I’d like to go on record and that 2016 will be the year that I perform a miracle. Said miracle will be keeping this feature running on a regular basis. That might sound like nothing but I am one of the most disorganised and easily distracted people walking this Earth today. Frankly it might be easier for me to walk on water. But hey, it’s a new year so we’ve all got to make an effort!
Usually I try to avoid using the same artist more than once but for this week I’ll make an exception because honestly has there been a bigger music story in 2016 than this?
Guns N’ Roses are ‘reforming’ to play Coachella later on this year. That is, Axel Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan will be on stage together for the first time in 23 years, in a move which many thought would never happen. Now, there are a tonne of questions about this reunion, like who’s going to play drums, and ‘Izzy Stradlin where the fuck are you?!!’ but those are for another day. I just want to throwback to when Guns were on top of the world.
My only guide today is that I didn’t want to pick something obvious so I threw all of the usual suspects to one side, but that still left me with a killer decision to make. I came oh so close to picking Rocket Queen because I think it gets overshadowed by ‘Sweet Child’ and co far too often and deserves more love than it gets, but in my view the most underrated Guns track of all time has to be Don’t Cry.
All too often tracks on the Use Your Illusion albums get overlooked as it is but when people do name great tracks from that era you always get November Rain, Civil War etc Don’t get me wrong, I love those tracks, especially Civil War it’s a damn near masterpiece in my eyes but damn it, Don’t Cry deserves some love too!
Personally I prefer the ‘alternate’ version which appears on UYI II over the original from UYI I but both versions are amazing. The song had actually been kicking around in one guise or another since the mid 80’s and a ‘demo’ version from 86’ was included in the single release.
I think the solo from Slash is one of his most underrated, and the lyrics especially in the alternate version just tug on heart strings you didn’t know you had.
I know the things you wanted
They’re not what you have
With all the people talkin’
It’s drivin’ you mad
If I was standin’ by you
How would you feel
Knowing your love’s decided
And all love is real
I thought I could live in your world
As years all went by
With all the voices I’ve heard
Something has died
And when you’re in need of someone
My heart won’t deny you
So many seem so lonely
With no one left to cry to baby
How can you not have something in your eye after that…
The song itself was released in 1991 and charted at number 10 in the US and number 8 in the UK. It remains one of the group’s best and in my eyes their most underrated. I’ve included both versions below, so just take a minute and enjoy a Thursday evening power ballad moment. (Yes this is a thing now)
Throwback Thursday will return next er…. Thursday.