Making GNR’s ‘Use Your Illusion’ two different albums was Axl Rose’s “genius moment,” says Matt Sorum

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Last week, Guns N’ Roses‘ albums Use Your Illusion 1 & 2 marked their 30th anniversaries.  While former GNR drummer Matt Sorum told ABC Audio that it was Axl Rose‘s idea to release two albums simultaneously, he’s now explained to Rolling Stone exactly why Rose came up with the idea, which he calls “genius.”

As Sorum explains, the band had about 32 songs, and he assumed they would record 20 and then pick the best 12 or 13 for an album.  Then, Axl insisted that they release all the songs, and came up with the concept of two albums with the same name, but different-colored covers.

“I was like, ‘Why? Why do we have to make them separate records?’” Sorum recalls.  But, as he explains, it was due to Axl’s experience working at Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard in L.A.

“In those days, if you had a double record, you had to put it behind the cash register. It was over 20 bucks,” Sorum says. “He wanted the records to be in the bin where you could actually hold them, pick them up.”

“When Axl came in and decided it should be a double record, it was a genius moment for him,” Sorum adds.

Sorum spoke to Rolling Stone to promote his upcoming autobiography, Double Talkin’ Jive, which Rolling Stone says has been indefinitely delayed. In the book, he describes being on tour with Slash and Duff in 2016 and hearing a rumor that GNR was going to reunite…without him.

While it hurt at the time, Sorum now says he’s “come to terms with the fact that they’re doing their own thing, and I’m doing mine,” and adds, “I feel really good about my time in the band.”

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