Sound — 8
GN'R Lies was originally released in 1988 as a mini album to keep fans occupied until Guns N' Roses released their long-awaited follow-up to Appetite For Destruction. The first four tracks of the album are from the Live Like A Suicide EP, which was released in 1986, and by 1988 was super-rare. The second four tracks on Lies are all acoustic.
Lyrics — 7
Most of the lyrics on this album (excluding the covers) give the impression that they are autobiographical of Axl's life. Axl's vocals on the live tracks are good, but his voice had not quite matured into what we hear on Appetite. He sings the acoustic songs superbly.
Overall Impression — 7
01. Reckless Life - the album opener begins with one of the band members (probably Duff) shouting "Hey f--kers! Suck on Guns N' f--kin' Roses!" Then after a couple of measures of drums, the guitars kick in with a great riff. The song is about someone living a very rock 'n' roll lifestyle, taking everything to extremes. The guitar solo is reasonably long and complex, hinting at what an excellent guitarist Slash would become. 02. Nice Boys (originally by Rose Tattoo) - this track begins, like Reckless Life, with drums. The guitars then enter, with Izzy playing simple power chords and Slash using a slide. The chorus of this song contains the infamous line, "Nice boys don't play rock 'n' roll," perfectly describing Guns' lifestyle at the time. 03. Move To The City - this song begins with both guitars playing the same riff, but slightly differently. Then the bass and drums come in, setting the song off nicely. It has a slower, more relaxed beat that the previous two tracks. The song is describing someone not unlike Axl moving from a small town into the big city, and experiencing what city life is really like. It sounds like there are horns being played in this song. If it was played live I can't imagine them having a horns section, so they were probably added in after or something. Axl one spoke in an interview about how the four songs were recorded In a studio, then screaming of fans was put over the top. He may have been joking, but it's hard to tell. 04. Mama Kin (originally by Aerosmith) - this song has a very catchy main riff, courtesy of Joe Perry of Aerosmith. During the verses, Slash and Izzy alternate in who plays. I'm not really sure what this song is about, other than keeping in touch with your Mother. 05. Patience - the first of the acoustic songs begins with Duff counting in. There is a very relaxed atmosphere about the recording of this song. It sounds as though they were just sat around in the studio playing it (as seen in the video). It is an excellent ballad about taking your time in a relationship. There are no drums or bass in this song, with Duff playing the third acoustic guitar instead. 06. Used To Love Her - this is a humorous song about getting sick of your wife/girlfriend and having to kill her and bury her in the back yard. One of Axl's ex-girlfriends, maybe? The guitar melody is quite repetitive but the two excellent guitar solos make up for it. 07. You're Crazy - a faster, punked-up version of this song appeared of "Appetite..." but it was originally written acoustically, and recorded that was for this album. I prefer it this was, because it has a nicer, funky feel to it. 08. One In A Million - this song is notorious for its racist and homophobic lyrical content. Axl has offered several different explanations as to why he felt the need to include such obscenities, but they are so contradictory most people will never know the true reason. It is a shame, because the song is actually very good, and if there were different lyrics it could have gone on to be a hit. Similar to Patience, it has no bass. There are two acoustic guitars played by Slash and Duff, and an electric played by Izzy. There is some percussion in the song, but no proper drums. Overall I think this album is very good. I wouldn't say it's better than Appetite or the Use Your Illusion set, but they are very hard to beat. I would recommend it to any GN'R fan, but if you were new to Guns I would suggest buying one of the others first.