From the L.A. Times:
Early this morning, Pop & Hiss received a letter from Guns N’ Roses co-founder Axl Rose, through his publicist, announcing his decision to not attend the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday in Cleveland. Written under the greeting, “To The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Guns N’ Roses Fans and Whom It May Concern,” Rose explained specifically why he was declining his induction into the Cleveland music institution.
The band, born in Los Angeles in 1985, was announced as an inductee in February alongside the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys and Donovan, among others, leading to instant speculation whether the five core members of Guns N’ Roses circa “Appetite for Destruction” would appear together for the first time since 1993. Guitarist Slash officially departed the band in 1996, followed soon thereafter by other members Duff McKagen and Matt Sorum (original drummer Steven Adler had left a few years earlier, as had Izzy Strandlin).
Rose retained the rights to the band’s name, and over the next decade devoted his time to creating the album “Chinese Democracy,” touring with a revived Guns N’ Roses, and defiantly dismissing any suggestion of a reunion with the original members of the band.
Since February, Rose has remained mum on his plans, even as guitarist Slash has spoken out in favor of a Rock Hall reunion — and acknowledging Rose’s antipathy. “He hates my guts,” Slash told Rolling Stone in early April. “It’s over a lot of different stuff; I don’t even know. There’s just no communication between us. I talk to Duff and Steven, but when it comes to old Guns N’ Roses, there really isn’t anybody that makes decisions.”
In the letter below, Rose specifically criticizes comments by Adler, who speculated to Billboard magazine in 2007 that the band might reunite. Those comments were given by Adler while promoting his own Adler’s Appetite tour, which was timed to support his book, “My Appetite for Destruction.” “I want to finish what we started,” Adler told Billboard then (parentheses and elipses theirs), “and … with the love and support I got from those guys, I think we can (reunite). I’m gonna leave it up to Axl. That’s gonna be Axl’s call, and I love Axl and I know he’ll make the right call.” Below, Rose calls Adler’s comments “reunion lies.” Continuing attempts to reach Adler have not been successful.
Guns N’ Roses have announced today they’ll be doing their first US tour in 5 years, kicking off October 28th in Orlando, Florida. The band will perform more than 30 concerts in the U.S. – fueled by Monster Energy – from October to New Year’s Eve. Before hitting the states, GNR will tour Latin America, starting with a sold out, headline slot for the closing day of the Rock in Rio festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on October 2nd , for 75,000 fans.
Guns N’ Roses are Axl Rose, DJ Ashba (guitar), Dizzy Reed (keyboards), Tommy Stinson (bass), Richard Fortus (guitar), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (guitar), Chris Pitman (keyboards) and Frank Ferrer (drums). GNR spent most of 2010 touring the globe, performing 71 shows in over 30 countries.
The two and a half hour show played to rave reviews everywhere including South America, Canada, Europe and Southeast Asia, playing close to one million fans worldwide.
Axl Rose started Guns N’ Roses over 25 years ago. Since that time, they have become one of the biggest bands in music history, selling over 100 million albums worldwide. GNR’s “Appetite For Destruction” has sold over 28 million albums in the United States alone.
The band’s most recent release, Chinese Democracy debuted #1 on the charts in thirteen countries. Chinese Democracy was released on Black Frog/Geffen Records in November 2008 and reached 3 times Platinum in Canada, Platinum in Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, UK, Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa. The album is Gold in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Holland, Sweden, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Brazil and Colombia. In the U.S., the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on February 3, 2009.
The tour is scheduled to hit the following cities:
Oct 28 Orlando, FL @ Amway Center Arena
Oct 29 Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena
Oct 31 Greenville, SC @ Bi-Lo Center Arena
Nov 2 Atlanta, GA @ Phillips Arena
Nov 5 Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavillion
Nov 12 Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center Arena
Nov 13 Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center Arena
Chicago, IL @ All State Arena
East Rutherford, NJ
More dates, cities and venue information to be announced very soon.
