Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion II

Guns N’ Roses headlined the first show I ever saw. This was July 1992 at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC, the first night of their massive co-headlining tour with Metallica. A couple of weeks later, a Montreal show would end in a riot when both bands ended their sets early: Metallica because James Hetfield caught on fire, Guns N’ Roses because Axl Rose was upset after being upstaged by the guy who caught on fire. As legend had it, Axl had attempted to recruit Nirvana as the tour’s opener, but Nirvana turned it down because Kurt Cobain didn’t like the way Axl talked about women in his songs. Faith No More ended up opening instead. As a 12-year-old, I was happy about Cobain’s decision — not because I supported his reasoning, but because I was more excited to see Faith No More than I was to see Nirvana. (Back then, I thought The Real Thing was a better album than Nevermind. When I’m in the right mood, I still think The Real Thing is a better album than Nevermind. Listen to “Falling To Pieces” again before you tell me I’m wrong.)

Anyway, that show: I actually saw more of the other two bands than I saw of GN’R. Faith No More’s set gave me the first live-music image that imprinted itself deep in my memory: A sea of fists, seen from the stadium’s upper deck, pumping in time to “Epic.” (This was what people did at big rock shows before moshing became mass-culture cool.) Metallica played a blistering hours-long show and absolutely reduced the place to smoking embers. GN’R, meanwhile, made everyone wait something like two hours before they made their entrance, which was a pretty normal thing for them. I saw all of 20 minutes of their set and then had to leave because the DC Metro stops running at midnight and my dad didn’t want to park in the city. I heard the opening bars of “Welcome To The Jungle” ringing out when I was walking across the parking lot to leave; it was heartbreaking. The 20 minutes I did see included a long and breathless Axl rant against the city of St. Louis, where he was facing criminal charges after inciting a riot a few months beforehand. (His opening: “They told me not to say anything derogatory about St. Louis. [Dramatic pause] Well, St. Louis can suck my dick.”) I had to sit there quietly while my dad, a St. Louis native who never liked Axl in the first place, fumed. The little bit of set I did actually get to see was a disjointed and awkward mess, then. But when school started up in September, I still told everyone else right away that I’d seen Guns N’ Roses over the summer. If you were an adolescent 20 years ago, they were the only band that mattered.

The late-summer/early-fall months of 1991 saw the release of a whole lot of big, important rock albums. Nevermind. Ten. Metallica’s Black Album. Achtung Baby. But the two that sent me into paroxysms of need back then were the two Use Your Illusion albums, released on the same day, to great fanfare, exactly 20 years before this Saturday. Over the years, those two albums, in some circles, have come to represent a sort of big-rock bloat, the old guard that Nirvana instantly cleared away. They were huge, ridiculous affairs, of course, 2.5 total hours of music with nearly every song longer than it had to be. (I’m not sure there’s a single non-Axl person on the planet who would’ve been upset if “Coma” was four minutes long instead of 10.) And they dripped with excess: Izzy Stradlin playing sitar on “Pretty Tied Up,” Axl rapping on “My World,” Alice Cooper showing up to lend his best Vincent Price impression to “The Garden,” Slash riding on a dolphin in the “Estranged” video. And given that GN’R had released a grand total of an album and a half at this point, it was a pretty absurd undertaking. By those standards, Billy Corgan’s decision to turn Melon Collie And The Infinite Sadness into a triple album seems pretty reasoned and sober; the Smashing Pumpkins at least had a bit of a longer resume by that point.

And yet, listening to those albums back-to-back today, they don’t feel excessive, at least not in the bad way. Even at their most indulgent, GN’R remained vicious hook-writers, and that’s the main reason why a nine-minute monster like “Locomotive” never crumbled under its own weight. They also had the good sense to break up the epics with quick bursts of venom like “You Could Be Mine” and “Double Talkin’ Jive.” And this could just be idealized memory talking, but something like half these songs just dominated rock-radio playlists over the next three or four years. Even non-singles like “Dead Horse” and “Pretty Tied Up” gained the sort of radio traction that, let’s say, “Polly” and “On A Plain” never quite managed. These songs became part of the atmosphere almost immediately, and that’s something that only ever happens when there’s a serious amount of craft involved.

