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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
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Use Your Illusion I & II

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Post by Soulmonster Tue 25 Feb 2020 - 8:04

A review in Santa Ana County Register from November 22, 1991:

Use Your Illusion I & II - Page 2 Santa_27
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Post by Soulmonster Wed 4 Mar 2020 - 6:48

Review in Santa Fe New Mexican, October 4, 1991:

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Use Your Illusion I & II - Page 2 Santa_34



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Post by Blackstar Tue 23 Mar 2021 - 13:11

Review in Time magazine, September 30, 1991:
Misfit Metalheads
 
To enjoy the red-hot rock ‘n’ roll of Guns N’ Roses, you have to get past their violent, sexist and racist lyrics
 
By JOE QUEENAN
 
For the original cover of their monstrously successful 1987 debut album Appetite for Destruction, Guns N’ Roses selected a painting of a sinister robotic figure towering over a ravished female with her undergarments around her knees. The album, whose leitmotivs were violent sex, drug abuse, alcoholism and insanity, featured lyrics like “Tied up, tied down, up against the wall/ Be my rubber-made baby/ An’ we can do it all.” The record sold 14 million copies.
 
Buoyed by this success, the Gunners in 1988 exhumed some archival material and released a stopgap, extended-play album with such lyrics as “I used to love her/ But I had to kill her”; “Police and niggers, that’s right, get out of my way”; and “Immigrants and faggots… come to our country and think they’ll do as they please/ Like start a mini-Iran, or spread some f____ disease.” The record sold 6 million copies.
 
Buoyed by this success, the Gunners have now made rock ‘n’ roll history by simultaneously releasing two completely different albums with virtually identical covers: Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II. This time out, the Gunners, while clinging to their trademark bitch-slapping posturing, have also introduced such engaging new subjects as bondage, the lure of homicide and the pleasures of drug-inducted comas. They offer a song called Pretty Tied Up, accompanied by a drawing in the lyric sheet of a naked, bound and blindfolded woman. They also graphically invite the editor and publisher of Spin magazine, Bob Guccione Jr., to perform oral sex on the Guns N’ Roses irrepressible lead singer, W. Axl Rose.
 
The two albums (price: $15.98 apiece on CD) went on sale at midnight last Monday in the U.S., an many large stores stayed open to accommodate crowds of buyers who had milled about for hours. Nationwide, the albums sold an estimated 500,000 copies within two hours of going on sale, and 1.5 million copies within three days. With 7.3 million records already shipped to dealers around the world, the record company, Geffen Records, has encouraged wild talk that the album could be as big as Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the top-selling record of all time (more than 40 million copies sold worldwide).
 
It would be unfair to attribute all, or even most, of Guns N’ Roses’ success to their unrelentingly sexist and uncompromisingly violent lyrics or to their forays into xenophobia, racism and sadomasochism. Rock ‘n’ roll has always been filled with sexist, violent bands, but very few of them sell 14 million copies the first time out of the chute. What sets the Gunners apart is that they are a genuinely electrifying band that neither looks nor sounds like the interchangeable Whitesnakes, Poisons and Bon Jovis that make up the drab MTV universe. What the Gunners play is very, very good. What the Gunners say is very, very bad. Of 30 songs on the new albums, 10 contain the F word. That’s why several American chains – including K Mart and Walmart – won’t stock them.
 
The Gunners stick to the serious business of rock ‘n’ roll, synthesizing the Stones and the Sex Pistols to produce Aerosmith for the ‘90s. They never drift very far from the jackhammer style that began to dominate the idiom two decades ago. This is the main reason their audience is not entirely limited to 16-year-old boys with baseball caps worn backward. Guns N’ Roses tenaciously clings to hard rock’s tradition of being loud, mean and obvious. No one alive looks more like rock stars than Rose, 29, and guitarist Slash, 26, with their tattoos, their headgear, their emotional problems (Slash has frequently used heroin, and Rose is a manic-depressive) and their we-sold-our-soul-to-rock-‘n’-roll attitudes.
 
