Review - Live Era '87-'93

Artist: Guns n' Roses

Live Era '87-'93
Label: Geffen
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Live Era '87-'93

As if we needed further proof that Guns n' Roses is alive and living only in theory, along comes "Live Era '87-'93," a compendium of moldy concert tracks that's neither a step forward nor a suitable refresher course in the band's past glories.

"Recorded across the universe between 1987 and 1993," reads the maddeningly vague liner notes. But wondering which lineup played what, when and where is wasted effort given material this unremarkable. Perfunctory run-throughs of "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Sweet Child o' Mine" (yawn) overshadow the few and uneven obscurities. Vocalist W. Axl Rose makes an acceptable solo stab at "It's Alright," a little-heard Black Sabbath piano ballad.

Vacillating between his oft-parodied caterwaul and throaty Hepburn-isms, Rose sounds like a voice from the past, a faded memory instead of a mammoth. Without proper preservation, a memory has a way of turning into a punchline quicker than you'd think.