About Monster Energy: Most companies spend their money on ad agencies, TV commercials, radio spots, and billboards to tell you how good their products are. At Monster Energy, we chose none of the above. Instead we support the scene, our bands, our athletes and our fans. We back athletes so they can make a career out of their passion. We promote concert tours, so our favorite bands can visit your hometown. We celebrate with our fans and riders by throwing parties and making the coolest events we can think of a reality. www.monsterenergy.com
As reported here at Hard Rock Hideout, Axl Rose is suing Activision, makers of Guitar Hero III, for using Slash’s likeness in the video game. Rose was supposedly informed that a replica Slash or appearances of his other group, Velvet Revolver, wouldn’t be used in the game. Axl allowed Activision to use Welcome To The Jungle based on this information. There are some internet reports that Axl is upset because of an alleged hatred of Slash. Some message board comments claim Axl is trying to sponge all memory of Slash from Guns N’ Roses. Personally, I don’t know what to think, but I don’t believe either of those statements.
In light of the recent Guitar Hero III news, it made me wonder – will the original Guns N’ Roses ever reunite? What would it take for this to happen? The new incarnation of Guns N’ Roses has been sporadically touring the world (with the exception of the US) in support of Chinese Democracy. As usual, there are rumors that the tour will come to North America (including the US) next year, but that remains to be seen. Velvet Revolver is no more (or on hiatus, as they claim) and Duff McKagan is no longer a member of Jane’s Addiction. As far as anyone knows, Slash has no further plans to further hit the road in support of his solo debut album. Steven Adler has been touring on and off with Adler’s Appetite, but I’m sure he could easily make himself available for a reunion with Guns. As for Izzy Stradlin, he released a new album, Wave Of Heat, this past summer. He is currently not touring in support of that release.
Knowing that all of the principle members of the band are available, is it possible that the original Guns N’ Roses could reunite? All 5 members are currently doing next to nothing. Duff recently showed up at a Guns N Roses gig and played a couple of songs on stage, which had everyone speculating if that was the beginning of something. But, supposedly, there is so much anger and hatred between Slash and Axl Rose, that it would quash any chance of a reunion.
There obviously have been no conversations about reuniting. Axl and Slash would need to sit in a room, work out their differences, and make up to a Jagger/Richards level (at least). Promoters must be salivating at the chance to produce a Guns N’ Roses reunion. The greedy corporations like Live Nation would love to offer the band a guaranteed $100 million and then turn around and rape the fans on ticket prices, merchandise, and everything else they could get their pudgy little fingers on.
I personally think this is one of those rare cases where money won’t solve the problems at hand. I believe that Axl is too stubborn and Slash is moving forward in life. There will be no reunion because the two principal players will never make up. Sure, Duff might be able to be an intermediary, and with a little luck he may be able to get them to sit down and at least be civil toward one another, but I just don’t see a reunion happening. I don’t feel that Axl has grown up enough.
What would you pay to see the original Guns N’ Roses? Knowing how sky high ticket prices can go for these nostalgic concerts, would you be willing to pay a Roger Waters-ish price of $250/ticket? More? Personally, I don’t think that I would pay more than $50, and I would want the concert to start on time. I know, sometimes I can be an old curmudgeon. One of the largest problems the original Guns N’ Roses had was starting concerts on time. In his autobiography Slash said that it was the one thing that bothered him more than anything else about Axl or the band. Concerts have to start on time, not when Axl chooses they should start.
Could they do it? Would Axl and Slash be able to make up long enough to do a reunion tour for the fans? If the Eagles can reunite, anything is possible, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. There’s still a lot of anger, confusion, and frustration inside of Mr. Rose. Until he decides to address those emotional demons, there’s not much hope for anything else. That includes a reunited Guns N’ Roses.
Gamespot.com is reporting the following:
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock set a record in 2009, when it became the first multiplatform console title to generate more than $1 billion in revenue. However, it appears as if $20 million of that nine-figure sum may be diverted out of Activision’s coffers, as the game is now the target of a high-profile lawsuit.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose has sued Activision for its use of the virtual likeness of Saul Hudson (better known as the top-hat-donning axe legend Slash) in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.
In the court documents (available online from Radar Online), Rose alleges that Activision convinced him to lend “Welcome to the Jungle” to Guitar Hero III on the grounds that the game would not feature Slash’s likeness or the guitarist’s follow-up group, Velvet Revolver.
Slash was featured heavily in Guitar Hero III. He graced the game’s cover and was a playable character in the game. Further, songs from Velvet Revolver (“She Builds Quick Machines,” “Slither,” and “Messages”) were made available to gamers as downloadable content following the game’s release.
