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92 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Part one of an epic masterpiece
The consensus among most critics and the general public is that both "Use Your Illusion" albums contain a lot of filler. It has often been said that a single album, with the best of both volumes, would have been better than two separate albums. Although this is the general consensus among Joe Public, the hard-core Guns N' Roses fans know better.

In my opinion,...
Published on April 5, 2005 by Daniel Ferguson-Maltzman

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Use Your Illusion 1
This is a great record. It's got some of Slash's greatest riffs and Axl Roses' amazing vocals. it starts off with a great bass riff in 'Right Next Door To Hell' and than goes into 'Dust N' Bones' which is one of the best Guns N' Roses Songs ever. Though some of the songs are kind of weird (Need i mention 'Bad Obsession') this is still an amazing record.
Published on July 6, 2005 by Bob McDain

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92 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Part one of an epic masterpiece, April 5, 2005
This review is from: Use Your Illusion I (Audio CD)
The consensus among most critics and the general public is that both "Use Your Illusion" albums contain a lot of filler. It has often been said that a single album, with the best of both volumes, would have been better than two separate albums. Although this is the general consensus among Joe Public, the hard-core Guns N' Roses fans know better.

In my opinion, the Illusion albums have very little filler. It would also be hard to have a single album with songs from each disc, as each Illusion album is its own entity. The Illusion set is not a single album with two separate discs. Both volumes are albums in their own right, with a different tone, vibe, and feeling. The colors on the album covers represent the atmosphere of the albums. "Use Your Illusion I" is brighter, more up-beat, glossier. "Use Your Illusion II" is more reflective, and overall darker.

Between both volumes, there is over two and a half hours of music. Both volumes need to be nursed and savored. The listener needs time to let it all sink in. Some of these songs are fast paced rockers in the vein of "Appetite For Destruction." Other songs are longer, up to ten minutes in length, with intricate solos and complex arrangements, in short, art-rock.

With an album like "Appetite For Destruction" under their belt, any follow-up would be criticized. But much had changed for GN'R since they hit it big. They were now multi-millionaires and no longer living in poverty in cheap apartments in L.A. Also, the lineup of the band had changed. Drummer Steven Adler was fired, and replaced by Matt Sorum. Sorum's drumming was slicker, more technically proficient. Also added to the lineup was keyboardist Dizzy Reed. The new GN'R was more polished, less rough-around-the-edges than they had been in the days of AFD.

GN'R branched out artistically for their follow-up, and naturally received a lot of criticism. Common complaints are--the band went soft, too much filler, to arty, etc.

To address these criticisms: (1) The band did not go soft. There are ballads, but there are also a lot of rockers. A lot of the singles were the ballads, so someone unfamiliar with these albums might conclude that the band went soft by listening to the radio/MTV and conclude that these songs (Don't Cry, November Rain) represent the album, when in fact, they do not. (2) As for there being too much filler, that is a matter of opinion. I happen to think that each song ranges from very good-to classic. A lot of GN'R's very best songs are buried in the set. Because there is so much music, a lot of the songs remain unknown to the general public and are therefore considered "filler." (3)A lot of these songs are art-rock. They are often long in length and are not instantly assessable-and are therefore dismissed. A lot of these songs are quite intricate and take time to fully appreciate.

"Use Your Illusion I" has a very glossy feel. It is somewhat overproduced, but for me, as someone who has been listening to it for almost 15 years, that's just part of the album's charm. I tend to look at the first volume as "the Izzy album," and the second volume as "the Axl album." I do this because Izzy's signature Stones/Faces influence is more prevalent on volume I, and Axl's artistic muscle is stretched more on the second volume, although there is an overlap and each made great contributions to the other.

Sorum and bassist Duff McKagan provide a killer rhythm section. Slash's playing, of course, goes without saying, is absolutely incredible. Each song has at least one or two screeching, ear-crunching, kick-ass, yet melodic solos. And Axl Rose shows why he is one of the most memorable, charismatic figures in rock. And some of Izzy Stradlin's best songs are found on "Use Your Illusion I."