Really, the biggest problem with the Use Your Illusion albums was that they weren’t Appetite For Destruction. Appetite was the sort of debut album that leaves a blazing hole in the universe, and it’s easy to see why GN’R went for grand sweep in the follow-up; it’s not like they could’ve exceeded that album’s wild-eyed abandon. (It’s fun to imagine what could’ve happened if GN’R had tried to go harder and dirtier, like Nirvana did with In Utero. Maybe they’d still be around today, or maybe Axl would be dead; I have no idea.) The Use Your Illusion albums are huge and silly and ultimately meaningless where Appetite was a snot-rocket straight to your soul. The only Use Your Illusion songs with clear points are the ones where they get pissed. I can tell you all the whos and whys of “Get In The Ring,” for instance, but to this day I only have the fuzziest notions of what “Civil War” is even about, and I suspect that Axl feels the same. Another, smaller issue is the absence of Appetite-era drummer Steven Adler, an absolute walking disaster of a human being who nevertheless had the inventive glee to turn songs like “Rocket Queen” into funked-up disco-metal throwdowns. His replacement was Matt Sorum, imported from the Cult, whose wallop was sturdy but who never seemed to be having that much fun.

And yet the Illusion albums still succeeded way more often than they failed. They aimed for grand majesty, and they achieved it. And who even tries for that anymore? Radiohead, maybe? Lady Gaga? Have the ensuing 20 years produced a single musician who could ride on the back of a dolphin and make it seem cool? And in a way, Guns N’ Roses willing themselves out of the hair-band ghetto through sheer talent and spiteful determination and transforming themselves into Pink Floyd heirs… it’s as powerful a story, in its own way, as Nirvana upending the cool-kid lunch table.

But how do the albums hold up for you guys? What’s your favorite Use Your Illusion track? (Mine: “You Could Be Mine” back then, “Estranged” now.) Your favorite moment on the albums? (Mine: The way the chorus of “Garden Of Eden” just frantically careens in.) Your favorite random memory of it? (Mine: The band coming face-to-face with Schwarzenegger in the “You Could Be Mine” video.) And also, check out a bunch of videos below.

Comments (69)
  1. The Real Thing is definitely a better album than Nevermind.

  2. Dust and Bones. with You Could Be Mine a close second

  3. “These songs became part of the atmosphere almost immediately, and that’s something that only ever happens when there’s a serious amount of craft involved.” / I think the Black-Eyed Peas have a little something to say about that.

  4. I too wanted to see Faith No More more than Nirvana. Not for The Real Thing as much as for Angel Dust, which had just come out that summer and completely toppled the way I listened to music.
    I always think it’s a better album than Nevermind, no matter what mood I’m in. Listen to Caffeine and Smaller and Smaller before you tell me I’m wrong.

  5. “Estranged” is the great success of this eccentric set–the apex of the epic, deranged piano ballads that Axl was obsessed with making and for which “Rocket Queen” was a (piano-less) prototype.

  6. To set the record straight: people did mosh before 1991. There wasn’t much of it happening in seated stadium shows, but a few of my friends came back from a Slayer show in 1990 with the bruises to show that some crowds didn’t just pump their fists.
    Also, for certain metalhead teens in 1991, GNR was NOT the only band that mattered. To me in particular, they were the biggest disappointment in recent history. Going from the lean, mean sleaze of Appetite to the decadent overindulgence of Illusion was a major let-down.

    • moshing went on ALL through the 80s, just mainly only with underground punk and ska bands, OR a handful of metal bands like uhh…Anthrax i think.

      • Caught in a Mosh, Anthrax 1987, great song.

        The first time I heard the term “mosh” was in 1985, a friend was telling me about it after he saw a Metallica concert. It’s been around awhile.

        • right right Caught in a Mosh haha, i knew there was a connection, forgot about that song, as i have MOST misc 80s metal songs that werent Maje hits

  7. To say these records were a major let-down is disregarding some pretty tremendous songwriting. It was also an opportunity for listeners to learn how great a composer Axl was, and not just a rock riff outlet for Stradlin.
    If both I and II had been streamlined into a single album it would have unquestionably been one of the best of the decade.
    Estranged and Garden of Eden are gourmet, and my favourite examples of the band’s contrasting strengths at that time.

