Guns N’ Roses
Live Era 1987-93
In a way, I am happy to hear a new release from one of my favorite bands, after nearly eight years! Covered by controversies and fraught with interpersonal troubles, Guns N’ Roses as a band was fighting for survival; then the wave of alternative music took over, and it was almost decided that the last was heard from the GNR camp. Therefore, it is surprising to see some activity again — besides this release, Axl Rose, along with Dave Navarro (under GNR’s name) has a track on the soundtrack for End Of Days .
Although the extent of involvement from the rest of the original band is not known, Live Era 1987-93 is essentially a greatest hits collection culled from the band’s heyday concert performances in London, Paris, Tokyo, Budokan, etc… Guns N’ Roses, a band fun to watch live due to its stage dynamics and charisma, has captured the true essence of those live shows in these two discs. Most of the tracks here are from GNR’s first release, Appetite For Destruction , with the rest of the material from the later two Use Your Illusion albums and GNR Lies . Besides all the hits and radio classics, this album carries
some not so popular but cool numbers like “Move to the City,” “Pretty Tied Up,” and “Estranged,” too. There is also a cover of Black Sabbath’s “It’s Alright,” featuring Axl Rose on a piano, which is fairly good. But my favorite parts on this album are the ones where Slash opens the gates of shredville for his signature style of flashy and fiery guitar leads. The combination of Slash’s excellent guitar work and Axl’s ferocious top-of-the-lung vocals, I believe, propelled Guns N’ Roses to the top.
In these days of rap-metal popularity, one is likely to think that Live Era is out of date and might not fly, but staples like “Welcome To The Jungle” and “Sweet Child Of Mine,” which have become timeless classics, bear witness to the lasting legacy of Guns N’ Roses, and they ought to make this listening relevant as well as nostalgic.
Geffen Records, 9130 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90069