Could This Have Been The Greatest Album Ever Made?

Did Guns N' Roses miss a trick? Should the Use Your Illusions have been made into one 'super-album'? 

Released on the same day in 1991, the Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II albums by Guns N' Roses, were an instant success, especially off the back of the hugely successful 1987 debut album, Appetite For Destruction, and the perhaps less appealing, Lies LP in 1988. 

Yet despite the success of the two albums, many rock fans still remain divided on the Use Your Illusion topic. Some say the albums are among the best in rock history, but others think it would have been a better idea to condense the two albums into one.

There can be no doubt, the albums do strike a great balance between the 80s grit and a softer tone, but for the sake of this article, we've slashed the albums in half and created our strongest Use Your Illusion album.

Here's our list, so let us know what you think in the comments section below...

01. “Dust N’ Bones” (Use Your Illusion I) 

Behind the incredible dynamic Axl and Slash created, Izzy played the Malcolm Young role on rhythm guitar; the straw that stirred the toxic drink. And does he ever shine on Use Your Illusion I, providing lead vocals on three of the album’s best tracks. Tops among them is “Dust N’ Bones,” a raw slice of bar-room blues rock that hearkens back to Exile on Main Street-era Rolling Stones.

02. "Live And Let Die" (Use Your Illusion I)

It doesn't get much better than this as far as rock covers go.  What was once already a great track by Paul McCartney, Gun N' Roses turned into a rock powerhouse.  You'll struggle to find anyone on the planet who doesn't think much of this cover - and it gets a well-worthy addition to our album.

03. "Don't Cry" (Use Your Illusion I)

Don't Cry was the first song written by Axl for Guns N' Roses, and it would probably rank as one of the great soft-rock tracks in history.  We saw a much softer and deeper side to Axl and co, which made a welcoming change to the pure grit and madness before it.  Don't Cry makes our list with ease!

04. "Back Off Bitch" (Use Your Illusion I)

Back Off Bitch is one of the many tracks that could have made the Appetite album, and it certainly feels like one. This is vintage Guns at their very best, and a very important addition to our Use Your Illusion super album.  For all their forward thinking, you've got to keep those gritty, hard rock numbers coming in.

05. "November Rain" (Use Your Illusion I)

November Rain is, regarded by many industry experts, the song that lifted Axl Rose and his bandmates to the very top of their game.  This tune is pure brilliance, combining rock with an orchestral army, to form a ballad of beauty.  The music video isn't too bad either...

06. "Garden Of Eden" (Use Your Illusion I)

Garden Of Eden gets a pretty mixed reception with fans of GNR, but we think it's an absolute belter, and well worthy of a place on our super album. This track does well to strike a fine balance between the softer tones of the album and the grittier ones.

07. "Dead Horse" (Use Your Illusion I)

It was a tough choice between Dead Horse, Don't Damn Me, and Bad Apples, for a place on this album list, but we decided on the former, simply because we think it edges the other two on pure energy. Dead Horse is a very underrated Guns tune that should get more credit.

08. "Coma" (Use Your Illusion I)

The longest Guns N' Roses track ever made, at over 10 minutes long, Coma is a real masterpiece, with so many layers of grit and undertones of dreamy haze. It probably doesn't get much better than this, and you'll be hard pushed to find a better rock tune expanding the conventional 5 minutes. Apparently, Axl wrote this song on a real-life experience...

09. "Civil War" (Use Your Illusion II)

Civil War just had to make our list - I mean, how could it not? With shades of Jimi Hendrix style tones in the guitar playing, and a well-constructed three part formation, Civil War would probably rank as one of the band's best tracks. It is also the only track on both albums to have Steven Alder's original drum playing.

10. "Yesterdays" (Use Your Illusion II)

Yesterdays is another softer track that offers the album a bit of variety. This track shows a more meaningful side to Axl's song-writing skills, and he himself ranks it as one of his best.

11. "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" (Use Your Illusion II)

Knockin' On Heaven's Door is another great cover by Guns N' Roses, and their version of this song is just about as iconic as Bob Dylan's original. This song peaked at number 2 in the UK charts, and was played at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert.

12. "Breakdown" (Use Your Illusion II)

Breakdown is another underrated Guns N' Roses tune that perhaps gets lost in the noise made by so many of their other popular ballads.  This song combines super guitar playing with piano and synths, which made, and eventually undid, Guns N' Roses in the 90s.

13. "Pretty Tied Up" (Use Your Illusion II)

Pretty Tied Up is another track that just missed out on Appetite, but with more money for the production, we're glad they decided to wait on this one. Pretty Tied Up is one of those heavy rock tunes that manages to chuck a piano in there and still sound good.

14. "Locomotive" (Use Your Illusion II)

Locomotive is often referred to as a bit of an overlong, one-dimensional track, but if you really give it a good listen, you'll understand just why we rate it so highly. This track builds you up for the incredible ballad part at the end. We'd even go as far as to say that this is one of their best songs.

15. "Estranged" (Use Your Illusion II)

Not only is Estranged one of the greatest ever rock songs, but it also has one of the greatest music videos ever made. This track, the final part of Axl's trilogy, is one of the most advanced, beautiful pieces of music you'll ever hear, and surely up there with the best of Gun N' Roses. Slash's guitar work on this track is a thing of art, and even Axl was blown away by it.

16. "You Could Be Mine" (Use Your Illusion II)

What better way to finish off this epic album with a real, hard rock classic!  You Could Be Mine is as gritty and nasty as they come, and you know what they say... if it's too loud, you're too old... 

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