That Time Guns N’ Roses Looked Back With ‘Live Era ’87-’93’
As 1999 (and an entire millennium, for that matter) raced down its final stretch, Geffen Records unveiled the first official Guns N’ Roses release in six years with the two-CD Live Era ’87-’93.
Unfortunately, those fans would actually have to wait another eight years for Chinese Democracy, but on the upside, the world didn’t end after Y2K and Live Era’s generous survey of 22 GNR classics was nothing to scoff at. These included virtually every song recorded for 1987’s watershed Appetite for Destruction (10 out of 12), another eight from the twin Use Your Illusion albums and a smattering of GnR Lies favorites along with at least one major surprise in a cover of Black Sabbath’s obscure "It’s Alright."
But there was little information given about where the tracks originated -- though they were later revealed to date mostly from 1992's Use Your Illusion tour -- and band relations remained so strained while the track selection was being made that Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan allegedly communicated through third parties.
Still, the performances still put across much of the excitement that had made Guns N’ Roses the most dangerous band in the world.
Fans partial to those early days took issue with some of the songs presented here by GNR’s “big band” lineup (complete with horns and backing vocalists), but there was nothing really embarrassing, unless you count Rose's plea for the band to “give him some reggae” during "Knocking on Heaven’s Door."
And maybe the album’s healthy sales had something to do with Rose's decision to return a new version of Guns N’ Roses to the concert trail in 2001.