BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 21
ACADEMIC READING TEST 21 – Passage -1
ACADEMIC READING TEST 21
READING PASSAGE 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
Formed in 1985 by Axl Rose and then lead guitarist, Tracii Guns and taking its name from its two founding members, the hard rock band Guns and Roses reached heights of success that few could or would have ever predicted. Having sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, 46 million in the state alone, to date, the band that came to symbolise the hedonistic rebelliousness of the 1980s and 90s punk-rock period has, after much speculation, resurrected itself for one more assault on the music charts. GNR, as the band has come to be known, has just begun a new world tour, and as it embarks on another chapter of its journey, we take a look back at the colourful and often controversial history of the band.
The band line-up underwent many changes in the early days, Founding member Tracii Guns’ failure to attend rehearsals led to him being replaced as lead guitarist by Slash. And one Rob Gardner, the band’s original drummer quit for personal reasons, Slash brought his close friend Steven Adler into the fold. With the band members now settled McKagan (bass), Slash (lead guitar) and Steven Adler (drums) embarked on their first tour, nicknamed ‘Hell Tour’. It was here on the road that the band established its chemistry and though it only managed to release one four-track EP, Like a Suicide, during this period, the seeds of success were being sown as the band quickly earned a reputation for its impressive live performances.
On July the 21st, 1987, the band released its first album, Appetite for Destruction. But success wasn’t by any means instant; the album lingered low in the charts for almost a year before the band’s agent managed to convince MTV executives to play welcome to the jungle, the first single off the album, during their afternoon rotations. Rock and punk fans soon took notice and began requesting the video en masse. Sweet child of mine was the album’s second US single and, thanks largely to growing grassroots support, the song and its accompanying music video received regular airplay and shot to the top the US charts. A world tour and invitations to appear at major international rock festivals followed. The band was now well on its way to achieving fame and fortune.
Band members lived life on the edge and, unfortunately, drummer Alder’s lifestyle got the better of him. The extent of his dependence on drugs was so bad that he could no longer perform with the band and was fired in July, 1990, to be replaced by Matt Sorum. A sixth member of the group was also added as Dizzy Reed became the band’s keyboardist. And, having gotten rid of its old management team as well, the band now launched its most ambitious project tom date, releasing two albums, Use Your Illusion 1 and Use Your Illusion 2, at the same time. The gamble paid off spectacularly with the albums shooting to numbers one and two in the charts respectively – GNR was the first band ever to achieve such a feat. But though they were riding the crest of a wave, controversy was never far from the band members, especially vocalist Rose who was, among other things, charged with assault and accused of inciting a riot that led to several fatalities. That said, the Use Your Illusion Tour ended on a high, registering record attendances and lasting an incredible 28 months.
But just when it seemed that the band could do no wrong, things slowly began to unravel. Rose and Slash had personal issues and the band went on a hiatus, not recording or touring together for the best part of two years, before Slash officially quit in 1996. Most of the other band members followed Slash out and, though Rose replaced them, it was a full nine years before a much-touted comeback gig was played in Las Vegas. The band’s promised new album, Chinese Democracy, never materialised and tour schedules were interrupted and often cancelled altogether. It wasn’t until 2008, with Rose now the only remaining member of the original band, that Chinese Democracy was finally released.
A new world tour followed the release of Chinese Democracy and, although it received largely positive reviews, the band Has continued to be plagued by controversy; Rose is notorious for arriving late for performances and his onstage behaviour has led to much criticism. But when all’s said and done, there’s no denying the enduring appeal of GNR. Loyal fans still line up in their thousands to get tickets for every new tour date, just as they did all those years ago at the height of the band’s success. The only difference is that today they are more hoping for than expecting a great performance, but then that’s rock and roll baby!
Questions 1-3 relate to the first paragraph only. Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-G, from the box below. You may use each letter once only.
1. Guns and Roses
2. The band has enjoyed
3. The band became
A. takes its name from two former members.
B. Was named after its founding members.
C. Success in the states alone.
D. Was never a predictable band musically.
E. Considerable success in America.
F. A symbol of success in the 1980s.
G. Representative of a certain attitude in music in the 80s and 90s.
Complete the sentences below.
Write NO MORE THAN ONE WORD for each answer.
Between 1985 and 1986 one of the original members wasn’t capable of going to 4…………………………………. which forced the band to replace him.
During their first tour they managed to have good 5…………………………….and play well together.
The album sweet child of mine not regular 6 ……………………………. And reached the top of the charts.
Nobody can arrange that they have not enjoyed long-lasting 7…………………………
Look at the following statements (Questions 8-13) and the lists of periods of time below.
Match each statement to the correct period A-D.
Write the correct letter, A-D , in the spaces 8-13 below.
NB You may use any letter more than once.
A. from 1985 to 1986
B. from 1987 to 1989
C. from 1990 to 1993
D. from 1994 to 2008
8. The band took a long break, during which many members decide to leave.
9. There was an extremely long delay before the release of the band’s next album.
10. The relationship between band members developed in a positive way while on tour.
11. A damaging addiction prevented one band member from performing well and led to him being sacked.
12. A new member joined the band playing an instrument that hadn’t been played by previous band members.
13. the band registered its first number-one hit single.