Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why is that Guy Diving Through the Wedding Cake?

Guns n' Roses.  
Use Your Illusion I and II
1991, Geffen.  
produced by Mike Clink

Axl Rose - vocals, piano, guitars
Izzy Stradlin - guitars, vocals
Slash - guitars, banjo
Duff McKagen - bass, vocals
Matt Sorem - drums
Dizzy Reed - piano, organ, keyboards, vocals

  • You Could be Mine/ Civil War
  • Dont Cry
  • Live and Let Die
  • November Rain/ Sweet Child of Mine
  • Yesterdays/ November Rain
  • Civil War/ Garden of Eden/ Dead Horse
  • Estranged/ The Garden
These are marketed and sold as two separate albums. One could make the case that this, in the early '90s, was a good marketing idea, but they would have been just as successful as one large double album, which is why I feature them here together. These albums showcase many songs left off of the more famous debut album, Appetite for Destruction, and also feature three songs made into monster music videos that boosted the albums sales, and the band's popularity. I definitely remember watching the Estranged video in elementary school, the best part being when Axl dives into the ocean, and Slash comes up with his guitar and top hat, completely dry. Apparently, November Rain, Don't Cry and Estranged were three parts of the same story. I didn't know Axl was that clever.  

Guns N' Roses were unable to keep themselves from imploding following Use Your Illusion. Not only does it mark Izzy Stradlin's departure, but once again, Gn'R is never able to recapture the sound they had.

Guns n' Roses could be classified as a hair metal '80s band, and you would be right going on looks alone. However, the sound they had was harder, edgier and more musical than other 80's contemporaries such as Ratt, Motley Crue, Poison, and White Snake. Stradlin quit in 1991, and this would mark the beginning of the exit of other members. By 1997, only Axl Rose and his keyboard player buddy Dizzy Reed remained. It's hard to keep a distinct sound without all the unique, original members. Bucket Head is not Slash.  

Axl Rose tried his hardest to complete a musical masterpiece, following the failure of the Spaghetti Incident. In fact Chinese Democracy (the proposed title for his next project) became a rock and roll joke, the jackalope of rock projects. Finally released in 2008, the album didn't live up to expectations. Apparently, Rose has failed to realize that the Use Your Illusion albums are already a masterpiece, and his quest for perfection has just aided in his mental instability.

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