The Spaghetti Incident?
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2006
November of 1993 saw the release of Guns N' Roses fifth album "The Spaghetti Incident?" It was recorded mostly alongside the "Use Your Illusion" (1991) albums and featured the lineup of Axl Rose, (vocals) Slash, (lead guitar) Duff McKagan, (bass) Dizzy Reed, (keyboards) and Matt Sorum (drums). Izzy Stradlin's (rhythm guitar) parts were removed and replaced by then current gunner Gilby Clarke.

Guns N' Roses swan song (at least of old-school GN'R) "The Spaghetti Incident?" seems to rub people the wrong way. It unfortunately has the reputation of being one of those albums that "suck." That's a shame because while "The Spaghetti Incident?" is not a timeless classic, it's a good album.

Why do people seem to have such a negative reaction to this album? I think quite simply there really isn't an audience for a GN'R punk-cover album. While there was definitely an element of punk to the GN'R sound (courtesy of bassist Duff McKagan) people, by and large, who like "Paradise City," "Sweet Child `O Mine" and "November Rain" aren't going to dig Iggy and the Stooges, T-Rex, the Dammed, Fear, The UK Subs, etc. Likewise, fans of punk-rock aren't going to like the slick production, added solos, and other perceived bombast of GN'R's interpretations.

While Guns N' Roses renditions on "The Spaghetti Incident?" are nowhere near as raw or unadulterated as the original songs, that's not really a problem. If you went into "The Spaghetti Incident?" expecting a straight-up punk album, I can see why you'd be disappointed. But rather than just paying homage to the artists that influenced them by doing a punk album note-for-note, GN'R gave the songs their own spin, their own interpretation. With "The Spaghetti Incident?" Guns N' Roses made these songs their own by adding their own signature. So while these songs aren't as raw as the originals, they have more melody, color, hooks, and are far more palatable than the originals. While I can appreciate the argument from punk fans that GN'R shouldn't have taken liberties on their beloved classics, I personally really like these renditions.

Highlights include the Damned's excellent "New Rose," The UK Subs "Down on the Farm," (in which Axl Rose puts on a brilliant and somewhat hysterical faux British accent) the Misfits "Attitude" and Steve Jones' "Black Leather." The album's big hit, the Skyliners' "Since I Don't Have You" is hauntingly morose, yet sublime in its rich melody and killer solos. The album is probably best known for the "hidden track," Charles Manson's "Look at your Game Girl," which is creepy with its bizarre lyrics and eerie sparseness. It should be noted that Manson himself received no royalties from sales of the album.

The timing, however, was really bad for this album. By the end of '93 grunge and alternative rock were all the rage. While Guns N' Roses still had an enormous fan base by the end of '93, the band was seen as outdated, and the backlash spawned by their conceptual videos and over-the-top personas and lifestyles was beginning to set in. While "The Spaghetti Incident?" was meant merely as a stop-gap to tide fans over until the next release, thirteen years later, the next release, the forever in-the-works "Chinese Democracy" still has not yet arrived. "The Spaghetti Incident?" left a bad taste in the public's mouth and temporally took GN'R's legacy down a notch, although with the passage of time the sour taste has all but disappeared.

While "The Spaghetti Incident?" will ultimately be just a footnote in the legacy of GN'R, it is still a good album that is somewhat underrated. If you are new to GN'R, by all means, check it out.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2005
The Spaghetti Incident by GN'r is one of the most underrated albums ever. It starts with the hit Since I Don't Have You. Then comes New Rose, which was surprisingly good. Down on the Farm sounds a bit like it is sung by a british guy. Human Being follows, and it is one of my favorites. Raw Power is good, and Ain't it Fun is the second hit on the album. Buick Makane is above average, and then is Hair of the Dog, my personal favorite on the album (this was also a hit, but not included on the Greatest Hits. Attitude is basically just the band singing the word attitude over and over, but it sounds good. Black Leather is great, and You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory is basically the Duff lover's dream. Some may see this as a bad album to end their career with, but what song would fit better than one called I Don't Care About You? At first it just seems like ranting, but then evolves into something a little more refined. Kinda like the band. No other song fits the Guns like this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2006
This Is NOT a "BAD" album, But even as a huge Guns N' Roses fan, I can't call this a "GREAT" Album and it is an Unfortunate way to end the legacy of "THE GREATEST SEX, DRUGS, & ROCK & ROLL BAND OF ALL TIME" So when I see other reviewers calling this album "Strange" or "Odd" I feel it is important to mention that THE SPAGHETTI INCIDENT? is not what it started out to be, S.I.? was initially intended to be a stop-gap release of a FEW Punk Covers. This Punk [EP] was meant to be released during the long period between LIES & The USE YOUR ILLUSION album. Jamming on some of their favorite Punk songs was supposed to be a way for the band to get focused before diving into NEW songs. It worked (perhaps Too well). The Band ended up with so many ideas & songs that Use Your Illusion Became 2 Albums & the [EP] was shelved only to re-emerge after the U.Y.I albums as a Full-length [LP].

