Music News

Guns N' Roses

Hoist up the Jack Daniel's, unearth the buttless chaps and red bandanna and stay home and watch these DVDs, dude! Can't wear that shit outside. It's not 1988 anymore.

But, back in the day, during glam metal's glory years, the world was safe for aspiring rock 'n' roll queenies. Notable more for W. Axl Rose's unusual outfits than anything else, Guns N' Roses' early videos, compiled on Welcome to the Videos, were mostly simple, low-concept concert videos, with a forever-shirtless Slash soloing and Axl twirling his mike around. Of course, the most glaring exception to the formula was "November Rain," with its epic ridiculousness, wherein Axl gets married, has his wedding reception spoiled by a huge storm, some guy jumps into the wedding cake and Axl's wife mysteriously dies. And it grew the more grandiose just as the band was beginning to disintegrate: The less-seen video for "Estranged" has similarities to "November Rain," at least until Axl starts swimming and cavorting with dolphins and Slash rises from the sea for his guitar solo.

Mötley Crüe's videos take the whole glam thing to another level -- the performance and artistry are clearly not their main concern on screen. Yes, a man really can look cool in stiletto heels, lipstick and leopard skin. Several of the videos on Greatest Video Hits are classics, including "Looks That Kill," which may have been inspired by the naked cavewoman movie Quest for Fire; "Too Young to Fall in Love," where the Crüe travel to what looks like a Shanghai ghetto and beat folks up; "Smokin' in the Boys Room," where a mean dog wearing a pentagram pendant eats a kid's homework; and "Home Sweet Home," where Vince Neil sports pink striped underwear beneath those buttless chaps.

Vince was so cool -- back then.

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Adam Bregman