"Appetite for Destruction", the classic 1987 debut album by Los Angeles-based hard rock band GUNS N' ROSES, was certified on September 23, 2008 by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) for U.S. sales in excess of 18 million copies. The LP has reportedly accumulated worldwide sales in excess of 28 million.
The album's original cover, based on the Robert Williams painting "Appetite for Destruction", depicted a robot rapist about to be punished by a metal avenger. After several music retailers refused to stock the album, they compromised and put the controversial cover art inside, replacing it with a cover depicting a cross and skulls of the five band members (designed by Billy White Jr., originally as a tattoo),each skull representing one member of the band: Izzy Stradlin, top skull; Steven Adler, left skull; Axl Rose, center skull; Duff McKagan, right skull; and Slash, bottom skull. The photographs used for the back of the album and liner notes were taken by Robert John.
In other news, GUNS N' ROSES' "Greatest Hits" collection, which was originally released in March of 2004, sold more than 4,500 copies in the United States last week alone (week ending September 21),bringing the total number of copies sold since its release to 4.26 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
GUNS N' ROSES frontman Axl Rose, along with ex-members Slash and Duff McKagan, tried to block the release of "Greatest Hits" with a lawsuit, claiming that the record label had assembled the CD without their input. The band's label, Geffen Records, insisted that it was forced to put out a greatest hits album since Axl Rose had failed to deliver the long-delayed new GUNS album, "Chinese Democracy".
Original "Appetite for Destruction" cover:
Replacement "Appetite for Destruction" cover: