use yourWe want to continue the theme of Axl Rose and Slash (Saul Hudson) burying the hatchet after o many years by covering one of Guns N Roses albums that featured the two of them. So for this week’s album of the week, we are covering Use Your Illusion 1 which was the first of two albums released on the same day on September 17, 1991 with Use Your Illusion 2 being the other album. If you think about it, this was business wise the smartest move GNR did when they released the two albums cause they could have released it as a double album, but get people to pay twice instead of once. The album was drastically different then their first album where there was more production involved and Steven Adler was replaced by Matt Sorum as far as drums were concerned. The rest of the lineup consisted of Axl Rose (Vocals), Slash (Lead Guitar), Izzy Stradlin (R. Guitar), Duff McKagan (Bass), with Dizzy Reed making his debut on the keys. One of the other interesting facts about this album is that a couple of weeks or so after it was released, Izzy Stradlin left the band and was replaced by Gilby Clarke. As far as sales are concerned, the album was a complete success for the band and considered the best of the two Illusion records thanks to Izzy Stradlin. The album peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Top 200 charts, number 2 on the UK charts, number one in Canada, and number 71 on the end of the decade (1990-1999) Billboard Charts as well as going seven times platinum (7,000,000 sold).

GNR_Illusion1Back1. Right Next Door To Hell– Truly one of my favorite introductions to a record ever with it’s amazing bass line and high octane energy about a woman who was Axl’s neighbor that was suing him claiming that he hit her with a wine bottle. 5/5

2. Dust N’ Bones– This is one of my favorite blues rock tracks on the record that Izzy Stradlin sings main vocals on with Axl doing back up on the chorus. 5/5

3. Live And Let Die– This is the bands amazing cover of the classic James Bond Wings track that features Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon doing backing vocals. 5/5

4. Don’t Cry- This is one of my all time favorite power ballads from GNR that also features Shannon Hoon again on backing vocals. Its version one of two with the other having alternate lyrics and featured on Use Your Illusion 2. 5/5

5. Perfect Crime– A high octane, in your face track that never lets up for a second. A Perfect Crime is a term used for crimes that go undetected and I think the track is about an entity that goes undetected 4/5

Guns_N_Roses-Use_Your_Illusion_I-7-CD-6. You Ain’t The First– A very bluesy acoustic track that features Izzy doing lead vocals about being able to get over a girl because she ain’t the first. 4.5/5

7. Bad Obsession– This is another favorite dirty rock and roll/bluesy track that features Michael Monroe of Hanoi Rocks playing the harmonica and saxophone on the track about drug and alcohol abuse. 5/5

8. Back Off Bitch– This was a track that was written before Appetite For Destruction about Axl’s ex who moved to Los Angeles with him. It never made it to any album before this one. 4/5

9. Double Talkin’ Jive– Another fierce in your face track like Perfect Crime or Right Next Door To Hell that features Izzy Stradlin on vocals about a man who could be a bookie. 4/5

10. November Rain– What can I say about this track that hasn’t already been said before, it is the greatest ballad or rock track since Stairway To Heaven and the greatest song in my opinion of the 90’s. 5/5

11. The Garden– a very cool and dark track that features vocals from Alice Cooper. 5/5

gnr_circa_uyi12. Garden of Eden– Not one of my favorites on the record, but same style as Double Talkinn Joe, Right Next…, and even Perfect Crime. It has that punk feel to the track. 4/5

13. Don’t Damn Me– a geat track that features an amazing guitar riff and some powerful vocals from Axl who is telling you not to judge him for his beliefs. 4.5/5

14. Bad Apples– A very unique track with some great bass riffs and a bluesy guitar riff that make it magical in a track that talks about fame, fortune, and all the headaches that follow. 4.5/5

15. Dead Horse– So, the acoustic section in the beginning features a guitar riff written by Axl which I thought was cool. The electric guitars will dominate most of the able, but some cool effects follow. 4/5

16. Coma– This is the last track on the record that Axl has gone on record saying, “I tried to write that song for a year, and couldn’t. I went to write it at the studio and passed out. I woke up two hours later and sat down and wrote the whole end of the song, like, just off the top of my head. It was like, don’t even know what’s coming out, man, but it’s coming. I think one of the best things that I’ve ever written was maybe the end segment of the song “Coma”. It just poured out.” It’s 10 minutes long in length. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– Someone once said that there was a lot of filler on this record, but they didn’ realize what kind of a classic this really was. It took five years for this record to see the light of day and while it was different than Appetite, it was still a masterpiece that stands the test of time like an Aerosmith or Led Zeppelin record. I am giving the record 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

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