I think THE SPAGHETTI INCIDENT? would have done much better & been better received, if it had been released as intended. As a Fun [EP] to wet our destructive appetites, And it would have been cooler if GNR had left on the much grander note of their ILLUSION epics than a comparatively weak cover album, but who am I to complain about MORE songs... especially now that GNR is gone

But If your New to Guns N' Roses, I recommend

GNR's GREATEST HITS:

(If you like the songs you may have heard on the radio or seen on MTV)

or

APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION

one of the best hard rock albums of all time, & one of the few from the 80's that hasn't become a joke)

...& I know GNR isn't gone but I consider what Axl is doing a completely different animal

....................................CHINESE DEMOCRACY NOW!!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2004
TSI? is an amazing album. Every song is either good or great. Covers or not, Guns N' Roses did a tremendous job here. Nothing to complain about except the infamous "Duff song" (bassist.) Which is "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory" where he does the vocals, plays bass, drums, everything and although a nice gesture towards Johnny Thunders (whom he tributes the song to at the beginning), the song is the worst on the album. The vocals make me cringe.

Most critics didn't give this album a chance...and it's a shame. Had there been some actual promotion, maybe the more reknown critics would have given this CD a chance.

Also, "Look at Your Game", while written by serial killer Charles Manson, is a blatant effort at provoking negative publicity, it's an incredible mellow song. It's a hidden track on this disc (number 12, after "I Don't Care About You", just wait for it to kick in.)
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27 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2002
...after Appetite and the Use Your Illusion albums we expect more than good from GnR. Not that the songs they chose to cover are bad, they're not. And it's not that I don't like covers: I love it when bands punk up/slow down/add their own twist to songs... but these versions are pretty similar to the originals. Not what you'd expect from GnR.
I'm all for popular rock groups introducing their young fans to bands they might not hear or look into otherwise, but when a band with the power to write rock classics (such as Sweet Child and Paradise City) and original epics (like Estranged and Coma) compiles an entire album of cover songs -more to the point, AVERAGE cover songs- you can't help but feel a little let down.
It seems they've taken advantage of their popularity, cos I doubt any other bands would dare release a record like this. Overall it's a good, fun album... but compared to their previous offerings it's horrible.
Best tracks are probably Black Leather (better than the original with its elevated guitar riffs, but not a patch on the Runaways' version); Ain't it Fun (though, much as I like Hanoi Rocks, was it really necessary to bring out Michael Monroe AGAIN? Despite the strength of both Hanoi and GnR his voice can really grate on the nerves); Buike MacKane/Big Dumb Sex; Hair of the Dog (Nazareth don't get enough credit y'know...); and the pretty little Charles Manson cover (a desperate attempt at controversy perhaps?)
But all are far too similar to the originals, and even these "best tracks" don't compare to the weaker songs on Appetite or UYI 1 &2.
Since I Don't Have You and Down on the Farm are atrocities I won't even mention.
The other tracks are moderately good, but by no means great.
On the whole, a worthwhile purchase if you're already a fan (especially if you're keen to look into which bands influenced them,) and not without a few good tracks and a certain punkish charm.
But if you're relatively new to GnR, STAY AWAY, cos it doesn't truly reflect their good musicianship or songwriting skills.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2005
It seems like everybody in the world hates this album, and I don't know why. Greatness is in the ear of the listener I suppose, but I like this album very much. Their version of "Hair of The Dog" turned me onto Nazareth. You certainly can't knock the songs (if you do then you probably don't like or understand Rock n' Roll period), and I think this is a fine and enthusiastic tribute to the music that inspired GN'R, and I can honestly find no fault with it.

And to whoever said GN'R were an average band, I just wanna say where do you hang around? Seriously, I wanna know, because if the average bands in your neck of the woods are as vital and incendiary as GN'R, then I think I want to move there!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2006
It's just a cover album of punk songs. When it was released it wasnt supposed to sell millions it was just to tied the fans over for a while(I.E. LIES). You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory is a great song to begin with and duff does a great job with it. attitude is awesome. I dont like I don't care about you very much but the only song on this album that i really hate is Look at Your Game Girl written by charles manson. cough cough publicity stunt. overall for what it is , this cd is really good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2005
Ok after listening to his solo material I honestly feel GNR, well the Axl Rose band, desperately misses him more than Slash. Don't get me wrong, they either need Slash back or someone who can actually play the guitar, buckethead sucks. And, I can't speak for the other random people who played on Chinese Democracy, as probably short of a billion guitarists contributed to the industrialized nonsense that is that album. But Duff's songwriting, on his solo/loaded albums, which i recently heard for the first time, is definitely missing. Now I don't know if he had the chance to write much for the band or not, but his solo stuff is very well written. He can't sing worth a flip, but still.