The Gunners’ success is giving the kiss of life to a moribund record industry, and has kept rock ‘n’ roll from doing what it keeps threatening to do: expire. Veering between creaking dinosaurs like the Grateful Dead (the hottest U.S. concert act of the past summer), pious scolds like Sinéad O’Connor, and mopey ‘60s retreads like R.E.M., rock ‘n’ roll is in need of the juice that only true believers like Guns N’ Roses can supply.
 
The Gunners certainly know how to stay in the news. With Rose’s brief marriage to Erin Everly, daughter of singer Don Everly, Slash’s drunken, profanity-spewed acceptance speech at the 1990 American Music Awards (carried on live TV), Rose’s annulment of his marriage, guitarist Izzy Stradlin’s arrest for urinating in an airplane galley, and Rose’s arrest last November after allegedly hitting a female neighbor on the head with a wine bottle (the charges were later dropped), you have the makings of a mythology that Keith Moon would envy.
 
On July 2 at a concert not far from St. Louis, Rose got into a fight with a camera-toting biker (cameras are banned at Guns concerts) and ended up storming off the stage, to the dismay of 20,000 fans. In the ensuing riot, 16 people were arrested, 60 were injure, and $200,000 in property damage was sustained.
 
The band’s exploits bring to mind Rob Reiner’s priceless 1984 film This Is Spinal Tap, a pseudo-rock documentary chronicling the disastrous final American tour of the world’s stupidest rock band. Surveying the Gunners’ career, one gets the impression that the band may have seen the film, entirely missed the satirical thrust, and elected to pattern themselves after Reiner’s brain-dead metalheads.
 
It’s hard, for example, not to question the intelligence of a band that uses the word niggers even though its lead guitarist, Slash, is half black. It’s hard not to be puzzled by a band that agrees to appear at a benefit for New York City’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis, only to get bounced off the program because its latest record contains the world faggots. It’s hard not to be mystified by a band that goes on a 25-city tour after a two-year absence and puts out two new albums after the tour is over. And it’s hard not to chuckle at a band whose lead guitarist spends a sizable chunk of his Rolling Stone interview discussing the death of his pet snake Clyde. (“Had he been sick for a long time?” inquired Rolling Stone, in arguably the most unforgettable rock ‘n’ roll interview question of all time. Yes, the snake had.)
 
The Use Your Illusion albums seem certain to keep selling well. Although the first album is better than the second, and although neither contains a song as memorable as Sweet Child o’ Mine or Paradise City from the Appetite for Destruction album, both are exciting, well-produced records, with plenty of catchy rockers and only a handful of outright duds. The guitars are hot, the drumming is hot, the vocals are red-hot. Anyone who can get past the offensive lyrics will be buying one of the best rock albums of the years. Or two of them.
 
Assisting the layman in getting past the lyrics will be the cottage industry of those rock critics who earn a living by explaining away the Gunners’ verbal excesses as “satire,” “parody” or a crude but sincere attempt to achieve a sort of audiophonic cinema verité. These are the same people who fashion byzantine intellectual justifications for the vicious anti-Semitism of the rap group Public Enemy or the uninterrupted verbal degradation of women that is the stock-in-trade of 2 Live Crew.
 
It is a very troubling thought that never in the history of the business has the record industry been so dependent for its financial well being on the success of such social misfits. Whereas in the past the industry has looked for a shot in the arm from the cuddly Beatles, the enigmatic Michael Jackson or the populist Bruce Springsteen, it now turns its yearning eyes to a bunch of young men who, by even their own admission, are “sociopsychotic.”
 
And whiners. Yes, one increasingly grating thing about the band is their inexhaustible capacity for self-pity. Having been coddled from birth by their record company and by MTV, and having been given a free ride by the rock press, the Gunners nevertheless cannot get off the whinemobile, as they moan about the demanding life of a rock star. According to Forbes, the Gunners will earn $25 million in 1990-91. These guys don’t know how to take yes for an answer.
 
