Re-imagining the second and third Guns N’ Roses full-lengths as one perfect follow-up to Appetite for Destruction
I only skipped school once for the specific purpose of buying an album the day it was released.
Use Your Illusion I & II were the albums I played hooky for that Tuesday morning in my senior year of high school. Guns N’ Roses were so, so instrumental to me in the four years leading up to this moment, though at the time I was listening to GNR Lies more than Appetite–especially the live side.
And the sheer enormity of the stacked tracklists for both Illusions kept me busy through most of senior year, though back then I was obviously more drawn to the sophomoric shit on the albums like the bloated cover of “Live and Let Die” and the rock crit callout “Get In The Ring”. Yet when I want to listen to the Illusions now as a 47-year-old man, literally 70 percent of the album gets skipped.
So this morning, inspired a post by acclaimed rock journalist Rob Tannenbaum who was asking folks what albums were originally intended to be double LPs but trimmed down to the proper LP format, I answered with the opposite answer, citing Use Your Illusion as my choice. I illustrated my suggestion by trimming both albums down to an LP of nine songs. Had Guns ‘N Roses released Illusion if they had the likes of me with the final say, they might not have had the incredible success they achieved with hits like “November Rain” and “Estranged”. But they would’ve had one hell of an album that might have been talked about with as much reverence as Appetite.
Listen to my suggested single album edit of Use Your Illusion and let me know if I’m right or not.
My ideal tracklist
1. You Could Be Mine 2. Dust N’ Bones
3. Yesterdays 4. Don’t Cry (Original)
5. 14 Years 6. Pretty Tied Up
7. Bad Apples 8. Dead Horse 9. You Ain’t The First 10. Civil War