Anyways, with this album, Guns N'Roses release their final, as of 2012 to date, album. I'm guessing this was intended to be a release to tide fans over until the follow up to the Illusion albums could be made, but.. Well we all know how that went now.

Here we have a bunch of covers. Now if anyone could make an awesome covers album, it'd be Guns N'Roses. Their previous covers, as well as Sympathy for the devil, and a couple demos of Jumpingjack Flash and Heartbreak Hotel proved how well they did covers. But unfortunately this album didn't work out.

Musically this album is solid. Slash, Duff, Gilby and Matt are all solid. However, there was way too much unnecessary piano. Sure, it worked ok in Since I Don't Have You, but that's the only song that should've had it. The production is solid. Guns N'Roses has always had solid sounding albums, unless you count Chinese as a GNR album. And, this one's no different. The large problem here is all the different vocalists. Sure Axl isn't the greatest vocalist in the world, and his vocals on Human Being pretty well sucked, but he's the voice of GNR, and for them he worked just fine. Here we get several non vocalists, usually Duff, but I think Slash did some lead vocals too. This completely ruined most of the songs, as Axl is really only lead vocalist on 6 songs. Raw Power, New Rose, Can't put your arms and Attitude would've all been awesome GNr versions of these songs had he been the vocalist. I guess maybe Axl wasn't around for all these recording sessions, so someone else had to do it. I have no idea. Either way the vocals on here are mostly terible. Heck if someone else was going to sing these, bring in someone who can actually sing.

Also I couldn't get into all the random nonsense they put in between the tracks. One moment sounded like someone playing a kazoo or something. We are also treated to Axl baaing like a sheep. Pretty stupid if you ask me.. And you did.

Please forgive any misspellings or mis ordering of the tracks, as I'm not looking at the album, nor do I have the entire thing on my computer at the moment.

Since I Don't Have You 7/10 a ballad to start the album? What? This one took me a little time to grow on me. The 50's style piano threw me. But, once I got over it, the song is pretty decent. Axl's vocals tend to screech a bit, and are kind of annoying at times, but again, it's Axl, so it's mostly ok.

New Rose 5/10, musically this is a very solid track. It's a straight up ricker. The melodies are also fine, and the band does a good job covering it, however whoever is singing on here, Duff or Slash, not sure, can't sing worth a crap, and this has become a song I haven't listened to in years, and probably never will again.

Down On The Farm 7/10 doesn't really have a chorus. For a straight up rocker that can make things tough, but the song has a nice riff and Axl sounds like he's trying to immitate the Sex Pistols or something. Hell this might be a cover of their's for all I know.

Raw Power 6/10 is another rocker with a nice riff and melodies. Again we get another vocalist, with Axl coming in as a backing vocalist. After the first verse or so he's actually singing throughout the rest of the song, but he's too far back in the mix. The other guy overpowers him. Ruins an otherwise good song.

Human Being 5/10 is another up tempo song. Axl actually does the vocals on this one, but they aren't that good. The chorus is ok though. Why did they decide a piano in this song would be a good idea? Like nails on a chalk board. Overall it's ok, but not great.

Ain't It Fun 5/10 Axl trades vocals with someone else. I love the opening guitar parts. This song has a sinister sound to it that's awesome. The other vocalist is tolerable on here, but the chorus sucks, too repetitive. And there isn't a good enough melody for it. I'm sure it's probably how the original was, but still.

Buik Mcain or however you spell that 1/10 makes no sense to me. It's like they heard part of Soundgarden's Big Dumb Sex, and decided to make a song around a ripped off portion of it. Axl does the vocals, and his efforts are wasted. This might have been fine as a straight up Soundgarden cover, but I already like the original, so it's not a big deal. This would have been a good spot to put their Stones cover of Sympathy For The Devil, which would have been awesome to have on here.

Hair Of The Dog 9/10 hells yeah. This is pure GNR goodness, a mid tempo rocker with a nice riff and groove. This is one of the few songs that actually sound like GNR. Pretty much easily my favorite song on here, except Black Leather is also awesome.