The first volume starts out rocking hard with the AFD style "Right Next Door to Hell." This song doesn't have quite the furry of AFD, but it's still a good song nonetheless and a good way to start off the album. Izzy Stradlin's mid-tempo "Dust N' Bones" is a very Stones-ey song and is quite underrated. Slash's solo in it absolutely rips. Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die" is a very cool cover and stays pretty true to the original, while giving it a little more of an edge. "Don't Cry," the first song ever written in Guns N' Roses, is a beautiful balled, although the 30 second ending is a bit over-the-top. "Perfect Crime" is another great rocker, in the vein of AFD, and is another highly underrated song. Izzy Stradlin's sleepy, "You Ain't the First" is the only song I would consider to be filler. It's not bad, but it just slows down the momentum a bit. The rock-a-billy "Bad Obsession" is GN'R paying homage to Southern Rock. "Back off Bitch" musically is excellent, although the lyrics are stupid and juvenile, and didn't help GN'R's image as being misogynist. Stradlin's fast paced "Double Talkin' Jive" has a catchy, almost sinister riff and features one of Slash's best solos. Rose's Elton John inspired masterpiece "November Rain" follows next. This remains one of GN'R's most beloved songs to date.

A lot of Guns N' Roses best songs are found on the second half of "Use Your Illusion I." Unfortunately, because of the album's length, they just sort of got buried. "The Garden" is a really trippy, psychedelic duet with Alice Cooper." "Garden of Eden" is an excellent very fast paced hard-rocker. "Don't Damn Me" features some of Rose's best, most soul searching lyrics. "Bad Apples" is another hard rocker and features one of Slash's best solos. "Dead Horse" is one of the album's highlights. Rose best, most personal lyrics are found right here. The closing epic "Coma," along with "November Rain" is the album's highlight. It simply shows Axl Rose and Slash at their best. The song is just a monster, pure and simple. Axl Rose's 30+ second delivery at the end over Slash's playing is one of the most powerful, vital, ingenious moments in rock.

I bought "Use Your Illusion I" when I was 13 years old, and now, at 26, it remains one of my most favorite albums of all time. If you are looking for an AFD part two, you will be disappointed. If you are looking for instant gratification, go buy a Blink 182 album. If you want a masterpiece that has songs that are instantly addictive as well as songs that take time to appreciate, buy "Use Your Illusion I."
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Burning Aurum, August 15, 2005
This review is from: Use Your Illusion I (Audio CD)
It's been 10 years since I pulled out my GNR CDs and seriously listened to them. In high school, I loved Use Your Illusion II and my friend and I would debate which was better: Civil War or Estranged. A stupid kid who tried to be a bully and a friend at the same time came up to me one day and started reciting the last monologue in Coma, possibly to impress me. Surprised was he to find this dork singing right along with him!

10 Years After, and awakened by the real world and how accursed it all is, I've come to find the Use Your Illusion albums more than enjoyable tunes to memorize. These songs have angst, anger, and a sort of jaded "experienced life" maturity to it that I find reminiscent of my current days.

Use Your Illusion I has come to my aid and I've found myself listening to this record more and more. I've also realized that this record is Izzy's show. He pens eight of the sixteen tracks here (excluding most lyrics). From the darkest piano chord that opens Dust N Bones to the bizarre but awesome Double Talkin' Jive, Izzy's contributions on this record are vast.

Rose's piano charms even the hardest rocking of songs, and his wordsmithing is both prolific and profound. Even if I loathed GNR, I'd have to admit Axl can express himself better than most. Besides Dead Horse, his only solo composition is November Rain, a song I used to idly listen to. It, along with UYI II's Estranged, is a work of genius. I can easily imagine Rose sitting at a piano, a drink on the music desk, creating the song; November Rain (as with most of these tracks) is best appreciated with good headphones.

Where I used to skip over many of the tracks, today I listen to this album straight through. Although I don't consider the UYI albums concept in any form, UYI I feels faster, edgier, and more experimental of the two.

