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Photo Gallery: Guitar World Magazine Covers Through the Years — 1991

The year 1991 is most memorable for two events: the dissolution of the Soviet Union and The Gulf War.

Or -- if you're a guitar lover -- the release of Nirvana's Nevermind and Guns N' Roses' Use Your Illusion I and II.

Nevermind ushered in the grunge era of alternative music that would dominate pop culture for the remainder of the century. The hit single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" opened the doors for other alternative acts such as Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice In Chains. They played guitar, but not with the bravado and complexity seen in the previous decade. For some it was a welcome relief, and for others a bitter turning of the tides.

The Use Your Illusion albums were significant for not only being the final charge of one of rock 'n' roll's most heralded bands -- I'm not counting The Spaghetti Incident -- but also the last stand of the guitar-driven rock era that would inevitably succumb to grunge. There would be other guitar-oriented albums, but Use Your Illusion I and II captured the perfect blend of musicality and range with danger and decadence. One can't help but listen to the sweeping dynamics and colors of Use Your Illusion I and II and not wonder where music might have gone had Guns N' Roses not imploded.

Either way, you were listening to one of these albums in 1991. Check out what else was going on in this gallery of 12 -- that's right, a full 12 -- issues from the second year of the Nineties.

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