Guns N’ Roses will not be including the controversial track ‘One In A Million’ on their upcoming box set reissue of their classic album, ‘Appetite For Destruction‘.
Last week, after teasing fans with a series of a billboards and a website featuring a countdown (which many hoped would mean news of a reunion and anniversary tour), they then revealed details of a series of reissues of their seminal 1987 rock staple.
Available in a variety of new formats featuring five discs, seven LP’s, seven 7″, the new release is a almighty 73 tracks long, with 49 of them being previously unreleased songs. The release also features all tracks from their 1988 EP ‘G N’ R Lies’ – except for the song ‘One In A Million’.
‘One In A Million’ drew heavy criticism for featuring the lyrics “Police and n****rs, that’s right / Get outta my way / Don’t need to buy none of your / Gold chains today,” as well as “immigrants and fagots / They make no sense to me / They come to our country / And think they’ll do as they please / Like start some mini-Iran / Or spread some fucking disease“.
While the song also calls out “radicals and racists”, Axl Rose’s choice of language attracted great criticism at the time of release.
“Why can black people go up to each other and say, ‘n****r,” but when a white guy does it all of a sudden it’s a big putdown?,” Rose told Rolling Stone in 1989, defending his lyrics. “I don’t like boundaries of any kind. I don’t like being told what I can and what I can’t say. I used the word ‘n****r’ because it’s a word to describe somebody that is basically a pain in your life, a problem. The word ‘n****r’ doesn’t necessarily mean black.”
Speaking out on the “fagots” lyric, he argued that he had “bad experiences with homosexuals”, adding: “I’m not against them doing what they want to do as long as it’s not hurting anybody else and they’re not forcing it upon me.”
When quizzed about his choice to direct words at immigrants, he replied: “Maybe I should have been more specific and said, ‘Joe Schmoladoo at the 7-11 and faggots make no sense to me’.
“That’s ridiculous! I summed it up simply and said, ‘immigrants.’”
Elton John once defended Rose, after performing together on a number of occasions.
“I’m always a supporter of the people that are getting trashed,” Sir Elton told Rolling Stone in 2017. “Never in a million years did I think [Axl Rose] was homophobic. So I did things. I did the MTV Music Awards with him and the Guns N’ Roses. And I did the Grammys with Marshall [Mathers, Eminem] and I became very big friends with Marshall. I’ll fight for anyone who is misunderstood and misrepresented by the idiots out there.”
Meanwhile, the band are set to headline Download Festival alongside Avenged Sevenfold and Ozzy Osbourne. The festival takes place at Donington Park from Friday 8 – Sunday 10 June. Visit here for tickets and more information.
Guns N’ Roses will re-release ‘Appetite For Destruction’ on June 29.