Guns N' Roses: Use Your Illusion I (Geffen)
Simon Reynolds, Melody Maker, 21 September 1991
THERE'S TWO schools of thought about Guns N'Roses. For some they're "the most dangerous band in the world"; for others, their brand of "danger" is as safe and saleable as can be. But rock progresses through rebelling against the old, worn-out forms of rebellion. Hence the post-punk anti-rockist dialectic that led to Metal Box, to New Pop, to Morrissey, to 1988-and-all-that. A process of rarefication that generated massive musical dividends, but whose downside was fragmentation, cooler-than-thou extremism for its own sake, and the abandonment of the public stage of mass culture. People who believe in pop as public gesture called such rarefication "going up your own arsehole". I've always thought that was a fine place to go, but I've also realised, after watching much MTV, that Guns N' Roses are a good thing.
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