The singer and songwriter Axl Rose first achieved fame as the vocalist of Guns N’ Roses in the late 80s. After the release of their groundbreaking debut album “Appetite for Destruction” in 1987, which became one of the best-selling debut albums of all time with more than 30 million copies sold worldwide, they were instantly labeled as the saviors of Hard Rock music.
Although the group formed in Los Angeles mainly had heavier songs on the first albums, they were influenced by many different kinds of artists. The vocalist Axl Rose always had a broad musical taste and even revealed once which was in his opinion the greatest lyricist of all time.
The best lyricist of all time according to Axl Rose
Guns N’ Roses started in the late 80s as mainly a Hard Rock band that was recovering the original sound of that genre. But that was also adding more real melody and feeling to the tracks. During the following years they also started to write more ballads that showed more the big range of influences they had.
It wasn’t a coincidence that Axl Rose started to experiment more with the piano. That helped him to create hits like “November Rain”, which had the guitar and the piano as the driving forces of the track.
He has always been a huge Elton John fan and in an interview with MTV‘s Kurt Loder back in 1990 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) he praised the musician. Axl revealed that “Bennie and the Jets” was one of the songs that made him want to become a musician. Also saying that in his opinion the longtime Elton lyricist Bernie Taupin was the best of all time.
“(I love) Elton John. Especially the first seven albums. Bernie Taupin to me is the best lyric writer that ever existed in the face of the earth. Elton was just amazing in the studio and the recording of everything. To me, that’s my classical music because some of his stuff is classical, you know. So I listen to Elton John all the time,” Axl Rose said.
He played with Elton and inducted him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Besides being one of the most influential artists that ever existed, Elton John is also known as an artists who loves to collaborate with young groups. He quickly noticed Guns N’ Roses when they came out. Then even ended up performing their song “November Rain” with them at the MTV Awards in 1992.
Two years later the musician was invited to induct Elton John into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and praised the musician during his speech. (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage): “I’ve never really understood what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was about. But tonight I’m getting an education and I’m thankful for that. I’ve always considered the RRHF kind of, in my record collection, on my radio, now on MTV. But more important in our hearts and minds.”
“The RRHF honors the musicians who make the music that not only becomes the soundtrack to our lives. But (that) it actually helps us get through each day of our life. For myself as well as many others, no one has been there more for inspiration than Elton John.
Axl Rose continued:
“When we talk of great Rock duos like Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, John and Paul, Mick and Keith, I like to think of Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Also tonight, I think that Elton should be honored for his great work and contribution in the fight against AIDS. Also his bravery in exposing all the triumphs and tragedies of his personal life.”
“The knowledge of these things help ourselves get through things everyday. When I first heard ‘Bennie and the Jets’ I knew at that time that I had to be a performer. So, now a man who in ways is responsible for more things that he ever planned on, Elton John,” Axl Rose said.
Bernie Taupin was born in Sleaford, England back in 1950 and is three years younger than Elton. The songwriting partnership between them started in the late 60s. Since then, Taupin was Elton’s main lyricist working with him on almost every album he released. The British musician is one of the best-selling artists of all time. He had sold an estimated amount of more than 300 million records worldwide.
Besides working with Elton, Taupin also collaborated with other artists. He contributed with the lyrics for the Starship hit “We Built This City” and the Heart song “These Dreams”. In 1978 he also co-wrote the album “From The Inside” with Alice Cooper.