G N' R Lies
Split between four songs from 1986 and four songs from 1988, Lies puts a frame around 1987, the year that Appetite For Destruction conquered rock music and Guns N’ Roses became the most exciting band in the world. The first part of Lies is a verbatim reissue of the band’s 1986 debut EP Live ?!*@ Like A Suicide, a collector’s piece that was beginning to fetch exorbitant prices in the wake of Appetite’s success. While not actually recorded “live” (though the subsequently-added crowd noise blends quite convincingly), the 1986 songs are as lean and mean as anything that would follow on the group’s breakthrough album. Though the band’s songs would later grow in depth and focus, its attitude was fully realized in 1986, and when Axl Rose’s wail climaxes on “Reckless Life” it’s clear that this young band meant business. The acoustic half of Lies is a revelation. Not since Beggar’s Banquet had a rock band been recorded in tones as warm and close-to-the-bone as on this. Of course, the band’s coup was that its playing was no less focused or vicious when it was unplugged. Even when Axl & Co. put aside their amps, Guns N’ Roses remained electrifying.