Use Your Illusion – My Final Cut

This is the pivotal part of my arduous task to cut the Guns N Roses Use Your Illusion albums into one leaner, more epic record. For those posts, check out where I carved up Use Your Illusion I and then over here for Use Your Illusion II.

Let’s begin with a list of the songs that I have automatically placed onto the final cut.

Live And Let Die

November Rain

Civil War

14 Years

Get In The Ring

Estranged

You Could Be Mine

This gives me a 44:51 runtime. I have 25:09 I can fill, so let’s review our pretty big pile of “maybes” that I’ll be choosing from.

From Use Your Illusion I

Right Next Door To Hell

Dust N Bones

Don’t Cry

Perfect Crime

Bad Obsession

The Garden

Garden Of Eden

From Use Your Illusion II

Yesterdays

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

Shotgun Blues

Pretty Tied Up

So right off the bat I see two that are going on – Don’t Cry and Shotgun Blues will make my final cut. This puts the runtime at 52:58.

I can now easily place the top two from the maybe pile on this record no problem. Right Next Door To Hell and Dust N Bones have made the cut. I’m now at 60:58 running time, leaving me 9 minutes of space to make a final decision.

3 songs stick out to me that I would put on here, but one doesn’t make it. The Garden, Yesterdays and Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door. Time constraints won’t allow both The Garden or the cover song on here, though Yesterdays is a perfectly safe runtime and makes the album.

The choices are a cover song that was a single from the record and a signature track for the band for a while, or a second-tier track with a rock god Alice Cooper as a guest.

I see various arguments that could be had here. One cover song is enough. Alice Cooper, c’mon man. But The Garden isn’t really as good as Knockin is. I loaded up with songs from II enough already, let I have a bit more representation on the final cut. My version also has almost all of the album’s singles piled on here. Is it that the singles are the best songs or that I just remember them more and I’m not paying enough mind to the deep cuts?

In the end I did what any person faced with a great, difficult decision has to do – I flipped a coin. Heads to The Garden, tails for Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door. The result was heads – The Garden makes the final cut.

I now have my own version of a definitve representation of Use Your Illusion. 13 songs, a runtime of 69:36 (nice!) and the songs I think stand out and offer the best listening experience.

Now I have one more chore – album sequencing. These songs need to be in an order that flows well. This is gonna take a second.

You Could Be Mine

14 Years

Dust N Bones

Yesterdays

Live And Let Die

Shotgun Blues

Right Next Door To Hell

Civil War

The Garden

Get In The Ring

Don’t Cry

November Rain

Estranged

Ok – being real, I didn’t put a ton of thought into it. I did want You Could Be Mine to lead off the album, I felt like the lead single should kick things off and it’s the perfect opener. I wanted a bit of space between the two real aggro songs, Right Next Door To Hell and Get In The Ring. Of course, Shotgun Blues is also pretty aggro so that didn’t really work out. And I wanted the 3 songs that comprise the video trilogy to conclude the album. I do sort of wonder if Get In The Ring should really be right before Don’t Cry but I’m gonna roll with it.

I noticed something as I was having a pain in the ass time building the playlist for this – I did a lot of unintentional staggering of songs from between the two records. Only the first 2 and tracks 11 and 12 are from the same original album. It was a bit of a headache to jump back and forth between both records to make the playlist. (Yeah, total first world problem, I know)

In the end I feel like I got what I wanted here. The songs that didn’t make the cut could serve as B-sides to the plethora of album singles. Let’s be real – a lot of that stuff should have been B-sides anyway. That’s why I’ve had to undertake this great work.

So there we have it – my definitve version of Use Your Illusion. Let me know what you think – did I curate it properly or did I do a total botch job on it? What essential cut to you did I skip and what bloated carcass of a song that I’m into do you think sucks?

Tomorrow – my five favorite songs from these albums. Spoiler alert – they’re all on the final cut.

One thought on “Use Your Illusion – My Final Cut

  1. Pingback: My 5 Favorite Songs From The Use Your Illusion Albums – The Crooked Wanderer

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