Guns N’ Roses - Live Era: ’87 to ‘93
Unless you count how the pre-Appetite EP Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide was quietly slipped onto the A-side of the post-Appetite stop-gap G N’ R Lies, this is the only Guns N’ Roses live album to date. Live Era was released in 1999, long after the classic line-up of GNR depicted here broke up but while the band supposedly still existed and was working on its decade-in-the-making follow up to the Use Your Illusion albums; Chinese Democracy.
It was great to have the old band back, though they sure weren’t long on specifics; the liner notes simply said this was “recorded across the universe between 1987 and 1993” (most of it comes from the ’91 to ’93 Use Your Illusion tour). Speaking about the album to Guitar World magazine, Slash said it was “not pretty and there are a lot of mistakes, but this is Guns N’ Roses, not the fucking Mahavishnu Orchestra” (indeed, this sounds nothing like Between Nothingness and Eternity).
Perceived flaws aside, the end result here is pretty sweet; you’ve got all of Appetite except “Think About You” and “Anything Goes”; G N’ R Lies standouts “Patience” and “Used To Love Her”; eight tracks from Use Your Illusion I and II that range from album cuts (“Pretty Tied Up”) to hits (of course they had to stretch “November Rain” to over 12 minutes); and a Black Sabbath cover thrown in for good measure. Who but Axl would have the balls to unearth a ballad from Technical Ecstacy written and sung by Sabbath’s drummer Bill Ward?