|L I E S:
by Gail Flug
The album is titled Lies, but it's actually a successful attempt to prove the sheer honesty of Guns N' Roses. Maybe a more fitting title would be GNR: BAA, meaning Before And After.
Side G was recorded way back in 1986, one year before Appetite For Destruction. It was done with a shoe-string budget, and sounds like it, bringing out all the excitement and raunchiness as if you were there sweating it out with them. You could almost feel that biker's beer breath on your neck behind you or taste some bimbo's Aqua Net as her hair flies in your mouth. "Reckless Life," "Nice Boys" and "Move To The City" are not on the debut album either, so it's a must-have for the GNR fan. In fact, this side was previously available as an EP
on their own label, Uzi Suicide Records. Geffen was forced to rerelease it due to the overwhelming popularity of the band. An original copy of Like A Suicide might cost you a year's worth of lunch money as well as your first-born at a record shop. The best cut is their re-make of the Aerosmith classic, "Mama Kin." It's not that different from the original, but it's got the GNR sound to it. It just shows ya who their influences are.
Side R is totally the opposite as it was recorded after the success. Although it was done in the studio, it lacks slick production. Like I
said, there's a great amount of honesty here. It really sounds like the guys were chillin' out at Slash's place with some acoustic guitars and decided to cut an album. (Steven Adler must of been getting his hair cut that particular day as there aren't any drums.)
... Suicide Reborn
"Patience," a (gasp!) love song, is already a big hit thanks to an incredible catchy hook. It's one of those few rock songs which mom and dad might not scream "noise" about as they switch the radio station. The rest of the side though, they probably won't like due to sorta-offending lyrics (you could actually hear them).
"Used To Love Her" is another love song, except for the fact that the woman Axl sings about is dead and buried in his backyard. Okay, it's funny. We all can relate to that former girlfriend/boyfriend or ex-roommate who got on your nerves so much you just wanted to kill them. Sorry kids, there's no graphic violence here, just the confession. Country songs touch this subject often but not as cool as GNR.
Next up is "You're Crazy" which is also found on Appetite, but here it is stripped to the bone. Sure you know which song it is, but it's just, well, different. Nothing more could be said except that this is the way the tune was originally written, so to hear both versions is interesting. "One In A Million is one of those gems that will win the Grammy in the "Most Controversial Song Ever Sung" category. It's already got the Guns in trouble for that infamous verse about "immigrants and faggots." (They were booted from a New York AIDS benefit.) Side R goes against the grain of everything everybody ever expected of this band. What's next? Reggae versions of Celtic folk songs?
Or folk versions of Celtic Frost songs? You never know what to expect from these guys and that's exactly what makes them so very cool.
Thanks Gypsy for the scans