“[Activision] began spinning a web of lies and deception to conceal its true intentions to not only feature Slash and [Velvet Revolver] prominently in GH III but also promote the game by emphasizing and reinforcing an association between Slash and Guns N’ Roses and the band’s song ‘Welcome to the Jungle,'” the statement reads.
In addition, Rose claims that “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” which was used to market Guitar Hero III, was only authorized for the title’s predecessor, Guitar Hero II, and he is seeking reparations for that alleged transgression.
Rose isn’t the first noted musician to sue Activision for rights violations in the Guitar Hero series. Last year, Kurt Cobain’s bereaved wife Courtney Love sued the publisher over the Nirvana singer’s virtual likeness in Band Hero.
Some people thought “Chinese Democracy” would never come out. Were there times during the making of the album when you felt that way yourself?
Axl Rose: Not so much that it wouldn’t come out but that we could in some way legally be forced to release it either incomplete or with so many business areas unresolved that the beginning would be the end as well.
Without sounding presumptuous, what took so long to get the album out?
And without sounding facetious, what didn’t? There aren’t too many issues of the hundreds [we ran into] that happened as quickly as anyone would have preferred, from building my studio; finding the right players; never did find a producer; still don’t have real record company involvement or support; to getting it out and mixed and mastered.
All that aside, it’s the right record and I couldn’t ask for more in that regard. Could have been a more enjoyable journey, but it’s there now. The art comes first. It dictates if not the course [then] the destination artistically.
For me, once the real accompanying artwork is there with a few videos and some touring, the package was achieved and delivered.
And to do so at this level in terms of quality, both artistic and performance-wise, both on record and live, is something that’s a miracle at minimum and something that wouldn’t have happened, no matter how anyone tries to convince others, with old Guns, regardless of anyone’s intentions. It was just as ugly in old Guns, regardless of our success.
What were your expectations in terms of what Best Buy would do to promote the album?
Best Buy has been great. Going with Best Buy was a way to work out a deal with Universal and we were fortunate enough to work with Irving [Azoff, as manager] and deal more directly with Universal. I’ve asked for information regarding their role in working the record but that hasn’t come yet so I’m not able to tell what Universal has or hasn’t done, although Zach [Horowitz, Universal Music Group president/COO], or whoever’s behind the international efforts, is doing great. It’s more than appreciated and a welcome relief.
Unfortunately [going with Best Buy] didn’t change us having to rely on Interscope as much as we’d hoped. The opinions expressed or “jumped” on publicly regarding promotion seem to be [about] my or our involvement with mainstream media — talk shows, rock magazines and dot-coms — which have generally held negative public stances toward myself or the band for years, [and they] unfortunately have not been resolved. Efforts are being made to understand the relationships and evaluate how best to proceed.
Our focus was in getting the record deal done while finishing the album, which hit many an unexpected bump or sinkhole in the road right up until the actual release. We never intended a huge public rollout, especially without resolving certain issues, and no one ever suggested us doing so, though Interscope’s communications with Best Buy in these areas may not have been as clear as anyone would have preferred.
Our approach, for better or worse, has always been to work the record over the course of the following tour cycles, with attempts to forge new or better and hopefully redefined relationships with the different forms of media that may be interested along the way. In regard to our promotion, it was based around certain agreements with Universal, Interscope, our management and legal [teams] that unfortunately never happened. I won’t get into specifics but am beginning to address some of those issues in my own way as opposed to “working together,” and we’ll see how that plays out.
Read the rest at this link: Billboard.com Axl Rose Interview
Rolling Stone.com is reporting that Axl Rose and Guns n’ Roses are finally making an effort to promote the poorly selling Chinese Democracy, and oddly enough a member of Metallica might be hindering their plans: Is the album’s long-promised music video for the track “Better” being delayed by Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich?
That’s the story coming from the MyGNRForum, where Fernando Lebeis — the son of Axl’s personal assistant — told fans, “Tell Lars to OK the vid and it’s done. That’s all that is pending.” When pressed to explain who Lars was, Lebeis responded, “Lars Ulrich. We are pending his release form to be signed.” In a message board chat weeks ago, Rose promised the “Better” video would be released in the near future and would feature live and backstage footage. Among the footage, supposedly, is Lars not only backstage with the band but also performing with Gn’R at a concert in Oakland, California in December 2006.
