Rocket Queen

by Guns ‘n Roses

~ No one did codas like GnR did codas ~

From Sweet Child o’ Mine asking “where do we go now” to Locomotive insisting “love’s so strange” to the Vanishing Point soliloquy over the solo at the end of Breakdown, GnR knew how to give a listener an entirely new song tacked on at the end, to change your entire perspective on the one you were sure you were just listening to.  Rocket Queen kicks off with an erotic, forceful, borderline BDSM cock-in-your-face riff that weaves into a verse of just downright weird hanging chords with vocals that clearly put the girl in her place.  After all, if “I can turn on anyone / just like I turned on you” is supposed to be a sexually-charged boast, then clearly, you’re doing her a favor.

But if Axl can turn on her, instead of turning her on then suddenly the entire next line – “I’ve got a tongue like a razor” is cutting her down instead of pumping her up.  But by the time the guitar solo – and the orgasmic moaning solo accompanying it – fade back into the chorus, the arena rock staccato chords that launched a thousand fist pumps suddenly beget…  arpeggiated chords that offer the sweetest apology for the verbal assault just unleashed through through the first 4 minutes of the song.  “If you need a shoulder / or if you need a friend” are offered sincerely, not ironically, and “all I ever wanted / was for you / to know that I care” isn’t some idle thought tossed off by text message the morning after a one-night stand (as though texting even existed in 1987), but genuinely expressed to someone whose relationship with the singer is clearly more complex than any tune from Poison, Ratt, Motley Crue, Kiss, or Bon Jovi are going to express for us.

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