Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” comes under plagiarism charges

Did GNR's iconic rock anthem rip off a song released by an Australian band years prior?

Guns N Roses

The authenticity of one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most iconic songs has come under question. Recently, Australian music website Max TV uncovered the striking similarities between Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Unpublished Critics”, a song by Australian rock band Australian Crawl.

“Unpublished Critics”, which was released six years prior to “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, features “the same chugging chord progression, a similarly-sweeping lead break, the verse melody, and the elongated one-syllable vocal in the chorus,” claims Max TV.

“Unpublished Critics” is by no means an unknown song. In Australia, the album which it appeared on, Sirocco, peaked at No. 1 on the charts. Australian Crawl broke up in 1986, a year before the release of GNR’s Appetite For Destruction, which featured “Sweet Child O’ Mine”. Interestingly enough, both Sirocco and Appetite For Destruction was released in the US by Geffen Records.

James Reyne, a member of Australian Crawl, previously acknowledged the “almost identical” similarities between the two songs. However, it seems Reyne is content with letting the two songs co-exist without litigation, as he’s even covered “Sweet Child O’ Mine” in concert.

Compare the two songs for yourself below.

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