So they retreat into Guns-vs.-the-world self-pity. “Don’t damn me when I speak a piece of my mind,” sniffles Rose in the band’s most annoying new number. “Cause silence isn’t golden when I’m holding it inside.” Poor Axl. A talented vocalist and a whirling dervish of a stage performer, Rose is nonetheless one very disturbed human being, who sings, “I’m a cold heartbreaker/ Fit ta burn and I’ll rip your heart in two.” This is probably true. But even truer, and more appropriate, are the words once sung by his obvious intellectual forebear, the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz:
 
I would not be just a nuffin’,
My head all full of stuffin’,
My heart all full of pain.
And perhaps I’d deserve you
And be even worthy of you,
If I only had a brain.
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Post by Blackstar Tue 23 Mar 2021 - 13:13

4-page ad in Billboard magazine, September 21, 1991:

Use Your Illusion I & II - Page 2 1991_047
Use Your Illusion I & II - Page 2 1991_049
Use Your Illusion I & II - Page 2 1991_048
Use Your Illusion I & II - Page 2 1991_050
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Post by Blackstar Thu 8 Apr 2021 - 16:34

And article in Billboard Sept. 21 issue about the release of the albums:

Use Your Illusion I & II - Page 2 1991_063
Use Your Illusion I & II - Page 2 1991_062
Sticky Business Or No, GN’R’s Orders At 4 Mil
 
■ BY CHRIS MORRIS and ED CHRISTMAN
 
LOS ANGELES—Despite the fact that two of the country’s largest mass merchandisers, K mart and Wal-Mart, have decided not to carry the new Guns N’ Roses albums, Gef­fen Records has racked up advance orders totaling 4 million units for “Use Your Illusion I” and “Use Your Illusion II.”
 
Responding to other retailers’ jit­ters, Geffen has yanked a sharply worded lyric advisory sticker off of the albums and will replace it with a less abrasive version, although the original label will appear on the first commercial copies of the records.
 
The records by the L.A. hard rock hand, which are being issued simulta­neously by the label, weigh in as the top preorder entry in industry his­tory. By comparison, Michael Jackson’s “Bad,” thought to be the single­ album leader, logged more than 2 million units in initial orders.
 
Due in stores Tuesday (17), the ea­gerly awaited albums will be launched at retail with “midnight sales” on the day of release at several major chains and other special pro­motions.
 
Geffen sales chief Eddie Gilreath says that Amarillo, Texas-based rack- jobber Western Merchandisers, which is owned by Bentonville, Ark.- based Wal-Mart and counts the chain as its largest customer, “did not buy [the albums] at all,” while the Hand­leman Co. in Minneapolis is selling the albums to some accounts, but not to its K mart customers. He attri­butes the chains’ hesitancy about the albums to Guns N’ Roses’ notorious reputation and concerns about the records’ lyrical content.
 
Gilreath believes that, if K mart and Wal-Mart outlets, which total more than 3,000 stores, had handled the records, Geffen could have tallied another 1 million orders for the two albums.
 
“[The racks] are in what they call a host environment, and they tried very vigorously to convince K mart and Wal-Mart to take the project,” Gilreath says. “It was a flat ‘no’ from K mart and Wal-Mart... They would prefer to lose all that revenue based on the fear of a complaint from a par­ent. They’re doing a censorship job before they even find out if anyone has a problem with it.”
 
Executives of the Handleman Co., which racks K mart, were unavail­able for comment. In the past, howev­er, they have said that their accounts do not like to handle albums with con­troversial lyrics.
 
Western Merchandisers VP of sales Bob Cope says the rackjobber has not yet decided whether to buy the Guns N’ Roses titles, although he notes that Hastings Books, Music and Video, a sister company of West­ern Merchandisers that is not owned by Wal-Mart, will carry those albums.
 
