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"Don't Cry" is a power ballad by the hard rock band Guns N' Roses, two versions of which were released simultaneously on different albums. The version with the original lyrics is the fourth track on Use Your Illusion I, while the version with the alternate lyrics is the 13th track on Use Your Illusion II. Only the vocal tracks differ, and even then only in the verses; however, in those verses, not only are the words entirely different, but the meter and melody are also slightly different. There is also a third version, officially released only on the single for the song, which was recorded during Appetite for Destruction sessions in 1986. The song reached the top 10 in many countries, including number 8 in the UK Singles Chart and number 10 in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100.
|Single by Guns N' Roses|
|from the album Use Your Illusion I & II|
|A-side||"Don't Cry" (Original) (LP Version)|
|B-side||"Don't Cry" (Alt. Lyrics) (LP Version)|
|Released||September 17, 1991|
|Format||CD Single, 7", 12"|
|Recorded||A&M Studios, Record Plant Studios, Studio 56, Image Recording, Conway Studios & Metalworks Recording Studios|
|Genre||Hard rock, soft rock|
|Songwriter(s)||Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin|
|Producer(s)||Mike Clink, Guns N' Roses|
|Guns N' Roses singles chronology|
Stradlin and Rose wrote the song (with the working title "Don't You Cry Tonight") in March 1985, shortly after Guns N' Roses was formed.
Along with "Estranged" and "November Rain," it forms a narrative inspired in part by the short story "Without You" by Del James. The song peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the band's fifth Top 10 hit there.
- CD single Geffen 21651
- "Don't cry (original)" - 4:42
- "Don't cry (alt. lyrics)" - 4:42
- "Don't cry (demo - 1985 Mystic Studio Sessions)" - 4:42
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2015)
Rose commented on the difficulty of filming the video and how certain scenes inspired by his relationship with Erin Everly affected him emotionally:
With our video for "Don't Cry," and the fight that Stephanie Seymour, (Axl's then-current girlfriend) and I had over the gun, you don't necessarily know what's going on. But in real life that happened with Erin Everly (Axl's ex-wife) and myself. I was going to shoot myself. We fought over the gun and I finally let her win. I was kind of mentally crippled after that. Before shooting our documentary, I said, "This seems really hard, 'cause it really happened." And the night we wrote the scene, my friend Josh said, "Okay, how are you going to play that?" He wanted to rehearse and I was like, "Look, leave me alone." But he kept pushing until, finally, I stood up. I had this cigarette lighter that looked like a real gun and I said, "Look, I'm gonna do it like this." And I just went over and slammed around in the hallway a bit and threw the gun and said, "Is that good enough for you?"
Izzy Stradlin had left the band by the time the band came to film the video and therefore does not appear in the video for the song he co-wrote. A fan can be seen holding up a sign saying 'Where's Izzy' in the video.
- W. Axl Rose – lead vocals
- Slash – lead guitar
- Izzy Stradlin – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Duff McKagan – bass, backing vocals
- Matt Sorum – drums
- Dizzy Reed – keyboards
- Additional musicians
"Don't Cry" was performed quite frequently during the early tours and the Use Your Illusion Tour. It was absent from the early legs (i.e. 2001–02) of the Chinese Democracy Tour but reappeared to an extent in 2006, as guitarist Bumblefoot began using an instrumental version of the song as a guitar solo spot. In 2007, during the Bumblefoot solo spot, Axl came on stage to sing along to the solo on two occasions, marking the first times since 1993 that Axl had sung it live.
"Don't Cry" made another return during the 2009/2010 World Tour, with Axl singing along with the solo spot on each occasion that it has been played.
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- "Italian single certifications – Guns N' Roses – Don't Cry" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved July 4, 2014. Select "Tutti gli anni" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Don't Cry" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
- "American single certifications – Guns N' Roses – Don't Cry". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 4, 2014. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.