Three decades have passed since the sleazy rock ’n’ roll of Appetite For Destruction conquered an unsuspecting world; and this expansive celebration, in a dizzying array of formats, is a G N’ R fan’s ultimate fantasy fulfilled. The remastered 180g audiophile double-vinyl version of the album (£27.99), with its limited-edition slipcase and a ‘Hologroove Hologram’ on Side 4, is special enough; but the full 10,000-run Locked N’ Loaded Edition (£850) is Universal Music’s most sumptuous boxset ever. The “bombardment of collectibles” it contains ranges from a dozen 12×12-inch lithos of new track illustrations to a 96-page booklet with photos from Axl Rose’s personal archive. Aside from the newly remastered and 5.1 Blu-ray versions of the album itself and 12 remastered tracks compiled from EPs and B-sides of the era, of overriding interest is the release of 25 unreleased demos from a 1986 Sound City recording session. The undoubted motherlode is the 1986 run-through of the majority of songs that made up Appetite…’s playlist a year later. Despite the intriguing but inferior Shadow Of Your Love and covers of Heartbreak Hotel and Jumpin’ Jack Flash in place of Mr. Brownstone, It’s So Easy and Sweet Child O’ Mine, the road-honed set, brimming with fire and energy, is all-but record-ready. Urchins living under the street they may have been, but they’d put the work in: this is the sound of lightning being captured in a bottle.
Written by Owen Bailey. Released on Geffen/UME.