Typically, I would summarize an article, make a few wiseass remarks, put up a picture, credit the source and put it in the oven. This time though, we’re doing things differently. The New York Times has a piece that will be in Sunday’s newspaper about Axl Rose and what he’s been doing for the past 14 years. I would’ve been more than happy to link the article but NY Times is requiring you to register and sign in. Screw that. I’ll link the source but I’m also posting the whole thing below. Enjoy.
â€œALL Iâ€™ve got is precious time,â€ W. Axl Rose sings in the title song of Guns Nâ€™ Rosesâ€™ new album, and he must be well aware of how that line sounds now. Mr. Rose, 46, the only remaining original member of Guns Nâ€™ Roses, needed 17 years, more than $13 million (as of 2005) and a battalion of musicians, producers and advisers to deliver â€œChinese Democracy,â€ the first album of new Guns Nâ€™ Roses songs since 1991. Itâ€™s being released on Sunday, with CDs sold exclusively at Best Buy. (In another 21st-century fillip the albumâ€™s best song, â€œShacklerâ€™s Revenge,â€ appeared first in a video game, Rock Band 2.)
â€œChinese Democracyâ€ (Geffen) is the Titanic of rock albums: the ship, not the movie, although like the film itâ€™s a monumental studio production. Itâ€™s outsize, lavish, obsessive, technologically advanced and, all too clearly, the end of an era. Itâ€™s also a shipwreck, capsized by pretensions and top-heavy production. In its 14 songs there are glimpses of heartfelt ferocity and despair, along with bursts of remarkable musicianship. But they are overwhelmed by countless layers of studio diddling and a tone of curdled self-pity. The album concludes with five bombastic power ballads in a row.
â€œChinese Democracyâ€ sounds like a loud last gasp from the reign of the indulged pop star: the kind of musician whose blockbuster early success could once assure loyal audiences, bountiful royalties, escalating ambitions and dangerously open-ended deadlines. The leaner, leakier 21st-century recording business is far less likely to nurture such erratic perfectionists. (Mr. Rose did manage to outpace Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine, which re-emerged on tour this year but hasnâ€™t yet released a successor to its 1991 masterpiece, â€œLoveless.â€) The new rock paradigm, a throwback to the 1950s and early 1960s, is to record faster, more cheaply and more often, then head out on tour before the next YouTube sensation distracts potential fans.
â€œChinese Democracyâ€ is such an old-school event that at this point no album could easily live up to the pent-up anticipation and fascination. Over the last two decades Guns Nâ€™ Rosesâ€™ 1987 debut album, â€œAppetite for Destruction,â€ has sold 18 million copies in the United States alone. The original band, particularly the guitar team of Slash on lead and Izzy Stradlin on rhythm, collaborated to forge a scrappy combination of glam, punk and metal behind Mr. Roseâ€™s proudly abrasive voice, which could leap from a baritone growl to a fierce screech. Singing about sex, drugs, booze and stardom, Mr. Rose was a rags-to-MTV success story for the 1980s: a self-described abused child from heartland America who got himself out of Indiana and reinvented himself as a full-fledged Hollywood rock star, charismatic and volatile, never pretending to be controllable.
Amid tours, band membersâ€™ addictions and liaisons with models, Guns Nâ€™ Roses went on to make an EP and the multimillion-selling albums â€œUse Your Illusionâ€ I and II, which were released simultaneously in 1991. Those were followed by a desultory collection of punk-rock remakes, â€œThe Spaghetti Incident?,â€ in 1993, before the band splintered and left Mr. Rose as the owner of the Guns Nâ€™ Roses brand. Clearly it would be a very different band, but there was little doubt that Mr. Rose had more to say.
He has been announcing the impending completion of â€œChinese Democracyâ€ since at least 1999 and has been singing many of its songs on tour since 2001. Concert bootlegs and unfinished studio versions circulating online have defused some of the surprise from the finished album. Yet meanwhile, year after year, Mr. Rose worked on and reworked the songs. The album credits list 14 studios.
For years Mr. Rose has been tagged the Howard Hughes of rock, as his manager at the time was already complaining in 2001. That didnâ€™t have to be a bad thing; estrangement and obsession have spawned great songs. But â€œChinese Democracy,â€ though itâ€™s a remarkable artifact of excess, is a letdown. Mr. Roseâ€™s version of Guns Nâ€™ Roses, with sidemen he can fire rather than partners, leaves his worst impulses unchecked.
