September Reign: Guns N ‘Roses’ Successful Albums “Use Your Illusion I” and “II” Celebrate 30th Anniversary Today

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Gefen Records / Universal Music

Thirty years ago today, September 17, Guns N ‘Roses simultaneously released their third and fourth studio albums, Use your illusion I and Use your illusion II.

With the band booming after the massive success of its 1987 debut, Appetite for destruction, and its popular 1988 follow-up, GN ‘R lies, Use your illusion I and II debuted at # 2 and # 1 on the Billboard 200 graphic.

Former GN’R drummer Matt Sorum, who joined the band just as they were starting to record the albums, told ABC Audio that most of the band initially thought they were going to make a single disc that had 12 or 13 songs on it.

“We ended up registering 34, I think,” Sorum recalls. “When we did that …[frontman] Axis [Rose] was the one who walked in and said, ‘Let’s let it all out. I want to let it all go. ‘ And we’re like ‘What ?!’ ”

Sorum says it was also Rose’s idea for both albums to have identical covers, the only difference being the color schemes – Use your illusion I is red and yellow and II is blue and purple.

Use your illusion I presents two top 10 successes on the Billboard Hot 100, “Don’t Cry” and “November Rain”, which reached 3rd and 10th place respectively. Use your illusion II includes a Hot 100 hit, “You could be mine”, which peaked at No. 29.

Each album contains a well-known cover – Paul McCartney and the wings‘”Live and let die” and Bob dylan“Knockin ‘on Heaven’s Door” appears on I and II, respectively. GN’R’s version of “Live and Let Die” peaked at # 33 on the Hot 100.

The albums were both certified seven times platinum by the RIAA for amassing seven million units in sales.

Here is the Use your illusion I track list:

“Right next to hell”
“Dust and bone”
“Live and Let Die”
“Don’t cry” (Original)
“Perfect crime”
“You are not the first”
“Bad obsession”
“Back off bitch”
“Double Talkin ‘Jive”
“November Rain”
“The Garden” – with Alice Cooper
“Garden of Eden”
“Don’t damn me”
“Bad apples”
“Dead horse”
“Coma”

And here is the Use your illusion II track list:

“Civil war”
“14 years old”
“Yesterday”
“Knock on the door of paradise”
“Get in the ring”
“The blue of the shotgun”
“Breakdown”
“Pretty Tied Up”
“Locomotive” (“Complicity”)
“So well”
“Distant”
“You could be mine”
“Don’t Cry” (alternate lyrics)
“My world”

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