    • “If both I and II had been streamlined into a single album it would have unquestionably been one of the best of the decade.”
      I think it would be questionable. I know I would question it. But that’s just me.

      I don’t see anything wrong with disregarding songwriting when said songwriting is wrapped in bloated masturbatory pomp. The songwriting on the debut album was less refined, but that didn’t make it lesser songwriting. Appetite for Destruction was about how painful and awesome it was to be young and high in LA in the mid-80′s. Use your Illusion was about how painful and awesome it was to be Axl Rose around 1990. There were too many good bands around at the time to waste any energy listening to that.

      • Considering the natural progression of most road tested bands, I’d argue the material on the debut was much more refined than the follow-up albums. Was Use Your Illusion more polished? Yeah, probably. And nowhere in my statement did I say the debut, in terms of songwriting, is anything less.

        Reasonable Doubt is about struggling to survive and selling drugs. The Blueprint is about living large and women, so by your logic that gives the debut more value by default?
        Your argument is opinion, mine is supporting what was the biggest band in the world at that time. And they were that for a reason, whether you wanted to waste your time with it or not.

        • “Reasonable Doubt is about struggling to survive and selling drugs. The Blueprint is about living large and women, so by your logic that gives the debut more value by default?”

          I think we have a different definition of logic. Nevertheless, let’s address this. If The Blueprint was a excessively indulgent anthem Jay-Z wrote about himself, then Reasonable Doubt would have more value. I have no problem with music written about success, but I have a problem when the subject matter is used in such a self-aggrandizing way.

          “Your argument is opinion, mine is supporting what was the biggest band in the world at that time.”
          So when you wrote “unquestionably one of the best”, that was not opinion? And your statement about the “biggest band in the world at the time”, what is that based on?

          • Alright well while we’re quoting,
            “Appetite for Destruction was about how painful and awesome it was to be young and high in LA in the mid-80′s. Use your Illusion was about how painful and awesome it was to be Axl Rose around 1990.” – Am I to then assume the intent of this wasn’t critical? Was I wrong to interpret it that way, or were you just stating what you felt to be fact? If so, fair enough.
            Either way, the topic of indulgence remains lost on me. I didn’t accuse Jay-Z of being indulgent, and I don’t draw tales of success from the Use Your Illusion’s. But I’m basing that from memory, and am open to being incorrect (in all sincerity.)

            And yes, my “unquestionable…” statement was opinion. It was my original comment that’s now being more examined. It’s also speculative.

            As far as biggest? I think you’re being difficult, here. I’m not arguing for credibility, talented, “cool”. The band released 2 records simultaneously that charted at 1 and 2, and remained somewhere on those charts for over 2 years. It had the hit song on the soundtrack for the biggest movie of the year, and brought a completely off the rails and notorious tour all around the world. I can’t think of an arena band in such shambles in the 20 years since (Oasis closest. Maybe?)
            Don’t get me wrong, I respect your opinion and don’t for one second think you don’t know what you’re talking about. But these records are critically respected and massive sellers. You are in the minority.

  8. I have always wanted to know what the fuck is going on in the November Rain video. Why does everybody go batshit crazy, and start diving through cakes etc, at the end. Is this what happens when it rains in LA?
    DO PEOPLE DIE OF RAIN-RELATED INJURIES?

  9. ddogdunit  |   Posted on Sep 16th, 2011 -1

    PLEASE explain to me why faith no more is a band that has any respect at all. i hear them as sub-red hot chili peppers, patton’s vocals are beyond obnoxious, and it’s like watching a bunch of monkeys on stage. the first time i saw the “epic” video on MTV, i was like “wow, this unconditionally sucks,” and then every time someone is like, “no listen to [this obscure] FNM song,” i’m like, “wow, this unconditionally sucks” too. and then i saw them play that reunited festival with korn and an unbelievable amount of other shitty bands and it made total sense. and they act like a bunch of monkeys onstage. so PLEASE. faith no more. what the hell? no i don’t think mike patton is a super talented (or interesting) vocalist if that’s what you’re going to say.

  10. ddogdunit  |   Posted on Sep 16th, 2011 -2

    also, smashing pumpkins had two albums out before mellon collie (triple album), GNR had 1.5 before their “double” album, what was your point again about them being any different?

