Sunday, September 20, 2015

Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion I

Album cover: The Use Your Illusion I cover is the same as the Use Your Illusion II cover in terms of their illustration but the former features a color combination of red and yellow, while the latter is blue and purple. I somehow find this one to be more appealing and a bit more iconic of the two.  

Overall album:  Though Guns N' Roses discography isn't exactly extensive, I find that Use Your Illusion I really is their finest work. It has a very varied and diverse set of musical pieces neatly layered on top of a solid gritty hard rock base. To me, it's the ideal starting point for anyone who hasn't heard them before. 

Songs: 

Right Next Door To Hell: Duff pulls you into this one with his menacing bass playing before the rest of the crew launch into a hard hitting wave of hard rock venom.  It keeps you hooked and you'll find yourself pressing repeat quite a few times. 

Dust N' Bones: Wow, this has a great country vibe and Izzy does a spectacular job of handling vocal duties on this one. The music has an interesting swagger to it and you really start to love the wickedness that flow through this track. 

Live And Let Die: Gun N' Roses does a great job of elevating this classic track by Paul McCartney to new heights. It's starts of quite soft before things get really heavy real fast. More than anything, just like with 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door' off of Use Your Illusion II, they make this track completely their own. 

Don't Cry:  One of the band's most recognized and most loved ballads.  With this one you seem to hear something new every time you listen to it. But truth be told, I still prefer the version on Use Your Illusion II as the lyrics are more potent than the ones found here. A great track nonetheless. 

Perfect Crime: A straight forward rock track that sees Axl strut his stuff. Slash and Izzy deliver some great riffing on this one. 

You Ain't The First: An interesting acoustic track that incorporates some very bad boy lyrics. But very catchy and one that you can place on loop and not get bored off. 

Bad Obsession: The things that stands out here are Slash' slide guitar playing and the prominent harmonica that really adds an interesting layer of lustre to this track. It's got a great groove to it overall. 

Back Off Bitch: A pretty racy track that's hits your ears straight on. Axl is literally spewing venom with his words that are wrapped around heavy pounding from Matt and razor sharp playing from Slash and Izzy. 

Double Talkin' Jive: A mid-tempo track with a gritty intro and slightly unsual vocal delivery.  It does take a few listen to really get under the skin of this one. 

November Rain: Arguably this is the biggest and most well known song that Guns N' Roses has ever recorded. The massive arrangement of instruments, vocal harmonies and tempo changes throughout this track make it one of the most stellar songs ever to be released.  It is more than a ballad.  Its a musical feast for the ears, mind and soul. The video too was like a movie of sorts and till today is one of the most viewed around the world. 

The Garden: A mid-tempo blues type of track that slows things down a bit. It's interesting and you feel like your calmly cruising down a river of musical bliss. 

Garden Of Eden: A hard hitting and awesome rock track that grabs you by the collar and hauls you across a whirlwind of riffs and solos. Total fun! 


Don't Damn Me: Keeping the hard rhythm going, this one continues where the previous track left off and keeps hauling you don't the highway of hell.  You just gotta love the hooks and vocal delivery on this one. 


Bad Apples: A crazy track that features an interesting mix of hard rocking, with a clavinet thrown in here for good measure. It's a fair listen. Not one that stands out immediately from the rest but it grows on you. 


Dead Horse: Its starts with an acoustic piece before it launches into a heavy laden rush of adrenaline.  It concludes with the acoustic piece again, which is neat.  

Coma: Wow, this a big song and the longest one the band's recorded till date.  But what's interesting is how this song grows and spreads itself out. Quite the epic!!! 


Ultimate Album Song: November Rain   


The Band: W. Axl Rose (Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Piano), Matt Sorum (Drums), Duff McKagen (Vocals, Bass), Dizzy Reed (Keyboards, Piano), Slash (Guitars), Izzy Stradlin (Vocals, Guitars)  
Image source: popblerd.com

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