The Guns N Roses 20th Anniversary Album
- 1 Background
- 2 Music videos
- 2.1 Welcome to the Jungle
- 2.2 It's So Easy
- 2.3 Mr. Brownstone
- 2.4 Night Train
- 2.5 Sweet Child O Mine
- 2.6 Paradise City
- 2.7 Patience
- 2.8 I Used to Love Her (But I Had to Kill Her)
- 2.9 One in a Million
- 2.10 November Rain
- 2.11 Don't Cry
- 2.12 Estranged
- 2.13 Get in the Ring
- 2.14 You Could Be Mine
- 2.15 The Garden
- 2.16 Civil War
- 2.17 Since I Don't Have You
- 2.18 Ain't It Fun
- 3 Artwork
- 4 Track listing
- 5 Personnel
The idea of an album made entirely of Guns N Roses songs came to Rupert Grint during his 14th birthday party, during which he crossdressed in his first female outfit, an authentic Sailor Uranus costume, handmade by the costume department at Disney, from "Sailor Moon S", where he portrays Haruka Teno. (He got the costume for his 14th birthday.) After Guns N Roses performed in his backyard in Encino for his 14th birthday, he asked W. Axl Rose if he could make an album composed entirely of GNR songs for the band's 20th anniversary, and Axl said yes, he could. Rupert then spent his free time trying to figure out which songs from the GNR album collection Axl gave him for his 14th birthday should go on this celebratory album. The final version of the tracklist was released on September 11, 2004, and recording began at Screenmusic Studios a day later, with new drummer Bermuda Schwartz, who Weird Al Yankovic supplied to the band after Ringo Starr left.
Before recording began, Rupert perfected Axl Rose's trademark shriek, and his mentor was Axl himself. When he finally perfected it, he started practicing at the Troubadour Club with the band. This can be seen in various music videos. Also, after each performance of "You Could Be Mine", if there was a mosh pit nearby, Emma would jump into one, which would often lead an exasparated Rupert to yell into the microphone using his normal voice, "Don't try this at home. Emma is a professional, unlike you guys." Then the performance would continue like nothing ever happened. One instance was captured on tape, and it made it onto their live DVD as a bonus feature.
Recording finished on Christmas Day in 2004, and when released, it became the band's first album to be marked with the infamous "Tipper Sticker". However, Emma Watson counted on that happening, and so she and Rupert recorded alternate versions of several of the songs so that "fuck off" was replaced with "buzz off", "bitch" was either replaced by another word or muted, "fucking" was replaced with "bloody" or "freaking", etc. In doing so, they allowed for a clean version to be released for sale at Walmart and K-Mart. Also, since Emma was more familiar with black culture than anyone else in the band and therefore could say "nigger" and not spark too much controversy, she was selected by Rupert to do lead vocals for "One in a Million".
Welcome to the Jungle
The opening of the video shows the band leaving their trailer with their instruments. Bermuda Schwartz (the only one not featured in the previous shot) gets out of his Ford Tempo LX, and the music starts as a crowd is shown at the Troubadour Club. After the intro finishes playing, the lights focus on Emma Watson playing the rhythm guitar part. As the riff finishes for the first time, the lights turn on focusing on the rest of the band. The last shot is a long shot of the band.
It's So Easy
This is the first music video to feature Rupert Grint in drag; he's wearing a black dress that goes down to his knees (a reference to the line "I see your sister in her Sunday dress") and a leather jacket to hide his shoulders, while Emma Watson is in a black tank top, blue jeans, and a leather jacket, Daniel Radcliffe is wearing a red Chinese shirt and black pants (as well as the pigtail he sported in the upcoming Ranma ½ series), and Bermuda is wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans. Footage from "Sailor Moon SuperS" (which finished shooting a few weeks after the music video's release) is inserted throughout, and as Rupert yells "FUCK OFF!", we see footage of Emma flipping the bird (only her hand is seen). At the end of the video, Rupert does the splits, but the video ends abruptly because, as he later said, "I was hampered by my own dress! I was much more careful when selecting my outfit for Paradise City!"