‘FAMILY STANDARDS'
 
Cope explains that Western Mer­chandisers is not in the business of trying to censor artists, but that their material has to meet the family stan­dards set by Wal-Mart.
 
“Basically, it’s Wal-Mart’s policy not to carry albums with RIAA stick­ers and/or objectional lyrics,” Cope says. “But I have not heard or seen the albums yet. If they have stickers or objectionable lyrics, we will not carry the albums.”
 
Many of the 30 songs on “Illusion I” and “Illusion II” feature strong profanity, and 11 tracks contain the word “fuck.” While none of the new songs appears likely to excite the loud controversy ignited by “One In A Million” on the mini-album “GN’R Lies,” some—notably “Back Off Bitch” and “Pretty Tied Up”—in­clude harsh lyrics about women.
 
Anticipating objections about con­tent from some quarters, Geffen will sticker the albums with not one, but two advisories—although, in the case of one sticker, it will not be the same sort of advisory that was initially en­visioned.
 
The jewel boxes of “Illusion I” and “Illusion II” review copies delivered to writers Sept. 11 bore the droll ca­veat, “This album contains language which some listeners may find objec­tionable. They can F?!* OFF and buy something from the New Age sec­tion.” This label was covered by a conventional RIAA parental advisory on the shrink wrap.
 
Gilreath says that the “F?!* OFF” sticker is present only on initial runs of the albums, and that it will be re­placed by a more mildly worded stick­er expressing the band’s sentiments. He says the RIAA sticker will also appear on both packages.
 
“We’re trying to be sensitive to our customer,” Gilreath says. “This sec­ond sticker says the same thing, it just doesn’t say it as pointedly.”
 
A Geffen source says of the switch, “From the standpoint of the accounts, the releases were contro­versial enough. They thought the stickers might create further prob­lems.”
 
One problem, however, has been ameliorated: With the decisions of Wal-Mart and K mart not to carry the albums, the retailers’ competition has been substantially reduced, at least in the long run.
 
Even if these chains carried the al­bums, “I just can’t see a lot of Guns N’ Roses fans lining up outside the local K mart on Tuesday morning, waiting for the store to open so they can buy the album,” says Chuck Papke, VP of marketing and purchas­ing at 35-unit, Troy, Mich.-based Har­mony House. “But I think it will in­crease our sales come the fourth quarter when Mom goes out shop­ping for the holidays. K mart is all over the Detroit and the South Michi­gan area, and their not carrying the album can be nothing but a plus for our sales.”
 
Ron Phillips, director of marketing and purchasing at 57-unit, Miami­based Spec’s Music & Video, agrees with Papke. “There is no question that we benefit,” he says. “For the general consumer that buys this type of record, they will come to us if the discounters don’t carry the album. Also, the next time an album like this comes out, they won’t go to K mart and Wal-Mart, because they have ex­perienced poor customer service due to those chains not carrying the al­bum. So it will increase customer loy­alty to Spec’s.”
 
GREAT EXPECTATIONS
 
Many of the retail accounts that are carrying the Guns N’ Roses al­bums are gearing up for massive sales on the day of release.
 
A number of the largest chains in the country, including the Musicland Group, Tower Records, Hastings, the Wherehouse, Sound Warehouse, Camelot Music, Turtles Music and Video, and Trans World Music, will keep their doors open and put the GN’R albums on sale at midnight Tuesday (17). (Retailers recently fol­lowed a similar path with Elektra’s “Metallica” album.) Gilreath says a large number of independent stores will also pursue such promotions.
 
