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Music / Use Your Illusion

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Livin' right next door to hell, why don't ya write a letter to me?
A would-be philosopher clearly believing his own hype.

"The week-apart releases of 'Nevermind' and the 'Illusion' albums, at least symbolically, put Guns N' Roses and Nirvana on a collision course with one another, which reached an apex at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards. 'Nevermind' (even with its impressive six-figure recording budget) sounded like an album that could have been recorded by any band with enough talent to record a great hook. The 'Use Your Illusion' LPs sounded like albums that only a band armed with a multi-million dollar budget and a two-year domination on MTV could have recorded, complete with vast orchestras, songs calling out critics who wronged you, and videos that cost more than some movies."
Sean McCarthy, PopMatters

Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II are the third and fourth studio albums by Guns N' Roses, both released in 1991. The Illusion albums showcased a more ambitious band, stretching out into Queen-inspired harmonizing, Speed Metal, lengthy rock ballads with literary ambitions, a Psychedelic Rock interlude with Alice Cooper...

Rock fans tend to be a bit polarized about the whole thing.

Use Your Illusion debuted to widespread critical praise despite some complaints about Filler. In a reversal of Appetite's fortunes, the followups fell off both critically and commercially after Nirvana helped revive interest in simpler rock styles, setting up the predominance of Alternative Rock throughout the decade. In the wake of the grunge explosion, Use Your Illusion took on a dual existence as success and punch-line, continuing to release successful singles and iconic videos even as it became a symbol of a self-seriousness popular music now aimed to avoid at all cost.


Use Your Illusion also marks the debut of keyboardist Dizzy Reed (who is still in the band today), and drummer Matt Sorum. The latter replaced the fired Steven Adler, who only appears on "Civil War". Furthermore, Use Your Illusion II turned out to be the last album recorded with Izzy Stradlin, who quit the band shortly after release. He would be replaced by Gilby Clarke.

Tracklist (Use Your Illusion I):

  1. "Right Next Door To Hell" (3:02)
  2. "Dust N' Bones" (4:58)
  3. "Live And Let Die" (3:04)
  4. "Don't Cry" (4:44)
  5. "Perfect Crime" (2:23)
  6. "You Ain't The First" (2:36)
  7. "Bad Obsession" (5:28)
  8. "Back Off Bitch" (5:03)
  9. "Double Talkin' Jive" (3:23)
  10. "November Rain" (8:57)
  11. "The Garden" (5:22)
  12. "Garden Of Eden" (2:41)
  13. "Don't Damn Me" (5:18)
  14. "Bad Apples" (4:28)
  15. "Dead Horse" (4:17)
  16. "Coma" (10:13)


Principal Members:

  • Duff McKagan - bass, vocals, guitar
  • Dizzy Reed - keyboard, piano, clavinet, organ, vocals
  • W. Axl Rose - lead vocals, piano, keyboard, guitar, sound effects
  • Slash - guitar, dobro, bass, vocals, talkbox
  • Matt Sorum - drums, percussion, vocals
  • Izzy Stradlin - guitar, backing and lead vocals, percussion

Tracklist (Use Your Illusion II):

  1. "Civil War" (7:42)
  2. "14 Years" (4:23)
  3. "Yesterdays" (3:14)
  4. "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" (5:36)
  5. "Get In The Ring" (5:42)
  6. "Shotgun Blues" (3:23)
  7. "Breakdown" (7:04)
  8. "Pretty Tied Up" (4:48)
  9. "Locomotive" (8:42)
  10. "So Fine" (4:08)
  11. "Estranged" (9:23)
  12. "You Could Be Mine" (5:43)
  13. "Don't Cry" (4:45)
  14. "My World" (1:24)

Principal Members:

  • Steven Adler - drums
  • Duff McKagan - bass, backing and lead vocals, percussion
  • Dizzy Reed - keyboard, piano, organ, vocals
  • W. Axl Rose - lead vocals, piano, guitar, synthesizer
  • Slash - guitar, banjo
  • Matt Sorum - drums, vocals
  • Izzy Stradlin - guitar, backing and lead vocals, sitar

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