To be quite honest, I never even knew people considered songs "filler" until coming here. So the idea really means nothing to me. These people worked hard on each song, and the result is an album unrivaled by anything released today.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Strongest Pain Relief Money Can Buy, May 30, 2004
This review is from: Use Your Illusion I (Audio CD)
There is an energy in this album (along with the other pre Spag. albums) that can not be replicated. The stars lined up just right for a handful of times in the past 50 years, and included in the list of those to benefit is the GUNS N ROSES beast from 87-93. Although contemporary times always make the past look tame, there is still no denying the ferocious, controversial beauty that will probably always be associated with GNR.
I'm not in the generation that's supposed to listen to Guns. I was 11 when the Illusions came out, so that meant that while everybody was telling me that Kurt Cobain was the only thing that was cool, I was just discovering the TRUE POWER of music, which is highly inclusive of the mighty Guns. Also a classically trained pianist, let me say I am very open-minded. But regardless of society's pressure to keep up with the times, I still haven't heard anything since the Illusions that can offer such a profound release of anger, tension, stress, and hurtful emotion. Fans ferociously guard "Appetite..." as the definitive album, and there's obviously a whole host of good arguments for that - but although it was at the expense of the band's unity, I maintain that the Illusions pulled off every epic human goal that music can provide, justifying Axl's egocentric addiction to perfectionism. Here's the review of 1, which although it doesn't pull off the "greatest album of all time" -ness of 2, it is the biggest pack of a punch that good hard rock has ever been able to muster.
The songwriting, performing, attitude, musicianship - EVERYTHING - came together with "Appetite" - but now, with a few more dollars in their pockets, the Gunners could take that same vision and get the recordings polished to perfection. I conceed that that is "for better of worse," in that many people prefer a raw sound, and that appeals to many Appetite heads (and I'm one of them!) But during the Illusions recordings, magic happened; a very spiritual (partially demonic) soul got trapped into the tape, making these recordings transcend all laws of recording techniques, and when you listen to the metallic blues of "Dust N Bones", the more obscure "Bad Apples," or the bone-crunching epic "Coma," you can't help but bleed out all of your internal toxins. Music exists for a release (among other things), and no album has you dealing with your demons more intensely than Use Your Illusion I. Axl's lyrics read like a psychiatric report, which as I mention down below, wouldn't make sense if indeed they were a shallow party band. Indeed, this band was put here with a purpose.
Okay, so they weren't the BEST musicians around, but they weren't bad. And the group dynamic made up for the lack of technique many times over. Afterall, a strong element to the foundation of the band is punk, where attitude is all that matters. The fact that Guns had/have attitude PLUS other things to offer makes me say that that is the best thing you could try to get from any musician.
Which leads me right into the high compliment to this album's effective diversity. I play piano for a living, and Use Your Illusion 1 is like Appetite + piano and a few other things, which is why I hold 1 just a notch higher (not worth arguing about though). I could listen to the bluesy headbanging of "Dust N Bones" (and even more, 2's 14 years) all day long, jamming along on piano, and never want to go do anything else. The hypnotic electricity of this band should come in a bottle. Then there's "You Ain't the First," a really cool acoustic ditty, a royal "Queen-like" cover of Sir Paul's "Live and Let Die", the staple ballad "Don't Cry," the monstrously screaming metal of "Back off B@#$%", and the smash epic that needs no description, "November Rain." I put on a piano recital which, after the Beethoven was over, included a full orchestration of this epic, strings and all. A pretty bold move for a conservative music school. With regards to those saying that if 1 and 2 were combined into one solid (though how much more solid do you want?) album it would be much better... I'll concede only as far as "Double Talkin Jive" and "Perfect Crime," are concerned, which are the closest to filler that is on the first album (Slash's tasteful classical guitar licks notwithstanding). This album, especially when coupled with 2, has it all. Dave Matthews and Phish may open up their jams more, but they still leave you needing your Prozac.
It's funny how documentaries try to establish grunge as a return to seriousness after the partying of the 80's bands - but I never fell for grunge, and I've needed a boatload of musical anti-depressants in my life (who hasn't?). No, kids, Nirvana never really offered that much other than a meeting place for disillusioned teens. The magic of Guns was MUCH angrier, much more MUSICAL, and much more PROFOUND. [Why even mention the N word? Well as you should well know, "N" made it not cool to like GNR, which was a sad sad day for the future of the record industry.] But I digress... The characteristic style of randomly chosen subjects, let's say "The Garden" or "Dead Horse", holds up UNBELIEVABLY well today, and still tastes as fresh as it did a decade ago. And when it's all over, that is the true test.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars forget november rain!, December 4, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Use Your Illusion I (Audio CD)
"November Rain" is a great song, yes, and it appealed nicely to the VH1 crowd, but there are harder-rocking songs on this CD, and better ones to boot. It starts hard and hyper with "Right Next Door to Hell," which while good is actually one of the weaker songs on this album, which includes "Bad Obsession," "Back Off Bitch" (yes, a good song, if offensive), "Garden of Eden," "Don't Damn Me" (though this is mostly Axl whining about the bad press he gets for writing such offensive songs, like "One in a Million"...), and the incredible, mind-blowing 10-minute "Coma." This is the last song, and by far the best. In fact, I've heard very few songs to equal it, especially the lyrics, which Guns N' Roses generally excelled in compared to other bands. It's also perhaps their only song other than "Civil War" which shows awareness of a social issue, in this case suicide, and while not sappy at all, it certainly is powerful.

