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Guns N' Roses|Use Your Illusion (Super Deluxe)

Use Your Illusion (Super Deluxe)

Guns N' Roses

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The twin polarities upon which Use Your Illusion has always derived its unique energy from are its absolute bigness and its unparallelled sense of vindictive martyrdom. This deluxe set—which doubles the length of the combined two original albums by including two full live sets—is definitely big, but without the inclusion of additional studio tracks (no demos, b-sides or outtakes) doesn't expand on the original in any meaningful way.  Which means that Illusion is still trapped in its own unique 1991 amber. From its odd sequencing—which alternates between melodramatic grandiosity, midtempo sleaze, and energetic rockers built solely on bitterness and spite—to the stultifying airlessness of the recording (all of the band members cut their parts separately), Illusion still feels like an overdetermined mess that somehow manages to consistently deliver the goods. Sadly though, those goods are steeped in an aimless rage that these days reads less like anti-authoritarianism and more like toxic narcissism. This is an album that gets out a "fuck you" in its first two minutes, and devolves from there into a master class on petty beefing: Whether it's "Right Next Door To Hell," "Get In the Ring," "My World" (ugh), "Back Off Bitch" (ugggghh), or any of the other tracks where poor Axl Rose blames all of his problems on everyone else in the world, the constant airing of tiny grievances is far more deadening than the set's length. All of this made Use Your Illusion a deeply cynical yet completely sincere work. 

Although it's incredibly indulgent and self-centered, it's almost certainly an accurate representation of the band's perception of the world at the time. Its deep currents of misogyny were both casual and aggressive, but also completely unapologetic, which is both alarming and pathetic. Sounds like a terrible album, right? It most definitely is not. Weirdly conceived and recorded? For sure. Problematic? Yup. Highly individual and completely non-reproducible by any other band on Earth? Absolutely. Even now, some 30 years later, it still manages to yield treasures. Tracks that were overlooked in the overwhelming onslaught of the original release are well worth revisiting; the druggy blues-rock of "Bad Obsession, "Locomotive" with its sideways reworking of "Welcome to the Jungle," "The Garden" (which sounds like a leftover from the first Masters of Reality album with an Alice Cooper rap shoved in the bridge), or the Duff McKagan-penned Johnny Thunders tribute "So Fine" all hold up remarkably well.

The live shows are revelatory: The Use Your Illusion tour was as extravagant and overblown as the album(s) it was promoting, running for nine legs over 30 months with nearly 200 dates played.  It was truly one of the last of its kind from an on-the-charts rock 'n' roll band, represented here by a warmup theater gig at the Ritz in New York in May, 1991, and an arena show on the UNLV campus as the tour was running at full speed eight months later. Remarkably, both sets exhibit a warm and generous band giving their absolute all to the fans in attendance, turning the somewhat clinical performances of Illusion's album versions into explosive renditions on stage. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz

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Use Your Illusion (Super Deluxe)

Guns N' Roses

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1
Right Next Door To Hell Explicit
00:03:01

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Timo Caltia, ComposerLyricist - Timo Caltio, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 Geffen Records

2
Dust N' Bones Explicit
00:04:58

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Matt Sorum, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Darren Reed, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 Geffen Records

3
Live And Let Die
00:03:03

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Mccartney, ComposerLyricist - Linda Mccartney, ComposerLyricist - Jim Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Don't Cry (Original)
00:04:44

Saul Hudson, ComposerLyricist - Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Jim Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Jeffrey Isbell, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Perfect Crime Explicit
00:02:23

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 Geffen Records

6
You Ain't The First
00:02:36

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 Geffen Records

7
Bad Obsession Explicit
00:05:27

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - West Arkeen, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 Geffen Records

8
Back Off Bitch Explicit
00:05:02

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Paul Huge, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 Geffen Records

