It was released as the album's second single initially in the UK in September then again in October this time including the US, where it reached number seven on the Billboard Hot  and number 24 on the UK Singles Chart. In , "Welcome to the Jungle" was named the greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1. Axl Rose wrote the lyrics while visiting a friend in Seattle. It seemed a lot more rural up there. I just wrote how it looked to me. If someone comes to town and they want to find something, they can find whatever they want. Slash describes the development of the music of "Welcome to the Jungle" in his self-titled autobiography. As the band was trying to write new material, Axl remembered a riff Slash had played while he was living in the basement of Slash's mother's house. He played it and the band quickly laid down the foundations for the song, as Slash continued coming up with new guitar parts for it.
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Guns N' Roses stepped in front of the cameras on Aug. That clip, for the Appetite for Destruction track " Welcome to the Jungle ," served as proof of Geffen Records' cautious investment in the rookie band. Destruction had only just entered stores a few days earlier, and the record's first single, " It's So Easy ," had already fizzled out on the charts; at the time, few suspected GNR's powerful potential. Perhaps for that reason, director Nigel Dick — already an MTV veteran through his work with Tears for Fears — kept things relatively simple at the shoot , lining up a performance at the Whisky a Go Go where they could be filmed running through the song onstage and playing it in front of fans. Between the live footage, the band members were shown on the streets of Los Angeles, reclining with runway-ready women, or — in frontman Axl Rose 's case — mainlining cable news in front of a pile of televisions, Clockwork Orange style. All pretty standard stuff for the era, but as was so often the case with Guns N' Roses, there were some hairy moments along the way. Former manager Alan Niven, who credits himself with the idea of copping a Clockwork Orange vibe and blending it with Midnight Cowboy and The Man Who Fell to Earth , recalled guitarist Slash being a particular problem during the shoot. Niven told Rolling Stone that at one point, Slash "sort of kidnapped" a vehicle being used in the shoot — and the next day, after Niven banned alcohol from the set in response, he turned around and asked for a beer. At another point, Niven recalled Slash wandering into the middle of L. In the end, whoever was responsible for the ideas and whatever the problems that might have occurred along the way, the "Welcome to the Jungle" video lived up to Niven's stated goals, blending the urban decay, aggressive nihilism, and dystopian overtones of its influences into a piece of work that fit within the established template for a hard rock video of the era while still suggesting that this was a band capable of breaking every rule.
The album went on to sell more than 30 million copies worldwide and become the best-selling debut in US music history. And it was there that Welcome To The Jungle took shape. Axl liked what he heard. The song had a heavy swing to it — a dirty, nasty groove. But there was also a mid-section in which the band pulled back a little, easing the tension. This breakdown was lifted from a song called The Fake , which McKagan had written in when he was a member of Seattle punk band The Vains. There was no analysing this stuff — writing a song was something that happened spontaneously. And this song just had this natural feel that was very cool. The title and lyrics came to Axl when he was visiting a friend named Tori near Seattle.