The music video opens in Rupert's bedroom, where he is woken up by his alarm clock for the first time at 7AM, then he puts it on snooze. The second time it wakes him up, at 9AM, he finally gets up. Emma comes into his room dressed like a samurai, and she helps him get his kimono on just right. They appear on stage wearing those very costumes. Daniel appears in his "It's So Easy" costume, while Bermuda appears in leathers. The song then starts playing while the camera first focuses on Bermuda. At the end of the song, Rupert is seen holding a smoking gun as he sings the line "Stuck it in the bindle/And I shot it in the middle". This music video is notable in that it's the first to feature a cross-dressing Emma (as explained earlier, she's dressed like a samurai in this and the "Ain't It Fun" music video).
At the beginning of the video, the band (with three minors at the time) walk down a flight of stairs outside and enter a door reading "RESTRICTED TO PERSONS AGES 18 AND UP", ignoring the sign. Then, the bartender (portrayed by Bob Bergen) asks them what they want, and as a chorus, the band says "One bottle each of Night Train." After they drink, they're seen performing the song on the bar's stage for the remainder of the video.
Sweet Child O Mine
A pair of lovers (portrayed by Jamie Bell and groupie Anna Popplewell) are stargazing when all of a sudden, as the bass starts playing, a comet streaks across the sky, and a UFO takes off its cloaking device and opens from below. The resulting tractor beam sends the entire band, dressed in silver jumpsuits, floating down to the ground with their instruments, and they can be seen being pulled back into the UFO as the song ends, and when the song does end, the UFO goes back into space, activating its cloaking device.
The video was filmed at Yankee Stadium in New York City. The footage showcases Rupert's imitation of W. Axl Rose's snake dancing as well as the moshing done by the audience and the usual shots of the band members. After the song ends, "INJURY NUMBER AT YANKEE STADIUM IN 2005: 127" is superimposed on the final still of Rupert holding his microphone. Rupert appears in drag once again in this music video; this time, he's wearing a minskirt to allow for easy movement during the snake dancing. At the end of the song, he manages to successfully do the splits. After the show ended that night, he said, "Watch the video for It's So Easy, and you'll find out why I wore a miniskirt this time around."
The video was shot at the Troubadour Club during the Guns N Roses 20th Anniversary preparations in December 2004. The entire video focuses on the band as they perform the song. This is one of the more peaceful videos the band made and was known for putting people to sleep during the nighttime hours, and they usually didn't wake up until after the video ended.
I Used to Love Her (But I Had to Kill Her)
Like the previous video, this one was shot entirely at the Troubadour Club during 20th Anniversary preparations in December 2004. After the band is finished playing the song, the entire audience applauds, and apparently, unlike most other people, who thought the lyrics condoned domestic violence, the audience actually appreciated the humor meant in the song, because they're heard laughing at various points in the music video.
One in a Million
Footage of Shingo Tsukino going back to his house in "Sailor Moon SuperS" is juxtaposed with footage of Emma performing the song on acoustic guitar. She didn't need to mime the vocal parts because it was impossible to hide any discrepancies that may result from the song being out of sync with the video. Needless to say, Emma kept the tempo steady throughout the video, so the editors were able to keep the audio track in sync with the video.
The entirety of the video was shot during live performances of the song from The Guns N Roses 20th Anniversary Tour. The first thing we see is Rupert at the keyboard, then we see the orchestra doing their thing. The video focuses on Rupert, Daniel, and Bermuda for a while, until Emma runs to the center of the stage for the first guitar solo. Afterwards, the focus is on her climbing onto the keyboard for the second guitar solo, jumping back onto the stage afterwards. When the final section begins, the camera alternates between Rupert, the orchestra, Daniel, Bermuda, Emma, Buckethead, and a choir for the rest of the video.
The video opens with Emma and then-groupie Kay Panabaker getting into a car together with Emma as the driver. Rupert sees them get in, and as the music begins, he manages to get Daniel into his car with him, which starts a car chase that lasts until the solo ends. As the solo gets dramatic, both cars go off the edge of a cliff. Kay dies immediately, and Emma goes into a coma, but Rupert and Daniel survive with only minor injuries. At the final chorus, Rupert visits Emma in the ER. The final shot of the video shows Emma and Rupert gazing into the sunset, revealing that Emma surivied her coma. This final image has a message reading "THE MORAL OF THE STORY: WEAR A SEATBELT" superimposed onto the screen.
Footage from "Sailor Moon Stars", including a scene where Emma as Usagi Tsukino emerges from Tokyo Bay playing a tune on her Gibson electric guitar (a reference to the music video for the Guns N Fucking Roses version), is juxtaposed with live performances of the song at the Troubadour Club. Other scenes from the movie used in the video include Usagi playing a tune on her electric guitar outside a bunker while bombs are dropped and battle scenes from the film.
