Hollywood Rose- The roots of Guns and Roses
This was released back in 2004, but I just now got around to listening to it. It is five demo tracks done by Hollywood Rose back in 1984. This was the band that Guns and Roses would evolve from. At this time it was Axl, Izzy Stradlin and a second guitarist named Chris Weber. They hired a drummer named Johnny Kreis just to play on the demo and Stradlin and Weber shared the bass duties. First up is Killing Time and it's a bit heavier and faster than a lot of the songs on Appetite, but really shows a lot of fire. Axl's vocals are somewhat like the Axl we know, but you can tell that he hasn't quite figured out his style yet. Next is an early version of Anything Goes and it's much more raw and straight ahead than the version we all know, but their energy really shines through. Rocker is track three and it's probably the weakest song here. The music is good, but very basic and Axl vocals sound he is trying to imitate Rob Halford from say the early days of Judas Priest. Shadow of your love is next and it's my favorite of the five. Very energetic and Axl's vocals are really in your face. Wreckless Life shows a bit more variation in pace and the vocals are very strong here as well. So there are only five songs, but three different versions of each. The first five are the original 1984 demos and the quality is overall decent for a demo. The next five are the same songs only they are remixed by former G-n-R guitarist Gilby Clark and two of the songs feature guitar overdubs by Traci Guns. Traci replaced Chris Weber for a while in the band so it's kind of cool that he got to add to this remix. The next set of remixes are done by Cinderella drummer Fred Coury and they are the best quality versions of the three. These early demos show the spark the band had some three years before Appetite and quite honestly I like these songs better than the Live like a suicide material from 1986. No matter what you think of G-n-R I think they were always leaders rather than followers and I think these songs reflect that.