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£12.49

Rock - Released January 1, 1991 | Geffen

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The "difficult second album" is one of the perennial rock & roll clichés, but few second albums ever were as difficult as Use Your Illusion. Not really conceived as a double album but impossible to separate as individual works, Use Your Illusion is a shining example of a suddenly successful band getting it all wrong and letting its ambitions run wild. Taking nearly three years to complete, the recording of the album was clearly difficult, and tensions between Slash, Izzy Stradlin, and Axl Rose are evident from the start. The two guitarists, particularly Stradlin, are trying to keep the group closer to its hard rock roots, but Rose has pretensions of being Queen and Elton John, which is particularly odd for a notoriously homophobic Midwestern boy. Conceivably, the two aspirations could have been divided between the two records, but instead they are just thrown into the blender -- it's just a coincidence that Use Your Illusion I is a harder-rocking record than II. Stradlin has a stronger presence on I, contributing three of the best songs -- "Dust n' Bones," "You Ain't the First," and "Double Talkin' Jive" -- which help keep the album in Stonesy Aerosmith territory. On the whole, the album is stronger than II, even though there's a fair amount of filler, including a dippy psychedelic collaboration with Alice Cooper and a song that takes its title from the Osmonds' biggest hit. But it also has two ambitious set pieces, "November Rain" and "Coma," which find Rose fulfilling his ambitions, as well as the ferocious, metallic "Perfect Crime" and the original version of the power ballad "Don't Cry." Still, it can be a chore to find the highlights on the record amid the overblown production and endless amounts of filler. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
£12.49

Pop - Released January 1, 1987 | Geffen

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£26.49
£18.99

Rock - Released July 21, 1987 | Geffen

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£13.99

Pop - Released January 1, 2004 | Geffen

£13.49

Rock - Released September 17, 1991 | Geffen

£13.99

Rock - Released January 1, 1999 | Geffen*

The double-disc Live: Era '87-'93 was designed to do two things -- satiate die-hard fans longing for old-school GNR, while clearing decks for a new studio album. It sounds good in theory, yet it suffers in its execution, since it relies on tapes "recorded across the universe between 1987 and 1993." That's not what GNR fans want -- they want the band in its nervy late-'80s prime, when it seemed like they could self-destruct at any second. Live: Era '87-'93 offers the polar opposite with slick, professional tracks that sound pieced together from various performances. Axl's vocals are not only distant -- as though they were sung in a booth, separate from the band -- but also amazingly mannered, sounding for all the world as if they were redone in the studio. Meanwhile, the band's performances are either brushed up or heavily edited, so it's impossible to tell if any of this was recorded during Appetite-era shows. Certainly, much of this derives from the Illusions tour: there are backing vocals, horns, and just what every fan wants -- lots and lots of Dizzy Reed. And if that isn't indicative of Axl's mindset, there is the priceless moment on "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," when he shrieks "Gimme some reggae!" and the band collapses in a sunsplash groove. So, this is heavy on Axl pretensions and short on pure, brutal rock & roll. At its best, it may come closer to vintage GNR than the Illusions did, but the missing ingredients are all too apparent, and in this context, their absence is all the more painful. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
£21.99
£15.49

Rock - Released June 29, 2018 | Geffen

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£7.99

Pop - Released January 1, 1988 | Geffen

Once Appetite for Destruction finally became a hit in 1988, Guns N' Roses bought some time by delivering the half-old/half-new LP G N' R Lies as a follow-up. Constructed as a double EP, with the "indie" debut Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide coming first and four new acoustic-based songs following on the second side, G N' R Lies is where the band metamorphosed from genuine threat to joke. Neither recorded live nor released by an indie label, Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide is competent bar band boogie, without the energy or danger of Appetite for Destruction. The new songs are considerably more problematic. "Patience" is Guns N' Roses at their prettiest and their sappiest, the most direct song they recorded to date. Its emotional directness makes the misogyny of "Used to Love Her (But I Had to Kill Her)" and the pitiful slanders of "One in a Million" sound genuine. Although the cover shrugs them off as a "joke," Axl Rose's venom is frightening -- there's little doubt that he truly does believe that "faggots" come to America from another country and that "niggers" should stay out of his way. Since he wasn't playing a character on the remainder of the album, there's little doubt this is from the heart as well. And what makes it harder to dismiss is the musical skill of the band, which makes the country-fried boogie of "Used to Love Her," the bluesy revamp of "You're Crazy," and the tough, paranoid fever dream of "One in a Million" indelible. So, you either listen to the music and are satisfied or else listen to the lyrics and become disturbed not only by Rose's intentions, but by the millions of record buyers that identified with him. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
£13.99

