Guns N’ Roses: Welcome to the Videos
April 3, 2002
Sante D'Orazio, Nigel Dick, Del James, Louis Marciano, Duff McKagan, Andrew Morahan, Josh Richman, W. Axl Rose, Slash, ,
Starring: Steven Adler, Gilby Clarke, Shannon Hoon, Duff McKagan, Riki Rachtman, Dizzy Reed, W. Axl Rose, Stephanie SeymourSlash, Matt Sorum, Izzy Stradlin, ,
Watching this DVD collection of three previously released Guns N’ Roses videos the only thing more discerning then the lack of special features is the reminder of how great Axl Rose and this band where in their heyday and how it is no more.
A few years ago Guns N’ Roses made a special appearance on the MTV Video Awards and Axl’s performance was so far removed from how I remember him I did begin to wonder if the whole thing was some kind of Saturday Night Live parody. Bloated and breathless the once great stage presence cut a depressing swathe across the stage that left viewers distinctly unimpressed
To be fair while this DVD isn’t exactly cutting edge, for fans (and I hardly know anyone that isn’t) the songs and videos is a pleasing trip down memory lane. They remind exactly why whenever Paradise City, Sweet Child O’Mine or Live And Let Die are played in a pub or club, everyone sings and everyone knows the words.
Gun’s N Roses were always deemed an authentic metal band and certainly the themes that flowed through songs like Appetite for Destruction reeked of a powerful realism. That the songs resonated deeply with listeners is largely due to the absolute believability that Axl, Slash and the rest of the band had experienced the worse kind of hedonistic excess Los Angeles had to offer. Welcome To The Jungle was an immediate classic when it was originally released and a powerful introduction to the fevered passion that would become the band’s trademark.
Sweet Child O’Mine and Paradise City followed quickly after the success of Jungle and became big hits. Canny marketing from the record label ensured these popular, and less controversial, songs gained lots of exposure and radio play.
The celebrated double album Use Your Illusion I & II expanded their sound and their videos became more lavish and memorable. Nine videos spewed forth from the success of this record and two videos, in particular, November Rain and Estranged, incorporated the kind of lavish production values only previously seen in the movies. November Rain was the most visceral and exciting of the videos and the 2nd guitar solo alone, with Slash walking out into the desert, is the definition of rock star cool.
Ultimately this DVD only succeeds as a collection of great videos from a once great band. Geffen Records have declined to include any extras so if you’re looking for any insight into the group – look elsewhere. A nice inclusion would have been some short background or concert footage or even a biography of the group instead this is, unfortunately, a bog standard cash grab.