Guns N’ Roses’ Biggest Movie and Soundtrack Moments
Guns N' Roses' music has been making movies more exciting, scary and even more humorous for more than three decades now. The band has teamed up with some of Hollywood's hottest stars and biggest blockbusters to launch new singles several times, and clever filmmakers have re-framed their most famous songs in some interesting ways.
It's widely believed Guns N' Roses' first soundtrack appearance came in 1988's Dead Pool, a Clint Eastwood movie in which band members also had bit parts. But the honor actually goes to 1987's American Ninja II: The Confrontation, where a brief snippet of "Move to the City" from their debut EP Live ?1*@ a Suicide can be heard. We're starting our Guns N' Roses' Biggest Movie and Soundtrack Moments with the Dirty Harry movie anyway.
1988: Dead Pool - "Welcome to the Jungle" and Cameos
Clint Eastwood double-dipped on Guns N' Roses' newfound fame for his final Dirty Harry movie, using "Welcome to the Jungle" (mimed by a still-unknown Jim Carrey) in one scene and hiring the band to appear as funeral-attending extras in another. "He came up to us on the set, and the guy's, like, nine feet tall," Slash said of meeting the film legend. "Yeah, he's very intimidating. He walked up to us and said, 'Great album,' shook our hands and walked off. I didn't really know what to think of it."
1989: Lean on Me - "Welcome to the Jungle"
Lean on Me tells the real-life story of Joe Louis Clark, who fought to bring order to an inner city New Jersey high school struggling with gang violence and poor test scores. "Welcome to the Jungle" plays as the film's opening scenes demonstrate just how bad things have gotten before his arrival.
1990: Days of Thunder - "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"
This is the first of several GNR's Tom Cruise movie connections. A year before its release on the Use Your Illusion II album, Guns N' Roses shared a slightly different version of their cover of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" on the soundtrack to Cruise's auto-racing drama.
1991: Terminator 2 - "You Could Be Mine"
A year after Days of Thunder, and with the Illusion albums still three months away, Guns N' Roses teamed up with one of Hollywood's biggest stars to launch the movie's first official single. "You Could Be Mine" got a prominent placement in the film as John Connor's favorite song, and the Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, made a humorous cameo in the video.
1994: Interview With the Vampire - "Sympathy for the Devil"
Apparently looking to recapture their past soundtrack magic and buy themselves time to record a new album, Guns N' Roses headed to the studio to record a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" for this high-profile Tom Cruise vampire film. The band's members weren't getting along: For starters, Slash accused singer Axl Rose of showing up late and making lineup changes without asking for anybody's else's input. The resulting song was astonishingly lifeless, and Slash and bassist Duff McKagan both left the band soon after. It would be another 14 years before the band released its next studio record, with Rose as the only remaining original member to appear on 2008's Chinese Democracy. Slash and McKagan would return to the group in 2015.
1997: Gross Pointe Blank - "Live and Let Die"
Guns N' Roses' cover of Paul McCartney and Wings' 1973 James Bond theme adds extra dark humor to a scene where John Cusack's high-priced assassin reluctantly returns home for a high school reunion, only to find that his childhood home has been replaced by a convenience store.
1998: Can't Hardly Wait - "Paradise City"
William is a nerd who was planning graduation-day revenge on his high-school bully, but somewhere along the way instead he gets drunk for the first time, tears into a karaoke cover of "Paradise City" at a party and becomes the new cool kid of the class. Then he goes onto become a computer-software millionaire who dates supermodels. So, apparently the morale is don't be shy next time it's your turn at the microphone.
1999: End of Days - "Oh My God"
Only Axl Rose was left in Guns N' Roses by this point, and he was clearly eager to push the band into new sonic territory. Depending on how you look at things, the industrial-leaning "Oh My God" makes good on either the promise or the threat that Use Your Illusion II's "My World" represented. Reuniting with Schwarzenegger didn't provide the same push as before, as End of Days marked the end of his box-office winning streak. The song was the first new music released by the band in five years, but it was never released as a single. And we were still nearly a decade away from Chinese Democracy.
2008: The Wrestler - "Sweet Child O' Mine"
In the climactic scene of Darren Aronofsky's acclaimed pro-wrestling film, Mickey Rourke's Randy "The Ram" Robinson can't resist the allure of one more return to the squared circle, despite failing health and the risk of completely losing what's left of his family and romantic lives. "Sweet Child O' Mine" serves as his unconventional but appropriately bittersweet entrance music.
2008: Body of Lies - "If the World"
With Chinese Democracy finally set to be released in six weeks, Rose offered long-suffering fans who were willing to wait through two hours of very standard-issue spy-movie intrigue an early listen to the cinematic and style-blending "If the World." Speaking to the audience at a 2009 show in Osaka, Japan, Rose said the song came about as they were "basically, trying to kinda write a combination between James Bond and black exploitation films of the '70s, and then people noticed, 'You know, the chorus, it's stupid.' Well, I agree, it was done on purpose, because what we were doing is we were making fun of really bad Bond songs, so we decided to make our own bad Bond song, so it was kinda fun."
2008: Step Brothers - "Sweet Child O' Mine"
As unabashedly dorky and grating as this family minivan a cappella singalong scene is intended to be, it does provide more proof of the beauty of the song's timeless lyrics and melody.
2009: Terminator Salvation - "You Could Be Mine"
More than two decades after the events of Terminator 2, John Connor fights an increasingly desperate battle to protect mankind's future in the post-apocalyptic nightmare that is 2018. And he's still got his boombox, and Guns N' Roses are still his favorite band.
2012: Rock of Ages - "Paradise City"
What better way to end the Tom Cruise - Guns N' Roses trilogy than with the clean-living movie star pretending to be a booze-swigging bad-boy rock star with a look so heavily inspired by Rose that the film's costume designer joked, "I hope Guns N' Roses doesn't come back and sue us." To prepare himself to sing songs such as "Paradise City," Cruise spent seven months working with "vocal coach to the stars" Ron Anderson, who counts Rose among his clients.
2013: Warm Bodies - "Patience"
Set eight years after a zombie apocalypse, this sweet, offbeat movie finds the initially non-verbal brain-eating R suddenly inspired to protect and woo one particular human. She's dubious of his motives, but he begins the long road to winning her over by playing this tender ballad from his well-preserved vinyl copy of G N' R Lies.
2017: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle - "Welcome to the Jungle"
We're guessing the makers of the second Jumanji movie didn't have much leverage when negotiating a rate for the use of "Welcome to the Jungle," seeing as how they made it the title of their film and all.
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