Guns N’ Roses: 97-Track ‘Use Your Illusion I & II’ Box Set 11/11; Preview with “You Could Be Mine” Live (Pre-Order)


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Rock Cellar Magazine

It can be tough to understate the frenzy that was sparked by Guns N’ Roses when the infamous Los Angeles rockers released Use Your Illusion I and II on Sept. 17, 1991.

Coming on the heels of the group’s breakthrough 1988 debut, Appetite for Destruction, and its quick follow-up, G N’ R Lies, anticipation for GnR’s next chapter was a Big Deal. Here’s the madness the two albums’ release caused on release night, fans lining up outside to rush into their local music store at midnight to be among the first to get their hands on it:

Musically, Use Your Illusion I & II are noted for the band’s experimentation and move away from the grimy, catchy glam-rock of the Appetite era, truly capturing the consistently churning sound that the band put out (and, looking back, previewing the marathon creation process that would come alter with Axl Rose’s Chinese Democracy project).

On Nov. 11, a massive box set will be released by Geffen/UMe combining both Use Your Illusion I & II, in a package that packs in a bounty of bonus material. Per a news release, the archival revisiting will feature a total of 97 tracks, 63 are previously unreleased. Available in multiple configurations including a Super Deluxe Seven-CD + Blu-ray, a Super Deluxe Twelve-LP + Blu-ray, Two-CD Deluxe Editions of Use Your Illusion I & II separately, standard 1CD and 2LP versions of Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II separately. In all formats, the original studio albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II have been fully remastered for the first-time ever, from high-resolution 96kHz 24-bit transfers from the original stereo 1/2-inch analog masters.

Click here to pre-order Use Your Illusion I on Deluxe 2-CD from our Rock Cellar Store — On SALE
Click here to pre-order Use Your Illusion I on Deluxe 2-LP from our Rock Cellar Store — On SALE
Click here to pre-order Use Your Illusion II on Deluxe 2-CD from our Rock Cellar Store — On SALE
Click here to pre-order Use Your Illusion II on Deluxe 2-LP from our Rock Cellar Store — On SALE
Click here to pre-order Use Your Illusion I & II on Super Deluxe 7-CD/Blu-ray from our Rock Cellar Store — On SALE
Click here to pre-order Use Your Illusion I & II on Super Deluxe 12-LP/Blu-ray from our Rock Cellar Store — On SALE

As a preview, here’s a new live track from the set — “You Could Be Mine,” recorded at the Ritz Theatre in New York on May 16, 1991:

And a bit more about the two albums’ impact:

Guns N’ Roses’ highly anticipated third and fourth studio albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II were originally released simultaneously on September 17, 1991. With the massive success of GN’R Lies and Appetite For Destruction, the band had the daunting task of a follow up album. Not only did the band deliver, Guns N’ Roses surprised the world by releasing not one but two new, full length studio albums. Upon release, Use Your Illusion I reached No. 2 and Use Your Illusion II took the No. 1 position on the Billboard 200 chart concurrently, selling over 500k in the first two hours of release, with an estimated sales of over 685k and 770k respectively within the first week of release.

As for the different editions to be made available for this box set:

GUNS N’ ROSES – USE YOUR ILLUSION I & II Super Deluxe Seven-CD + Blu-ray and Super Deluxe Twelve-LP + Blu-ray box sets feature a whopping 97 songs, 63 of which are unreleased audio and video tracks. The original studio albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II are both remastered for the first-time from high-resolution 96kHz 24-bit transfers from the original stereo 1/2-inch analog master tapes. The box set features an impressive, anamorphic illusion showcasing each of the two covers at different angles. The Twelve-LP box is pressed on 180-gram heavy weight audiophile black vinyl with six premium tip-on gatefold jackets. Both Super Deluxe Editions also include the complete live audio recording Live In New York, taped at the Ritz Theatre on May 16, 1991, with sound newly mixed from original multi-track tapes. This legendary show is one of three warmup shows for the Use Your Illusion Tour and features Izzy Stradlin on guitar, the original version of “Don’t Cry” and a special performance of “You Ain’t The First” both of which features the late Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon on guest vocals. Also included is the complete audio recording of Live In Las Vegas taped at Thomas & Mack Center on January 25, 1992, newly mixed from the original multi-track tapes and features the band’s new guitarist Gilby Clarke. The bonus disc is a Blu-ray Video of the complete Live In New York concert film, newly transferred from 35mm film prints to 4K UHD and presented in 1080p 24fps HD, in its entirety, along with audio mixed in Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround, and PCM 48kHz 24-bit stereo. The Blu-ray menu features the brand-new live music video “You Could Be Mine.” This is the first-time release of any complete audio and video concerts from the Use Your Illusion era GN’R.