Guns Nâ€™ Roses is still collaborative; the songs on â€œChinese Democracyâ€ are credited to Mr. Rose along with many of the musicians who have passed through the band since the mid-1990s. The guitarists Buckethead and Robin Finck, the bassist Tommy Stinson and the drummers Josh Freese and Brain pushed Mr. Rose toward rock, others toward ballads. By way of comparison with the old Guns Nâ€™ Roses, Mr. Roseâ€™s latter-day songwriting tilts more toward the pomp of â€œNovember Rainâ€ than the thrust of â€œWelcome to the Jungleâ€ or the pealing guitar lines of â€œSweet Child oâ€™ Mine.â€ The one song on â€œChinese Democracyâ€ written by Mr. Rose alone, â€œThis I Love,â€ is by far the albumâ€™s most maudlin track, and he hams it up further with a vibrato vocal homage to Queenâ€™s Freddie Mercury.
Like the old Guns Nâ€™ Roses albums â€œChinese Democracyâ€ whipsaws between arrogance and pain, moans and sneers. The present-day Mr. Rose presents himself as someone beleaguered on every front, a cornered character with nothing to lose. Heâ€™s tormented by inner demons and, from outside, by antagonists, lovers and users who constantly betray and exploit him. â€œForgive them that tear down my soul,â€ he croaks in â€œMadagascar,â€ amid French horns playing a dirge. (The middle of that song inexplicably gives way to a collage of movie dialogue and speeches by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)
All the labors of Mr. Rose and his various lineups, both inspired and overblown, come through the finished album. Mr. Rose and his co-producer, Caram Costanzo, just keep piling up the sounds. String orchestra? Toy piano plinks? Voices muttering in foreign languages? Harp? Drum machines? Choirs? â€œI Have a Dreamâ€? Theyâ€™re all there, along with indefatigable drums and phalanxes of guitars.
â€œChinese Democracyâ€ reveals multiple archaeological layers, including what might have been passing fascinations as the 1990s and early 2000s rolled by: the Metallica of â€œEnter Sandmanâ€ in the surly, self-righteous â€œSorryâ€; the distortion effects of Nine Inch Nails in â€œShacklerâ€™s Revengeâ€; U2â€™s sustained guitars and martial beat to begin â€œProstituteâ€; a combination of Elton John piano and strings (arranged by Mr. Johnâ€™s longtime associate Paul Buckmaster) with Smashing Pumpkins guitar crescendos in â€œStreet of Dreams.â€
Some of the albumâ€™s best moments are its intros. Flaunting what time and money can accomplish, there are gratuitous ear grabbers like an a cappella vocal chorale in â€œScraped,â€ a siren matched by a siren swoop of Mr. Roseâ€™s voice in â€œChinese Democracyâ€ and the narrow-band, filtered beginning of â€œBetter.â€ That track goes on to hurtle across so much of what Guns Nâ€™ Roses does well â€” from steel-clawed hard-rock riffs to metallic reggae-rock to arena-anthem melodies â€” that it almost makes up for the whininess and lazy â€œ-tionâ€ rhymes of the underlying song. â€œIf the Worldâ€ opens with acoustic guitar lines suggesting a Middle Eastern oud but segues into wah-wah rhythm guitar and sustained strings fit for a blaxploitation soundtrack, while Mr. Rose unleashes something like a soul falsetto.
Is it demented? Sometimes. Does Mr. Rose care? Apparently not. â€œI am crazy!â€ he belts over the frantic guitar and tom-toms of â€œRiad Nâ€™ the Bedouins,â€ while heâ€™s a potentially trigger-happy maniac in â€œShacklerâ€™s Revenge.â€ In â€œScrapedâ€ heâ€™s alternately depressive and manic, warning â€œDonâ€™t you try to stop us nowâ€ over a riff fit for Led Zeppelin. â€œCatcher in the Ryeâ€ echoes the Beatles in its melody while it alludes to Mark David Chapman, who was carrying that book when he killed John Lennon: â€œIf I thought that I was crazy/Well I guess Iâ€™d have more fun,â€ he sings.
Even when heâ€™s presumably being himself, Mr. Rose is forever overwrought. He pushes his multiply overdubbed voice every which way â€” rasping, sobbing, cackling, yowling â€” while at the same time Mr. Finck, Buckethead and Ron (Bumblefoot) Thal are playing frantic guitar solos, with a mandate to wail higher and zoom faster.
