ARTIST/BAND: GUNS N' ROSES
WRITTEN BY: MIKE CLINK & GUNS N' ROSES
TAKEN: USE YOUR ILLUSION II (1991)
RELEASE DATE: 17 JANUARY 1994
GENRE: HARD ROCK
PRODUCED BY: MIKE CLINK & GUNS N' ROSES
FORMAT: CD SINGLE
Guns N' Roses is an American hard rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1985. The classic lineup, as signed to Geffen Records in 1986, consisted of vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler. Today, Axl Rose is the only remaining original member, in a lineup that comprises Use Your Illusion–era keyboardist Dizzy Reed, lead guitarists DJ Ashba and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, lead and rhythm guitarist Richard Fortus, bassist Tommy Stinson, drummer Frank Ferrer and keyboardist Chris Pitman. The band released six studio albums, accumulating sales of more than 100 million albums worldwide, including shipments of 45 million in the United States.
A year after its release, Guns N' Roses' debut album Appetite for Destruction (1987) reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, on the strength of the hit "Sweet Child o' Mine", their only single to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album has sold in excess of 28 million copies worldwide, including 18 million units sold in the United States, making it the best-selling debut album of all time in the U.S. The success of their debut was followed by the eight-song album G N' R Lies (1988). The twin albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II (1991) debuted at No. 2 and No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and have sold a combined 35 million copies worldwide, including 14 million units sold in the United States alone. The cover album "The Spaghetti Incident?" (1993) was the band's last studio album to feature Slash and McKagan. After more than a decade of work and many lineup changes, Guns N' Roses released the long-awaited album Chinese Democracy (2008) which, at an estimated fourteen million dollars in production costs, made it the most expensive album to ever be produced in music history. It debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 but underwhelmed industry expectations, despite mostly positive critical reception.
Guns N' Roses have been credited with reviving the mainstream popularity of rock 'n' roll, at a time when popular music was dominated by dance music and pop metal. Their late 1980s and early 1990s years have been described as the period in which they brought forth a "hedonistic rebelliousness" reminiscent of the early Rolling Stones, a reputation that had earned them the nickname "The Most Dangerous Band in the World". The band's classic lineup, along with later members Reed and drummer Matt Sorum, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, their first year of eligibility.
Use Your Illusion II is the fourth studio album by the American rock band Guns N' Roses. It was one of two albums released in conjunction with the Use Your Illusion Tour, and as a result the two albums are sometimes considered a double album. Bolstered by the lead single "You Could Be Mine", Use Your Illusion II was the slightly more popular of the two albums, selling 770,000 copies its first week and debuting at No. 1 on the U.S. charts, ahead of Use Your Illusion I's first week sales of 685,000. Both albums have since been certified 7× Platinum by the RIAA. It was also No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart for a single week. The album has recently received critical acclaim again in 2011, being featured on Triple M Radio's Life-Changing Album series in Australia, with the station playing numerous tracks with commentary. This was the last Guns N' Roses album to feature rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin. It also included the last Guns N' Roses song to feature drummer Steven Adler (Civil War).
"Estranged" is a song and music video by the American rock band Guns N' Roses from the second part of their two-part Use Your Illusion album, Use Your Illusion II. At over nine minutes long, "Estranged", also known for its music video, is the longest song on Use Your Illusion II and Guns N' Roses' second longest song overall (after "Coma" from Use Your Illusion I). It has many verses, no set chorus, and several distinguished guitar and piano solos. Use Your Illusion II's liner notes thank lead guitarist Slash for "the killer guitar melodies", which captured Axl Rose's vision. Slash has specifically stated that recording the guitar parts for this song was very intensive for him; he recorded it using a Les Paul Gold Top, using the rhythm pickup with the tone turned all the way down.
According to Slash, the song was written while the band was rehearsing for an extended period of time in Chicago. Axl revealed that he wrote the song during a more "bummed out" time in his life when his marriage with Erin Everly was annulled.
