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Not long ago, I heard “Guns N’ Roses: Live Era ’87-’93,”
a 1999 release under the Geffen label. This two-CD set
captured the band during the peak of their popularity.
The 1987 release of their first album, “Appetite for
Destruction,” revealed a band that seemed like a raw,
street-wise group who could not only turn out songs
with catchy “hooks,” but also music with a fair
amount of depth. This album would ultimately
become the number one selling debut album from a
Rock band. By the time Guns N’ Roses arrived, the
Hair Metal/Glam Metal trend had practically run its course,
and many believe that they provided a fresh jolt to the
Hard Rock/Heavy Metal scene.

When listening to this set of more than two hours,
I felt as if I were hearing one long concert, even though
the songs were in fact recorded over a period of years,
at various venues. Their raw energy was captured effectively
throughout this set of big hits and lesser known songs.
The “core” group of five players with Dizzy Reed on
keyboards was augmented by various other musicians
on horns and backup vocals. As such, although
Guns N’ Roses can rock hard with the best of them,
I can’t honestly label them as a Heavy Metal band,
because a number of their songs, such as “Don’t Cry”
and “November Rain” show insight and emotional depth,
typically eluding the limits of the “Heavy Metal” moniker.

Not only is this set “essential listening” for Guns N’ Roses
fans, I’d also recommend it to anyone who wishes to
learn about the band and the range of their music.
You’ll feel as though you were there in person!

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