  11. More like yawn your illusion? anyone?

  12. you could be mine and bonus points for comparing the real thing to nevermind

    what an entertaining essay – kudos big time. but speaking on excess, you whiny bitches should feel privileged and fucking lucky to live in the same world of these two gloriously bloated records before spaghetti incident confused and slash quit and and chinese democracy came and went. i don’t give a living fuck what you shitty hipsters say, both illusions are rightful heirs to appetite and prove gnr’s talent wasn’t a one-time fluke.

  13. woozefa  |   Posted on Sep 16th, 2011 +3

    wow, i was in line at tower records in vegas at midnight when this came out. hundreds of people. i bought the cassette and the CD of each. thought it was the best album ever. yeah, i sucked back then. favorite tracks were coma, estranged, locomotive and get in the ring. nowadays i can’t even listen to it.

    • agree on those fav tracks EXCEPT get in the ring hehe, that one just makes me laugh, too stupid n whiney, but Coma and Estranged are pure masterpieces on both ends of the spectrum, i like Estranged 1000x more than November Rain, that songs too slow and over-produced and ‘pretty’, YUCK.

      • Actually get in the Ring is quite impressive right up until “that goes for you Andy…..

        • i guess it is…been awhile, i just have that stupid ‘get in the ring, get in the ring, GET IN THE RING!!’ building chant thing stuck in my head and yeah, ‘kick your bitchy little ass…PUNK!’ hahaha, which i used to quote that line all the time cuz it was so stupid, and the extremely not cool way Axl said ‘mo-ther fu-cker’ kinda like a robot:)

  14. I don’t know how I would’ve thought about this set at 25 or so, but for any ‘metal’ loving kid of the 80s between 13-19, these 2 cds were absolute heaven when they came out. I listened the hell out of them for the better part of a year, TONS of great tracks. In hindsight if I were them I would’ve trimmed the fat on the weaker tracks and made it one single gargantuan disc, it would be respected 1000x more historically if it was, BUT OH WELL. Still for the time, it was as good as it gets. Specially if you juxtapose the GnR stuff with the horrid stuff coming from the older 80s metal bands, almost every single one was laying an egg at that time, THUS the giant grunge revolution ripe to come in and take over. There was a LOT of crap around back then, Illusions historically is probably the one album(s) to survive that period unscathed as A1, can’t-rip-on-it quality…the videos (AND MTV’s constantly playing them) now that’s another story:)

  15. Even though this album probably isn’t even in my top 10 for the year, it is still awesome. 1991 was the best year for music EVER! 1969 is a close second…

  16. Fuck Axel Rose.

  17. Based on what I’ve heard people say, GN’R are the only hair metal band that it might sorta be okay to somewhat like. The line usually goes, “Well yeah they kinda sucked, but they had some great riffs, right? And they were real rock stars!” I’d only heard Appetite for Destruction before this, so I gave the albums a listen.

    My first reaction is that it sounds incredibly dated. The songs sound so very hair metal and bloated with pointless guitar solos and string accompaniments. There’s not a clear direction in so many of them, and they just seem boring to me. Songs like “Estranged” and “Civil War” meander on forever without any sense of direction, while “You Could Be Mine” is an exercise in simply retreading ground that they had already been on before. “Get in the Ring” is just pathetic, and “Garden of Eden” sounds like Axl whining in a really fast voice. It doesn’t do anything for me.

    The biggest problem with this album for me is after listening to it, with the exceptions of the covers and “November Rain,” I couldn’t really remember how any of it sounded. Nothing really stuck with me, except for how insane it seemed. These guys had to know they were being ridiculous, right?

    I think the reason that so many people (it seems on here) like this album is because it reminds them of their high school years, and it sounded cool at the time. I’m not trying to knock your nostalgia, but to me it just doesn’t hold up the way a record like Appetite for Destruction does. It sounds like they made a great rock record with great riffs and hooks, and then decided that they had to act like some Spinal Tap version of rock stars. Use Your Illusion may not resonate today, but hey, at least they turned the volume up to eleven.

    • “Well yeah they kinda sucked, but they had some great riffs, right?”
      In the 24 years since this band has been in existence, that’s not typically how it’s gone from my perspective.

