Use Your Illusion I

Use Your Illusion I

by Guns N' Roses
     
 

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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.

Overview

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. [Geffen issued a clean version of the album in 1998.]

Product Details

Release Date:
08/25/1998
Label:
Geffen Records
UPC:
0720642446324
catalogNumber:
24463
Rank:
41083

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Guns N' Roses   Primary Artist
Alice Cooper   Vocals
West Arkeen   Acoustic Guitar
Stuart Bailey   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Robert Clark   Horn
Shannon Hoon   Vocals,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Matthew McKagan   Horn
Rachel West   Horn

Technical Credits

Bob Dylan   Composer
Guns N' Roses   Producer
Paul McCartney   Composer
Robert John   Collage
Izzy Stradlin   Composer
West Arkeen   Composer
Mike Clink   Sound Effects,Producer,Engineer
Linda McCartney   Composer
Duff McKagan   Composer
Axl Rose   Composer
Slash   Composer
Andie Airfix   Collage
Kevin Reagan   Art Direction
Gene Kirkland   Collage
William Hames   Collage
Jim Mitchell   Engineer
Mark Kostabi   Cover Painting
George Chin   Collage
R.K. Sloane   Collage
Billy McCloud   Composer
Del James   Composer

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