The craziness on â€œChinese Democracyâ€ isnâ€™t the wild, brawling arrogance that the young Mr. Rose and his rowdy â€™80s band mates gave the fledgling Guns Nâ€™ Roses. Itâ€™s the maniacal attention to detail thatâ€™s possible in the era of Pro Tools: the infinitude of tiny tweaks available for every instant of a track, the chance to reshape every sound and reshuffle every setting, to test every guitar solo ever played on a song â€” or all of them at once â€” and then throw on a string arrangement for good measure. That microscopic focus is obvious throughout â€œChinese Democracyâ€; every note sounds honed, polished, aimed â€” and then crammed into a song thatâ€™s already brimming with other virtuosity. At points where the mix goes truly haywire, like the end of â€œCatcher in the Rye,â€ a Meat Loaf song title sums things up: â€œEverything Louder Than Everything Else.â€
Itâ€™s easy to imagine Mr. Rose determined to outdo his own brazen youth and his old band, but with less perspective and hundreds of new tracks as each year goes by. If Guns Nâ€™ Roses had released â€œChinese Democracyâ€ in 2000, it would still have been an event, but it might also have been treated as the transitional album in a bandâ€™s continuing career. By holding it back and tinkering with it for so long, Mr. Rose has pressured himself to make it epochal â€” especially if, on this timetable, the next Guns Nâ€™ Roses studio album doesnâ€™t arrive until 2025. And fans were waiting for him to defy the world again, not to do another digital edit. Sometime during the years of work, theatricality and razzle-dazzle replaced heart.
As Mr. Rose bemoans the love that ended or vows to face life uncompromised and on his own, the music on â€œChinese Democracyâ€ swells and crashes all around him, frantic and nearly devoid of breathing space. Itâ€™s hard to envision him as the songs do, that besieged antihero alone against the world, when heâ€™s sharing his bunker with a cast of thousands.
Record sales are at an all time low. Labels are firing everyone. Retail stores are closing down or cutting back on shelfspace for music. So the question is, can ROCK save the biz? Here are some of the bigger albums that have come out or will be out soon: Guns N Roses, AC/DC, Nickelback, The Killers, and Fall Out Boy. Rolling Stone spoke to a bunch of retailers and record people and they all seem to think that these releases will sell strong during the holidays.
“We’re going to have a solid release schedule,” says Ed Hogan, director of music for Best Buy, which is putting out G n’ R’s long-awaited Chinese Democracy. “I doubt whether it can turn around the overall industry decline and help make up for the fact that the economic time is difficult.”
Expected hits by U2, Dr. Dre and Jay-Z have been bumped to next year. But among the confirmed superstar records due are Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak, on November 25th; 50 Cent’s Before I Self Destruct, in mid-December; Britney Spears’ Circus, December 2nd; BeyoncÃ©’s I Am . . . Sasha Fierce, later this month; and new albums by Akon, American Idol winner David Cook and possibly, by year’s end, Eminem.
on the new GNR album
After 14 years of delays, Chinese Democracy is finally coming out on November 23rd. But with Axl Rose unlikely to do many promotional appearances, the album will have to rely on radio play and Best Buy’s marketing machine, which ran a clever ad during Saturday Night Live. The first single, “Chinese Democracy,” hit Number Nine on hard-rock radio in its first two weeks. “I really think [fans] are going to go out and buy this thing the minute it hits,” says Doug Podell, program director for Detroit rock station WRIF. “I sense it’s pent-up. The timing is really right.”
Podell even thinks that Nickelback’s “Dark Horse” will sell well because of their previous albums selling so well for an extended period of time.
“Those aren’t necessarily a one-week thing.”
One record exec who’s still optimistic (fool?)
“Seeing how AC/DC and some other groups of that ilk have done makes me a little more positive,” says Ron Burman, senior vice president of A&R for Nickelback’s label, Roadrunner. “I would like to think rock isn’t necessarily affected by the economy. People want to rock.”
There’s been a lot of talk as to why Guns N Roses’s new album, “Chinese Democracy”, has taken so long to be released. Was Axl Rose really working on a masterpiece? Were there a lot of legal problems? Did he just take a nap and not want to get up? It’s a little bit of everything but one topic that hasn’t fully been examined is that Axl Rose could’ve been broken-hearted and maybe even depressed. A closer look at some of the lyrics show mentions of love and pain and stolen hearts. Take a closer look and maybe even listen to the album in full here. (Thanks to this site for the lyrics.)