Of course, just hours after Lepeis posted on the forum and the firestorm began, the post was quickly pulled. Lepeis then personally contacted Blabbermouth.net, who picked up the story, and told them the post “was a fun comment and not an attack on Lars.” An official statement from Gn’R soon followed which reads, “Lars isn’t holding anything up with our video. Our message board comments were meant casually, in fun and amongst friends. Unfortunately, someone with Blabbermouth may have taken things a bit out of context and made them into a bit more than they are in reality. Our apologies to anyone who may have been confused. We hope to have our video out shortly. Thank you.”
So, we may or may not be waiting on Lars Ulrich to finally see the “Better” video, which would be the first Guns’ clip since that 1994 “Since I Don’t Have You?” video which starred Gary Oldman.
Reclusive GUNS N’ ROSES singer Axl Rose broke his silence last night (Thursday, December 11) by answering fan questions on the message boards of two of the most popular GUNS N’ ROSES fan sites on the Web — MyGNR.com and Here Today… Gone To Hell!
BLABBERMOUTH.NET has collected some of the more interesting bits from the question-and-answer session and is re-posting them here for your reading enjoyment. (Note: Some of Axl‘s responses were slightly edited for clarity.)
Q: How come you always come on stage so late at gigs?
Axl: “I’ve been an after-midnight type since I was sneakin’ out of my house in junior high [school]. With [the] old GUNS [lineup], we preferred [to take the stage at] 12:00 a.m. or so. When we moved to theaters etc., obviously that changes but it’s never changed inside me. Doesn’t matter what I do, so generally that’s when I’m more myself. This isn’t to mess with anyone that has an early schedule to keep, it’s just personal preference. And in regard to the size [of] venues, I’m on record as preferring whatever venues allow for our schedule, but management and promoters can do a lot in their own interests behind the scenes that can rarely be avoided and their greed or whatever leads to a lot of double talk and ugly behind nonsense that generally eventually ruins things for everyone. Translated: once a tour is scheduled, however, it’s like parting the seas to change. As far as being late, I’ve been that way my whole life. It drove Izzy [Stradlin] crazy but he would check himself and freely admit I was generally actually doing something that had to get done rather than watching basketball, etc.”
On a video for the new GUNS N’ ROSES song “Better”:
Axl: “The ‘Better’ music video will be out in a week or so. Monumental promotion will start very soon!”
Q: Who do you listen to for hardcore blues? I’m a blues singer and I can tell from your work that you have at least got way into a couple of blues records.
Axl: “BESSIE SMITH, ZEP 1, ROBERT JOHNSON, TUMBLEWEED CONNECTION, JANICE [presumably referring to JANIS JOPLIN — Ed.].”
Q: Axl, do you really have two or three other albums of material?
Axl: “For now, we’ll concentrate and keep our focus on this album, but I will say I’ve always thought of it as a double. And no offense, but no one’s trying to talk in parables. The issues are a bit more complex than anyone would like.”
Q: Hey, Axl, is the [unreleased GUNS N’ ROSES] song “Atlas Shrugged” as epic as the book? Who is your favorite character from the book?
Axl: “Song doesn’t have all that much to do with the book other than trying to do what you believe in and a line about shoulders not being wide enough.”
Q: Axl, was there ever a cover B and cover C for “Chinese Democracy”?
Axl: “Yes, there are. There are two more covers/back-cover combos and the real booklet that is all artwork that will be out shortly in some form. It’s been an ugly battle that hasn’t made any sense to anyone and whether anyone cares about such things the booklet or artwork has always been something I’ve been passionate about and to release the album with unapproved and unseen final artwork with a first work-only error-filled draft when others more recent were readily available still has not been explained but is finally getting cleared up. My fave is the ‘How Are You’ grenade cover.”
Q: Axl, how do you feel about KANYE [WEST‘s new album] outselling “Chinese Democracy”? Do you like KANYE‘s music?
Axl: “I met Kanye at the Versace awards. He was very gracious. I love ‘Gold Digger’ and told him so. I’m a big fan of his stage performance as he seems to go for it physically which I relate more to. Before our release, I sent him a message that any nonsense from the media had nothing to do with us and wished him the best. I’m humbled we’ve done as well as we have considering.”
