his sons Rod and Todd do not get hurt by playing. In the episode "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star", Homer says "Welcome to the Jungle, Kevin." In the episode "Waverly Hills 9021 D-OH!" Homer is greeted by 2 dudes and they tell him, "Welcome to the Jungle".
  • The song is played at the beginning of every third segment of the hour for the American sports radio talk show The Jim Rome Show. The show is often referred to as "The Jungle".
  • The song appears in the theatrical trailer (both red-band and green-band) for the 2008 movie Death Race.
  • The music video for this song was reviewed on a Canadian show Video on Trial.
  • This song has made #1 on VH1 best hard rock song countdown

Appearances in professional sports media

Other uses

  • This song was nominated for the official Season 4 Intro Contest for Jones Jeans Jones at jonesjeans.piczo.com
  • "Welcome to the Jungle" was one of many hard rock songs used by Task Force Ranger during the invasion of Panama (Operation Just Cause) in 1989. It was used as part of a psychological warfare operation to drive Manuel Noriega from the Vatican Embassy.
  • "Welcome to the Jungle" is played over the intercom system at the beginning and end of the school day at Coweta High School in Coweta, Oklahoma, on game days.

References in literature, film and TV

  • The song is mentioned by the character Kareem on the Goosebumps episode "How I Got My Shrunken Head", since it takes place in the jungle of Baladora.
  • The phrase "Welcome to the Jungle" is used as one of the taglines for the 1989 film Meet the Feebles.
  • The 2007 horror film Welcome to the Jungle borrows its title from the Guns N' Roses song of the same name.
  • The premiere two-parter of Power Rangers Jungle Fury is entitled "Welcome to the Jungle."
  • In Pineapple Express, Saul says "You're in the jungle now, baby" before punching Rosie Perez's character.
  • The title of the first graphic novel in the Dresden Files book series, by author Jim Butcher, is Welcome to the Jungle.
  • Comedian Dane Cook said, "Welcome to the Jungle, baby - you're gonna DIE!" in his 2006 HBO stand up show Dane Cook: Vicious Circle.

Track listings

United Kingdom 7" vinyl (GEF 30)
Track Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Welcome to the Jungle"   Axl Rose, Slash 4:31
2. "Whole Lotta Rosie" (live AC/DC cover) Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Bon Scott 5:29
United States 7" vinyl
Track Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Welcome to the Jungle"   Rose, Slash 4:31
2. "Mr. Brownstone"   Izzy Stradlin, Slash 3:46
8:17
12" vinyl (GEF 30T); 12" picture disc (GEF 30TP)
Track Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Welcome to the Jungle"   Rose, Slash 4:31
2. "Whole Lotta Rosie" (live AC/DC cover) A. Young, M. Young, Scott  
3. "It's So Easy" (live) Duff McKagan, West Arkeen  
4. "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" (live Bob Dylan cover) Bob Dylan  

References

  • Davis, Stephen (2008). Watch You Bleed: The Saga of Guns N' Roses. Gotham Books. ISBN 978-1-592-40377-6. 

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/greatestsingers/page/64
  2. ^ #Davis 2008 pg. 162, ""Welcome to the Jungle opens the album with its whole lotta guitar stutter, a specific tribute to the original blitzkrieg riff on Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love." The Zeppelin vibe continues with the moaning winds of the long journey to metal hell,"
  3. ^ "Artist Chart History - Guns N' Roses". Billboard. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/retrieve_chart_history.do?model.chartFormatGroupName=Singles&model.vnuArtistId=4761&model.vnuAlbumId=1197907. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  4. ^ "Guns N' Roses". Chart Stats. http://www.chartstats.com/artistinfo.php?id=269. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  5. ^ a b "spreadit.org music". http://music.spreadit.org/vh1-top-100-hard-rock-songs/. Retrieved February 7, 2009. 
  6. ^ "The Spaghetti Incident". hem.passagen.se. http://hem.passagen.se/snoqalf/art-199311-AB.html. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  7. ^ a b ""Welcome To The Jungle"". Here Today... Gone To Hell!. http://www.heretodaygonetohell.com/releases/appetite-for-destruction/welcome-to-the-jungle.html. Retrieved 200-12-17. 
  8. ^ Bozza, Anthony; Slash (2007). Slash. New York: Harper Entertainment. pp. 108–109. 
  9. ^ Rolling Stone Interview dealing with the music video
  10. ^ "40 greatest metal songs (40 - 31)". VH1. http://www.vh1.com/shows/dyn/the_greatest/103446/episode_this_list.jhtml. Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  11. ^ http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/500songs/page/5
  12. ^ http://www.myspace.com/rocketkofficial
  13. ^ http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2008/10/06/readers-rock-list-sports-anthems/ Readers Rock List: Sports Anthem - Rolling Stone.com]
  14. ^ http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2008/10/06/readers-rock-list-sports-anthems/ Readers Rock List: Sports Anthem - Rolling Stone.com]
  15. ^ Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.184)

External links








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