8 May 2013

Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion 2

And now onto part two of the Use Your Illusion albums.  I had a struggle with this one, not because of any issue with the album, just had Jerm trying to create the blog as well. But, bosses will be bosses - sort of like Axl himself. Now, time to be serious - this was the second of the Use Your Illusion albums released by Mr Rose and Co back in September of 1991.  In this blog I will go over the album and then the albums as a whole collective as well - so there will be two marks (which will be clearly noted for the anal people - i.e. me).  Now even though the covers are same on each album apart from the colours, I always preferred this one. Mainly due to being colour blind and being able to see blue, but that is beside the point.  There is also a lot more to like about this half of the project as well.

Like the first part, this is an album that has a bit of filler on it - not as much as the first one to be honest, but there are a few tracks which could have been left off.  Let's start with "Get In The Ring" - Axl's rant against the music press who bitch about the band. By definition this is an ego project of a song, but it is also typical of the man who feels disrespected by the world and is obviously in need of lots of therapy or a great big slap.  Also, the second version of Don't Cry - why! Pick a set of lyrics and get the fuck on with it! Finally on the list of Eddie bitching against this album is "Yesterday". This song is like valium to me, it sends me to sleep and I feel like I have awoken from a coma once it is over. For a song to make "My World" seem relevant, it has to be dull.  Also I feel that "So Fine" is one ballad too far, but you could take any one of the other's off as well.  It is just my personal choice. Now I have just mentioned "My World" - a track of much contention to some fans.  Here is my take - the track should not have been added, could have been kept for a solo Axl album and should have been voted by the band to be on the record. Again this is typical of Axl and proves what a selfish douche he is - and anyone who says otherwise is living in a fantasy.

Now onto the rest of the album. When this album is at its best is when the band come together for the greater good.  First case is Civil War, which is the last track to feature original drummer Steve Adler. It is quite possibly my most favourite song off the Use Your Illusion 2, from the opening words taken from the film "Cool Hand Luke" to the outro saying what is so civil about war, this track is mesmerising.  You also have "You Could Be Mine" (which was used for the film 'Terminator 2'), the fantastic "Breakdown", the totally epic "Estranged" (it is a close second in terms of epic gesture next to "Coma"), the amazing cover of "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" and the Izzy Stradlin vocal lead "14 Years".  There is more positive on this album than the first part of the twins, so on that score alone it gets the better mark.

Now for the mark for both parts of the project.  This could have and should have been a fantastic single album with a pretty decent odd's and sods collection of cast off's that would have rivalled most people's main efforts, even with the filler.  But what you have instead is a project which by default is to be viewed as a lesson of quality control failing.  It can be debated about which songs would have made the cut; it has been debated quite a lot between some of the members of the blog.  However, it cannot be denied that this was the band at their pinnacle of their writing ability, after this they just feel due to ego, stupidity and letting a lead singer destroy the band for his own means - it was shown when he didn't consult them about which tracks they were going to put on the album, they should have got rid of him then as he is not the best lead singer ever - if you hear him live now, it make your drunken friend in a karaoke bar sound good.  They were never the most dangerous band in the world, but they were very good at putting on a show. Pity about the dick they left in charge and ruined what would have been their stand out project.

For the album:

8.5 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart

For the project as a whole:

7 out of ten - This is good and worth a check

You can purchase the album here

You can visit the band's website here

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

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