Q: Just wanted to ask if you had any fond memories from the U.K. leg of the tour from 2006, particularly the concert in Glasgow in July?
Axl: “Glasgow was great. I think that’s where I got to do a lot of slides on the stage. Was like a race track or something, right?”
Q: Axl, thanks for “Chinese Democracy”, which I personally think is your best work. What’s your pick for album of the year? And have you heard the new METALLICA album [“Death Magnetic”]?
Axl: “Ours, of course!! Yes, [I have heard the new METALLICA]. I like it.”
Q: Axl will you tour Australia next year, and when are you looking at doing so? If you could work with [former GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist] Buckethead again, would you have him just in studio, or also would you welcome him in the touring lineup?
Axl: “Austrailia’s great and the crowds are really alive. No plans [to tour there] yet but I’m sure there will be.
“I have no issues with Bucket. It’s hard to tell what was real or not in things we were told by Merck [former GUNS N’ ROSES manager Merck Mercuriadis, who was fired by Axl Rose in December 2006 — Ed.]. He’s more than welcome to tour with us in some form or other provided we’re both interested at the time and come to some type of reasonable terms. Personally, I have a blast with Bucket on tour and get a big kick out of the guy. A lot of feelings were hurt on this side of the fence in how things went down, and unfortunately, others used our silence and the public’s not knowing for their own purposes at both Bucket‘s and our expense.”
Q: Now that you said that, please tell us if Robin‘s [Finck, GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist who is currently on the road with NINE INCH NAILS] out or not… because, otherwise, we’ll be reading several “Axl wants Bucket back and Robin/Bumble/Richard out”-type of threads for the entire ’09 year and these threads annoy us, the new lineup fans.
Axl: “It really is what it is. No decisions have been made by either him, I or us that I’m aware of. When we’re touring or working in the studio, or there’s social things like a friend’s dinner or party, whatever, we would hang. But as people get older, they have their own lives. The STONES aren’t going bowling every Tuesday, etc.
“Robin leads one of the most different lives I know of, starting with the trapeze in his backyard to the TV in his closet.
“Robin‘s work on the next is done so there’s not lots for him to do here except the elusive promo and he’d rather be on stage. It’s more about seeing where things are when GUNS decides it’s right for a tour and if we’re able to make agreements we both are comfortable and can live with at that time.”
Q: As a native Colombian, I must ask: In 1992, while performing “November Rain” in Bogota (in November), it rained. Wait no….it poured. How weird was that, eh?
Axl: “Very surreal and religious feeling. So was being chased by the military in our plane down the runway gettin’ outta Dodge there!!”
Q: Just wondering what stops you from playing more guitar live?
Q: Axl, I’m fixing to pack everyhting I own into my car and drive out to L.A. from Arkansas to give a career in music a shot. Any advice? Or should I just shit in my pants, dive in and swim?
Axl: “Follow your heart, don’t sell out, and read every book on the bix [music business] you can find.”
Q: “Catcher N’ The Rye” is one of the best songs on the [“Chinese Democracy”] album. Why no Brian? [QUEEN guitarist Brian May recorded a guest appearance on the track back in 1999, but his contributions were removed from the final album version of the song.]
Axl: “There’s a few reasons, and none of them all that big and definitely not in spite or to slight anyone.
“First off, obviously I knew people liked the song, but the Brian appreciation really only showed up in force publicly after we had moved on in GUNS. In fact, not many seemed to care and most comments were aimed at why Slash, in their opinions, should be here.
“Brian‘s solo itself is a personal fave of mine and I really couldn’t understand, as he’s such a rock legend, why it wasn’t openly appreciated more at the time.
“In actuality, all that feel and emotion referred to now had a lot to do with Sean [Beavan, one of the producers who worked on ‘Chinese Democracy’] and I and the parts I chose out of Brian‘s different runs, versions, practice runs, etc., to make sure we had those elements in one version. It’s entirely constructed from edits based around one specific note Brian hit in a throwaway take. And though Brian seems to have warmed a bit to it, at least publicly, he was unfortunately none too pleased at the time with our handiwork. I remember looking at Brian standing to my left and him staring at the big studio speakers a bit aghast saying, ‘But that’s not what I played.’
