Track by track: Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion I (1991)

Here to talk about the first Use your illusion by Guns N' Roses. In this track by track, I will give you my brief opinion, and the rating, for every single song of the album. Let me know what you think in the comment section.

1) Right Next Door To Hell 
The first song on the first Use Your Illusion album is a very good welcome: the signature Duff McKagan bass sound at the very beginning, a catchy and crazy chorus and a great solo by Slash. The song is fast and absolutely fun. What do you want more? 80/100

2) Dust N' Bones
This one is singer/songwriter material by Izzy Stradlin (on vocals as well on this). I like the different mood of the song (probably something fans didn't expect at that time), and the lyrics are very cool. Maybe it takes a while to catch you, but it will. 75/100

3) Live And Let Die (Paul & Linda McCartney)
I love how the band interprets songs (a good example will be "The spaghetti incident", later on). In this case, they took this famous one written by Paul and Linda McCartney and they put the Guns n' Roses logo on it. (No rating on this one as it's a cover.)

4) Don't Cry 
The band wrote this one way before releasing their first album Appetite for Destruction (you can find videos on the internet where they perform it in 1986) and they decided to publish it only a few years later, more polished, with piano, and with backing vocals by Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon). The guitar solo by Slash is incredible, one of his most iconic ones. Enjoy the video. 95/100

5) Perfect Crime
You are probably very relaxed after listening to Don't Cry. Well, here you get a completely different Axl who screams at your ears and (virtually) slaps your face. The song is not a masterpiece but I like its crazy mood. 75/100

6) You Ain't The First
Izzy and Duff lead this extemporary saloon bar (they will say “To the bar!”, at the end of the song) acoustic ballad which is very enjoyable, but completely different from the two other ballads on this one. Personally, I love the mood of this one, absolutely not pretentious (and the lyrics are 100% Guns). 77/100

7) Bad Obsession
Some Rolling Stones here with slide guitar and harmonica as well. I always appreciate the live version (with lots of solos and a faster tempo) but I've never been a fan of the album version, maybe a little too slow and overproduced (I'm sure Slash agrees with me). 70/100

8) Back Off Bitch
“I’ve been doing a lot of work and found out I’ve had a lot of hatred for women,” Axl told Rolling Stone. We truly believe him. Another song written many years before the "illusions" and with slightly explicit vocals (I'm sarcastic, obviously). 78/100

9) Double Talkin' Jive
I love the drumming by Matt Sorum on this one (my favourite GN'R drummer, don't hate me for this) and the non-existent/weird structure. It's a 3-minute song with a classical Spanish-style solo by Slash at the end of it (!). 85/100

10) November Rain 
A semi masterpiece written by Axl but made precious by Slash and his 3 solos, sending this song straight to eternity. Have a listen to the 2022 version, with a brand new orchestral part featuring a 50-piece orchestra. Better than the original, in my opinion. 97/100

11) The Garden
Alice Cooper (a big friend and inspiration of the band) is the special guest on this one. I like the contrast between the relaxed verses (but with creepy lyrics, at least for me) and the "psycho" chorus, sung by Alice. Slash makes it precious (as always) with his solos. 80/100

12) Garden Of Eden
Superfast and pure street rock but a little too wordy for my taste. It comes after The Garden (2 songs with the word "garden", one after one other) but completely different from every point of view. Maybe Axl and Slash are showing us how versatile the band is (and they are totally right). 75/100

13) Don't Damn Me 
It's got a great initial riff and I like the mood as well as the lyrics. I think that in that specific moment, every normal song would be transformed into a good song. This is the case, in my opinion. (Oh, great slow down at 2.00). 76/100

14) Bad Apples
Again, It's amazingly performed and with a great sound (well, it's Use your illusion, everything sounds great) but despite a good chorus, I consider this one a filler, it sounds like a Jam session, musically, to me. 67/100

15) Dead Horse
An acoustic intro by Axl (yes, he plays the guitar) and super catchy vocals for a song that I've always found underrated. To me, it's one of the best on this record and I never get tired of listening to this one. 79/100

16) Coma
In my opinion, the real masterpiece of the album. A sick journey into Axl's head into a virtual coma. The guitars sound fantastic and all the riffs and solos by Slash are a masterpiece, in my opinion. Take 10 minutes of your time and listen to this one with headphones and lyrics, you will thank me. Can I call it the underrated masterpiece by the band? I just did 98/100

Overall rating: 82/100
Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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