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Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine

Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine

‘Sweet Child o' Mine’ is a song by American rock band Guns N' Roses. It was released in June 1988 as the third single from their debut album Appetite for Destruction. The song is Guns N’ Roses’ only No. 1 US single, topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart soon after its release. It also reached number 6 on the UK Singles Chart in 1989.

Songwriters:   Steven Adler, Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan, Axl Rose
Producer:   Mike Clink
Label:   Geffen

SOME INTERESTING FACTS

The origin of the hit song is a great reflection of when all of a band’s members are enjoying the creative process and working together. This was the case while the band was living in a house on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip. Upstairs, Slash was playing around with what he later called a “silly, circus” melody, while drummer Steven Adler was warming up. Izzy Stradlin was listening and soon created some rhythm guitar chords, while Duff McKagan came up with a bassline to fit with the newly forming tune, with Adler balancing it all with a steady drum beat.

Meanwhile, downstairs, lead singer Axl Rose had been listening to the new tune and soon felt inspired to write some lyrics that he felt fitted the tune. Basing his new lyrics on his girlfriend Erin Everly, daughter of Don Everly, from The Everly Brothers. Rose also says that he wanted to add a similar type of “heartfelt feeling” that he believed was a big part of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s music. After being together for four years, Axl Rose and Erin married in 1990, but sadly split nine months later, with their marriage being annulled.

While recording a demo of the song, producer Spencer Proffer felt that it would be good to have a breakdown to close out the song. Unfortunately, none of the band’s members could come up with a solution, leading to Axl Rose, while listening to the song over and over, saying “Where do we go? Where do we go now?”. Proffer seized the moment and suggested he sing those sentences as part of the song’s breakdown.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Slash credited the song’s style to multiple influences, including “Jeff Beck, Cream and Zeppelin to stuff you'd be surprised at: the solos in Manfred Mann's version of 'Blinded By The Light' and Gerry Rafferty's 'Baker Street’.”

While Guns N' Roses' first album, Appetite For Destruction was released in July 1987, it was not an instant hit. In fact, the first two singles released from the album (‘It’s So Easy’ and ‘Welcome To The Jungle’) both flopped. It was only after ‘Sweet Child O' Mine’ was released in June 1988, that interest in the album grew, with both the album and song going No. 1 in their respective charts soon after. ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ was also re-released as a single and, subsequently became another big hit.

While their debut album and singles were getting major national, and growing global attention, Guns N’ Roses were touring the US with Aerosmith, as their opening act. Soon after finishing the tour, the new number one band in the U.S.A. was on the cover of the November issue of Rolling Stone Magazine.

‘Sweet Child O' Mine’ has been covered by many artists, including Sheryl Crow, whose version is played during the 1999 Adam Sandler movie Big Daddy and earned her a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance in 2000, plus reaching No. 30 in the UK charts.

Mickey Rourke’s 2008 low-budget movie, The Wrestler, has the song playing during a scene where the main character enters the ring. Rourke thanked his friend Axl Rose for allowing him to use the song, while he was accepting his Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama.

The video which was produced to further promote the release of ‘Sweet Child o' Mine’ was very successful on MTV, and was a big contributor to pushing the song’s success on mainstream radio. The video is still hugely popular on YouTube, in 2019 becoming the first 1980’s music video to hit one billion views. While this might seem amazing, the band had already celebrated ‘November Rain’ being the first 90’s music video reaching one billion viewers the previous year.

After such a slow start, the band’s debut album, Appetite For Destruction grew in popularity, with over 18 million US sales. The Recording Industry Association of America announced in 2008, that it was the best-selling debut album, surpassing the previous record-holder – Boston’s 1976 debut self-titled album, which sold 17 million copies across the US.

 

 SONG LYRICS

[Instrumental Intro/Guitar Riff]

[Verse 1]
She's got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky (Sky)
Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I stared too long I'd probably break down and cry
 
[Chorus]
Woah-oh-oh! Sweet child o' mine
Woah, oh-oh-oh! Sweet love of mine
 

[Post-Chorus Instrumental Break]

[Verse 2]
She's got eyes of the bluest skies
As if they thought of rain
I hate to look into those eyes and see an ounce of pain
Her hair reminds me of a warm, safe place
Where as a child I'd hide
And pray for the thunder and the rain to quietly pass me by
 
[Chorus]
Woah-oh-oh! Sweet child o' mine
Ooh, oh-oh-oh! Sweet love of mine
 

[Post-Chorus Instrumental Break]

[Chorus]
Oh yeah! Woah-oh-oh-oh! Sweet child o' mine
Ooh-oh, oh, oh! Sweet love of mine
Woah, oh-oh-oh! Sweet child o' mine, ooh yeah
Ooh! Sweet love of mine
 

[Guitar Solo]

[Outro]
Where do we go?
Where do we go now?
Where do we go?
Ooh, where do we go?
Where do we go now?
Oh, where do we go now?
Where do we go? (Sweet child...)
Ooh, where do we go now?
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay
Where do we go now? Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah, wow
Where do we go?
Oh, where do we go now?
Oh, where do we go?
Where do we go now?
Where do we go?
Ooh, where do we go now?
Now, now, now, now, now, now, now
Sweet child, sweet child o' mine

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