“Sean Beavan and I were not in any way tring to mess with Brian, we just did what we do and then try and do our best to stand up for our decisions.”
Go to this link at Blabbermouth to read the rest!
Guns N’ Roses returned to the U.S. pop charts this week with their first studio album in 17 years … but had to settle for a disappointing No. 3 slot.
“Chinese Democracy” sold a modest 261,000 copies. The tally paled against those of the band’s last studio efforts, “Use Your Illusion I” and “Use Your Illusion II,” which debuted at Nos. 2 and 1, respectively, with sales of 685,000 and 770,000 after being released on the same day in 1991.
Best Buy Senior Entertainment Officer Gary Arnold had predicted “Chinese Democracy” would be the week’s top seller, but it ended up being bested by Kanye West’s new release “808s & Heartbreak” with 450,000 copies and country star Taylor Swift’s former champ “Fearless” with 267,000.
What happened? Wasn’t “Chinese Democracy” one of the most-anticipated and talked-about albums of all time? Wasn’t it so steeped in myth and lore that a massive debut week was all but assured? Maybe not.
The October release of AC/DC’s “Black Ice,” while not a perfect comparison, comes to mind. Like Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC was a band that had been off the radar for a while and opted to partner with one retailer — Wal-Mart — for the release of its own long-awaited new album. “Ice” ultimately chilled with 784,000 copies in its debut week — the veteran group’s best sales frame since tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan started in 1991.
And now we have GNR’s album, in an exclusive deal with Best Buy (and iTunes). And it starts with much less.
So, why didn’t GNR’s number even get close to AC/DC’s?
Wal-Mart gave AC/DC the red-carpet treatment. The retail giant made sure the album had the appearance of an event record — something every Wal-Mart shopper needed to own. If that didn’t convince consumers, maybe their famed store-within-a-store display did.
But at Best Buy, based on reports from Billboard staffers on the ground during release week, the promotion was on a smaller scale.
Beyond the retail promotion of “Chinese Democracy,” what about the intangibles?
Maybe the public got tired of waiting for an album that was probably never going to live up to their expectations? Maybe fans were turned off by the ever-shifting lineup of band members? Maybe it would have sold more had reclusive frontman Axl Rose and his bandmates made a promotional appearance in support of the release? Perhaps it would have started stronger had it been available to all retailers?
Or, maybe pundits should just take a step back, breathe and see where the album goes from here. There very well may be quite a long, healthy road ahead for “Chinese Democracy.”
West may have also been disappointed with the 450,000 start for “808s & Heartbreak.” Many pundits, including some at his Universal Music Group label, had expected his fourth album to have a better week.
His last album, “Graduation,” started at No. 1 with 957,000 last year. Before that, “Late Registration,” chalked up an 860,000-unit entry at No. 1 in 2005. His freshman effort, “The College Dropout,” started at No. 2 with 441,000 in 2004.
It is hard to talk about Guns N’ Roses without mentioning that this disc is some odd thirteen years overdue. Millions of dollars were spent in creating this much ballyhooed album. I don’t think anyone expects this album to meet their expectations (self included).
I for one am glad this album is finally out, and Axl Rose can finally get this King Kong sized monkey off of his back. Long before this album was released, I heard leaks of several of these tunes. I wasn’t very impressed by the the rougher versions of these songs. I must admit the final product is much better than I thought it would be.
At times, it seems as if the multitude of producers tried to help reproduce Slash’s guitar tones, in order to preserve that classic Guns N’ Roses sound. The end result is an album that won’t sound completely unfamiliar to Guns N’ Roses fans, even though Axl Rose is the only remaining member of the original band.
I have not been a huge Axl Rose fan in the past, but I have to admit it is pretty damned good to hear his distinct voice one more. It has been far too long. The opening and title track “Chinese Democracy” is a pretty rocking good way to start off this disc. Almost immediately, I thought this disc might be a lot better than expected. “Shackler’s Revenge” on the other hand left me scratching my head. This song doesn’t seem to know if wants to be hard rock, Industrial, or techno. It seems to blend elements of all three. It actually isn’t too bad, once you get past the beginning of the song.
