Guns N' Roses become the first recording artist in history to release two seperate albums of new material on the same day, with 'Use Your Illusion I' and 'Use Your Illusion II'. The albums easily hit number 1 and 2 on the Billboard sales chart the following week, with 'Illusion II' selling approximately 750,000 copies (a record at the time), and 'Illusion I' selling nearly 675,000 copies. The albums spawn a number of rock radio singles, as well as a mainstream smash in "November Rain", which made the Guiness Book Of World Records as the longest single to hit the Top Ten (at eight minutes, fifty seconds). The video for "November Rain" is the middle part of a trilogy of artistic videos, and at the time was the most expensive video ever made. The other videos in the trilogy are "Don't Cry", and the more bizarre "Estranged". The success of the albums came at a time when Guns N' Roses were the most popular rock band in the world, triggered by the success of it's debut album, 'Appetite For Destruction'. The first single from the albums was "You Could Be Mine", which was released three months earlier to coincide with the release of the film 'Terminator 2', in which the song is used. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had said that GN'R was his favorite band, appeared in the video as the killing machine sent from the future, with his apparent target being lead singer Axl Rose.
The band KISS had released four albums in one day in 1978, but those were regarded as solo albums by each member of the band, and not a group effort. Other artists, including Bruce Springsteen, have since released seperate albums in the same day, but have not matched the success of the 'Use Your Illusion' discs. To date, each of the albums have sold over seven million copies. Unfortunately, this was the last set of original recordings from the core original band, with Izzy Stradlin leaving shortly after the albums were released, then the departures of Slash in 1996, and Duff McKagan in 1997.