GUNS N’ ROSES – ” Use Your Illusion ” Box Sets

Posted: September 24, 2022 in MUSIC

The newly announced Guns N’ Roses ‘Use Your Illusion’ box sets / reissues. There’s 9 different physical formats!. Guns N’ Roses are to reissue their 1991 albums “Use Your Illusion I” & “Use Your Illusion II” across nine different physical formats in November, including 7CD+blu-ray and 12LP vinyl+blu-ray super deluxe editions.

Both albums have been “fully remastered for the first-time ever”, from hi-res 96/24 transfers from the original stereo 1/2-inch analogue masters. “Use Your Illusion I” includes an updated version of the single ‘November Rain’ which features a newly recorded 50-piece orchestra (this has been mixed by Steven Wilson, incidentally).

The 7CD+blu-ray super deluxe features both remastered albums, “Live in New York” (from the Ritz Theatre in May ’91) across two CDs, “Live in Las Vegas” (from the Thomas & Mack Center in January ’92) across three CDs. Both have been newly mixed from the multi-track tapes.

The bonus blu-ray video disc features the complete “Live In New York” concert film, “newly transferred from 35mm film prints to 4K UHD”. Boasting of a 4K transfer and then putting it on a standard 1080p HD blu-ray (which is effectively a 2K medium) is confusing and disappointing. A 4K UHD blu-ray and this standard blu-ray should have been included for the price being asked –  after all this happens all the time in £25 retail 4K film blu-ray releases and this CD box costs ten times that. The concert soundtrack offers Dolby Atmos, 5.1, and 48/24 stereo.

Talking of Atmos, notable by omission are any spatial audio mixes of the studio albums themselves. No Atmos, 5.1 or even hi-res stereo versions are included on the blu-ray. Also, there is no studio outtakes, demos on any of the formats.

The 12LP black vinyl box set features exactly the same audio content as the 7CD+blu-ray. Both studio albums are 2LP sets and “Live in New York” and “Live in Las Vegas” are both 4LP sets. The blu-ray is included with this vinyl package and is identical to the one in the CD box set.

The super deluxe editions are housed with a 100-page hardcover book and are designed with fancy red & blue ‘reveal sleeves’. These sets come with lots of ‘stuff’ like Conspiracy Inc. replica fan club folder (with membership card!), four Conspiracy Inc. 1991/1992 “Use Your Illusion” era replica fan club newsletters, 10 double-design lithos that reveals one of two unique images when inserted into the red & blue ‘reveal sleeves’, 8” x 10” photo prints (x7), four “Use Your Illusion” tour replica cloth sticky backstage passes (x4), a Ritz Theatre 5/16/1991 replica concert ticket (with the original misprinted date of 5/15/1991) and a 24”x36” band poster.

Despite the 12LP vinyl and 7CD sets costing over £400 and £250 respectively, the much cheaper 2CD editions of each album feature exclusive live audio not included in the bigger boxes. This is in the form of bonus discs with live highlights from the Use Your Illusion 1991 / 1992 tour including dates in Paris, London and Rio de Janeiro. So for example, if you are a CD collector and want ‘everything’ (in terms of audio) you have to buy three products: the 7CD+blu-ray super deluxe and both 2CD deluxe editions! That situation is unlikely to impress fans. The 2CD sets come with 24-page booklets.

Other formats are both albums remastered on 2LP black vinyl, a 4LP vinyl box set (D2C-only) and single CD remasters of Use Your Illusion I & II.

Use Your Illusion I & II will be reissued on 11th November 2022, via UMe/Geffen Records.

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