And the track listing for the Super Deluxe 7-CD/Blu-ray set:

CD 1

USE YOUR ILLUSION I

(Original Album Remastered)

RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO HELL
DUST N’ BONES
LIVE AND LET DIE
DON’T CRY (ORIGINAL)
PERFECT CRIME
YOU AIN’T THE FIRST
BAD OBSESSION
BACK OFF BITCH
DOUBLE TALKIN’ JIVE
NOVEMBER RAIN*
THE GARDEN
GARDEN OF EDEN
DON’T DAMN ME
BAD APPLES
DEAD HORSE
COMA

CD 2

USE YOUR ILLUSION II

(Original Album Remastered)

CIVIL WAR
14 YEARS
YESTERDAYS
KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVEN’S DOOR
GET IN THE RING
SHOTGUN BLUES
BREAKDOWN
PRETTY TIED UP
LOCOMOTIVE
SO FINE
ESTRANGED
YOU COULD BE MINE
DON’T CRY (ALT. LYRICS)
MY WORLD

CD 3

LIVE IN NEW YORK

(Ritz Theatre – May 16, 1991)

PRETTY TIED UP*
BAD OBSESSION*
RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO HELL*
MR. BROWNSTONE*
DUST N’ BONES
LIVE AND LET DIE*
PARADISE CITY*
VOODOO CHILD (SLIGHT RETURN) / CIVIL WAR*
DRUM SOLO*
SLASH SOLO*
YOU COULD BE MINE*

CD 4

LIVE IN NEW YORK* (cont’d)

I WAS ONLY JOKING / PATIENCE*
ONLY WOMEN BLEED / KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVEN’S DOOR*
DON’T CRY (ORIGINAL)* [features Shannon Hoon on vocals]
YOU AIN’T THE FIRST* [features Shannon Hoon on vocals]
MY MICHELLE*
ESTRANGED*
DOUBLE TALKIN’ JIVE*
SWEET CHILD O’ MINE*
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE*

CD 5

LIVE IN LAS VEGAS

(Thomas & Mack Center – January 25, 1992)

NIGHTRAIN
MR. BROWNSTONE*
LIVE AND LET DIE*
ATTITUDE*
IT’S SO EASY*
BAD OBSESSION*
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE*
DOUBLE TALKIN’ JIVE*
VOODOO CHILD (SLIGHT RETURN) / CIVIL WAR / VOODOO CHILD (SLIGHT RETURN)*

CD 6

LIVE IN LAS VEGAS (cont’d)

DON’T CRY (ORIGINAL)*
WILD HORSES*
PATIENCE*
YOU COULD BE MINE*
SO FINE*
NOVEMBER RAIN*
INTROS / DRUM SOLO*
SLASH SOLO*
SPEAK SOFTLY, LOVE (LOVE THEME FROM THE GODFATHER)*
ROCKET QUEEN

CD 7

LIVE IN LAS VEGAS (cont’d)

SAIL AWAY SWEET SISTER*
SWEET CHILD O’ MINE*
MOVE TO THE CITY*
HOTEL CALIFORNIA / ONLY WOMEN BLEED / KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVEN’S DOOR*
YESTERDAYS
MY MICHELLE*
ESTRANGED*
MOTHER* / PARADISE CITY

DISC 8 – BLU-RAY VIDEO

LIVE IN NEW YORK

(Ritz Theatre – May 16, 1991)

PRETTY TIED UP*
BAD OBSESSION*
RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO HELL*
MR. BROWNSTONE*
DUST N’ BONES*
LIVE AND LET DIE*
PARADISE CITY*
VOODOO CHILD (SLIGHT RETURN) / CIVIL WAR*
DRUM SOLO*
SLASH SOLO*
YOU COULD BE MINE*
I WAS ONLY JOKING / PATIENCE*
ONLY WOMEN BLEED / KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVEN’S DOOR*
DON’T CRY (ORIGINAL)* [features Shannon Hoon on vocals]
YOU AIN’T THE FIRST* [features Shannon Hoon on vocals]
MY MICHELLE*
ESTRANGED*
DOUBLE TALKIN’ JIVE*
SWEET CHILD O’ MINE*
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE*

* Previously unreleased

This deep dive into the Guns N’ Roses vault follows the 2018 release of Appetite for Destruction: Remastered, a similarly stuffed revisiting of the band’s landmark ’88 debut, which still stands as one of the most important rock albums ever.

Click here to pick up the Appetite for Destruction: Remastered Super Deluxe Edition from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pick up the Appetite for Destruction: Remastered Deluxe CD Set from our Rock Cellar Store

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