With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Using Our Illusion

The Gunners circa 1987. Image courtesy of www.100xr.com

Guns N Roses returns to Hartford for the first time since 2002 tonight to play the Comcast Theatre. While today all that remains of the legendary lineup is Axl Rose, Sad City is just old enough to remember GNR as the seminal group that blew the doors off the hair band genre with Appetite for Destruction and then followed that effort up with the awesome and over the top Use Your Illusion I & II. 

That got us to thinking, what if Use Your Illusion had just been one single album? What songs would have made the cut? Since the pair of discs produced a lot of memorable songs, cutting it down to one disc would be quite a task, but that's what we are here for. Presenting the Sad City Use Your Illusion album.

I. Don't Cry: Classic song, classic video. Love when Slash drives the Mustang off the cliff while his lady is screaming at him. Then it goes into his solo and he chucks the guitar down, presumably onto the wreckage.
II. Live And Let Die: Great cover
III. November Rain: Probably the era's greatest rock ballad.
IV. Don't Damn Me: The album is going to need some straight forward hard rock tracks and this fits the bill.
V. Yesterdays: The most underrated GNR song.
VI. Locomotive: Love the whole sound of this one.
VII. You Could Be Mine: Another no brainer, smash mouth rock song. Also forever linked to T2, the greatest action flick of the era.
VIII. Civil War: It's a long and bizarre song, but it's a good one.
IX. Knockin' On Heaven's Door: Two cover songs seems like a lot, but like Live and Let Die, this is a great one.
X. The Garden: Good sound, plus the video has lots of urban blight.
XI: Double Talkin' Jive: Another good straight hard rock track.
XII: Back Off Bitch: Maybe the hardest rocking track on the whole list.
XIII: Bad Obsession: It's really, really catchy.
XIV: You Ain't The First: Unique and a nice addition.
XV: Right Next Door To Hell: Another great hard rock track.

Didn't Make The Cut

I. Dust N' Bones: Just doesn't resonate.
II. Perfect Crime: Too hectic. Doesn't have the right GNR feel.
III. Garden Of Eden: Just not as good as the others.
IV. Get In The Ring: Nah. What happened to Spin magazine anyway?
V. Shotgun Blues: Not a huge fan.
VI. So Fine: There's just no way a Duff song is getting on.
VII. My World: Terrible. It's like GNR's Revolution #9.
VIII. Pretty Tied Up: Not good enough.
IX: 14 Years: Still don't know what it's about.
X: Breakdown: Very, very close. Just missed.
XI: Estranged: Personally love this song, but there's (a) already enough slow songs and (b) already enough long songs. This music video boggles the mind at the time and given the state of the music industry, it is even more mind blowing today. How did the pitch to shoot this go?

 "We are going to need to rent a barge and a helicopter to get a shot of Axl walking on deck alone and then a stunt double for a shot of him jumping off the barge."

"And how does this fit into the storyline?"

"It doesn't, in fact, there isn't a storyline at all."

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