As the guitarist of Guns ‘N’ Roses, Slash would go on to dominate the rock world for decades. His unique skill and solid rock and roll upbringing will guarantee his place in the annals of music history. But as a way of celebrating the legendary axeman’s birthday, here we are looking back at the albums which made him into a star, running through a selection of Slash’s 10 most essential records.
The son of legendary rock costume designer, Ola Hudson, Slash was always likely to jump on the highway to hell and pick up as much rock and roll road rash as he could along the way. His early adoption of the devil’s music can be seen pretty clearly as Slash lists out the albums which culminated in the guitarist extraordinaire we see today.
He tells Music Radar when selecting The Rolling Stones’ iconic album Let It Bleed: “The Stones were definitely the background music to my existence for a long time – and still are. My parents were really into the Stones, too. There was a particular period when the band put out three records that would have a huge influence on me: Beggar’s Banquet, Let It Bleed and Sticky Fingers. Those three were my favourites as a kid.”
Slash’s love for unfettered rock and roll didn’t take long to further establish itself in his life, he soon found his ears bending to the sounds of Aerosmith, picking their debut album Rocks as one of his top ten. He said, “I was maybe 13 at the time, and I was already a music fan. I listened to a lot of stuff, and I definitely knew what I liked. When I heard this record, it had an immediate effect on me. It’s just the seminal record as far as I’m concerned.”
His inclusion of Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton’s Cream is also to be expected given his penchant for guitar playing. On Hendrix’s Are You Experienced Slash commented: “Talk about impactful. To this day, I’m in awe when I listen to this record. It’s just flat-out brilliant, and Jimi’s guitar playing is out of this world.” On Cream’s magnetic album Disraeli Gears he also made reference to the extraordinary guitar work saying, “This is the record I was listening to when I chose to play the guitar.”
The rest of the list follows suit as Slash grabs some iconic albums to add to his list of records that shaped him. There are spots on the list for Van Halen’s self-titled LP, as well as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and other heavy rock behemoths showing off the list like a rock and roll blueprint for Guns ‘N’ Roses’ success.
The list is a perfect example of the music that made Slash the rock god that he is today. He was a learned scholar of rock and roll and his devotion to the craft is a testament to that. Plus, it would seem, he has impeccable taste too.
Find the playlist of this incredible list below.
Slash’s 10 favourite albums of all time:
- Aerosmith – Rocks (1976)
- AC/DC – Back In Black (1980)
- Cheap Trick – Cheap Trick (1977)
- Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II (1969)
- Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (1970)
- The Who – Who’s Next (1971)
- The Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed (1969)
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced (1967)
- Cream – Disraeli Gears (1967)
- Van Halen – Van Halen (1978)