Guns N' Roses: Izzy Stradlin (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, percussion); Axl Rose (vocals, piano, keyboards, keyboard programming, sound effects); Slash (acoustic, classical, electric & slide guitars, slide dobro, 6-string bass, background vocals); Duff McKagan (acoustic guitar, bass, background vocals); Dizzy Reed (piano, organ, Clavinet, background vocals); Matt Sorum (drums, percussion, background vocals).
Additional personnel: Shannon Hoon, Alice Cooper (vocals); Mike Monroe (harmonica, saxophone); Matthew McKagan (horns, keyboard programming); Rachel West (horns); Tim Doyle (tambourine); Johann (keyboard programming, sound effects); Mike Clink, Bruce Foster (sound effects); Stuart Bailey, Reba Shaw (background vocals).
Recorded at A & M Studios, Record Plant, Studio 56 and Image Recording, Hollywood, California; Conway Studios, Los Angeles, California; Metalworks Recording Studios, Toronto, Ontario.
Four years after becoming an uninvited guest at the party that is the music industry with its seminal debut, APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION, Guns N' Roses released USE YOUR ILLUSION I & II. Thanks to a reckless approach toward life and music, G N' R was constantly at the center of controversy and the result was that much of it was chronicled on this two-volume project. By this time, original drummer Steven Adler had been dismissed due to alleged drug dependency problems and was replaced by the Cult's Matt Sorum. Keyboardist Dizzy Reed was also added as a member.
ILLUSION I found Axl Rose ranting on songs about being sued by a neighbor ("Right Next Door to Hell"), dysfunctional relationships ("Back Off Bitch"), and a drug overdose ("Coma"). Amid all the spewed bile, G N' R scored three Top 40 hits with a Wings cover ("Live and Let Die"), a piano-driven, Elton John-flavored epic ("November Rain"), and a hard-edged ballad ("Don't Cry"). Celebrity cameos include a then unknown Shannon Hoon, Hanoi Rocks' Mike Monroe, and Alice Cooper, who makes a particularly sinister contribution to "The Garden."
What the critics say...
Rolling Stone (5/13/99, p.56) - Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone (10/17/91) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...Guns N' Roses fire on all comers and take no prisoners..."
Kerrang (Magazine) (p.53) - "There were huge ballads, orchestral behemoths and an appearance from Alice Cooper."
New York Times (Publisher) (9/15/91) - "...Finally, the baddest boys in rock are back on record--and nearly as confused, abused, defensive and defiant as ever...."
- Right Next Door To Hell
- Dust N' Bones
- Live And Let Die
- Don't Cry - (original)
- Perfect Crime
- You Ain't The First
- Bad Obsession
- Back Off Bitch
- Double Talkin' Jive
- November Rain
- Garden, The
- Garden Of Eden
- Don't Damn Me
- Bad Apples
- Dead Horse