Axl and Slash on the Use Your Illusion tour Photo: Getty Images
In 1991 Guns N’ Roses did something few bands had done in the history of music - they released two studio albums on the same day, at the same time.
It took a while for Axl Rose & Co to come down from the mountain and deliver their stone tablets… but it was worth the wait.
Across the 30 songs the LA rockers covered a diverse set of rock - honky tonk ("Dust and Bones"), Appetite-style hard rock ("You Could Be Mine"), psychedelic ("The Garden"), ballads ("November Rain") and even a couple of covers ("Live And Let Die" and "Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door").
Axl Rose wanted to make a statement with this album - and he certainly did!
11 Facts You Didn’t Know About GN'R's Use Your Illusion Albums
1. The Use Your Illusion albums are 2.5 hours long in total.
2. When the Use Your Illusion albums were released, Walmart, one of the largest chains in the US, refused to stock the album because of the explicit material. But in 1998, they agreed to sell an alternative version as a single-disc featuring 12 of the most popular and least objectionable songs. It was called Use Your Illusion. And there are no songs with bad language.
Here is the track listing… and it’s still not a bad album! 1. “Live and Let Die”, 2. “Don’t Cry”, 3. “You Ain’t the First”, 4. “November Rain”, 5. “The Garden”, 6. “Dead Horse”, 7. “Civil War”, 8. “14 Years”, 9. “Yesterdays”, 10. “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, 11. “Estranged”, 12. “Don’t Cry” (Alternate Lyrics).
The 12-song single-disc album with no swear words Photo: Google Images
3. Guns N’ Roses have released six studio albums, selling over 100 million albums. The Use Your Illusion albums have sold 35 million in total.
4. Upon it’s release in 1991, Use Your Illusion II debuted at No. 1 on the US and UK charts, while Use Your Illusion I debuted at No. 2. And II has always sold more than I, and I has never overtaken II in sales.
5. In the US, Use Your Illusion came out one week before Nirvana’s Nevermind and one month after Metallica’s self-titled Black album. And it was released on the same day as Ozzy Osbourne’s No More Tears, one of Ozzy’s biggest selling albums. What a year in rock music!
6. The video for "November Rain" cost approximately $1.5million and was paid for by the band, not the record company. An interesting side note: $8000 was spent for the custom-made coffin that Axl’s girlfriend at the time, Stephanie Seymour, laid in.
November Rain, Guns N' Roses Video: GunsNRosesVEVO
7. Originally Axl wanted the Use Your Illusion albums to be split up into two x 2 volume sets but the record company said that was ‘over the top’.
8. The Use Your Illusion tour went for 2-and-a-half years and grossed $57 million dollars. Support acts included Metallica, Faith No More, Soundgarden, Nine Inch Nails, Skid Row, Body Count and Smashing Pumpkins.
9. Nobody in the band knew about the track “My World”, which was a rap metal song Axl wrote and tagged on the end of II.
My World, Guns N' Roses Video: YouTube
10. The original version of the Gunners epic single, "November Rain" was originally 25 minutes long.
11. Guns N’ Roses is the only band to hold the top two album spots in the US and U.K. At the same time.
These facts were taken from an awesome music podcast called Dig Me Out, where they dissected the Use Your Illusion albums. For more go to:
GUNS N’ ROSES NOT IN THIS LIFETIME 2017 AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES:
BRISBANE - Tuesday 7 February at QSAC Stadium, ticketek.com.au or 132 849 with Rose Tattoo
SYDNEY - Friday 10 and 11 February at ANZ Stadium, ticketek.com.au or 132 849 with Rose Tattoo
MELBOURNE - Tuesday 14 February at the MCG, ticketek.com.au or 132 849 with Rose Tattoo and Wolfmother
ADELAIDE - Saturday 18 February at Adelaide Oval, ticketek.com.au or 132 849 with Wolfmother
PERTH - Tuesday 21 February at Perth Domain Stadium, ticketmaster.com.au or 136 100 with Wolfmother