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Unpopular Opinion: UYI Production Made GNR Biggest Band in the World


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8 hours ago, GnR Chris said:

The narrative that Nevermind changed the musical landscape forever is fake news. GNR continued to be the biggest rock band in the world. They were all over MTV in 1992. They had a huge midnight release of the Illusions records in 1991. And they were huge up until they finished their Illusions touring in 1993, put out a covers record and disappeared. Their disappearance had nothing to do with Nirvana. Nirvana never even headlined a large-scale tour. 

GNR were the band that killed hair metal because they transcended that Sunset Strip genre. Grunge scene was bubbling under the surface for years prior to Nirvana became the media's ambassador's for it. And really, what changed post-Nirvana? Grunge lasted for a couple years, gave way to alternative then rap/rock. 

Guns N' Roses was never more popular than they were during the Use Your Illusions tour. Which is wild to think about, because it means more people were exposed to GNR without Izzy than with Izzy.

If i remember correctly here in oz GNR and Metallica were all over the major rock magazies and their videos were in high rotation in 91 and 92. And alot of shirts were being worn by those that were into those bands during that time period.

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Right now I'm listening to the Hell Revisited tracks (for those who don't know, basically just a bunch of demos) and it occurred to me that the production on the UYI albums helped propel GNR into one

I personally never really felt the illusions were OVERproduced. I felt they were nicely produced. Yes, a lot of songs were bloated, bombastic, and had a lot going on, but I never felt anything was out

Agreed with OP. Production on the Illusions gave the band a commercial gloss that allowed them to be the “Michael Jackson/Madonna” of hard rock for a time. That was epic, and “cool” in 91-92. The problem is that by 92-94 it was suddenly very uncool...

Edited by AXL_N_DIZZY
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17 minutes ago, AXL_N_DIZZY said:

Agreed with OP. Production on the Illusions gave the band a commercial gloss that allowed them to be the “Michael Jackson/Madonna” of hard rock fo a time. That was epic, and “cool” in 91-92. The problem is that by 92-94 it was suddenly very uncool...

Thats true, but the difference is the illusion records have stood the test of time. If we talk about grandoise recordings from bands in the early 90's gnr always comes up. I think the only other band who did grandoise type recordings would be Queen.

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5 hours ago, Sydney Fan said:

Thats true, but the difference is the illusion records have stood the test of time. If we talk about grandoise recordings from bands in the early 90's gnr always comes up. I think the only other band who did grandoise type recordings would be Queen.

Oh definitely. Agreed there. Illusions are my all time favorite records by any band. The twins got punished hard in the mid 90s (much like the band)- but have had their “rep” gradually rehabilitated since then (though will always play “second fiddle” to Appetite in most folks’ minds).

I mean songs like “Coma” and “Estranged” feature every great characteristic/trait the band ever had IMHO. Meanwhile- utterly laughable today that there’s a band/performer the general public would listen to for 9+ minutes straight on hits radio- yet there was “NR” at #3 (US) back in the day, etc.

Edited by AXL_N_DIZZY
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11 hours ago, Draguns said:

I do remember the radio stations in NYC playing Pearl Jam before Nirvana. I also remember watching Evenflow on MTV before Smells Like Teen Spirit. 

Even Flow music video was out in January 1992, around 6 months after the Smells Like Teen Spirit came out and a few months after it became a hit. I mean, in the end of the 1991 there was a tour which had a running order of Pearl Jam then Nirvana then RHCP.

I mean a few months is nothing really. It's basically the same time but Nirvana really had the first big hit and broke first by inches :D

 

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Yep, I remember in 90 in my high school first year I had long hair and Gnr t-shirt. I was cool. By 93 it was gone, Nirvana and Pearl Jam fans just run over me. I was dinosaur with long hair.

Personally think AFD and Lie's was perfect for me, plus MTV appearance made them big. UYI albums were probably overmixed (RnR must be unperfect, and pretty much all that things that Izzy and Slash said).

But videos tooooooo much. Slash emerging from water. Dolphins. Tanker. Wedding. It is like soapopera.  

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1 hour ago, Popcorn crew said:

Yep, I remember in 90 in my high school first year I had long hair and Gnr t-shirt. I was cool. By 93 it was gone, Nirvana and Pearl Jam fans just run over me. I was dinosaur with long hair.

Personally think AFD and Lie's was perfect for me, plus MTV appearance made them big. UYI albums were probably overmixed (RnR must be unperfect, and pretty much all that things that Izzy and Slash said).

But videos tooooooo much. Slash emerging from water. Dolphins. Tanker. Wedding. It is like soapopera.  

I dont think grunge fans  took gnr seriously when they saw axl on stage wearing a kilt.

Edited by Sydney Fan
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3 hours ago, AXL_N_DIZZY said:

Oh definitely. Agreed there. Illusions are my all time favorite records by any band. The twins got punished hard in the mid 90s (much like the band)- but have had their “rep” gradually rehabilitated since then (though will always play “second fiddle” to Appetite in most folks’ minds).

