Guns N Roses' 'Use Your Illusion' Albums Turn 25

Guns N' Roses

(Radio.com) Guns N Roses' dual 1991 albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II turned 25 today (September 17). The anniversary comes just as GNR has wrapped up a hugely successful reunion tour that saw founding members Slash and Duff McKagan back in the fold. It marked the first time that Axl Rose, Slash and Duff performed together since 1993. Absent from the reunion, however, was founding guitarist Izzy Stradlin', who quit the band in 1991.

This summer's Guns N Roses reunion could have included the entire original lineup: singer Axl Rose, bassist Duff McKagan, drummer Steven Adler and guitarists Slash and Izzy Stradlin'. Adler joined the band for a few songs at a couple of shows, but Stradlin', who has filled in with various versions of the band over the years, was a no-show. In a recent interview, Rose said Adler couldn't do the tour due to a recent back surgery. Stradlin', however, flaked out, according to the frontman. "I don't even know what to say," Rose said. "We make arrangements, and then he goes and does other things. With Izzy, you never know what to expect." Which seemed like a plausible explanation, as the guitarist has a history of not wanting to tour. But Stradlin' weighed in on the interview pretty quickly. "Bullsó," he tweeted. "They didn't want to split the loot equally. Simple as that."

After listening to the Use Your Illusion albums and reading the liner notes, one could make a good argument that Stradlin' is worth his equal share. Prior to those albums, the band split songwriting credits evenly. On the band's debut, 1987's classic Appetite for Destruction, Rose, Slash, Stradlin', McKagan and Alder were all co-writers. This started to change with '88's G N'R Lies. Of the older tracks, we learned that the nasty, dirty "Move to the City" was co-written by Izzy with Chris Weber (from pre-GNR band Hollywood Rose). Of the new songs, three were co-written by the entire band. The massive hit "Patience," however, was a Rose/Stradlin' co-write.

If you made a playlist of songs from the Illusion albums and included only songs that Stradlin' wrote, co-wrote or sang on, you'd have a pretty classic album. Check out the song by song here.

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Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.


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