There's also an interesting classical guitar solo by Slash at the end of "Double Talkin' Jive," which is otherwise not much of a song.

I can understand that people who liked the punkish metal that went all through Appetite might be disappointed with this album, which shows more flexibility in style, but I'd say that's a point in G N' R's favor, especially since they didn't seem to be openly catering to the mainstream, just doing what they really wanted to do.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Par for the course, January 7, 2001
echo 1 (Pittsburgh, PA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Use Your Illusion I (Audio CD)
It seems to me that the two Illusion CD's are split. You listen to one of them depending on your mood. Illusion 1 is harder, faster, and more lewd than the "intellectual" Illusion 2. Fun songs like the cover Live and Let Die, The Garden, and Bad Apples supplement the driving rock felt in Coma, Back Off Bitch, and Don't Damn Me (I don't usually care for alot of swearing, but no one can sneak the F-word into the middle of a song and make it fit like Axl). Axl Rose had a gift for songwriting, putting words to music and making his feeling known, from every angle (Coma, November Rain). The only reason this is four stars and not five is that in my eyes, no body can be perfect. There's not one bad song on this album.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Masterpiece, May 25, 2005
S. Shahzad Aslam (Karachi, Pakistan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Use Your Illusion I (Audio CD)
The "Use Your Illusion" albums are one of the most ambitious albums in history, and perhaps the number one most ambitious rock album. No one had ever before released two separate albums at the same time, let alone two sprawling epics at 76 minutes apiece. It was a bold, daring and dangerous move, but ultimately a resounding success.

"Use Your Illusion I" - probably unintentionally - rocks harder than its twin, and it was a good effort to match the brilliant "Appetite for Destruction." A good effort, but not good enough. Some of the songs on this record are as good or better than some on AFD: "November Rain" and "Don't Cry" are as good as "Sweet Child O' Mine," "Paradise City," etc. But AFD was a better record overall, with zero filler, and in fact every song was a giant. UYI1 doesn't manage that, but comes close.

It kicks off with "Right Next Door to Hell," a short, fast-paced rocker with an AFD flavor. Some of Izzy's best are on this album, and "Dust N' Bones," a bluesy Stones-esque track is one of the finest. "Live and Let Die" is a good Stones cover, but overrated.

"Don't Cry" is one of the best power ballads ever done, although at times the lyrics are watery. The solo is an asskicker, strong and hard, forceful even though it's not fast. The finale is great, even the neverending "toniiiiiiiiiight." "Perfect Crime" is short and sweet, hard rock rolling along at a breakneck speed. Izzy's amusing "You Ain't the First" tempers the last song's fury with a little acoustic goodbye. "Bad Obsession" is one of Axl's deep-voiced tracks, another strong one. "Back Off Bitch" boasts a ripper of a solo from slash, although some of the lyrics are less than inspiring. Izzy and Duff are awesome in "Double Talkin' Jive," not to mention Slash's exhibition of guitar perfection at the end.

"November Rain" is probably the best song on the album, with an orchestral background, a good piano part and some of the most awesome riffs ever. The finale is incredible, too, and doesn't seem like an attempt to make the song longer or harder. It isn't. The lyrics are fantastic, not sappy, but a powerful message: that sometimes you have to walk away when it's raining too hard, but nothing lasts forever. If you hold one, everything will be all right.

