Volatile Track Missing From Guns N' Roses Album Reissue

'One in a Million' from 1988 features N-word, anti-gay slur
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2018 12:23 PM CDT
Volatile Track Missing From Guns N' Roses Album Reissue
Axl Rose and Slash of Guns N' Roses perform in Stockholm, Sweden, on June 29, 2017.   (Vilhelm Stokstad/TT via AP)

A re-released version of a Guns N' Roses' album won't sound quite how fans remember it. "One in a Million," a song that made waves upon its release because it featured the N-word, an anti-gay slur, and anti-immigrant sentiments, has been omitted from a box set reissue of the band's 1987 album Appetite for Destruction. The song was actually on the 1988 album G N' R Lies, but the box set's bonus tracks include all the other songs on G N' R Lies, reports Pitchfork. Frontman Axl Rose defended the use of the N-word to Rolling Stone in 1989, saying "it's a word to describe somebody that is basically a pain in your life" and "doesn't necessarily mean black."

A few years later, guitarist Slash, born to a black mother and white father, had this to say: "I don't regret doing 'One in a Million,' I just regret what we've been through because of it and the way people have perceived our personal feelings," he told Rolling Stone in 1991, per the Guardian. Despite an apology for "One in a Million" included in the original cover art for G N' R Lies—"This song is very simple and extremely generic or generalized, my apologies to those who may take offense," it reads—people were outraged by the song's lyrics. "Immigrants and f------/They make no sense to me/They come to our country/And think they'll do as they please/Like start some mini-Iran/Or spread some f---ing disease," they read in part. The band has yet to explain why the song was cut. (More Guns N' Roses stories.)

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