9
Double Talkin' Jive Explicit
00:03:23

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 Geffen Records

10
November Rain (2022 Version)
00:08:55

Saul Hudson, ComposerLyricist - Charlie Bisharat, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Cameron Stone, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Vanessa Freebairn-Smith, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Mark Robertson, Unknown, Other - Andrew Duckles, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Daphne Chen, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Wilson, Programmer - David Low, Cello, Orchestra Contractor, AssociatedPerformer - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Jim Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tammy Hatwan, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Alma Fernandez, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Alyssa Park, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Maia Jasper, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Songa Lee, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Wilkie, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Jackie Brand, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Eun-Mee Ahn, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Armen Anassian, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Radu Pieptea, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Sharon Jackson, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Dan DiPrima, Unknown, Other - Amy Tatum, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Jeffrey Isbell, ComposerLyricist - Reta Shaw, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Neli Nikolaeva, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Otlman, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Cheryl Norman-Brick, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Susan Rishik, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Frank Harte, Contrabass Recorder, AssociatedPerformer - Luke Maurer, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Loo, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Kinney, Unknown, Other - Charlie Tyler, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Vaughn, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Eugenia Choi, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Cheryl Kim, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Akiko Tarumoto, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Stefan Smith, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Corinne Sobolewski, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Diana Wade, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Ahn, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Eric Shetzen, Contrabass Recorder, AssociatedPerformer - Gina Luciani, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Yu-Tong Sharp, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Benn Ullery, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Stuart Bailey, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Karukas, Unknown, Other - Nick Fevola, Unknown, Other

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

11
The Garden
00:05:20

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Alice Cooper, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - Del James, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - West Arkeen, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 Geffen Records

12
Garden Of Eden Explicit
00:02:43

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 Geffen Records

13
Don't Damn Me Explicit
00:05:19

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - David Lank, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 Geffen Records

14
Bad Apples Explicit
00:04:28

Saul Hudson, ComposerLyricist - Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Jeffrey Isbell, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 Geffen Records

15
Dead Horse
00:04:16

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 Geffen Records

16
Coma Explicit
00:10:12

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 Geffen Records

DISC 2

1
Civil War
00:07:40

Saul Hudson, ComposerLyricist - Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Jim Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Jeffrey Isbell, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
14 Years
00:04:22

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Yesterdays
00:03:17

Saul Hudson, ComposerLyricist - Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Jim Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Del James, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Jeffrey Isbell, ComposerLyricist - Billy McCloud, ComposerLyricist - West Arkeen, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Knockin' On Heaven's Door
00:05:35

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bob Dylan, ComposerLyricist - Jim Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Get In The Ring Explicit
00:05:39

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Shotgun Blues Explicit
00:03:22

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
Breakdown
00:07:03

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Pretty Tied Up (The Perils Of Rock N' Roll Decadence) Explicit
00:04:47

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Matt Sorum, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Darren Reed, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Locomotive (Complicity)
00:08:40

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
So Fine
00:04:06

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
Estranged
00:09:21

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Matt Sorum, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Darren Reed, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
You Could Be Mine
00:05:43

Saul Hudson, ComposerLyricist - Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Jim Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Jeffrey Isbell, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
Don't Cry (Alternate Lyrics)
00:04:47

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

14
My World Explicit
00:01:26

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

DISC 3

1
Pretty Tied Up (Live in New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991) Explicit
00:06:39

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Matt Sorum, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Darren Reed, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

2
Bad Obsession (Live In New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991) Explicit
00:05:46

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - West Arkeen, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

3
Right Next Door To Hell (Live in New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991) Explicit
00:03:32

Guns N' Roses, Producer, Executive Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Jean Pellerin, Video Producer, FilmProducer - Josh Richman, Video Director, FilmDirector - Jeff Fura, Producer - Timo Caltia, ComposerLyricist - Timo Caltio, ComposerLyricist - Michael Johansen, Producer

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

4
Mr. Brownstone (Live in New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991) Explicit
00:04:59

MICHAEL BARBIERO, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Steve Thompson, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer - Guns N' Roses, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Steven Adler, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

5
Dust N' Bones (Live In New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991) Explicit
00:05:49

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Matt Sorum, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Darren Reed, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

6
Live And Let Die (Live In New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991)
00:05:18

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Mccartney, ComposerLyricist - Linda Mccartney, ComposerLyricist - Jim Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

7
Paradise City (Live In New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991)
00:07:41

Saul Hudson, ComposerLyricist - MICHAEL BARBIERO, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Steve Thompson, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, MainArtist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Jeffrey Isbell, ComposerLyricist - Steven Adler, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

8
Voodoo Child (Slight Return) / Civil War (Live In New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991) Explicit
00:08:49

Saul Hudson, ComposerLyricist - MICHAEL BARBIERO, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Steve Thompson, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jimi Hendrix, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, MainArtist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Jeffrey Isbell, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

9
Drum Solo (Live In New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991) Explicit
00:04:51

MICHAEL BARBIERO, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Steve Thompson, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

10
Slash Solo (Live In New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991) Explicit
00:03:37

MICHAEL BARBIERO, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Steve Thompson, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, MainArtist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

11
You Could Be Mine (Live In New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991) Explicit
00:06:02

Saul Hudson, ComposerLyricist - MICHAEL BARBIERO, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Steve Thompson, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, MainArtist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Jeffrey Isbell, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

