November 29, 1988. Guns N’ Roses drop Lies, their trussed-up follow-up to Appetite For Destruction. And in some ways, it continued the destruction.
Was Lies, as Rolling Stone characterized it, “a sneaky attempt by the band to throw together some outtakes and cash in on the busy holiday buying season?” Or was it the band attempting to showcase their live chops and a somewhat softer, acoustic side? I’d argue it was both, but that both were buried in the drama drummed up by Axl Rose’s lyrics.
“One In A Million” was immediately chided for its tones of homophobia and racism. “Used To Love Her” was criticized as misogynistic. The irony of the controversies created by the lyrical content of these two songs being released on an album with a cover and liner notes that parodied tabloid-style newspapers certainly isn’t lost three decades later.
If you were around when the album came out, you probably remember all of that. It was a circus, with the criticisms and the band’s responses providing as much entertainment at the album itself. All these years later, though? I’d say the enduring legacy of Lies is “Patience,” which is one of the band’s finer moments.