As I was pondering all this and listening to "Yesterdays" while working in my little corporate cubicle, I became a somewhat emotional. There are great bands today - but it seems none have been able to grip so many, so fast - and for so long. For that reason, Guns n' Roses will always be legendary.
After the endless repeats, I decided to go back through and listen to Guns n' Roses Greatest Hits. Released just a few years ago, Greatest Hits proved wildly successful for both the Gunners and Geffen Records. Something that literally dawned on me for the first time ever, though, was the omission of "Estranged."
The final piece of the wildly popular (and expensive) Guns n' Roses trilogy, the video for "Estranged" takes viewers through a bipolar world - complete with a giant tanker and dolphins. For some, the imagery was just too over the top. For students of the human condition, every part of the "Estranged" video makes perfect sense. After all, water symbolizes rebirth and therefore is a constant theme through the entire production. If you think back to the video for "Don't Cry" the very last scene is a baby, emerging from water. Obviously, water marks a turning point during "November Rain" when Axl's "character" loses his wife - and sanity. It stands to reason, then, that "Estranged" would come completely full circle, depicting a bad breakup, loneliness and a juxtaposition when Guns perform a concert as one of the biggest bands in the world - while the lead singer is in complete isolation.
Symbolism aside, the nagging question regarding the omission of "Estranged" remains. I've heard theories that Geffen just didn't want the song on the album. Considering the album was created against the wishes of Axl Rose, I'd say this is a good answer to the question, but I don't understand the reasoning. After all, "Estranged" was a single. I considered the songs length, but decided this wasn't a good enough reason to leave off a compilation disc. So, what is the answer?