The hardest part, this troubled heart has never yet been through now,
To heal the scars that got their start inside someone like you now,
But had I known or I’d been shown back when I longed you’d take me,
To break the charge that brought me home…
that, all but would erase me
I never would not thought I could
No matter what you’d pay me
replay the part
You stole my heart
I should have known you’re crazy
If all I knew was that with you
I’d want someone to save me
It’d be enough,
But just my luck
I fell in love and baby… ”
As when you first told me you were gone,
So long ago but I still held on
Through all the EMOTIONS that I’ve had to take
And thats the truth, and here’s the worst yet
Wouldn’t even matter the things that I say
You’ve made your mind up and gone anyway
And there’s no use now in dragging it on
Should’ve seen it coming all along
“Street Of Dreams”
I don’t know just what I should do
Everywhere I go I see you
You know its what you planned, this much is true
What I thought was beautiful, don’t live inside of you anymore
“This I Love”
I just can’t let it die
Cause her heart’s just like mine
And she holds her pain inside
So if you ask me why
She wouldn’t say goodbye
I know somewhere inside
There is a special light
Still shining bright
And even on the darkest night
She can’t deny
So if she’s somewhere near me
I hope to God she hears me
There’s no one else
Could ever make me feel
I’m so alive
I hoped she’d never leave me
Please God you must believe me
I’ve searched the universe
And found myself
Within’ her eyes
If you see Axl outside, give him a hug. and let me know about it. Oh and “Say Hi to your mother for me”
Though it’s not set to be released until Sunday, the new Guns N Roses album “Chinese Democracy” has been leaked online. Now I would never suggest that you download anything illegally, but The Audio Perv is curious to hear your opinion immediately. So if you can’t wait to buy it on Sunday, you can maybe check it out right HERE. I know that you probably heard the 9 song leak and even “Shackler’s Revenge” but I know that you want to hear the whole album NOW.. and you can do so .. I’m told.. by going HERE!.
There are rumors that Guns N Roses might be playing the Leeds Festival next year. They should do it. They’ve done Rock am Ring before and other hard rock bands have played Leeds and Reading like Metallica. Plus everyone knows that the best summer festivals are in Europe. Maybe that’s why Beyonce wants to play Glastonbury.
Here are some listening parties for Guns N Roses’s new album “Chinese Democracy” thanks to gnr’s myspace:
New York City
Nov. 17 at 7PM
Webster Hall â€“ The Studio
125 E 11th St.
New York, NY 10003
Nov. 17 at 8PM
1930 Greenville Ave,
Dallas, TX 75206
Nov. 17 at 8PM
21 + Over
940 W. Weed St .
Chicago, IL 60622
Nov. 18 at 9PM
9009 West Sunset Blvd.,
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Nov. 18 at 6:30PM
18 + Over
318 1st Ave
N Minneapolis, MN 55401
Nov. 19 at 7:30PM
152 Luckie Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
Nov. 20 at 7:30PM
21 + Over
444 Jessie Street,
San Francisco, CA 94103
Nov. 20 at 8PM
Cavern Club At Hard Rock CafÃ©
22-24 Clinton St.
Boston, MA 02109
Nov. 20 at 7 PM
St. Andrews Hall
431 E Congress St.
Detroit, MI 48226
The listening events are free and open to the public. No cell phones or recording devices are allowed.
At the Classic Rock awards in London the other night, Slash spoke to the BBC who asked him about Guns N Roses’s “Chinese Democracy” album coming out and he said, “I’m glad it’s finally coming out after all this time. It’s good to hear Axl’s voice again. That’s what’s cool.â€
Then he was asked about going back to GNR to which he replied, “You know what everybody asks the same question. But how the fuck would I know?”
Relax dude. Everyone wants you to go back and you know that you’ll be on the same stage as Axl one day. We just hope that we don’t have to wait till Guns N Roses gets inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame to see it.
Kevin Cogill aka Skwerl from Antiquiet.com is the blogger who leaked the 9 Chinese Democracy tracks that leaked online (from an anonymouse source) earlier this summer and got in trouble for it. He was set to go to jail for up to 5 years but Wired is reporting that it’s been knocked down from a felony to a misdemeanor which would be only about a year in prison. Cogill will probably get off with a slap on the wrist and not be allowed to use the internet for about a year. Oh and I bet that he’ll get his free can of Dr. Pepper too. Somewhere Axl Rose is paying a hitman to finish the job.
Billboard is reporting that the tracklisting for Guns N Roses “Chinese Democracy” has been listed online. There’s also a small picture of the album cover. It doesn’t look that great blown up, apologies. If you haven’t heard the songs before, you can check them out here: http://www.allrespect.com/bliss/n_719/Chinese-Democracy-Leaked-(Here!-9-tracks).
1. Chinese Democracy
3. Shackler’s Revenge
4. Street Of Dreams
5. If The World
7. This I Love
8. There Was A Time
9. Riad N’ The Bedovins
It’s official. We now know the date when you can buy the most overhyped, overdelayed album of all time, Chinese Democracy. Billboard.biz is reporting that the new Guns N Roses album will be out on Sunday November 23rd, just in time for Black Friday November 28th. Black Friday is traditionally one of the best shopping days of the year as everyone starts their Christmas shopping on that day. Because the album’s being released on a Sunday, the album will not chart on that week’s Billboard but on the following week on December 1st. This will probably be one of the few CDs that The Audio Perv purchases this year.