According to Gilreath, Musicland, the Minneapolis-based chain with 1,000 stores, made the single biggest order, of 500,000 units. The chain has been taking advance orders from con­sumers, guaranteeing them that they will receive the albums Tuesday and offering a discount if both records are purchased. Gilreath says the chain anticipates 100,000 discount or­ders, representing 200,000 units.
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Post by Blackstar Thu 8 Apr 2021 - 16:39

Another article in Billboard, October 5, 1991:

Use Your Illusion I & II - Page 2 1991_129
Use Your Illusion I & II - Page 2 1991_128
GN’R Shoots To No. 1—And No. 2
 
Band Scores Coup With ‘Illusion' Debuts
 
■ BY CHRIS MORRIS
 
LOS ANGELES—Guns N’ Roses score an unprecedented coup on The Billboard 200 Top Albums chart this week, as the L.A. hard rock band’s “Use Your Illusion II” enters at No. 1 and its companion “Use Your Illusion I” enters at No. 2. The feat marks the first time in history that two albums by one band or artist have simulta­neously entered the chart at its apex.
 
Based on point-of-sale figures compiled from reporting stores, Sound- Scan estimates that the two Geffen Records albums sold a total of 1.5 million units in their first week of re­lease.
 
“This is by far the largest sales number we’ve ever seen,” says Bill­board associate director of retail re­search Geoff Mayfield. The previous one-week sales champion was Elek­tra’s “Metallica,” which sold 600,000 units to enter at No. 1 in the Aug. 31 issue.
 
Many fans are apparently buying both albums: SoundScan estimates that “Illusion 11” has sold only 75,000 units more than “Illusion 1.” "Illusion II” contains the single “You Could Be Mine” and such familiar GN’R num­bers as “Civil War” and the band’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.”
 
Geffen sales chief Eddie Gilreath says the albums shipped a total of 4.2 million units and that reorders for the albums already total 800,000.
 
Gilreath says, “[Retailers are] say­ing, ‘Eddie, it made our month. It’s going to change the way we’re going to see the fourth quarter.’”
 
Retail sales chains across the coun­try polled by Billboard are reporting the albums as their No. 1 and No. 2 sellers, with “Illusion II” running only slightly ahead.
 
“These are the biggest releases we’ve ever had in the first week of re­lease, and they show no signs of slowing down,” says Dave Roy, se­nior music buyer for the 580-store Trans World Music Corp. chain, based in Albany, N.Y.
 
“They’ve been performing fantas­tically,” says John Ratale, buyer for the 120-store National Record Mart chain in Pittsburgh. “We’ve sold 34,800 copies, as of Monday [Sept. 23]. We’ve had the [point-of-sale] sys­tem up for four years, and these have to be the biggest numbers I’ve ever seen."
 
Tom Jacobson, head buyer for 33- store Rose Records in Bellwood, Ill., says the GN’R albums racked up “by far the biggest first-week sales I’ve seen on any record.”
 
“We’ve probably sold in excess of 80,000 units so far,” says Lew Gar­rett, VP of purchasing for the 300- store Camelot Music chain in North Canton, Ohio.
 
Tracy Donihoo, director of the pur­chasing department at Dallas-based Sound Warehouse, says the albums sold 15,000 units on the release day.
 
A number of retailers report that the Guns N’ Roses albums blew out of the box at midnight sales held Sept. 17, the day of release.
 
“I think we went through 23,000 units that night chainwide,” says Bob Delanoy, VP of retail operations for 65-store Tower Records in Sacramen­to, Calif.
 
Ratale says he visited a National Record Mart outlet in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, one of six in the chain that reopened at midnight. “I got there at 11:30, and they closed their doors at 2. The line was around the block, which was something.”
 
Some retailers believe that, after a flat year, the Guns N’ Roses albums are finally pulling people back into re­tail stores.
 
“You keep reinforcing the buyer to go back into the store,” Ratale says. “They’re getting people interested again. They’re quality records, too— there’s no buyer’s remorse.”
 
“It’s really helped our business for the week,” Jacobson says. “It’s be­ginning to feel a lot like Christmas.”
 
Garrett says, “When we opened at midnight, we sold probably another 1,000 units of the new Ozzy Os­bourne, which went on sale the same day. We definitely had some add-on sales.”
 
