|Such hits as 'Sweet Child o' Mine,' 'Welcome to the Jungle' on 23-song collection.
Senior Writer Gil Kaufman reports:
While fans await the still-unscheduled release of the first new Guns N' Roses studio album since 1993, the hard rockers will relive their salad years with a two-CD set of live material due Nov. 23.
The 23-track Guns N' Roses Live Era '87–'93 will feature such career-defining hard-rock hits as "Sweet Child o' Mine" and "Welcome to the Jungle", according to Geffen Records.
"The guys starting fooling around with this a few years ago, seeing if there was anything worth releasing," said Tom Maher, manager for ex-Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash (born Saul Hudson) and a onetime member of the GNR management team.
The album also will include the songs "November Rain," "Nightrain," "Mr. Brownstone" and covers of Black Sabbath's "It's Alright" and Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," a GNR concert staple.
Maher said the project was derailed for a while by the merger last year of Geffen Records parent company Universal with PolyGram.
"Once the merger was over they starting working on it again, and the guys sent tapes back and forth between the different camps," Maher said. Slash is no longer in Guns N' Roses; the only remaining original member is singer Axl Rose (born William Bailey).
"I think Slash got involved because it's been so long since they had a record out," Maher said. "When you listen to these tapes, you just go, 'Oh man, they were a really good band.' "
Maher said the first video from the album is slated to be "It's So Easy." A Geffen spokesperson was not available for comment.
Some fans, who've been waiting six years for new material from the popular Los Angeles rock band, said they'd be happy with anything from the group at this point. "I'm just excited about the fact that they'll release a live album and [I] haven't been thinking about the song selection that much," Swedish fan Jarmo Luukkonen, 24, wrote in an e-mail.
The webmaster of the unofficial Guns N' Roses site "Here Today ... Gone To Hell!" said he's been waiting for something new since 1993, so he's used to the suspense. "It'll be pretty cool to actually be able to go and buy a new GNR album. Haven't done that in a while," he wrote. "A lot of bands have released live albums, so it makes sense that one of the best live bands [would] release one too. If you've seen GNR live, you know that they were amazing."
Rose, fronting a new version of the group, recently released the techno-influenced heavy-metal song "Oh My God", the first single from the soundtrack to the Arnold Schwarzenegger film "End of Days." The soundtrack is due Nov. 9.
Much of "Oh My God" finds Rose screaming rapid-fire lyrics through electronic filters, with churning guitar riffs that evoke some of GNR's classic late-'80s hard-rock anthems. It features the guitar work of ex-Jane's Addiction/Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Dave Navarro and Robin Finck, who recently ended a two-year stint in GNR to rejoin the touring lineup of Nine Inch Nails.
"Oh My God" is the first original work from Guns N' Roses since the albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II were released on the same day in 1991. An album of covers titled The Spaghetti Incident? followed in 1993. The new incarnation of Guns N' Roses features longtime keyboardist Dizzy Reed, ex-Vandals drummer Josh Freese, ex-Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson and guitarist Paul Huge.
Guns N' Roses Live Era '87-'93 track listing:
Disc One: "Nightrain," "Mr. Brownstone," "It's So Easy," "Welcome to the Jungle," "Dust n' Bones," "Coma," "My Michelle," "You're Crazy," "Used to Love Her," "Patience," "It's Alright" and "November Rain."
Disc Two: "Out ta Get Me," "Pretty Tied Up," "Yesterdays," "Move to the City," "You Could Be Mine," "Rocket Queen," "Sweet Child o' Mine," "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," "Don't Cry," "Estranged" and "Paradise City."