I believe “Better” could be one of the best Guns N’ Roses songs ever. Even though this song has some unusual guitar sounds mixed through it, it still feels like a modernized G N’ R song. This is easily my favorite on Chinese Democracy.
“Street of Dreams” was completely unexpected. This is a piano driven ballad with a fairly decent guitar solo in the middle. Early in this song I thought Axl’s voice sounded odd as he was hitting some unusual low notes with his voice. His pure singing voice (thankfully) takes over quickly. What this song is missing is Slash. With Slash’s guitar playing, this could song could have been another taken to new heights. Even still, this song is pretty good, and definitely one of the better ones on “Chinese Democracy”.
Is it just me, or does “If The World” sound like a Lenny Kravitz tune? This is a pop tune with a hard edge and a rhythm with a little bit of funk in it. I wouldn’t expect to hear something like this on a hard rock record, especially a Guns N’ Roses record.
“There Was A Time” has a 70’s classic rock vibe that reminds me a bit of the Moody Blues mixed with some harder guitar parts. This is one of those songs that has the potential to grow on you if given the chance.
At this point in the album, I could have used a really hard driving song. “Catcher In the Rye” is definitely not that. This song also has a classic rock vibe about it, but it doesn’t sound like a G N’ R tune.
I really dislike the intro on “Scraped” but the rest of the song is pretty cool. There is a pretty good groove all throughout “Scraped”.
Riad N’ The Bedouins has more of that familiar Guns N’ Roses sound that I prefer. There are a lot more heavy guitar parts on this song, than on most of the tunes on Chinese Democracy.
“Sorry” sounds as if Axl was trying to channel his inner Pink Floyd. I like Pink Floyd, but I don’t want to hear it on a Guns N’ Roses album. It just sounds odd to me.
The first time I heard I.R.S. I thought the song had a heavier slant to it. This finished product adds a dated keyboard sound, which detracts from the industrial edge it had. It isn’t a bad tune, but I liked the previous versions I heard better.
I didn’t care for “Madagascar” the first time around, but after a couple of listens, I started to realize that this song is a lot better than I originally thought. This song has an epic feel to it that reminds me of “November Rain” somewhat.
Chinese Democracy closes out with two piano based numbers “This I Love” and “Prostitute”. Both songs are solid enough, but not what I would expect to hear from this band.
If you are listening to “Chinese Democracy” for the first time, and are looking for another “Appetite for Destruction” you aren’t going to find it here. This album seemingly expands on the sounds of the Use Your Illusion records, but has a much more experimental feel to it. There are moments of brilliance on “Chinese Democracy”, but those looking for a quick hard rock fix may not give this album a chance to find them.
Was this album worth the wait, and all of the hoopla? Probably not. I would recommend checking out the songs for yourself on the Guns N’ Roses myspace site.
- Chinese Democracy
- Shackler´s Revenge
- Street Of Dreams
- If The World
- There Was A Time
- Catcher In The Rye
- Riad N´ The Bedouins
- This I Love
Guns N’ Roses fans in China will have to go underground to get their hands on a copy of the band’s first album in 17 years, “Chinese Democracy,” which will be released worldwide on Sunday.
The rock band’s Geffen Records label said on Friday, “It is unlikely we will be approved to release the album in Mainland China.”
China’s culture ministry has the final say on such matters, although rampant piracy makes the job difficult. Its decisions sometimes seem to lack consistency.
The title track might raise some eyebrows. Evidently addressing China’s communist leadership, singer Axl Rose says followers of the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual movement have “seen the end and you can’t hold on now.”
The artwork includes Beijing artist Shi Lifeng’s 2008 oil painting “Red Star,” which depicts the powerlessness of Chinese people in a state ruled by an iron fist. Photos of the Chinese military and the Hong Kong skyline also appear.
But the album is devoid of bad language or sexual situations. That was not the case with the band’s last release, which did slip through the net. The two “Use Your Illusion” albums from 1991 were rife with violent sexual imagery, vicious insults, cursing and homicidal thoughts. They were distributed by Beijing-based Dunhuang.
In America, the albums carried “parental advisory” labels warning consumers about explicit lyrics.
In 2003, the Chinese refused to allow the Rolling Stones to include four songs, including “Brown Sugar” and “Beast of Burden” on a hits album. But those two tracks did pass muster on a subsequent live album.
