.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/e150f832c633b11c680f38dae42226ede110cf72.jpg Live Era '87-'93

Guns N' Roses

Live Era '87-'93

Geffen
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
January 20, 2000

There is a definitive souvenir of the live G n' R experience lurking somewhere in the band's attic. This baby isn't it, for reasons having little to do with the actual performances. Like, where are the dates and venues for these twenty-two tracks? As rock scholarship, "Recorded across the universe between 1987 and 1993" doesn't cut it. The credits also give no hint as to which lineup — the original five, the Use Your Illusion-era big band — plays what. As for repertoire, the avant-glam sprawl of the twin Illusion LPs is shortchanged (no "Coma" or "Civil War") in favor of Appetite for Destruction, reprised almost in its entirety. And "Move to the City," from the '86 Live Like a Suicide EP, runs for eight minutes, too many of 'em going to brass and keyboard solos. So that's what's wrong with Live Era. Here's what's right: the contrapuntal bark and skid of Slash's and Izzy Stradlin's guitars; Axl Rose's supercharged bray, a blood-and-spittle shower of contempt ("You Could Be Mine"), paranoia ("Out ta Get Me") and desperate measures (the Illusion II epic "Estranged"); the shotgun union of pop brains and death-ride metal in "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Sweet Child o' Mine." On a real firefight night, G n' R were thirty years of rock & roll history, muscle and bad temper soaked in diesel and vodka, and the stage was their bully pulpit. This set is a narrowly missed opportunity to truly seal the histori cal worth of the band's guts and glory in concert. But Live Era's master blasts are visceral evidence of a time when Guns n' Roses ruled the earth and every show was, as it says on an old gig flier reproduced in the booklet, A Rock N Roll Bash Where Everyone's Smashed.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “You Oughta Know”

    Alanis Morissette | 1995

    This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com