      To dismiss the songs as hair metal also shows a bit of a misinterpretation of what hair metal actually was; a trend. The primary practitioners, at the genre’s most basic level, recorded radio ready pop songs and played dress-up. Hair metal was to the early 90′s what Grunge was to the mid 90′s what Rap Metal was to the late 90′s what Pop Punk was to the early 00′s and so on. You may have an argument against the production – in terms of a dated sound – but the blueprint of these records is very much hard, blues-based rock. Simply looking at Illusion I, “Right Next Door to Hell”, “Perfect Crime”, and “Don’t Damn Me” could have all sat comfortably on Appetite.
      Also realize your “pointless guitar solos” are someone else’s idea of one of the best lead composers of his generation, with instantly recognizable tone (a rarity). Then, accusing Axl of being whiny is like accusing Dylan of being whiny (don’t worry, I’m not comparing the two as artists, but the most interesting voices in music are always the most unique and polarizing.)

      Yes, it’s bloated, and yes, there’s filler. The band came from nowhere and released an instant classic. But Axl Rose had the talent and ambition to take chances and prove the band was not only a modern Rolling Stones, but also a bit of Elton John. GnR didn’t take the easy way out.

      Your argument of nostalgia definitely has gravity in a lot of situations, but I don’t agree in this case. I could just as easily say you didn’t “get it” then and you don’t now. I don’t say that to start an argument, only a difference in opinion. As I mentioned in my original comment, there’s just too much music -the good stuff gets lost. But know the good stuff here still sounds cool to me.

      When arguably the most known song from both records is a 9 minute piano ballad, whose accompanying video could not be escaped at the time, and helped fill the biggest stadiums (meaning the band crossed over to the casual listener who doesn’t care for the details in the same way people who submit comments like yours and mine) that means the material at its essence works. It’s timeless.

    • You have to listen to the whole albums to ‘get it’ and then realize the context of when they came out, when they did they were bonafide MASTERPIECES, legitimately. Trust me, none of the ‘cred acts’ that survived the 80s did anything any better, and THIS was from seemingly just a bunch of LA burnout punks trying to be sorta metal and sorta Aerosmith, it was really impressive. Not that Appetite wasn’t or even the acoustic stuff on Lies wasn’t, there was a reason they were able to go toe-to-toe with the Nirvanas of the world into the grunge era and do more than ok, them and Metallica were the only 80s bands that could, the rest crumbled into obscurity. Even today there’s a huge healthy respect by alt bands for GnR, and they happened to also be great live too…when Axle decided to show up:)

    • You must be fun at parties.

    • First off, you just criticized rock songs for having guitar solos? Okay, that’s my only reply to you.

      • Make a list of albums from the last 50 years that would be hits today and tell me AFD isn’t on there? UYI was in no way AFD and for that it suffers more than anything. The video is embarrassing but Estranged ranks with the most impressive songs EVER released. UYI suffered from timing; for what it followed(AFD) and for what came immediatel after(during actually) it.

  18. There are so many good songs on these records…”Estranged” should have gotten more mainstream credit as a monumental song for the genre and the time, “Dead Horse” is a sleeper classic, and “Coma” is the reason I put a Use Your Illusion cover art tattoo on my dog…ok I didn’t do that but once I get a dog, consider it done.
    RIP Shannon Hoon.

    • Estranged shoulda been the ONE epic ballad video, they shoulda used the November Rain ‘fund’ to do an epic video for Coma:) THAT woulda been bad ass, like coulda been truly epic…pity.

  19. I also dug GnR in my teens. These albums (and the band) didn’t age well for me. They sound like the last gasp of 80s L.A.-style rock excess. There’s way too much filler, like the 7+ minutes of “Breakdown”. But some of the songs still hold up, like “Estranged” and “You Could Be Mine”. Slash is definitely the MVP. His playing is great on both albums, and he keeps whole thing from coming apart at the seams. GnR is a mess of contradictions and, for better or worse, these albums capture all that chaos.

