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Manny Charlton talks about early production of Guns'N'Roses debut

Manny Charlton has been credited for his production of Guns'N'Roses' debut album "Appetite for Destruction" in Classic Rock Magazine. In the recent interview, Manny talks about the recording session at Sound City studios in Los Angeles, where he recorded 25 tracks including early versions of Welcome to the Jungle, Paradise City, November Rain, Rocket Queen and Reckless Life.

21 June 2022.

Back in June 1986, Manny Charlton was sitting at the control desk at Sound City studios in Los Angeles USA, producing what would eventually become Guns'N'Roses' debut album "Appetite for Destruction". As Nazareth duties was pressing Charlton to go back to Europe (to complete their 1986 "Cinema" album), GNR would eventually hire Mike Clink to complete the album. Today, over 40 years later, Manny Charlton reveals what it was like to produce the fabled "Sound City" recording.

Guns'N'Roses earliest recordings from LA Sound City did become stuff of legend, as very few people had heard the recording - and then only in extracts on low-grade bootlegs. Thirty-two years down the line, in June 2018, the best-selling debut album of all time was repacked and reissued in a deluxe edition, in which Manny Charlton's fabled Sound City session was finally presented for the first time in full, and in high-definition sound. The album revealed a band progressing to their peak with a raw energy, as lead guitarist Slash later put it, “like angry dogs cornered”. 

Here at Fluffy Jackets HQ, we are very pleased that our mentor, producer and good friend Manny Charlton finally got some recognition for this work, so we would encourage everyone to read the full interview in Classic Rock Magazine (linked 22 June. 2022).
November Rain / Guns'N'Roses, pre-production version recorded at Sound City studios, LA, produced by Manny Charlton 

Manny Charlton's first reaction to hearing "Novenber Rain"
The article in Classic Rock Magazine tells of Manny's first reaction to hearing Axl sing "November Rain":

“He (Axl Rose) just sat down at a piano when we were having a break,” Charlton says, “and played this song to the band.” 

It was a piece he had written three years earlier, before Guns N’ Roses had formed, and it was unlike anything else in the band’s repertoire – a beautiful, epic love song played out over 10 minutes. As Rose sang it, his voice raw with emotion, Charlton was transfixed. When it was done, Charlton was convinced that November Rain would be the most important song on Guns N’ Roses’ first album.

But the singer was already thinking ahead. “It’s for the second album,” Axl told him. 

And Charlton was right about November Rain. When he heard Axl play it on that day in 1986, he knew it was an important song. Thirty-two years later, the video for November Rain became the first from the 20th century to receive one billion views.

You can read the full interview with Manny Charlton about how Appetite for Destruction was made online at Classic Rock Magazine (linked 22 June. 2022).

The above story includes an excerpt from the 2022 interview with Manny Charlton, conducted by Paul Elliot at Classic Rock Magazine June 2022.


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