Guns N’ Roses Use Your Illusion Albums Retrospective


Guns N’ Roses Use Your Illusion I & II were released, on September 17, 1991 it was the first time a rock band released two albums the same day. Axl said he had never looked at Use Your Illusion as two separate albums. He had always looked at it as an entire package, because that fit perfectly for the 30 songs in a row.

Slash explained the band had been through so much emotional turmoil after the success of Appetite for Destruction, because they were a garage and that became celebrities, and the albums reflect that. According to his autobiography, while the albums were being recorded, Axl Rose had started to communicate with the other band members through management. In 2011, Slash told Music Radar the only problem at the time was the introduction of synthesizers, because he disagreed with that, but he was still doing okay with Axl.

Guns N’ Roses Use Your Illusion Songwriting

Several songs included in Use Your Illusion I & II had been written long before the release of the albums. Axl said the ballads were the most difficult songs to write, and this kind of “beautiful music” is what really made him feel like an artist. He also explained they wanted to save those ballads, because they wanted to wait until they had a bigger audience.

Axl said Don’t Cry was written in the mid ‘80s, even before they were Guns N’ Roses. It was performed for the first time in Slash’s and Steven’s first gig with the band, on June 6, 1985. Later, it was played a few times in 1986, 1987 and 1988, but became a regular in the setlist during the Use Your Illusion tour.

About November Rain, Slash recalled the first time he placed the song with Axl, the guitar melodies came through. Former guitar player Tracii Guns said Axl had already been working on November Rain on 1983. Two versions of the song were recorded before 1986, along with Don’t Cry, Back off Bitch and Bad Obsession.

Guns N’ Roses lost Steven Adler before the albums

Guns N’ Roses had already been working on Don’t Damn Me, Locomotive, Garden of Eden, Dust N’ Bones and Civil War in late 1989, while Steven Adler was still in the band. This last song was performed for the first time in the last show Adler did with Guns N’ Roses. It’s also the only song he recorded in Use Your Illusion.

Steven said he had to play Civil War around 25 times times until it was useable, because he was feeling so weak. He said he had taken an opiate blocker and everyone knew he wasn’t ok, but Slash told him they didn’t want to wait another week to go into the studio to record.

Guns N’ Roses Coma Meaning Behind Song

About Coma, Slash said he wrote the guitar parts in his “heroin delirium”. Axl told it was heavy to write the lyrics to the song because he’d pass out many times. He also explained he had overdosed in the late ‘80s and he described that situation in the lyrics of ‘Coma’. He was fully concious that he was leaving, but he still thought he had many things to do, so he pulled himself out of that. Axl told some people may get wrong the meaning of the song because it’s tricky, but he was trying to show some hope.

Use Your Illusion I & II have actually shown how Guns N’ Roses grew as musicians since the release of Appetite for Destruction in 1987.  Instead of copying the successful formula of their debut album, they decided to make something different and it was worth it.