Back in the late 80s and early 90s, one of the biggest (if the not the biggest) bands was Guns N' Roses; I was fan then and still am. Hell, I'm still waiting for Chinese Democracy (their next album, which has been "coming out soon" for over ten years), so I was pleased to hear about the Guns N' Roses – DVD Collector's Box.
The box was advertised as a two-disc set that tells the complete and extraordinary story of Guns N' Roses from their beginnings, through their rise to the top, to the band members' falling out. Featuring never-before-seen performance and interview footage; interviews with close friends, band members, family members, music biz colleagues, and close collaborators who know them best; numerous location shoots; unpublished photographs, and a whole host of other features, this set promised to be a real treat for any GNR fan. It just goes to show you shouldn't always believe what you read.
The set is actually made up of two previously available releases. The first is The Prettiest Rock Star, a documentary about Axl Rose's upbringing in Indiana and his arrival in Los Angeles. The second is Sex N' Drugs N' Rock N' Roll, another documentary which covers the humble beginnings of the band and their rise to rock iconhood.
The majority of the information presented is general knowledge that any longtime fan, or anyone who has seen VH1's Behind the Music special about the band, would know. There is really nothing new.
My dislike of this set began at the outset. There is a disclaimer at the beginning stating that no music will be heard, because the DVD is unauthorized. Then they show concert footage without sound! What's the point of showing concerts if you can't hear them?
Most of the people interviewed just give lip-service to the band, praising them without being objective, too close to the band to be unbiased. And, though this is an unauthorized documentary, the snippets that do feature band members were so out of place that they didn't have relevance to the other parts of the documentary; I wonder why they were even included.
Maybe someday there will be an authorized DVD about Guns N' Roses, one that tells the real, dirty story about the band and its travails. In the meantime, save your money.
Grade: C-Powered by Sidelines