Hollywood Rose - The Roots of Guns n' Roses

This is a new release of a 1984 five track demo of the infamous band 'Hollywood Rose', retrieved from a dusty shelf somewhere, unloved for over twenty years and the starting point of what would be GUNS AND ROSES featuring Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, Chris Weber, Johnny Kreis and bonus over dubs from Tracii Guns. Plus new remixes of tracks done respectively by Gilby Clark (GnR) and Fred Coury (Cinderella).

The Demo versions are great! With there amateurish speeding up then slowing down classic guitar work from Izzy who seemed to get over shadowed by Slash in the later venture. Songs 'Killing Time', 'Rocker', 'Shadow of your Love' were understandably shelved after Hollywood Rose's demise and even after a full overhaul are still in my mind pretty bad. 'Anything Goes'and 'Reckless life' which made it to be early GnR songs are classics and sound just as good as demos without even hearing the mixes. I can't stress how much I love demos and I understand wholly with Motley Crue and their love of the original version of their live/demo styled debut album, rather than the over mixed version the masses recieved. Demos are the essence of a band and in this case the sand in the cement of Guns n' Roses.

You can't help but reminisce with an album like this. I was a massive fan of GnR in the early years, I'll even admit to being the first person in my hometown to buy 'Use your Illusion I & II', standing outside Andys Records at the crack of Dawn. I even travelled 250 miles to Wembley, 'alone' to see them, but once Izzy left, I realised the major part of what was GnR to me was gone, and a trigger in my brain made me start to detest Axl's voice, so reviewing this was not only a trip down memory lane but also like finger nails down a blackboard.

I still can't see myself digging the old albums out of the closet, but I can see others buying this and maybe getting a renewed or even a new love for a band that quite honestly has not existed since Axl got a guitarist who wears a bucket on his head.

by Meka Scales