Get in the Ring
The video opens with an audience at a Guns N Roses show yelling "GUNS! N! ROSES!" followed by original footage of the band performing the song at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. As Rupert says the names of the magazine editors (including Bob Guccione Jr.), he's seen pointing at random audience members. This is yet another video where Rupert is in drag; this time, he's wearing a red tank top and a denim skirt. "I chose this outfit," he said later, "because I wasn't going to do the splits during the song when we performed it live."
You Could Be Mine
For this video, Rupert got permission from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mario Kassar, Andrew Vajna, and W. Axl Rose to make a video with a plot similar to that of the original "You Could Be Mine" music video. The plot this time involves the Terminator's trip to Los Angeles, 2005 AD to terminate the band for fear of their style being the fuel that TechCom needs to win the war against the machines. In this video, Rupert is once again in drag, wearing a red, white, and blue top and a blue miniskirt. After the performance part of the video ends with Emma, wearing a leather jacket, a T-shirt, and blue jeans, diving into a nearby mosh pit (the only time she's seen wearing it in the video; for much of it she's only wearing the leather jacket--in a quite revealing way!--and blue jeans), the band leaves with Izzy Stradlin and Johann Langlie, not knowing that the Terminator is watching. After assessing each band member (as well as Johann and Izzy) individually, the Terminator assesses that killing Rupert would be a "waste of ammo", so he just looks at him before leaving.
In this video, the band, along with The Simpsons voice actor Harry Shearer, performs the song at San Francisco's Garden of Eden nightclub. The video uses scary CGI effects during Mr. Shearer's rap. Also of note is the fact that Rupert and Emma are wearing matching outfits; both were wearing green T-shirts, leather jackets, and blue jeans. Mr. Shearer sounded very eerily like Alice Cooper, who did the original vocals for the rap part when GNR first recorded the song.
The video opens with the famous "What we've got here is... failure to communicate" scene from Cool Hand Luke. This is followed by live footage of the band performing this song. This music video also marks the first time people anywhere saw Emma wearing a black jumpsuit (the one where the zipper's on the front side and you zip it from the waist up) and leather jacket, a costume she wore again at the funeral of Robert Knox. Also, from behind the drums, Bermuda delivers the Peruvian Guerilla General's speech from the song. The video was dedicated to the victims of the Darfur crisis.
Since I Don't Have You
The video opens with footage from "Sailor Moon Stars", where Emma as Usagi Tsukino emerges from Tokyo Bay while playing the intro on her Gibson electric guitar. After the intro, we see a live performance of the song, complete with a string quartet. When the 3rd vocal section is done, the video cuts to the scene from "Sailor Moon S" where Sailor Uranus declares, "We have a common goal now, Tsukino. Remember when I said that Sailor Neptune and I were working by ourselves? That was until we discovered that you weren't the Messiah. Come on, Tsukino. It's now safe for you to call me an official friend. We'll even go to Cherry Hill Temple to discuss our battle plans. I'm willing to throw in with you because come hell or high water, we won't give up until we find this Messiah!" The rest of the video is footage of the band performing the remainder of the song. Other clips from the last three "Sailor Moon" films can be seen in this music video as well.
Ain't It Fun
The video shows the band performing the song at the Troubadour Club. During the filming of this video, Rupert was wearing a kimono, Emma was dressed like a samurai, Daniel was in his Ranma Saotome costume, and Bermuda was in leathers. Two versions of the music video were released: one version replaces the word "cunt" with a single guitar note, which explains the shot of Emma plucking a string on her Gibson electric guitar, and the other keeps both that same shot and the profanity. The latter version was made for broadcast late at night.
