Greatest Hits (Guns N' Roses album)

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Greatest Hits
GreatestHits Guns'n'Roses.jpg
Greatest hits album by Guns N' Roses
Released March 23, 2004
Recorded 1987–1994
Genre Hard rock, heavy metal
Length 79:18
Label Geffen
Producer Guns N' Roses
Mike Clink
Bill Levenson
Guns N' Roses compilation chronology
Use Your Illusion
(1998)Use Your Illusion1998
Greatest Hits

Greatest Hits is a compilation album by the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, released on March 23, 2004. Released by Geffen Records in part because of the delay in the making of Chinese Democracy, the album was subject to lawsuits by band member Axl Rose and former band members, in an attempt to block its release due to its track listing.[1]

Despite the album having almost no promotion, it reached number one on the UK Albums Chart[2] and number three on the Billboard 200 chart upon its release.[3] Greatest Hits re-entered the Billboard 200 at number three in March 2012, selling about 85,000 copies as part of a promotion by both Amazon and Google Play that saw the album sold for 25 cents for one day.[4] The album has proven a popular seller, selling over six million copies in the United States by 2018.[5] Greatest Hits is one of the longest charting albums in the Billboard 200 era,[6] being one of only seven albums to notch at least 400 weeks on the chart by June 2017.[7]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[8]
NME 9/10 stars[9]
Pitchfork Media 3.9/10[10]
Stylus D+[11]
BBC mixed[12]

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Original album Length
1. "Welcome to the Jungle" Slash, Axl Rose Appetite for Destruction (1987) 4:32
2. "Sweet Child o' Mine" Slash, Rose, Izzy Stradlin Appetite for Destruction 5:55
3. "Patience" Stradlin G N' R Lies (1988) 5:56
4. "Paradise City" Stradlin, Slash, Duff McKagan, Rose Appetite for Destruction 6:47
5. "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" (Bob Dylan cover) Bob Dylan Use Your Illusion II (1991) 5:36
6. "Civil War" Rose, Slash, McKagan Use Your Illusion II 7:42
7. "You Could Be Mine" Stradlin, Rose Use Your Illusion II 5:44
8. "Don't Cry" (Original version) Stradlin, Rose Use Your Illusion I (1991) 4:51
9. "November Rain" Rose Use Your Illusion I 8:57
10. "Live and Let Die" (Paul McCartney & Wings cover) Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney Use Your Illusion I 3:02
11. "Yesterdays" Rose, West Arkeen, Del James, Billy McCloud Use Your Illusion II 3:18
12. "Ain't It Fun" (The Dead Boys cover) Cheetah Chrome, Peter Laughner "The Spaghetti Incident?" (1993) 5:10
13. "Since I Don't Have You" (The Skyliners cover) Joseph Rock, James Beaumont "The Spaghetti Incident?" 4:18
14. "Sympathy for the Devil" (The Rolling Stones cover) Mick Jagger, Keith Richards Interview with the Vampire soundtrack (1994) 7:36
Total length: 79:18


  • "Ain't It Fun" was censored for the compilation: "Ain't it fun when you tell her she's just a cunt" became "Ain't it fun when you tell her she's just a–", with guitar notes at 3:36 instead of the final word in the line. This version had never been officially released before, but had been broadcast by most radio stations when it was released as a single in 1993. Nonetheless, other profanity on the compilation remains unedited [the word "bitch" remains on "You Could Be Mine" (with your bitchslap rappin' and your cocaine tongue/you get nothin' done), and "fuck" remains on "Since I Don't Have You" (yeah, we're fucked, right before the guitar solo)].
  • Notably, the songwriting credits for the tracks from the Use Your Illusion albums have been changed to credit the entire band, while the original track listings credited individual band members. For instance, "November Rain" was originally credited as an Axl Rose solo composition. On this compilation, the song is credited to the entire band (Rose, Slash, McKagan, Stradlin).

Reception and lawsuit

Although the album received mainly positive reviews and sold well, fans criticized the track listing, citing lack of some popular songs and too many covers, as reason for complaint. Axl Rose immediately tried to block the release by suing Geffen, saying it would ruin his focus on Chinese Democracy and if he were to get the album finished and released sooner, the Greatest Hits album would be selling more, leaving the album unnoticed. Former bandmates Slash and Duff McKagan helped Rose file the lawsuit against Geffen, although they did not speak to each other in person. This failed and the album was released under Geffen Records' rights.


Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[13]

  • W. Axl Rose – lead vocals, percussion on "Welcome to the Jungle", whistling on "Patience" and "Civil War", synthesizer and whistle on "Paradise City", piano on "November Rain"
  • Slash – lead guitar, acoustic guitar on "Civil War" and "Sweet Child o' Mine", lead acoustic guitar on "Patience"
  • Izzy Stradlin – rhythm guitar (on tracks 1–2, 4–11), rhythm acoustic guitar on "Patience", backing vocals on tracks 1–11
  • Duff McKagan – bass, backing vocals, rhythm acoustic guitar on "Patience"
  • Steven Adler – drums (on tracks 1–2, 4, and 6), backing vocals on "Patience"
  • Matt Sorum – drums and backing vocals on tracks 5, 7–14
  • Dizzy Reed – keyboards and piano on tracks 5–14, organ
  • Gilby Clarke – rhythm guitar and backing vocals on tracks 12-13
  • Paul Tobias – rhythm guitar on "Sympathy for the Devil"
  • Michael Monroe – co-lead vocals on "Ain't It Fun"
  • Mike Staggs – additional guitars on "Ain't It Fun"

Sales and certifications

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[14] 2× Platinum 80,000^
Australia (ARIA)[15] 9× Platinum 630,000^
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[16] Gold 50,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[17] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Germany (BVMI)[18] Platinum 200,000^
Greece (IFPI Greece)[19] Gold 10,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[20] 6× Platinum 90,000^
Italy (FIMI)[21] 2× Platinum 200,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[22] Gold 100,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[23] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[24] 6× Platinum 90,000^
Poland (ZPAV)[25] 2× Platinum 40,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[26] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[27] Platinum 60,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[28] Platinum 40,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[29] 6× Platinum 1,800,000^
United States (RIAA)[30] 5× Platinum 5,000,000^
Europe (IFPI)[31] 4× Platinum 4,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Judge denies Axl Rose bid to stop release of CD". USA Today. March 23, 2004. Retrieved May 4, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Chart Stats - Guns N' Roses". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on December 5, 2012. Retrieved December 7, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Charts & Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on March 23, 2012. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  4. ^ "GUNS N' ROSES: 'Greatest Hits' Sells 85K Copies In One Week As Part Of 25-Cent Promotion". March 21, 2012. Archived from the original on March 23, 2012. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  5. ^ Caulfield, Keith (January 5, 2018). "Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Nat King Cole Collects First Top 40 Album in More Than 50 Years". Billboard. Retrieved January 6, 2018. 
  6. ^ "Chart Moves: Guns N' Roses 'Hits' Longevity Milestone, 'Pitch Perfect' Still Selling Strong". Billboard. Retrieved February 14, 2015. 
  7. ^ GNR greatest hits
  8. ^ Greatest Hits at AllMusic
  9. ^ "NME Album Reviews - Guns N' Roses : Greatest Hits". Nme.Com. 2004-03-19. Retrieved 2012-02-19. 
  10. ^ "Guns N' Roses". Pitchfork. 
  11. ^ "Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits - Review". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on February 29, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Music - Review of Guns N' Roses - Greatest Hits". BBC. Retrieved 2012-02-19. 
  13. ^ Greatest Hits (Media notes). Guns N' Roses. Geffen Records. 2004. 
  14. ^ "Discos de oro y platino" (in Spanish). Cámara Argentina de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  15. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. February 13, 2017. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Guns N' Roses – Greatest Hits" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. 
  17. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Guns 'N Roses – Greatest Hits". Music Canada. 
  18. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Guns 'N Roses; 'Greatest Hits')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  19. ^ "Greek album certifications – Guns N' Roses – Greatest Hits" (in Greek). IFPI Greece. 
  20. ^ "Irish album certifications – Guns N Roses – Greatest Hits". Irish Recorded Music Association. 
  21. ^ "Italian album certifications – Guns'N'Roses – Greatest Hits" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. 
  22. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Guns N Roses – Greatest Hits" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan.  Select 2004年5月 on the drop-down menu
  23. ^ "Certificaciones 2004". AMPROFON (in Spanish). Facebook. 2004. Retrieved 2013-05-26. 
  24. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Guns N' Roses – Greatest Hits". Recorded Music NZ. 
  25. ^ "Polish album certifications – Guns N' Roses – Greatest Hits" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 8, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Spanish album certifications – Guns N' Roses – Greatest Hits" (PDF) (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España.  Select album under "Chart", enter ' in the field "Year". Select ' in the field "Semana". Click on "Search Charts"
  27. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2004" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  28. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Guns N' Roses; 'Greatest Hits')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  29. ^ "British album certifications – Guns N' Roses – Appetite Greatest Hits". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Appetite Greatest Hits in the search field and then press Enter.
  30. ^ "American album certifications – Guns N' Roses – Greatest Hits". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  31. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2013". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. 
Preceded by
Anastacia by Anastacia
D12 World by D12
UK number one album
April 24, 2004 – May 7, 2004
May 15, 2004 – May 21, 2004
Succeeded by
D12 World by D12
Hopes and Fears by Keane
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