Music News

Chinese Democracy on Nov. 23? Really? REALLY???

By Martin Cizmar

It's been a good day in metal, what with Metallica opening their World Tour here in Phoenix Tuesday night, and now Guns N' Roses announcing a release date for Chinese Democracy.

Wait, what?

That's right, Axl's people say his 15-years-in-the-making masterpiece is reportedly finally ready for release. A press release says we are to believe the coming of the most anticipated album in the history of rock – I don't think this is hyperbole as it's been anticipated intensely for a long, long time by many, many people – is imminent.

Personally, I'm having a really hard time believing it's actually true. Sure, Best Buy is taking pre-orders as of right now, but am I really to believe such an announcement would come to me via a press release forwarded by someone at Village Voice corporate instead of, say, by courier, telegram or possibly a chorus of angels?

MINNEAPOLIS, October 22, 2008 - Best Buy and Geffen Records announced that one of the most highly anticipated albums of all time, Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy, will be available beginning Nov. 23 at Best Buy and on CD, vinyl, and digital downloads. The title track, the first single from the album, was released to radio today, October 22. Chinese Democracy is the first album of new material from one of rock's most influential bands since the 1991 simultaneous releases of Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II. "The release of Chinese Democracy marks a historic moment in rock n' roll," said co-managers Irving Azoff and Andy Gould. "We're launching with a monumental campaign developed by Gary Arnold and the Best Buy team that matches the groundbreaking sound of the album itself. Guns N' Roses fans have every reason to celebrate, for this is only the beginning."

Pre-orders at begin today.

So what exactly is on the record and what will it sound like?

According to Best Buy (who provided the poor quality image above) the following is the tracklisting of Chinese Democracy:

"Chinese Democracy" "Shackler's Revenge" "Better" "Street Of Dreams" "If The World" "There Was A Time" "Catcher N' The Rye" "Scraped" "Riad N' The Bedouins" "Sorry" "I.R.S." "Madagascar" "This I Love" "Prostitute"

I’m not familiar with a lot of these songs, but “Madagascar,” floating around in bootleg form from some South American show a few years back, is an Illusion style epic and “I.R.S.” is an angry rocker. Oddly missing is “The Blues,” my favorite of the leaked tracks – not sure if it’s been dropped or renamed. "Silkworms," which I was never very fond of, is also gone.

I had the privilege of seeing Axl, Buckethead and the rest of the stiffs in his new band a few years back on one of their soon-aborted tours, and it's one of the best shows I've ever seen, so I don't doubt Axl still has it, I just wonder if this album is ever going to come out for real.

Oh, and since we've already been giving a lot of love to Spin and metal today, here's the best thing written about Chinese Democracy so far: Chuck Klosterman's 2006 April Fool's album review.

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Martin Cizmar
Contact: Martin Cizmar