12
I Was Only Joking / Patience (Live In New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991)
00:09:09

Saul Hudson, ComposerLyricist - MICHAEL BARBIERO, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Steve Thompson, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - ROD STEWART, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - GARY GRAINGER, ComposerLyricist - Guns N' Roses, MainArtist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Jeffrey Isbell, ComposerLyricist - Steven Adler, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

13
Only Women Bleed / Knockin' On Heaven's Door (Live In New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991) Explicit
00:10:50

DICK WAGNER, ComposerLyricist - Bob Dylan, ComposerLyricist - MICHAEL BARBIERO, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Steve Thompson, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Alice Cooper, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, MainArtist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

14
Don't Cry (Original) (Live In New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991)
00:04:52

Saul Hudson, ComposerLyricist - Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Shannon Hoon, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Jeffrey Isbell, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

15
You Ain't The First (Live In New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991) Explicit
00:03:41

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Shannon Hoon, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

16
My Michelle (Live In New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991) Explicit
00:06:05

Slash, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Guns N' Roses, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Steven Adler, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

17
Estranged (Live In New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991)
00:10:01

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Matt Sorum, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Darren Reed, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

18
Double Talkin' Jive (Live In New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991) Explicit
00:04:14

Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Slash, ComposerLyricist - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - Izzy Stradlin, ComposerLyricist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

19
Sweet Child O' Mine (Live In New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991)
00:07:49

Saul Hudson, ComposerLyricist - Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Jeffrey Isbell, ComposerLyricist - Steven Adler, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

20
Welcome To The Jungle (Live In New York, Ritz Theatre - May 16, 1991) Explicit
00:05:33

Saul Hudson, ComposerLyricist - Bill Price, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Duff McKagan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Clink, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guns N' Roses, Producer, MainArtist - W. Axl Rose, ComposerLyricist - Jeffrey Isbell, ComposerLyricist - Steven Adler, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2022 GN'R Records

Album review

The twin polarities upon which Use Your Illusion has always derived its unique energy from are its absolute bigness and its unparallelled sense of vindictive martyrdom. This deluxe set—which doubles the length of the combined two original albums by including two full live sets—is definitely big, but without the inclusion of additional studio tracks (no demos, b-sides or outtakes) doesn't expand on the original in any meaningful way.  Which means that Illusion is still trapped in its own unique 1991 amber. From its odd sequencing—which alternates between melodramatic grandiosity, midtempo sleaze, and energetic rockers built solely on bitterness and spite—to the stultifying airlessness of the recording (all of the band members cut their parts separately), Illusion still feels like an overdetermined mess that somehow manages to consistently deliver the goods. Sadly though, those goods are steeped in an aimless rage that these days reads less like anti-authoritarianism and more like toxic narcissism. This is an album that gets out a "fuck you" in its first two minutes, and devolves from there into a master class on petty beefing: Whether it's "Right Next Door To Hell," "Get In the Ring," "My World" (ugh), "Back Off Bitch" (ugggghh), or any of the other tracks where poor Axl Rose blames all of his problems on everyone else in the world, the constant airing of tiny grievances is far more deadening than the set's length. All of this made Use Your Illusion a deeply cynical yet completely sincere work. 

Although it's incredibly indulgent and self-centered, it's almost certainly an accurate representation of the band's perception of the world at the time. Its deep currents of misogyny were both casual and aggressive, but also completely unapologetic, which is both alarming and pathetic. Sounds like a terrible album, right? It most definitely is not. Weirdly conceived and recorded? For sure. Problematic? Yup. Highly individual and completely non-reproducible by any other band on Earth? Absolutely. Even now, some 30 years later, it still manages to yield treasures. Tracks that were overlooked in the overwhelming onslaught of the original release are well worth revisiting; the druggy blues-rock of "Bad Obsession, "Locomotive" with its sideways reworking of "Welcome to the Jungle," "The Garden" (which sounds like a leftover from the first Masters of Reality album with an Alice Cooper rap shoved in the bridge), or the Duff McKagan-penned Johnny Thunders tribute "So Fine" all hold up remarkably well.

The live shows are revelatory: The Use Your Illusion tour was as extravagant and overblown as the album(s) it was promoting, running for nine legs over 30 months with nearly 200 dates played.  It was truly one of the last of its kind from an on-the-charts rock 'n' roll band, represented here by a warmup theater gig at the Ritz in New York in May, 1991, and an arena show on the UNLV campus as the tour was running at full speed eight months later. Remarkably, both sets exhibit a warm and generous band giving their absolute all to the fans in attendance, turning the somewhat clinical performances of Illusion's album versions into explosive renditions on stage. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz

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