"The Garden" is a bizarre but brilliant song, with a behind bane solo by Slash, and abrupt changes in tempo and style, from soft guitar strums to hard and heavy rock. "Garden of Eden" is one of the best songs, and really seems to carry on the AFD spirit, though it's actually far faster than any of the debut album's songs. Short and very, very fast, all brought together by some brilliant Slash riffs. "Don't Damn Me" is again, one of the album's highlights, fast, beautiful solo, and the some of Axl's cleverest, truest and downright jawdropping lyrics. A magnificent song.

"Bad Apples" is another great song, with a great solo and very good lyrics. "Dead Horse" is awesome, but the throat-shredding screams that kick in a bit later on are overdone.

"Coma" is a monster. Slash is absolutely at the pinnacle here, and so is Axl, vocally diverse and lyrically superb. The long, long final verse is one of the best endings to an album and a song that you'll ever hear, on par with "Rocket Queen." It's a giant that has all the members of GNR apparently showing off.

All in all, UYI1 is one of the best rock albums ever, and is a worthy follow-up to "Appetite for Destruction," if not quite as good. Some of the material here is Guns N' Roses' best, but some is simply very very good. That's the scale: very good to classic. It doesn't get much better than "Use Your Illusion I."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic of life and death, August 14, 2005
This review is from: Use Your Illusion I (Audio CD)
Listening to this album (and its sister album, UYI2) was kind of like putting together a puzzle... it took MANY listens,and each time a new piece fell into place. At first, I thought both discs were too long, and had too much filler, yet there was to much musical gold to simply say the albums should be combined into a 'Super Illusion.' Now that I actually see the concept underlying this album, which is ENTIRELY DIFFERENT from UYI2's concept, I can firmly say every track on this album, while not excellent, belongs where it is. To those who just find this album 'ok,' I simply say it takes several listens. Now onto the story of this album - check the title of the review:

'Right Next Door to Hell' is an awesome opener, which goes on for just long enough without getting old. Now, listen to the first verse, and then combine it with the message in the next rack, Dust & Bones. That then goes to the cover, live and Let Die, and then Don't Cry. Notice how the lyrics in Don't Cry are empathetic and reassuring - 'I've beent here before.' That becomes important on the next album. These first four tracks create one of hte most solid openings in hard rock ever, and sets up the concept - one can almost see all these songs being sung by one fictional character (Axl doesn't count), which is especially genius because G'n'R didn't wirte track three.

The next phase of the album is the hardest - I don't feel "Perfect Crime" covers any ground that "Right Next Door" and the first half of "Appetite" didn't... thank god it's short. "You Ain't the First" is alright, and stands out as the only track on all three albums not in 4/4 time... Izzy's so proud that he starts off counting it out. It then goes to Bad Obsession, which seems like a re-hash of Mr. Brownstone, sharing the same weakness as "Perfect Crime," but this song also has a conceptual significance to be revealed soon. "Back Off Bitch" is just fun... Then, "Double Talkin' Jive"...this one really grew on me - someone described it as a Metallica rip-off... um, no. It is pretty funny that they put a song with a line like "I got no more patience... man" right before "November Rain," with its message of 'it'll all be ok... just hold on.'

Which brings us to the pinnacle of western music... November Rain. The album's greatest strength and weakness... because I always want to listen to it twice. Eighteen minutes later... who wants to finish the album? Seriously, the progression of November Rain, from that keyboard buildup, to Slash joining the song 4 MINUTES INTO IT, to that final chorus and then the metal-ish outro and the whole band chanting "you're not the only one"... goosebumps.

So then it's time to put the CD away and finish it tomorrow. You do... "The Garden" is trippy and reminds u that a song like this could not have been possible if John Lennon hadn't existed and wasn't the stoner he was. "Garden of Eden," again with those really short songs with brilliant lyrics that can't be understood... I think the fact that they put both 'Garden' songs next to each other, and that the band littered the album with biblical references - being next to hell, being dust and bones, and 'lost in the garden of Eden' was done on purpose - it's all buildup to a man with a crappy life dying.

The last four songs, like the first four, really underline the story of 'Life's a Bitch, then you die' Notice how there's sixteen tracks, and 'Back Off Bitch' is right in the middle? Anyway, "Don't Damn Me" has some of the most important lyrics, like 'So I step into your world,' 'it's all a part of me' and 'silence isn't golden.' This whole song foreshadows the concept of the next album. Then, "Bad Apples"... I really don't like it very much. The 'death' concept is beaten into our heads as Axl beats a Dead Horse on the next track, along with one of Slash's best solos. Then... all comes together with "Coma." Maybe Guns & Roses was really unimaginative and wrote about the same things... but isn't it more fun to think they tell a story? That chick he had a Bad obsession with can be heard yelling 'all you think of is sex, sex, sex,' the cover song is fullfilled, as he has lived and is letting himself die... 'his world' is waiting on the other side, which is exactly what UYI2 is about. Awesome.

