Guns N’ Roses’ debut album, Appetite for Destruction (1987), reached number one on the Billboard 200 a year after its release, on the strength of “Sweet Child o’ Mine”, the group’s only single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The album has sold approximately 30 million copies worldwide, including 18 million units in the United States, making it the best-selling debut album of all time in the US, as well as the eleventh best-selling album in the United States. The success of the debut was followed by the eight-song album G N’ R Lies (1988) which reached number two on the Billboard 200. The twin albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II (1991) debuted at number two and number one on the Billboard 200 and have sold a combined 35 million copies worldwide, including 14 million units in the United States.
Guns N’ Roses signed with a major label within eight months of their inception, and topped national sales charts weeks after garnering late hours airplay on MTV. Appetite for Destruction is the highest-selling debut album of all time in the United States. Their peers in the music industry often spoke highly of the band. Joe Perry stated that they were the first group to remind him of Led Zeppelin. Ozzy Osbourne stated that Guns N’ Roses could have been “the next Rolling Stones” if the classic lineup stayed together. Country musician Steve Earle stated in 1989 that “Guns n’ Roses are what every L.A. band pretends to be”.