Maybe it’s a double album that pushes a band to the brink. It’s been 10 years since System of a Down have released an album, and while there might be some new music coming before too long, that’s nothing compared to Guns N’ Roses, who took 17 years to release their proper follow-up to the Use Your Illusion albums (a covers album, “The Spaghetti Incident?”, was released in 1993). Like the Periphery albums, they were released on the same day back in 1991. And while the band’s debut album Appetite For Destruction, was an instant classic, Guns upped their ambition for the pair of albums. Pushing the limit of CD capacity, each disc was over 75 minutes long. Bloated? Perhaps, but the albums’ ambition definitely inspired all of the other albums on this list.
Use Your Illusion II debuted at #1, selling 770,000 copies its first week. The other album debuted at #2, moving 685,000. In between, there were covers (“Live and Let Die,” “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,”) epic ballads (“November Rain” and “Estranged”), songs from blockbuster films (“You Could be Mine” from Terminator 2: Judgment Day), and even a different version of “Don’t Cry” on each album.