“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.
“Don’t Cry” features Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon as a co-lead vocalist. 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.
The official music video for the song was directed by Andy Morahan and Mark Racco. John Linson was the producer of the video.
Rose commented on the difficulty of filming the video and how certain scenes inspired by the 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?”