Some retailers remain skeptical about the pull-through ability of the GN’R albums. Donihoo says, “These are not the records that are going to make Christmas, but they could do it in combination with other superstar product.”
 
Others remain convinced that the albums will be steady sellers, as the band’s singles receive top 40 radio ex­posure.
 
“I think they’re remarkable al­bums, and I think they’ll be signifi­cant projects for us for two years,” Garrett says.
 
GUNS AROUND THE GLOBE
 
The Guns N’ Roses sales phenome­non is not restricted to the U.S. Mel Posner, who heads up Geffen’s inter­national operations, says the records shipped a total of 3.7 million units outside of America.
 
Posner reports that the "Illusion” albums entered at No. 1 and No. 2 in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and on Japan’s international chart, and that the albums entered the charts together in the top five in Swe­den, Germany, Austria, Norway, Spain, and Switzerland.
 
“Most of the territories on the day of release were achieving their nine­-month [sales] projections,” Posner says.
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Post by Blackstar Thu 8 Apr 2021 - 16:43

Billboard, October 19, 1991:

Use Your Illusion I & II - Page 2 1991_130
Singapore Bans New GN’R, Prince Sets
 
Ministry Finds Material ‘Objectionable’
 
■ BY CHRISTIE LEO
 
SINGAPORE—Guns N’ Roses and Prince have had their latest releases banned by the Ministry of Informa­tion & the Arts here on the grounds of “objectionable themes and pro­fane lyrics.”
 
But while the record companies are counting their losses as a result of the government’s censorship in­tervention, many record retailers are happy as cash registers ring up sales of parallel imports of the “problem” releases.
 
Guns N’ Roses were the first ca­sualty when MITA singled out three tracks from “Use Your Illusion II” for allegedly obscene lyrics. “Use Your Illusion I” is not banned and therefore can officially be purchased locally.
 
Says Steven Tan, BMG managing director, Singapore: “Though the ministry has said we can rerelease the second volume of ‘Illusion’ if we delete the three offending tracks, we prefer to let the matter rest.
 
We’re certainly not going to edit it, so we won’t be selling it.”
 
BMG had originally imported 1,000 units of the “Illusion” albums, but withdrew them from sale a day after release when MITA an­nounced its decision to ban the songs. Dealers report brisk, though unspecified, sales of parallel im­ports.
 
Despite that territory’s even stricter censorship controls, Guns N’ Roses’ album package has been released in Malaysia. The band’s first album, “Appetite For Destruc­tion,” was also banned in Singapore by MITA, but months after its origi­nal release.
 
And controversy certainly tail­gates Prince in this region, where virtually all of his albums have been indicted for containing “objection­able” tracks. According to Warner Music here, only “Around The World In A Day” was passed with­out deletion or track amendments by the ministry.
 
Says Peter Lau, Warner Music sales director, “We took all precau­tionary measures to ensure a trou­ble-free release for Prince’s ‘Dia­monds And Pearls’ album by sub­mitting an advance sample tape and copy of the lyrics to MITA a month ago. We’d hoped for good news, but when ‘Gett Off’ was banned, we didn’t let it get to us.”
 
Now Warner plans to bring out an abridged version of the new Prince package without the lead single. Meanwhile, says Lau, the company is pushing the new single, “Cream,” to radio producers and DJs in the hope that it will stimulate sales.

Lau notes, “Controversy and dis­pute have shrouded Prince here ever since he became a major inter­national act. While he’s not a huge seller in Singapore, his full potential hasn’t yet been tested in this mar­ket.”
 
Two other acts from the Warner stable, Color Me Bad and Motley Crue, have also run into govern­ment checks on new material.
BMG’s Tan and Warner’s Lau are appealing to the ministry to take firmer measures to ensure that par­allel imports of material officially banned by the government are not allowed on sale in Singapore stores.
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