Oh yeah, and the solos are great, Sorum's better than Adler, theproductions good, Axl rocks and all the other things every other reviewer's already told you about.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Betcha can't buy just one Illusion record, May 29, 2005
This review is from: Use Your Illusion I (Audio CD)
In all of music history, only two albums have come close to perfection. They are: Guns N' Roses' Use Your Illusion I and Guns N' Roses' Use Your Illusion II.

Guns N' Roses is perhaps most remembered for the 1987 smash hit debut Appetite for Destruction, but this 1991 double-album-released-as-two-discs-simultaneously stands head and shoulders above it musically.

Whereas Appetite for Destruction has 12 concise, guitar-driven, formulaic and catchy tracks, the Use Your Illusion CDs feature a total of 30 songs in many styles and of widely varying lengths.

The later material made use of new instruments, most notably the piano. Also, the lyrics are much deeper in tone, and Axl Rose's vocals are complemented by Duff McKagan's (bass) and Izzy Stradlin's (rhythm guitar).

Some of the songs, like "Right Next Door to Hell," "Perfect Crime" and "Garden of Eden," are far heavier and faster than anything found on Appetite.

On the other end of the spectrum listeners find "November Rain," an epic ballad, and the 9-minute classic "Estranged," perhaps the best song ever written.

These tracks each contain many different parts bridged by smooth transitions, and both emphasize lighter dynamics.

Also in the "epic" category are "Coma" and "Locomotive," but these two bring heavier, loud sounds to the foreground.

Finally, the CDs often touch on a genre in one or two songs, never to return to it. `50s-reminiscent rock `n' roll can be heard in "Bad Obsession," country in "You Ain't the First" and rap in "My World."

Each of the non-mainstream rock selections is done well, and they let the recordings breathe without overwhelming the listener. Even someone who hates country or rap can listen through both discs without skipping the offending tracks.

Essentially, the Use Your Illusion releases made up the high point in Guns N' Roses' career. Maintaining the killer songwriting of Appetite while working in greater variety and complexity, these two CDs have yet to be topped by the efforts of any other band.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost as Good as AFD, February 25, 2005
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Use Your Illusion I (Audio CD)
I won't compare to AFD, because they are both spectacular. I'll just review the songs one by one

-Right Next Door to Hell-9/10 Opens with almost as much power as Welcome to the Jungle. Really good.

-Dust N' Bones-9/10 Really catchy, has a great ending.

-Live and Let Die-9.5/10 Great cover that made this song by Paul Mcartney very popular. This version is the best.

-Don't Cry-10/10 Part of the Don't Cry/November Rain/Estranged trilogy, has a lot of meaning through great lyrics and music.

-Perfect Crime-9.5/10 Fast and furious, a really good song that is easy to listen to over and over. Uses the word f*** awesomely.

-You Ain't the First-7.5/10 The weakest on the album, would have fit in better on GN'R Lies.

-Bad Obsession-9/10 Totally adictive, but kind of ends weak.

-Back Off Bitch-8.5/10 Really good song about a girl that Axl doesn't like, sweet beginning and great chorus.

-Double Talkin' Jive-8.5/10 Not enough lyrics, but the ones that are there rock, also great classical guitar solo at the end.

-November Rain-10/10 9 minutes of masterful balladness, with a cool rock ending to one of GN'R's greatest epics

-The Garden-8/10 The parts where Axl sings are great, but Alice Cooper's part just doesn't make it seem like the same song.

-Garden of Eden-9.5/10 Axl sings very quickly so you should be looking at the lyrics in the book so you can understand him. On a side note, the music video is superb if you ever see it.

-Don't Damn Me-10/10 Possibly my favorite on the album, just plain awesome. "Sometimes I could get even/ Sometimes I could give up/ Sometimes I could give/ Sometimes I never give a f***" is really cool.

