In an attempt to add content to this blog besides reviews, I’ve come up with a new feature. The premise? I take a double album, double release, etc., cut out the filler and present it as one wholesome, satisfying release. Welcome to the inaugural edition of…
TRIMMING THE FAT
Initially, the band was intending to release just Use Your Illusion, but as a two-disc set. The label was able to talk them out of it, so they were released as separate albums on the same day, in order to take it a bit easier on the public’s wallet. I always thought that was a bit odd decision from Geffen though. If you’re a GNR fan, you’re going to buy both, which is exactly what happened because both albums have sold 7 million copies since their September 1991 release.
I think Geffen saw the problem with with having two Illusion albums because in 1998 they issued a compilation called Use Your Illusion for U.S. release only, but they didn’t *quite* get it right because the tracks were selected with Walmart’s stringent policies in mind (no expletives).
I’ve done a little hacking and slashing of my own, so I now give you:
Guns N’ Roses – Use Your Illusion
You Could Be Mine
Back Off Bitch
Don’t Cry (Original)
Pretty Tied Up
Don’t Damn Me
Live and Let Die
Dust ‘N’ Bones
The key to combing these two albums is balancing the more melodic nature of UYI II with the aggressive sound of UYI I. I’ve picked 17 tracks in all, which is quite a lot, in my opinion. I usually like an album to run 10-13 songs so as not to tire out the listener and also decrease the chance of filler, but out out 30 songs, knocking it down to 17 (17 great songs, IMO) is pretty darn good.
“You Could Be Mine”, “Perfect Crime” and “Back Off Bitch” were selected to open the album because I feel they some of the closest songs from the UYI sessions that resemble Appetite for Destruction-era GNR. This also would’ve been a great chance to show listeners that the band hadn’t gone soft since doing GN’R Lies.
“Don’t Cry” kicks off that unofficial trilogy (featuring itself, “November Rain” and “Estranged”), and then “Breakdown”, “Civil War”, “14 Years” and “Yesterdays” continue to set the slower pace for the pic “November Rain”.
The music picks up again with “Pretty Tied Up”, “Locomotive”, “Don’t Damn Me”, “Shotgun Blues” and then takes a breather for the very underrated Duff-ballad “So Fine”.
GNR’s epic cover of “Live and Let Die” comes next, with the even more grandiose “Estranged” to follow. I didn’t want to close the album on such a giant scale, so I threw the bluesy “Dust ‘N’ Bones” on as the closer.
What do you think? What would YOUR Use Your Illusion album look like? Or do you think both releases are great as they are?