Released in December 1993, the music video is the third and final part of an unofficial Del James trilogy of videos (preceded by "Don't Cry" and "November Rain") from the Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II albums. The estimated budget was US$4 million.
The almost ten-minute-long video for "Estranged" is similar in style to the previous two in the trilogy; however, it appears only loosely to pick up the theme. This is mainly because Axl Rose and then-girlfriend Stephanie Seymour (who played Axl's love interest in "Don't Cry" and "November Rain") had broken up prior to filming, making the theme of separation/divorce highly relevant.
The video begins by showing Axl pursued by a group of SWAT team members while hidden in what appeared to be an abandoned mansion (his actual house). Later, in a flashback, Axl is shown being escorted off that same (presumably marital) property. During this sequence, dictionary definitions for "Estranged" are flashed across the screen suggesting that Axl is going through a separation. Definitions of illusion and disillusion also appear. The next segment features the entire band boarding an Antonov An-124 transport aircraft with their equipment. In the final sequence, Axl is seen walking on the deck of the Judith Prosperity, an oil tanker, where in the video's climax, he leaps into the water in an apparent suicide attempt but ends up being rescued by a group of bottlenose dolphins. The video is also known for the memorable scene where Slash walks on water while playing a guitar solo. The video contains multiple shots of the Rainbow Bar, which is also seen in the music video for "November Rain". The video ends with a note from Axl which says, "Lose your Illusions, Love Axl GNR '93".
"Estranged" was played live very frequently during the Use Your Illusion Tour from 1991 to 1993. During performances of this song, Dizzy Reed would play piano instead of Axl Rose. A live version of this song can be heard on Live Era: '87-'93. During the Chinese Democracy Tour, a riff from the song was sometimes included in Ron Thal's solo interpretation of the Pink Panther Theme. In December 2008, Axl spoke of his desire to bring Estranged back into the live set. The song appeared in Guns N' Roses' live set list at Rock In Rio on October 3rd, 2011, with Axl Rose stating after playing the song, "I don't think I've sung that song in 18 years".
Formats and track listing
Germany and Australia CD
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Estranged" (LP version) W. Axl Rose 9:23
2. "The Garden" (LP version) Axl Rose, West Arkeen, Del James 5:22
Axl Rose – lead vocals, piano, production
Izzy Stradlin – rhythm guitar, additional lead guitar, production
Slash – lead guitar, production
Duff McKagan – bass, production
Matt Sorum – drums, production
When you're talkin to yourself
And nobody's home
You can fool yourself
You came in this world alone
So nobody ever told you baby
How it was gonna be
So what'll happen to you baby
Guess we'll have to wait and see
Old at heart but I'm only 28
And I'm much too young
To let love break my heart
Young at heart but it's getting much too late
To find ourselves so far apart
I don't know how you're s'posed
To find me lately
An what more could tou ask from me
How could you say that I never needed you
When you took everything
Said you took everything from me
Young at heart an it gets so hard to wait
When no one I know can seem to help me now
Old at heart but I musn't hesitate
If I'm to find my own way out
Still talkin' to myself
and nobody's home
So nobody ever told us baby
How it was gonna be
So what'll happen to us baby
Guess we'll have to wait and see
When I find out all the reasons
Maybe I'll find another way
Find another day
With all the changing seasons of my life
Maybe I'll get it right next time
An now that you've been broken down
Got your head out of the clouds
You're back down on the ground
And you don't talk so loud
An you don't walk so proud
Any more, and what for
Well I jumped into the river
Too many times to make it home
I'm out here on my own, an drifting all alone
If it doesn't show give it time
To read between the lines
'Cause I see the storm getting closer
And the waves they get so high
Seems everything we've ever known's here
Why must it drift away and die
I'll never find anyone to replace you
Guess I'll have to make it thru, this time- Oh this time
I know the storm was getting closer
And all my friends said I was high
But everything we've ever known's here
I never wanted it to die