[Album Review] “Use Your Illusion II” – Guns N Roses

Use Your Illusion II - Guns N RosesAlbum Title: Use Your Illusion II
Artist: Guns N Roses
Year: 1991
Running Time: 75m 57s

Track listing: 1 Civil War; 2 14 Years; 3 Yesterdays; 4 Knockin On Heavens Door; 5 Get in the Ring; 6 Shtogun Blues; 7 Breakdown; 8 Pretty Tied Up; 9 Locomotive; 10 So Fine; 11 Estranged; 12 You Could Be Mine; 13 Don’t Cry (Alt Lyrics); 14 My World

If “Use Your Illusion I” was the ‘greatest hits’, then “Use Your Illusion II” was the B’-sides and other rarities’ collection. Although it eventually featured three hit singles in ‘Yesterdays’, ‘You Could be Mine’ and ‘Knockin on Heavens Door’, “Use Your Illusion II” packed a lot less of a punch overall than it’s ‘predecessor’.

Examples of how mediocre things get are the live version of antagonistic ‘Get in the Ring’ where Axl basically attacks anyone who gave the band a bad reviews, ‘Breakdown’, the repetitive ‘Locomotive’ and ludicrous sample-fest of ‘My World’.

‘So Fine’, featuring Duff sharing vocal duties with Axl, is interesting in an off-the-wall type way while ‘Pretty Tied Up’ is strong in parts, mainly thanks to Izzy’s foot-tapping rhythm. ‘Estranged’ is epic in length if not in execution while ‘Shotgun Blues’ is fast and focused – it just doesn’t focus on anything in particular.

‘Civil War’ is worth a listen, but it does plod along rather mundanely, and hardly gets the blood flowing – ‘we don’t need your civil war/feeds the rich while It burys the poor’. Certainly very different to his ranting on ‘One In A Million’.

This isn’t a dead loss but it pales to the first collection of tunes. If this was packed in with UYII, then I would have little complaint, but as a standalone album, it’s very weak. Worth getting for the singles and a couple of isloated tunes, but unless you are a massive fan, this is probably best skipped until it hits mid-price.


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