Black Leather 9/10 is another rocker with kind of a darker tone. Again this one actually sounds like GNR. Nice music, nice vocals. An all around good song.

Attitude 4/10 is a very short rocker with a nice melody. It'd have been awesome if they'd got Glenn Danzig to do the vocals on this one, as the guy who does them sounds terrible. Danzig is the only person other than Axl I could have accepted here, and the didn't have him. Actually this would have been an awesome song with him. Oh well.

You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory 5/10 is an acoustic, mostly, ballad. I think it's Duff on vocals, and he sounds terrible. This is another one I haven't heard in years. The melody in the chorus also needed work. Otherwise it's an ok song.

I Don't Care About You/Look At Your Game 2/10 the first track is a short punk cover. it's a rocker, with Axl and another guy doing vocals. Overall it's pretty chaotic, and really doesn't sound that good. Soundgarden does a way better job covering this one. The hidden track is ok, but nothing special. It's an acoustic ballad, very short. I just couldn't get into it.

Overall this is a fantastic sounding album, but it really didn't sound very GNR. If this had been an ep with Hair of the dog, and Black leather being the 2 featured songs, Since I don't have you and Down on the farm also included, I'd have given it a better rating. If you're a GNR or a Duff Mckaigen fan it's worth checking out, at least for the 4 songs I like. It's ok, but they could have done so much more. And, where the hell is a Rolling Stones cover? I can't believe there isn't one here.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2004
I guess this is different in scope because the entire album

is cover versions of tracks the band likes. I guess it gives

you a more introspective look at the band. The negative side

to this album is there is no G'n'R original material, but the

positive side is that G'n'R introduces artists that they like,

or artists that might have been long forgotten. Anyways, back

to the reviews. As others have mentioned, the selection of a

1950s oldie seems out of place, that being the first track

listed. As you listen to the album, it appears G'n'R really

are fond of punk and rock, covering the likes of The Sex

Pistols, Iggy Pop, Nazareth and The New York Dolls, which

makes the choice of The Skyliners' Since I Don't Have You

all the more puzzling.

It is really difficult for me to evaluate how well they

pulled off the cover versions, especially since I have

only heard the Skyliners and Nazareth original songs.

My advice is to get the other G'n'R albums first before

buying this one. They do a reasonable job on Hair of The

Dog and Since I Don't Have You, but I prefer the original

versions to the G'n'R covers, as I do for most songs. As

the title suggests, it is probably nothing more than a

collection of favorite songs band members liked when they

were growing up.

Here's the Track Listing:

1. Since I Don't Have You 4:18 The Skyliners - 1958

2. New Rose 2:38 The Damned - 1977

3. Down On The Farm 3:23 The UK Subs - 1980

4. Human Being 4:32 The New York Dolls - 1974

5. Raw Power 3:10 Iggy Pop and The Stooges - 1973

6. Ain't It Fun 4:59 The Dead Boys - 1978

7. Buick Makane (Big Dumb Sex) 2:37 T.Rex - 1973

8. Hair Of The Dog 3:57 Nazareth - 1975

9. Attitude 1:29 The Misfits - 1980

10. Black Leather 3:45 Steve Jones/The Sex Pistols -

1980

11. You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory 3:34 Johnny Thunders

- 1978

12. I Don't Care About You 2:03 Fear - 1982
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2004
For some reason, a lot of people do not like this album. Sure it's not as good as Appetite or the Illusion cds, but the Spaghetti Incident is still a really good album.
1.Since I Don't Have You-This doesn't seem like a song that GN'R would cover, but it is still pretty good.
2.New Rose-This is a punk song that Duff does vocals on. It is fun to listen to.
3.Down on the Farm-One of my favorite tracks on this album. It is really creative and fun to listen to.
4.Human Being-This song is awesome, although you can't tell what Axl is saying.
5.Raw Power-This song is pretty good, but not as good as the rest.
6.Ain't It Fun-Awesome song. Axl's voice and the lyrics make it sound really dark.
7.Buick McKaine-Sort of a strange song, but the "F*** you" chant is really cool.
8. Hair of the Dog-This is my favorite song on the album. It is a Nazareth cover, and rocks very hard.
9.Attitude-This is a punk song that is sung by Duff. It is good, but too short.
10.Black Leather-Some people really like this song, others(like me)don't. I guess it depends on your taste.
11.You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory-A ballady type song that Duff McKagen sings on, plus Duff plays the bass,guitar, and drums on this song as well.
12.I Don't Care About You-This song is really rebellious, and fun to listen to.
13.Look At Your Game Girl-This is a hidden track that you can find if you keep the cd playing after track 12. It is actually very pretty, even though Charles Manson wrote it.
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