Guns N’ Roses are famous both for their raw, hard rock energy, as well as their epic ballads. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” was one of their earliest love songs, featured on their iconic debut Appetite for Destruction. The audio for the very first time they performed the song live has surfaced, which you can hear below.
As noted by Classic Rock, the recording is from the band’s show at the Whisky a Go Go on Aug. 23, 1986 — about 11 months prior to the release of Appetite.
“Alright, this one’s a new one. This is one of our newer ballads. This is something called ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine,’” frontman Axl Rose is heard saying at the start of the recording. “Mr. Brownstone” was also played live for the first time that night as well.
Listen to the audio below.
“November Rain” and “Don’t Cry,” which both appear on their later album Use Your Illusion I, were also written prior to the release of Appetite. However, the band felt “Sweet Child,” “Think About You” and “Rocket Queen” were enough for the first album, which overall had more of a hard rock feel than the experimental nature of the Illusion records.
“Sweet Child O’ Mine” remains the band’s only No. 1 single to this day.