I mean songs like “Coma” and “Estranged” feature every great characteristic/trait the band ever had IMHO. Meanwhile- utterly laughable today that there’s a band/performer the general public would listen to for 9+ minutes straight on hits radio- yet there was “NR” at #3 (US) back in the day, etc.

I thought releasing a double album simultaneously on the same day was a way of doing it for the fans. I can't  think of another band that has done that since. Guns were the last big band of that era. I was in high school when the albums were released and the illusions is my favourite era as well. Good times seeing fans wear either illusion 1 or 2 shirts. Im hoping the band really release something worthwhile as part of the illusions anniversary. 

Edited by Sydney Fan
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8 hours ago, 2020_Intensions said:

(Maybe raise Izzy's guitar +0.5-1.0 dB) 

This. If they had Izzy's guitar at AFD volumes on the UYI records, it would have made them twice as good. the left channel on most tracks is a wimpy little whisper. He should have sat in on the mixing sessions instead of riding bikes...

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13 hours ago, Popcorn crew said:

Yep, I remember in 90 in my high school first year I had long hair and Gnr t-shirt. I was cool. By 93 it was gone, Nirvana and Pearl Jam fans just run over me. I was dinosaur with long hair.

Personally think AFD and Lie's was perfect for me, plus MTV appearance made them big. UYI albums were probably overmixed (RnR must be unperfect, and pretty much all that things that Izzy and Slash said).

But videos tooooooo much. Slash emerging from water. Dolphins. Tanker. Wedding. It is like soapopera.  

Thats because they stopped making music for high schoolers after AFD.

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16 hours ago, Popcorn crew said:

Yep, I remember in 90 in my high school first year I had long hair and Gnr t-shirt. I was cool. By 93 it was gone, Nirvana and Pearl Jam fans just run over me. I was dinosaur with long hair.

Personally think AFD and Lie's was perfect for me, plus MTV appearance made them big. UYI albums were probably overmixed (RnR must be unperfect, and pretty much all that things that Izzy and Slash said).

But videos tooooooo much. Slash emerging from water. Dolphins. Tanker. Wedding. It is like soapopera.  

I wonder if Gen-Z people can appreciate how uncool the 80’s seemed in the 90’s. Like everything — the cars, the fashion, the music, the hair, the attitude. 

I don’t think we have such drastic shifts of taste anymore? Like if I was my 2009 self in 2019 I wouldn’t really miss a beat. But take someone from ‘85 and put them in ‘95.

Edited by Ant
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1 hour ago, Ant said:

I wonder if like Gen-Z people can appreciate how uncool the 80’s seemed in the 90’s. Like everything — the cars, the fashion, the music, the hair, the attitude. 

I don’t think we have such drastic shifts of taste anymore? Like if I was my 2009 self in 2019 I wouldn’t really miss a beat. But take someone from ‘85 and put them in ‘95.

Yep exactly. And actually today you cannt be suprised by anything. We have different styles even people who wants to become aliens. So probably we dont care as much as we used to.

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2 hours ago, Ant said:

I wonder if Gen-Z people can appreciate how uncool the 80’s seemed in the 90’s. Like everything — the cars, the fashion, the music, the hair, the attitude. 

I don’t think we have such drastic shifts of taste anymore? Like if I was my 2009 self in 2019 I wouldn’t really miss a beat. But take someone from ‘85 and put them in ‘95.

If we take musical tastes alone i would prefer the eighties bands and metal bands from that 85 time compared to the nu-metal rubbish that was just starting around 95.

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On 10/2/2019 at 7:42 AM, Popcorn crew said:

Yep, I remember in 90 in my high school first year I had long hair and Gnr t-shirt. I was cool. By 93 it was gone, Nirvana and Pearl Jam fans just run over me. I was dinosaur with long hair.

Personally think AFD and Lie's was perfect for me, plus MTV appearance made them big. UYI albums were probably overmixed (RnR must be unperfect, and pretty much all that things that Izzy and Slash said).

But videos tooooooo much. Slash emerging from water. Dolphins. Tanker. Wedding. It is like soapopera.  

I'll add this...I was in Jr. High when "The Spaghetti Incident" came out. A few of my fellow classmates were also still heavy into the band at that time, we were just 13-14 or so. I actually had a classmate that wore a "Spaghetti Incident" shirt to school at times, and we had a science teacher that would tell him he looked like a "large intestine" with it on. I got introduced to the band hearing AFD first through "older" kids at our High School, then looked up he UYI albums on my own, especially after seeing the Don't Cry and November Rain videos. At that time period, we still listened to the "grunge" bands as well as hip hop at that time, so a mixture of what was on MTV. This is another factor no one considers as to why GnR might have lost appeal with the "school aged" kids though......