-Bad Apples-9/10 Great intro with the most addictive chorus I have ever heard.

-Dead Horse-9.5/10 Interesting acoustic intro, but it turns into the best rock on the album. Probably should have been on the GH.

-Coma-10/10 Simply a 10 minute masterpiece by Axl and Slash. Kudos to you two for making a rock song just as epic as November Rain on the SAME ALBUM! Best album ender ever.

Thanks for reading this review of a 146.5/160, no filler, 16 song masterpiece.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The better of the 2..., October 2, 2004
This review is from: Use Your Illusion I (Audio CD)
I write this review for the Gn'R fans who were converted by "Appetite...", because I know your dilema and you're probably the only ones thinking of picking these albums up now. You LOVE 'Appetite', but are weary of buying these albums because of the mixed reviews. You really don't know if it will hold up to their first album. Well, let me tell you right now, IT DOES NOT. Not by a long shot. But that doesn't make uyi I and II bad albums. It just means that appetite (I don't want to use '' anymore so get over it) was (and still is) THAT GOOD. Don't go into these thinking that.

That being said, let me be the first to tell you to GO BUY UYI I at least. This album has more of the fast paced rock songs and loud screaming you crave. Songs like The Garden of Eden, Don't Damn Me, and Perfect Crime just make you wanna thrash around violently, whereas Don't Cry and November Rain will make you wanna hold up your lighter even in your bedroom. Please forgive You Ain't the First, I know I try to. It's the only "eh" point in the album for me. I, personally, love the cover of Live and Let Die and will even go so far as to say it's better than the original (did he just say that? Oh yes I did. mmmm, sacrilage). It rocks harder, anyway. Sorry Mr. McCartney, go cry on the shoulders of all the millions of Beatles fans. Dead Horse has one of the best screams I have ever heard which then segues to one of the more powerful solos by Slash. You could tell Axl was dealing with some demons. When he sings sometimes it just sounds painful.

While we're here, lets talk about Axl for a second, seeing as no one else is (BURN!!!!). He was really trying to take his voice somewhere else on these albums and make it more dynamic. Say what you will about Axl, there were few who were greater. I am not a big fan of all the things he has done, or for that matter, what he is doing (or supposedly doing) with the band. He was one of the best front men of all time. WAS. I'm a Gn'R fan, but I'm also a realist. The original band is DEAD. And, quite frankly, I'm glad. Let Axl beat the perverbial "dead horse". He, unfortunately, could not keep the demons at bay. If the original band got back together, they would have to prove to me it was not about money. I am tired of keeping the flame alive. Time to move on, both in life and in the review. I am very sorry, but I had to vent my rage and profess my disdain for the way the things have gone with this band in a public forum. Moving on.

Double Talkin' Jive is a pretty cool song, made only cooler by an IZZY SOLO!!! YEAH, IZZY!!! Bad Obsession just has a nice groove to it, as well as a very cool slide intro by slash. It's also a nice break to have a song where Axl isn't SCREAMING IN YOUR F***IN' EAR. Then you get November Rain.

Now, not many people know this, but when they were starting to work on Appetite, they were first thinking "Double Album", but, it's not cool to have your major label debut be a double album, so songs like don't cry and you could be mine (uyi II) were held back, as well as November Rain. They (well, mostly Axl) worked on this song to make it right FOREVER. Finally, it was released on this album, and it's pretty f***in' good. It's an epic done right. Just that vision of slash on the piano at the end of the video playing that KILLER outro is a staple in rock music history. Great arranging as well.

So, if you don't have any Gn'R albums, please don't buy this one first. Go get appetite. That is the s**t. If you have Appetite and want more from this band, get uyi I THEN get II. Well, get Lies before you get either of I or II. I don't doubt that there are some, or possibly many who don't like this album, and I can see why. It is Mos Definately worth a try. Go get this album, you'll either love it or have a general malaise for it (i hope i used that word right. Trying to grow a little, ya know?). I think it's pretty damn good. five stars, no doubt.

A little note: If I got ANY of this information about the band wrong, PLEASE, I urge you Izzy, Slash, Duff, Steven, Matt, or even Axl to hunt my e-mail down, send me a message and correct me. It's only right.
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Use Your Illusion I
Use Your Illusion I by Guns N' Roses (Audio CD - 1991)
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