Guns N Roses Live Era 87-93

[Geffen; 1999]

Rating: 4.5/5

Styles: rock, metal
Others: Guns N’ Roses

This double live CD starts off with a roadie screaming "You wanted the best. But they didn’t fuckin’  make it , so you get Guns And Roses!" I know I know, what a completely uncool band. Roses’ homophobia, misogyny, and racial hatred got them trouble in the early 90s. Tons of controversy. Ideologically Kurt Cobain had a problem with them - they’re cheesy, old traditional rawk dinosaurs. It’s pretty hard to love them if you’re in your right mind, but it really depends on how you look at it.

I bought their first album Appetite for Destruction when I was 15 and loved it. The first exciting band I got into. Before this, I bought a Roachford tape, Madonna’s Like a Prayer, and S’Express. Guns N Roses were cool; they weren’t heavy metal Metallica -- they were rock n roll.  Anyway, in the long run, Appetite turns out to be a classic hard rock record, purely outshining other bands of the time with their patented songwriting. Remember Motley Crue or Poison? What a mess! And I think the difference is in the amount of cheese stuffed into each and every song. Simple nonsense style music with a melody.

And what really sets them apart from virtually every band around is that they were built to rock stadiums like no other. And that's where this double rock monster album comes into play. It’s not shitty sound wise. It’s clear and strong. According to the sleeve notes, it was recorded across the universe between 1987-93. Ranging from legendary LA clubs like Whisky A Go Go, Troubadour, The Cathouse to Stadiums in Tokyo, Paris, London, LA, Las Vegas.

One of the highlights comes when Rose stops the band after the second song because people are getting really "smashed at the front". After a good couple of minutes of  Rose coaxing the fans back, they blister straight into an astonishingly irresponsibly ripping version of their sleaze anthem "It’s so Easy".

In general this CD breathes life into the old albums and shows GNR to be a band to ranked amongst the great live acts like Zeppelin, Stones, Who etc, etc. of yesteryear. You’ve got all the hits: "Welcome to the Jungle", "Night Train", "Sweet Child O Mine", "Paradise City, Don’t Cry", "November Rain", "Knocking on Heaven’s Door" (fantastic version, lighters in the air). "I don’t  think I have to tell you, and I think you know the words". Cue crowd sing-a-long, followed by a reggae break, then the final chant. Rose screams "let’s make this one reach the heavens!". There are also overlooked songs such as "Dust N Bones", "Pretty Tied Up", and "Move to the City" that contains a great horn section.

My personal favorite is the almost Frank Sinatra-esque version of the single "Yesterdays", and "Estranged' is absolutely unbelievable. The CD ends in a fatally rocktastic manner. After the thrash out of "Paradise City", Rose’s farewell is "Las Vegas! Good Fuckin’ Night!" Entertainment guaranteed, but like a Hollywood movie, you might have to suspend disbelief. It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to…..       

1. Nightrain
2. Mr. Brownstone
3. It's So Easy
4. Welcome to the Jungle
5. Dust N' Bones
6. My Michelle
7. You're Crazy
8. Used to Love Her
9. Patience
10. It's Alright
11. November Rain
12. Out Ta Get Me
13. Pretty Tied up (The Perils of Rock & Roll..

14. Yesterdays
15. Move to the City
16. You Could Be Mine
17. Rocket Queen
18. Sweet Child O' Mine
19. Knockin' on Heaven's Door
20. Don't Cry
21. Estranged
22. Paradise City