"Sweet Child o’ Mine" is the third single from the Guns N’ Roses’ album "Appetite for Destruction".
It was released on August 17, 1988 and reached number 1 on Billboard Hot 100. That made it the first and only number one single that the American hard rock band had in the United States.
The idea of the song came at the band’s house, in Sunset Strip while Slash was playing a "circus melody" and joking with drummer Steven Adler. Axl Rose, the other member, was inspired to write the lyrics while listening to them. Later, they added a bridge and a guitar solo to the song.
"Sweet Child o’ Mine" is composed in the key of D flat major and played in D major, while the ending is in E flat minor. The song has a 4:12 minutes length on the radio edit version and 5:56 minutes on the album one. It was produced by Mike Clink.
The music video shows all the band members in the Huntington Ballroom at Huntington Beach, along with their then-girlfriends, rehearsing. As a marketing move, the length was made shorter with much of Slash’s guitar solo being cut. There is also an alternative video to it with black and white shots.
The song was a major success for Guns N’ Roses. It was placed on number 6 in the list of 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks, by "Q magazine", number 198 on Rolling Stones’ "The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time", number 3 on Blender’s "500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born".
Recently, a poll was made and "Sweet Child o’ Mine" was voted as the number one guitar riff ever. It is nowadays ranked 104th greatest song of all time. The single sold over 2, 5 million digital copies in the United States.
The single also featured in various movies such as: "State of Grace", "Big Daddy", "Step Brother", "Bad Dreams" and "The Wrestler". The song was also covered by many artists: Sheryl Crow, who also won a Grammy Award, Texas, Most Precious Band, Akasha, Luna, Janet Devlin and many others.
It’s a successful song that made history in the hard rock genre.