The front cover was a parody of the "Appetite For Destruction" revised cover in that it featured the skulls of the Remington Steelers members and their producer Moby in place of the skulls of the Guns N Roses band from 1987. The skulls were as follows: Moby, top skull; Bermuda Schwartz, left skull; Rupert Grint, center skull; Daniel Radcliffe, right skull; and Emma Watson, bottom skull. Rupert, Daniel, and Emma are wearing sunglasses, and Moby and Emma have cigarettes between their teeth. The liner notes are in the same format as the album's predecesors, with the quote of the album being "A working class hero is something to be." The artwork and photos in the liner notes depict the Remington Steelers in the studio as well as legendary photos of Guns N Roses, supplied to the band by Axl Rose, and GNR-related artwork.
|1||"Welcome to the Jungle"||4:34||W. Axl Rose, Saul Hudson|
|2||"It's So Easy"||3:21||Duff McKagan, West Arkeen|
|3||"Mr. Brownstone"||3:48||Saul Hudson, Izzy Stradlin|
|4||"Night Train"||4:26||W. Axl Rose, Saul Hudson, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan|
|5||"Sweet Child O Mine"||5:56||W. Axl Rose, Saul Hudson, Izzy Stradlin|
|6||"Paradise City"||6:46||W. Axl Rose, Saul Hudson, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan|
|8||"I Used to Love Her (But I Had to Kill Her)"||3:13||Izzy Stradlin|
|9||"One in a Million"||6:16||W. Axl Rose|
|10||"November Rain"||8:37||W. Axl Rose|
|11||"Don't Cry"||4:45||W. Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin|
|12||"Estranged"||8:34 (12" LP)
9:23 (cassette and CD)
|W. Axl Rose|
|13||"Get in the Ring"||5:29||W. Axl Rose, Saul Hudson, Duff McKagan|
|14||"You Could Be Mine"||5:48||W. Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin|
|15||"Live and Let Die"||3:12||Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney|
|16||"Civil War"||7:34||W. Axl Rose, Saul Hudson, Duff McKagan|
|17||"The Garden"||5:21||W. Axl Rose, West Arkeen, Del James|
|18||"Pretty Tied Up"||4:46||Izzy Stradlin|
|19||"Knockin' on Heaven's Door"||5:40||Bob Dylan|
|20||"Yesterdays"||3:15||W. Axl Rose, West Arkeen, Del James, Billy McCloud|
|21||"Since I Don't Have You"||4:05||Joseph Rock, James Beaumont|
|22||"Ain't It Fun"||5:02||Cheetah Chrome, Peter Laughner|
|23||"Hair of the Dog"||3:54||Dan McCafferty, Pete Agnew, Manny Charlton, Darrell Sweet|
|24||"Sympathy For the Devil"||7:38||Mick Jagger, Keith Richards|
Rupert Grint - lead vocals (1-7, 10-24), backing vocals (8, 10), keyboards (10, 12, 15), lead guitar (1, 6, 18-23), rhythm guitar (2-5, 8, 11, 13-15, 24), and acoustic guitar (7, 17) Emma Watson - lead vocals (9), backing vocals (1-3, 8, 10, 11, 15, 17, 19), keyboards (13, 15, 18, 21, 23), organ (20), synths (5, 6, 10, 14, 21), percussion (23), lead guitar (2-5, 10-15, 17, 24), rhythm guitar (1, 6, 8, 17-23), and acoustic guitar (7) Daniel Radcliffe - lead vocals (8), backing vocals (2-4, 6, 10, 14, 17, 21), whistling (16), acoustic guitar (7), and bass (1-6, 8-24) Bermuda Schwartz - backing vocals (6, 10, 14, 18, 21), recital of Peruvian Guerilla General quotation (16), drums (1-6, 8, 10-24), and percussion (23) Billie Joe Armstrong - lead vocals (11) and backing vocals (15) Harry Shearer - lead vocals (17) Buckethead - backing vocals (10), whistling (9), lead guitar (9), and rhythm guitar (10, 12) Matt McKagan - backing vocals (10) and trumpet (15) Rachel West - backing vocals (10) and trumpet (15) Reba Alexander - backing vocals (10) Amy Bailey - backing vocals (10) Warren Luening - trumpet (15) Johann Langlie - synths (10, 15) Strother Martin - quotation from Cool Hand Luke (16) Marilyn Manson - evil laughter (24)
Moby - producer and engineer Bill Price - mixer Bob Clearmountain - mixer Emma Watson - mixer Robert John - photography (uncredited) George Chin - photography Gene Kirkland - photography R.K. Sloane - photography Ed Goodreau - assistant engineer John Aguto - assistant engineer Mike Douglass - assistant engineer Buzz Burrowes - assistant engineer Chris Puram - assistant engineer Leon Ganado - assistant engineer Jason Roberts - assistant engineer Craig Portelis - assistant engineer L. Stu Young - assistant engineer George Marino - master