The soft-drink maker said in March that it would give a free soda to everyone in America if the album dropped in 2008. Chinese Democracy, infamously delayed since recording began in 1994, goes on sale Sunday.
“We never thought this day would come,” Tony Jacobs, Dr Pepper’s vice president of marketing, said in a statement. “But now that it’s here, all we can say is: The Dr Pepper’s on us.”
Beginning Sunday at 12:01 AM, coupons for a free 20-ounce soda will be available for 24 hours on Dr Pepper’s website. They’ll be honored until February 28th.
Dr Pepper is owned by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc.
One of the most highly anticipated albums in rock history, the long-awaited Chinese Democracy (Black Frog/Geffen Records) will be available globally on November 23 on CD and vinyl (accompanied by a free digital download of the tracks), and as a separate digital album.
Produced by Axl Rose and Caram Costanzo, Chinese Democracy includes 14 tracks. The title track and first single from the album, “Chinese Democracy”, was released to radio at 5:00AM eastern time today. Two of the recordings have been recently released–“Shackler’s Revenge” debuted September 14 in the “Rock Band 2” videogame and “If The World” debuted October 11 in the film Body Of Lies.
“The release of Chinese Democracy marks a historic moment in rock ‘n’ roll,” said Irving Azoff and Andy Gould, Guns N’ Roses’ co-managers, “and we’re launching with a monumental campaign that matches the groundbreaking sound of the album itself. Guns N’ Roses fans have every reason to celebrate, for this is only the beginning.”
As reported by BIllboard.com, Best Buy is set to be the exclusive retailer for Guns N’ Roses decade-plus-in-the-making new album “Chinese Democracy” before year’s end, sources close to the situation tell Billboard. Some details of the deal are still being worked out, including the release date.
The news brings a semblance of closure to the bizarre history of “Democracy,” which Guns N’ Roses has been working on since the mid-1990s. Since then, every original member of the once mighty group has left besides vocalist Axl Rose, and millions of dollars have been spent working on the new material.
“Democracy” was most recently on the Interscope release schedule in March 2007. The endless delays encountered by the project reached comic levels this spring, when soft drink manufacturer Dr Pepper offered to send a free can of the beverage to “everyone in America” (excluding ex-GNR members Slash and Buckethead) if “Chinese Democracy” were to arrive anytime during the calendar year 2008.
In June, nine purported “mastered, finished” tracks from the album were leaked online, prompting an FBI investigation into their source. A sign “Chinese Democracy” was perhaps finally nearing release came in July, when the band agreed to debut new track “Shackler’s Revenge” in the video game “Rock Band 2,” which hit stores earlier this month.
Guns N’ Roses is now managed by Irving Azoff’s Front Line Management, and Azoff is a well-known proponent of issuing albums exclusively through retailers. He released the Eagles’ “Long Road Out of Eden” through Wal-Mart in 2007, much to the chagrin of other merchants, but the album was a runaway hit, having sold 3.1 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Watch the video….it will all be clear.
*Guitarists Slash and Buckethead Will Not Be Eligible For Free Soda
PLANO, Texas, March 26 /PRNewswire/ — Tired of a world in which Americans idolize wannabe singers and musicals about high schoolers pass as rock ‘n roll music, Dr Pepper is encouraging (ok, begging) Axl Rose to finally release his 17-year-in-the-making belabored masterpiece, Chinese Democracy, in 2008.
In an unprecedented show of solidarity with Axl, everyone in America, except estranged GNR guitarists Slash and Buckethead, will receive a free can of Dr Pepper if the album ships some time — anytime! — in 2008. Dr Pepper supports Axl, and fully understands that sometimes you have to make it through the jungle before you get it right.
“It took a little patience to perfect Dr Pepper’s special mix of 23 ingredients, which our fans have come to know and love,” said Jaxie Alt, director of marketing for Dr Pepper. “So we completely understand and empathize with Axl’s quest for perfection — for something more than the average album. We know once it’s released, people will refer to it as “Dr Pepper for the ears” because it will be such a refreshing blend of rich, bold sounds — an instant classic.”
Show your support for Axl and get on the nightrain of encouragement at http://www.chinesedemocracywhen.blogspot.com –