Rock - Released January 1, 2008 | Geffen Records

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£13.99

Rock - Released January 1, 1993 | Geffen

£21.99
£15.49

Rock - Released July 21, 1987 | Geffen

Hi-Res
Welcome To The Jungle, It’s So Easy, Nightrain, Mr Brownstone, Paradise City, My Michelle, Sweet Child O’ Mine, You’re Crazy… Look no further to explain the success of this monument that sold over thirty million copies worldwide: right from the start, it feels like a best-of album rather than a first studio effort… Even Out Ta Get Me, Think About You, Anything Goes and Rocket Queen, the four “weak tracks” of this masterpiece, would have satisfied fans of other bands who were sick of Guns N’ Roses at the time. Add to this two tracks that were sidelined at the time mostly for copyright reasons and are unearthed here, Shadow Of Your Love and Move To The City, as well as the studio version of Reckless Life. Though they feel like a walking disaster, this mighty gang had something others didn’t have in the microcosm of the Los Angeles hard rock scene: the ability to give birth to rock classics in record time. Some will no doubt find it unjust that the controversial track One In A Million was a kind of collateral victim of the reissue of Lies, from which it was removed. But this improved rerelease goes to show that, even if it wasn’t necessarily their goal, the musicians’ sound and performance are also two major components in any masterpiece. The reason they decided to include the before and after Appetite For Destruction, meaning the two EPs Live?!*@ Like a Suicide (the false live) and G N' R Lies, is because it is clear that all the ingredients were far from being in place at the Sound Studio where the twenty-ish alternative versions were recorded, featured here as a “bonus”. Mike Clink’s expert production, and Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero’s calibrated and well-balanced mixing obviously helped give the selected original twelve songs their ultimate form. And therefore optimal efficiency. But other live or acoustic titles gleaned here and there to close out this reissue (Bob Dylan’s Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Live), It’s So Easy (Live), AC/DC’s Whole Lotta Rosie (Live), November Rain (Acoustic), the very short but promising The Plague, the instrumental Ain’t Goin’ Down No More or the Rolling Stones’ Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Acoustic)) prove that the band’s five members went through a period, albeit much too short, in which they were touched by grace. And there will most likely be further proof if one day Axl Rose decides to unearth the version of the album he re-recorded in 1999 with the new Guns N’ Roses line-up, without Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler. It was with this winning cast that Guns N' Roses beat the ultimate sales record for a first album in the United States. And although the multiple line-up evolutions that followed didn’t lead to any commercial disasters, they never gave the band the opportunity to repeat the feat of Appetite For Destruction. © Jean-Pierre Sabouret/Qobuz
£11.49

Rock - Released March 23, 2004 | Geffen

£1.49

Rock - Released June 8, 2018 | Geffen Records

£15.49
£11.49

Rock - Released July 21, 1987 | Geffen

Hi-Res
£26.49
£18.99

Rock - Released July 21, 1987 | Geffen

Hi-Res
Welcome To The Jungle, It’s So Easy, Nightrain, Mr Brownstone, Paradise City, My Michelle, Sweet Child O’ Mine, You’re Crazy… Look no further to explain the success of this monument that sold over thirty million copies worldwide: right from the start, it feels like a best-of album rather than a first studio effort… Even Out Ta Get Me, Think About You, Anything Goes and Rocket Queen, the four “weak tracks” of this masterpiece, would have satisfied fans of other bands who were sick of Guns N’ Roses at the time. Add to this two tracks that were sidelined at the time mostly for copyright reasons and are unearthed here, Shadow Of Your Love and Move To The City, as well as the studio version of Reckless Life. Though they feel like a walking disaster, this mighty gang had something others didn’t have in the microcosm of the Los Angeles hard rock scene: the ability to give birth to rock classics in record time. Some will no doubt find it unjust that the controversial track One In A Million was a kind of collateral victim of the reissue of Lies, from which it was removed. But this improved rerelease goes to show that, even if it wasn’t necessarily their goal, the musicians’ sound and performance are also two major components in any masterpiece. The reason they decided to include the before and after Appetite For Destruction, meaning the two EPs Live?!*@ Like a Suicide (the false live) and G N' R Lies, is because it is clear that all the ingredients were far from being in place at the Sound Studio where the twenty-ish alternative versions were recorded, featured here as a “bonus”. Mike Clink’s expert production, and Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero’s calibrated and well-balanced mixing obviously helped give the selected original twelve songs their ultimate form. And therefore optimal efficiency. But other live or acoustic titles gleaned here and there to close out this reissue (Bob Dylan’s Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Live), It’s So Easy (Live), AC/DC’s Whole Lotta Rosie (Live), November Rain (Acoustic), the very short but promising The Plague, the instrumental Ain’t Goin’ Down No More or the Rolling Stones’ Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Acoustic)) prove that the band’s five members went through a period, albeit much too short, in which they were touched by grace. And there will most likely be further proof if one day Axl Rose decides to unearth the version of the album he re-recorded in 1999 with the new Guns N’ Roses line-up, without Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler. It was with this winning cast that Guns N' Roses beat the ultimate sales record for a first album in the United States. And although the multiple line-up evolutions that followed didn’t lead to any commercial disasters, they never gave the band the opportunity to repeat the feat of Appetite For Destruction. © Jean-Pierre Sabouret/Qobuz
£1.49

Rock - Released May 4, 2018 | Geffen

£4.79

Rock - Released October 13, 2014 | 2014 Autarc Media GmbH, CH.

£6.39

Hard Rock - Released April 10, 2018 | Cult Legends

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