    • “Breakdown” is a great tune, not filler! That, in contrast to joints like “Locomotive” and “Shotgun Blues” showed the seamless versatility and songwriting chops that Axl and the band had. Sure, Metallica deserves a ton of cred for their early stuff but no one in the hard rock/metal/whatever world at the time of GnR had the ability to deliver musical variety with a consistent overall sound. They could always do hard, raw, and fast…sweet, slow, and sensitive…shallow, offensive, or deep and thoughtful. Axl may be crazy as fuck but the guy’s a genius.

      “There goes the challenger being chased
      by the blue blue meanies on wheels
      The vicious traffic squad cars are after
      our lone driver
      The last American hero
      The-the electric sintar
      The demi-God,
      the super driver of the Golden West!
      Two nasty Nazi cars are close behind
      the beautiful lone driver
      The police cars are getting closer-closer…
      Closer to our soul hero in his soul mobile,
      yeah baby!
      They about to strike, they gonna get him,
      smash! rape!
      The last beautiful free soul on this planet
      But… it is written if the evil spirit arms
      the tiger with claws
      Brahman provided wings for the dove
      Thus spake the super guru”
      Did you hear that”

      Best use of lines from Vanashing Point in a song…and maybe the only use.

      • “Best use of lines from Vanashing Point in a song…and maybe the only use.”

        Primal Scream a few years later and after Give Out, but before Xtrmntr

        Primal Scream – Kowalski

        http://youtu.be/0xBzYsE4y1k

      • Agreed, Breakdown is an excellent song. Not even my fav on the albums but still better than any song released this year.

        And why do people keep calling these albums letdowns. They were a monumental success whose life was cut short by a bunch of Seattle scum that weren’t even man enough to handle their smack. Nirvana made it so cool to be uncool that teens everywhere became guilty of exactly what Kurt Nobrain claimed he was against. My classmates became mindless lambs believing they’d found something new, they all bought the same clothes designed to look crappy and lined up to purchase Nevermind, they all wore the same blue (album cover) shirt and grew their hair like Kurt Kabooms. Then salivated over nirvana as they recorded an album on the most teeny bop mainstream channel of all time MTV. Suicide was the best thing that could have ever happened to Nirvana.
        My whole point is the record companies got together and decided what the next thing would be..and that was Nirvana. Then in an example of marketing genius they made the next big thing look anti-industry. The mindless kiddos did as expected and left real rock in droves…never to return

        • Thats an interesting interpretation, but a little narrow. If you wanna get mad at someone though it shouldnt be Cobain, it should be Def Leppard, Motley, Ratt, Whitesnake, Ozzy, Scorpions…all laying eggs at the same time, add to that the Poisons of the world making a joke of it all to an extreme and 500 other copycat bands. THE CLEANSING was gonna happen sooner or later.

        • whoa, Travis…
          Some of what you said is a valid point of view…I agree with you that these records were in no way letdowns definitely monumental. I loved these records and was a huge GnR fan. But to think that Nirvana and grunge were created by major record labels on no merit is totally untrue and you seem really bitter for no good reason.
          Just like ’80s metal came to town and sounded/looked/etc. a whole lot different than what was going on in the ’70′s, grunge did the same. Did grunge, like EVERY musical/cultural “movement” become a marketing device, a consumer base, etc.? Of course it did…like the hippie culture, goth, punk, you name it. But it’s insane to think that record companies “got together and decided” that Nirvana was going to bew the next big thing…like it’s some huge conspiracy against you and GnR. Nirvana was an indie band on the indie Sub Pop label making a name for themselves along with other Seattle-based bands at the time (similar to how L.A. was a “scene” for metal and hairbands) and they released Bleach. The band had a pretty unique sound. Someone at Geffen/DGC did their A&R job of discovering this band because they felt it would be the next big thing. Just like Geffen did for – you guessed it – Guns N Roses. At one time, THEY were the next big thing and then…uh…time happened. That’s the way of the world, dude. There’s far more “manufacturing” of stars now then back then, this was just your standard example of a band has something unique about them, they build a fanbase, they develop on an indie label, they get big enough to be noticed by a major imprint, the major imprint signs them, then the label does their job of promoting them. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” did not initially chart, and it sold well only in regions of the United States with an established fanbase for the group…but I can tell you why it eventually blew up…the first time I heard that song and saw that video I was blown away. And so were millions of other music fans and GnR fans and whatever. It was meant to be. They really brought something new to the table and that’s that. They didn’t tell the band how to dress or how to behave, it was what it was and it blew up to the mainstream. Life goes on. I bet there’s some bitter AC/DC fan that says the same shit you’re saying about Nirvana but about GnR…

  20. Axl didn’t leave because he was upstaged. He played the agreed 70 minute set that was in the contract, but had vocal issues (sore throat). So people, please don’t listen to the idiot that wrote this. Why don’t you try and write an un bias story.

