Deadsplinter Up! All Night: Use Your Illusion

Album artwork comes from a detail in Raphael’s ‘The School of Athens’ fresco.

The other day Keitel asked if we have a favorite album. Well, my favorite album is Guns N’ Roses’ 1991 ‘Use Your Illusion’ double album. Yes, it “technically” is 2 albums. “Technically.” Both albums were released on the same day; September 17, 1991. ‘Double album’ sounds good to me (and allows me to make another post in the future about my favorite ‘single album’!).

I remember getting the cassette tapes in the 90s and after listening to them not believing the amount of great songs on them. Especially on ‘Use Your Illusion I’. Well, no album I heard afterwards made such a good impression to me, so ‘Use Your Illusion’ is still my favorite album. I kept playing the tapes again and again on my cassette players until I wore one out. The tape of my favorite ‘Use Your Illusion I’ spilled out. Naturally, it was replaced immediately! I still don’t understand how I missed the ‘Use Your Illusion’ tour. Some school responsibility. How stupid of me.

Wikepedia says ‘Use Your Illusion I’ sold 5,502,000 units in the U.S as of 2010, while ‘Use Your Illusion II’ sold 5,587,000 units in the U.S as of 2010. Seems the inclusion of ‘You Could Be Mine’, in ‘Use Your Illusion II’ is the reason for this small difference. ‘You Could Be Mine’ was released as a single on June 21, 1991, as the theme song for James Cameron’s ‘ Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ (it wasn’t included in the ‘Terminator 2’ soundtrack). ‘Civil War’, another ‘Use Your Illusion II’ track, was on the single’s B-side. ‘Civil War’ was released on June 24, 1990, in the charity album ‘Nobody’s Child: Romanian Angel Appeal’, a fund-raising compilation for Romanian orphans. Other artists that donated tracks to ‘Nobody’s Child’ include the Traveling Wilburys, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Duane Eddy, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Ric Ocasek and Elton John. A 3rd ‘Use Your Illusion II’ track that was already released was the cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’. It was released on June 27, 1990 as part of the ‘Days of Thunder’ soundtrack.

Anyway, here is a song from each ‘Use Your Illusion’ album. ‘Don’t Cry (Original lyrics)’ from ‘Use Your Illusion I’ (lead vocals by Axl Rose):

and ’14 Years’ from ‘Use Your Illusion II’ (lead vocals by Izzy Strandlin):

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18 Comments

  1. Seven Days of Motorhead, pt.2

    Lemmy loved the idea of an all-woman rock band, and in 1981 the band collaborated with Girlschool in the Headgirl project. Together they recorded a cover of “Please Don’t Touch,” and each band also covered a song from the other. Here is Motorhead’s version of Girlschool’s “Emergency,” with Fast Eddie on lead vocals and Girlschool’s Denise Dufort filling in on drums.

  2. …now this is just straight up unfair…I know I’m not good at this but I can’t even pick a favorite album *by Guns&Roses* let alone a. favorite. album. of all albums…let alone represented by one song…plus this kind of dates me, I’d guess?

    …to me Guns&Roses were (& always will be) most indelibly associated with Appetite For Destruction & although I knew entirely too many people who thought Sweet Child O’ Mine was their karaoke moment to shine the two tunes that sum the band up for me would have to be Welcome to the Jungle & Paradise City, although I always thought Mr Brownstone was underrated, I guess…

    …my favorite songs of theirs, though…they were on Lies

    …which brings me to the other reason this wasn’t fair…I never saw this video before…& although it sometimes occurred to me that Rose’s rendition of the words lacked a certain sincerity (it’s pretty much the antithesis of the bring-on-the-groupies approach I believe they were known to favor) I always liked Patience

    …but damn…between the christ image on the t-shirt, the red spandex hot pants & the literally running around the stage begging people to pay attention to him & not the guitarist standing front & center on top of that amp…it is possible that Axl Rose might have put me off it entirely had I encountered that performance at an impressionable age?

    • When I read this, “not the guitarist standing front & center on top of that amp…” i HAD to watch the video, because i had to figure out *for sure,* if you meant, “The part in EVERY GnR song, where Slash gets up to do the Slash-part”😉

      (See also: the ENTIRE helicopter-shot section of this video–starting at about 4:11😉😁🤗)

      • …I mean, yeah – that’s obviously exactly the part I mean…it’s like the harmonica bit in a Dylan song…sure the song would be fine without it…but you know it’s coming all the same

        …I think what got me was just that despite that, apparently Axl just couldn’t handle not being the center of attention…also Slash’s stance always makes me think of Blackadder

        [the quality isn’t great & really I wanted the bit just before that bit but I think the general idea comes through clear enough?]

  3. Favorite album?
    No surprise here, it’s a ‘Jovi😉😁🤗

    As for “guns” songs– these are the two that always spring to mind,

    Off the same album, because *there’s almost ALWAYS a ‘Jovi for that!*😉:

    And, the other “gun” song that was huge in my youth– (TW’s, for sexual abuse & rape, of course!)

    Aerosmith’s Janie’s Got a Gun:

    Unedited, the song’s a hard one touching on incest, rape, & murder.

    It came out in ’89, just a couple years after the Lisa Steinberg murder, and I think that even though the songs were unrelated, the fact that both songs had ties to abuse were what struck me & the other young women I knew so strongly, and seemed to tie them together a bit–like Janie is what *might* have happened in Lisa’s case, had she been a bit older & more able to fight back against her abusers.

    A link to a story 30 years on, from the song’s origins:
    https://ultimateclassicrock.com/aerosmith-janies-got-a-gun/

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