I myself at that time, didn't understand that "The Spaghetti Incident" was a total "covers" album. I had seen the video for Since I Don't Have You, and knew it was a cover song....and at that time, I thought Hair of the Dog was the only other cover song on the album when I heard it....So, I was confused by songs like Attitude, Human Being, Down on the Farm, etc....I thought this was "new" material at the time, and wondered what in the world happened on some of these songs? I didn't own the album, but remember borrowing it off a friend since we traded a lot, when you're a teenager and don't have much money. I probably listened to the album as a whole once, and wrote it off, because I just liked a couple songs in 1994. I was thinking, that I wish they would release another album to make up for what happened on this album...I didn't understand it was a whole covers album until a couple years later I guess, and by that time the band was quiet....then you find out Slash is no longer with them....At that point, I just moved on from them, thinking the band was done as a whole, and wouldn't be the same without Slash anyway. I still listened to the past albums every now and then in High School, but mostly stuck to what new music I would see come out on MTV...The only time after that I really got back into being "excited" for the band again was when I started reading on the internet/seeing the buzz about Axl regrouping the band around 200-2001. 

In a way....I think "The Spaghetti Incident" album hurt the band more that what you would think, as appealing to youth, especially since there was no timely follow up that ever came. 

Edited by papashaun
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On 9/30/2019 at 8:57 PM, dogman said:

Right now I'm listening to the Hell Revisited tracks (for those who don't know, basically just a bunch of demos) and it occurred to me that the production on the UYI albums helped propel GNR into one of the biggest bands in the world, at the time.  

It is the opinion of many that the UYI albums are overproduced and over-bloated.  While I can see that arguement (YCBM sometimes sounds too "glossy" to me), I also think it was required.  Not only required, but it actually helped the songs.  I just listened to the Don't Cry and November Rain demos, and while we all know these songs are good at the demo level, they were definitely not hits.  Even if produced like AFD, I don't think these songs, or the other big hits from the UYIs would have been as popular as they became.  

Yes, we all love a more raw and energetic version of the band, but I don't think GNR would have become as huge as they did if UYI was produced like AFD.  The songs on UYI NEEDED to be produced the way they were to showcase they grandiosity or epicness, for a lack of a better word. 

Like many others, I'd love to hear a less produced version of the album someday.  However, the point I'm making is I don't think a lesser produced album would have made the band as big as they became after UYIs were released.

Spot on, I agree 100%. I would say the overdone and dramatic tour and videos actually helped build their larger than life mystique as well. Flying around with super models in a 727 and spending 1M+ on their music videos?! Hell yeah! This is why I love the Illusions era, it turned them into legitimate rock gods. 

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Nothing touches Appetite and Lies (B side of Lies is my 2nd favorite album,) but UYI is perfect as it is and I wouldn't dare touch a thing. They are special all time greats in their own way that unfortunately will never be matched again.

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On 02/10/2019 at 3:33 PM, Sydney Fan said:

I thought releasing a double album simultaneously on the same day was a way of doing it for the fans.

Sorry for nitpicking, but all double albums are released simultaneously -- as two records in one box.

UYI came out, not as a double album, but as two albums, and it probably cost more to buy both than to buy a double album.

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10 minutes ago, Chuzeville said:

Sorry for nitpicking, but all double albums are released simultaneously -- as two records in one box.

UYI came out, not as a double album, but as two albums, and it probably cost more to buy both than to buy a double album.

Slash did an interview where he said that they did that so if a kid couldn't afford a double alvum on release day, they could buy one at least. 

I get his point but I always thought if it like you said. It was more expensive for me to buy both CDs separately on release day than it would've been if they were together in one package. 

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18 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

Slash did an interview where he said that they did that so if a kid couldn't afford a double alvum on release day, they could buy one at least. 

I get his point but I always thought if it like you said. It was more expensive for me to buy both CDs separately on release day than it would've been if they were together in one package. 

I heard Axl specifically say that in a TV interview years ago. Not saying Slash didnt as well.

 

I think it was just smart marketing but nothing wrong with that.

Edited by ax1
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I always hear people compare UYI to other classic double albums, but people forget that UYI is actually a quadruple album. 

I see journalists compare it to The White Album and so on, then they say the comparison is because UYI is a double album like those. 

All of those classic double albums were actually 2 LPs, thus the "double album" moniker. But each Illusion is 2 LPs so each one is a double album in its own right. 

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1 hour ago, RussTCB said:

I always hear people compare UYI to other classic double albums, but people forget that UYI is actually a quadruple album. 

I see journalists compare it to The White Album and so on, then they say the comparison is because UYI is a double album like those. 

All of those classic double albums were actually 2 LPs, thus the "double album" moniker. But each Illusion is 2 LPs so each one is a double album in its own right. 

If it would have been a proper double album, cut down to 14ish songs, man it could really rank high up there. I just think the songs should have been toured and tested before recording, songs like Don't Cry, Back Off Bitch, sound fantastic. I attribute this to them being played during the Appetite days. Songs like Dust N' Bones, DTJ, Yesterday's, Perfect Crime, Bad Obsession could have been so much better (and I actually love all those songs on the records) I just think the live versions are so much better and have such a different vibe that it seems like a mistep to not have started the tour sooner and try more of the songs out before recording started 

Edited by UsedYourIllusion
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