  21. This whole thing is a joke, right?

  22. Is it okay that I’ve never attempted to listen to GNR? I don’t plan on attempting either.

  23. I saw the FNM/Metallica/GnR show in Toronto once it was rescheduled after the Montreal riots cancelled the initial show. The crowd did not like FNM. At one point, Patton jumped into Metallica’s “snakepit” where, out of sight from the crowd declared the fellas from Metallica were hanging out naked, and then sort of panted ‘oh yeah, James finger my asshole…” Yes, The Real Thing is superior to Nevermind.

  24. I used my illusion once. And now I LIVE IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER.

    She’s pretty tied up
    Hangin’ upside down
    She’s pretty tied up
    And you can ride her
    She’s pretty tied up
    Hangin’ upside down
    Ohh I can’t tell you she’s the
    right one
    Oh no,oh no,oh no
    Once you made that money it costs more now
    It might cost a lot more than you’d think
    I just found a million dollars
    That someone forgot
    It’s days like this that push me o’er the brinks
    Cool ranch dressing

    • i see your “pretty tied up” and raise you a “one in a million”…because this is america and people have the right to say terrible things in this fine country.

      Immigrants and faggots
      They make no sense to me
      They come to our country
      And think they’ll do as they please
      Like start some mini Iran
      Or spread some fucking disease
      They talk so many goddamn ways
      It’s all greek to me
      Well some say I’m lazy
      And others say that’s just me
      Some say I’m crazy
      I guess I’ll always be
      But it’s been such a long time
      Since I knew right from wrong
      It’s all the means to an end, I,
      I keep on movin’ along

      good song but as you grow older, it’s a tough one to sing along to without feeling like a jerk…nah mean?

      • Take the offensive word (faggot i suppose because you can only use derogatory terms against white male republicans today) and curse words out and there really isn’t anything all that shameful about this song. Nowhere does it bash the kind of person that comes here wanting to melt in the pot. Only in the US are you not expected to adopt its customs. The disease part makes little sense other than perhaps aids being brought from africa but that was gonna happen no matter. Never once have I heard anyone bitch about the song criticizing the police…because they’re all bad people right? But forget anything I just typed and tell me this ain’t one kick ass song.

        • that song and Patience were true gems from the Lies ep, in fact i remember jamming that song with my friends band one time, they loved it too…even though they were basically straight up Smiths/Moz worshippers and copiers of all things…pretty funny.

      • If you’re the sort of person that doesn’t mind listening to songs sung by a guy who beats up women, then why would these lyrics bother you?

  25. Just got done reading Fargo Rock City and it has convinced me to look up this record and GnR in general. Yeah, I’m pretty young. Appetite came out the year I was born.

    • Sorry man, sorry you didn’t get to enjoy it then, sorry you missed out on some great tunes, but mostly I’m sorry that not even your own mother thinks you were the greatest thing to “come out” that year! lol

  26. Although Nevermind is without a doubt the most important album of the 90′s, I personally like the Use Your Illusion’s way better. The grandeur of Estranged and November Rain. The classic GN’R – songs Get in The Ring, You Could Be Mine. The experimental Garden of Eden, Coma, … And just like you say, I think that they could not have made a better album by picking out the best songs and put it on 1 cd (something that Smashing Pumpkins should have done with Mellon Collie & Infinite Sadness). Almost every song on the UYI albums is relevant.

    • and speaking of experimental, “My World” was some really different shit back then. Bizarre, dark, and sexy all at once…was a taste of how “outside of the box” Axl could get.

  27. USE YOUR ILLUSION was Guns N Roses version of Dark Side Of The Moon or The WHite Album. Maybe not as good, but they just had all this material flying in every which direction. It was def ahead of its time back then.

  28. I actually wish coma was 10 minutes longer!

  29. These guys were amazing!

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