GUNS N' ROSES — G N' R Lies (review)

GUNS N' ROSES — G N' R Lies album cover EP · 1988 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
"G N' R Lies" is the 2nd full-length studio/live album by US hard rock/metal act Guns N´ Roses. The album was released through Geffen Records in November 1988 in the US and December 1988 in the UK. While "G N' R Lies" is considered the band´s 2nd album, it´s actually more of a compilation. On the original vinyl version, side 1 featured the four live tracks from the "Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide (1986)" EP, while side 2 featured four semi-acoustic new recordings. It´s a rather short album with it´s 33:32 minutes long playing time, but at the time of release, Guns N´ Roses fans swallowed it up as there seemed to be an insatiable appetite for new material by the band following the great success of "Appetite For Destruction (1987)". The album has sold over 5 million copies in the US alone.

It´s probably needless to say, but as a cohesive album "G N' R Lies" doesn´t work very well. The mix of live tracks with semi-acoustic rockers make the album a fragmented listen. That doesn´t mean the tracks aren´t top notch though, because that´s certainly the case. I remember I wasn´t too fond of the live tracks when I listened to "G N' R Lies" the first time about 20 years ago, but boy do they rock hard when I listen to the album today. The sound quality is excellent and the material is filled with the snarling "Fuck You" attitude that would make the band so famous a couple of years later. The covers of "Mama Kin" by Aerosmith and "Nice Boys" by Rose Tatoo have been given a shot of adrenaline and Guns N´ Roses perfectly manage to make the songs their own. The two original live tracks "Reckless Life" and "Move to the City" are also raw and powerful rockers.

Out of the four semi-acoustic tracks on side 2, "Patience" is without a doubt the most famous one. It was also the only single released from the album. The video for the track received heavy rotation on MTV and undoubtedly further helped sales of the album. "Used to Love Her" is enjoyable but more in the silly department, while the equally strong "One in a Million" is quite the controversial track, with lyrics bashing minority groups like homosexuals and immigrants. "You're Crazy", which was originally released in a harder rocking and fully electric version on "Appetite For Destruction (1987)", is delivered here in a semi-acoustic version, which the band say was how it was originally intended.

Maybe I´m being a bit too generous with my rating here but I really enjoy "G N' R Lies" and while it´s certainly not perfect or cohesive as an album, a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.
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