You Could Be Mine

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"You Could Be Mine"
You Could Be Mine (Guns N' Roses single).jpg
U.S. commercial CD single
Single by Guns N' Roses
from the album Use Your Illusion II
A-side "You Could Be Mine" (LP Version)
B-side "Civil War" (LP Version)
Released June 21, 1991 (1991-06-21)
Format 7" vinyl, cassette, CD, 12" picture disc
Recorded A&M Studios, Record Plant Studios,
Studio 56,
Image Recording, Conway Studios & Metalworks Recording Studios, January 1991
Genre Hard rock, heavy metal
Length 5:44
Label Geffen, UZI Suicide
Writer(s) Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin
Producer(s) Mike Clink, Guns N' Roses
Guns N' Roses singles chronology
"You Could Be Mine"
"Don't Cry"

"You Could Be Mine" is a song by American rock band Guns N' Roses, featured on their 1991 fourth studio album Use Your Illusion II. It was released as the band's seventh single, and the first from the Use Your Illusion albums, in June 1991. Backed with "Civil War" from Use Your Illusion II, the single reached number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart[1] and number three on the UK Singles Chart.[2]

The song was originally released as the theme song for director James Cameron's 1991 film, Terminator 2: Judgment Day.


Contrary to popular belief, "You Could Be Mine" was not originally going to be the official theme of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. However, the references to Guns N' Roses that were made in the film (from John Connor's friend's L.A. Guns T-shirt to the T-800 taking out his shotgun from a box of roses, thus playing a pun on the band's name) were so clear and obvious that it was a wise business decision to make when director James Cameron decided to recruit the band to perform a song. As it would turn out, "You Could Be Mine" was selected to be included in the film. Arnold Schwarzenegger had the band members over for dinner at his own home to negotiate the deal.[3]

The lyric "With your bitch slap rappin' and your cocaine tongue you get nothin' done" from the chorus appeared on the inner sleeve of Guns N' Roses' debut album Appetite for Destruction, released in 1987 (the song had already been written by then). This "tradition" was followed by the line "Ain't It Fun" on the Use Your Illusion albums released in 1991 - two years later GN'R cover of the song "Ain't It Fun" appeared on "The Spaghetti Incident?" album. The end of first verse, "we've seen that movie too", is a reference to Elton John' song "I've Seen That Movie Too", from the album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Slash states that the song's writing began at the first preproduction session for Appetite for Destruction.[4]

The song has a minute-long drum and guitar intro. It was played during the ending credits of Terminator 2 and was heard in the film itself in early scenes with John Connor. The song is also appeared in another part of the Terminator series, Terminator Salvation. However, the original script for Terminator 2 instead called for The Ramones song "I Wanna Be Sedated", which years later would be featured in Terminator Genisys.[5]


"You Could Be Mine" has little profanity, using only the word bitch, and only three times, in the chorus verse "With your bitch slap rapping and your cocaine tongue"/"You get nothin' done"/"You could be mine". The concert version has an added line "with your ass in the air".

Song Meaning[edit]

The song talks about band member Izzy Stradlin's failed relationship with his girlfriend.

Music video[edit]

The official music video for the song was directed by Andy Morahan, Stan Winston and Jeffrey Abelson.[6] Schwarzenegger appears in the video as the T-800 Terminator from the film who arrives at a Guns N' Roses concert, having mission orders to assassinate the band members.[7] When the song is finished, the Terminator confronts the band and individually assesses each member except for Izzy Stradlin, as he was conspicuously absent in this section of the video. He gets to Axl and assesses that killing him would be "a waste of ammo." He then stares at Axl Rose for a while, gives a brief smirk and walks off.

As the video features clips from the movie, it could not be put on the DVD Welcome to the Videos due to licensing issues. The video was also not included on any of the DVD releases of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, although it was included with a special double tape edition of the film, released on VHS in 1993.

Live performances[edit]

Early live versions of "You Could Be Mine" featured Slash using a B.C. Rich Mockingbird (as in the video) instead of his usual Gibson Les Paul, due to his use of a tremolo during the solo. It was first played live at Rock in Rio II on January 20, 1991 and has been a staple ever since. The live version features amended lyrics to the line "an I leave you lyin' on the bed 'with your ass in the air'".

Track listing[edit]

CD single Geffen 19039
  1. "You Could Be Mine" - 5:44
  2. "Civil War" – 7:41
7" Single Geffen GES 19039
  1. "You Could Be Mine" (LP version) - 5:44
  2. "Civil War (LP Version)" – 7:38


Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1991) Peak position
Australia (ARIA)[8] 3
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8] 8
Belgium (Ultratop)[9] 10
Canada (RPM)[10] 30
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[11] 1
France (SNEP)[8] 8
Germany (Media Control Charts)[12] 5
Ireland (IRMA)[13] 1
Italy (FIMI)[14] 2
Japan (Oricon)[15] 23
Netherlands (Mega Top 100)[8] 4
New Zealand (RIANZ)[8] 1
Norway (VG-lista)[8] 2
Spain (AFYVE)[16] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[8] 2
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[8] 1
United Kingdom (The Official Charts Company)[17] 3
U.S Billboard Hot 100[18] 29
U.S Billboard Mainstream Rock[18] 2


  1. ^ "Artist Chart History - Guns N' Roses". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  2. ^ "Guns N' Roses". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 2012-12-05. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  3. ^ "Arnold Schwarzenegger Biography (1947-)". Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  4. ^ Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York. page 166
  5. ^ Cameron and Wisher, Terminator 2: Judgment Day: The Book of the Film: An Illustrated Screenplay, Applause Books, 1991, p. 24, ISBN 1-55783-097-5
  6. ^ Garcia, Alex S. " - Guns 'n' Roses - "You could be mine"". Music Video DataBase. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  7. ^ Music video with footage from Terminator 2: Judgment Day on YouTube
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "YOU COULD BE MINE (SONG)". Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 54, No. 11, August 17, 1991". Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  11. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3. 
  12. ^ "You Could Be Mine (Single)". Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  13. ^ "Search the Chars". Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  14. ^ "Indice per Interprete: G". Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  15. ^ "ユー・クッド・ビー・マイン/ガンズ・アンド・ローゼズ". Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  16. ^ Billboard: Hits of the World, October 12, 1991
  17. ^ "You Could Be Mine". Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  18. ^ a b "Billboard Singles". Retrieved 2010-03-12. 

External links[edit]