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10 Years of Chinese Democracy

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Released on November 23, 2008 ... today the album completes exactly 10 years.
What are your impressions about him these days?
What memories do you have of the time it was released?

 

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Edited by auad

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44 minutes ago, auad said:

118042564-2.jpg

 

Released on November 23, 2008 ... today the album completes exactly 10 years.
What are your impressions about him these days?
What memories do you have of the time it was released?

2008, we all weighed less

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I wrote it all down in my livejournal.  All of it.  Wanna take a trip down memory lane?  Get comfy or read this when you have to take a long crap...it's long:

 

November 21st, 2008


03:40 pm - CHINESE DEMOCRACY
At approximately 3:30PM on Friday, November 21st, local Japan time, I walked into the Tower Records in Kashiwa and saw something I never thought I'd see with my own eyes.....an endcap display full of Chinese Democracy CDs.  The real thing.  There was nothing special about the Japanese version...no extra tracks or anything, so I got the regular US version for about ten dollars less.

I'm listening to it right now here in the internet cafe.  I'll give a track by track analysis.

1. Chinese Democracy

The intro is really good, and I like the way it builds up into the main guitar riff, but this is a song that's been around a long time and I never really cared for it as much as the some of the others.  There's no real HOOK to it.  I was always disappointed that Axl never actually says the words "Chinese Democracy"....the imaginary version that Anthony and I dreamed up years and years ago is still better in my mind.  "Chyeahneesse democracy yeeeeaaaahhh!"

2.  Shackler's Revenge

A really goofy title.  Crazy screechy guitars.  Sounds a lot like "Oh My God" actually, which is not one of the best GNR tunes.  It's OK I guess.

3.  Better

A lot of hardcore fans seem to like this one the best....good vocals by Axl and a real "updated" sound to the band.  I like it, but it's not one of my favorites.  It's pretty good, but like 80% of the album, we've had it for years.

4.  Street of Dreams  (aka The Blues)

Always my favorite of the "new" songs back when they debuted them...it's a power ballad with signature Axl vocals.  One of the best...even though it's pretty old now I still love it.  I always thought it sounded like it could have fit on the Illusion albums.  Sounds very much like a classic Guns track.

5.  If The World

Sounds like a James Bond theme.  It's not bad really...kinda different and I like that.  Not all songs need crazy shredding guitars.  As always, Axl's vocals are the main thing.  I like it.

6.  There Was A Time

Maybe the best song on the album.  A rather sprawling rock epic in the vein of Locomotive or Breakdown.  Definitely feels like an Illusion track.  I love this song.  Classic Axl all the way...his voice rules...love how he sings "But there was a tiiiiiiiiii-iiiiiiime..."

7.  Catcher in the Rye

Another favorite...I'm so glad this one made the album cause it was rumored to not be on it.  This song feels like a 1970's AM radio hit.  The polished album version loses a little of that feel that the demo had, but I still LOVE this song...it's very unique compared to the rest of the album, especially the heavier stuff. 

8.  Scraped

One of the only truly "new" songs on the album, and it totally kicks ass!  I like the intro a lot...this is just a straight up rocker, with Axl doing his thing...man, tracks 6, 7, and 8 really rock...

9.  Riad N' The Bedouins

The first "new" song we heard way back in '01.  Sounds better on the CD than live.  Not one of my favorites.  Cool new intro though.

10.  Sorry

Another NEW song...long and slow.  Weird vocals.  Kinda dull.  Maybe it'll grow on me.

11.  IRS

Another older leak, and I've always felt it may be the weakest on the album.  Just kind of boring...no good chorus.   I think it's just filler. 

12.  Madagascar

Supposed to be an epic ballad, but I think it's just boring.  The sound clips from movies and speeches are really distracting and unnecessary.  We first heard it back in '01 and it never really did much for me back then either.

13.  This I Love

A real surprise...I have waited literally HALF MY LIFE to hear this song.  I first read about it in a magazine article back in high school and just figured this was something we'd never ever hear...lost forever in some locked up vault in Axl's mansion.  The Holy Grail for GNR fans.  So how can any song live up to that kind of hype?  First off, the song sounds extremely melodramatic, WAY over the top.  It's a piano ballad...sounds like a Broadway showtune really....but you know what?  I dig it...it's AXL!!  I'm sure most people would hear it and dismiss it right away, but for old school GNR fans that have been waiting so long...it's GOLD!

14.  Prostitute

Another slower song...kind of a ballad.  Not bad, but not great...has a nice outro which is  good way to end the album.

Overall....wow...I just can't believe this thing really exists!  I'm not sure if this is really what Axl had in mind all these years...I have a theory that the label just threw together what they had access to, and in Axl's mind it's still unfinished.  There are five tunes I REALLY like, and the rest are pretty good, and only a few I don't care for.  Street fo Dreams, There Was a Time, Catcher in the Rye, Scraped, and This I Love....awesome.  Man.  So cool to finally have this album after all these freaking YEARS.  Too bad I don't get a Dr. Pepper though.

OK...now I have to try to get the songs on my player...dunno if I can....everything's in Japanese....

 

(2018 update...the novelty of finally hearing TIL didn't last long.  Maybe two more listens and I had to concede that it indeed sucks.  I stand by the rest...I love Blues, Catcher and TWAT, and Scraped is my last favorite of the album.  I find it hilarious that so many people despise it.  Man, If the World sure got buried didn't it?  Nobody talks about it or gives a shit about it.  I was dead on in my first listen to Sorry though.   What a piece of shit.)

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With the release of Chinese Democracy the weight was finally lifted off his shoulders. Unfortunately by not releasing Chinese Democracy II the weight came back and landed on his stomach. Free Atlas Shrugged and the rest of Chinese Democracy II and your ass will follow. 

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8 minutes ago, EstrangedTWAT said:
8.  Scraped

One of the only truly "new" songs on the album, and it totally kicks ass!  I like the intro a lot...this is just a straight up rocker, with Axl doing his thing...man, tracks 6, 7, and 8 really rock...

rdlol.gif

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"It sounds plastic and fake, sculpted and brittle, and is accreted from literally thousands and thousands of layers and tiny edits and short snippets, recorded in bursts. Yet with real (and very expensive) orchestra and strings!"

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1 hour ago, EstrangedTWAT said:

I wrote it all down in my livejournal.  All of it.  Wanna take a trip down memory lane?  Get comfy or read this when you have to take a long crap...it's long:

 

November 21st, 2008


03:40 pm - CHINESE DEMOCRACY
At approximately 3:30PM on Friday, November 21st, local Japan time, I walked into the Tower Records in Kashiwa and saw something I never thought I'd see with my own eyes.....an endcap display full of Chinese Democracy CDs.  The real thing.  There was nothing special about the Japanese version...no extra tracks or anything, so I got the regular US version for about ten dollars less.

I'm listening to it right now here in the internet cafe.  I'll give a track by track analysis.

1. Chinese Democracy

The intro is really good, and I like the way it builds up into the main guitar riff, but this is a song that's been around a long time and I never really cared for it as much as the some of the others.  There's no real HOOK to it.  I was always disappointed that Axl never actually says the words "Chinese Democracy"....the imaginary version that Anthony and I dreamed up years and years ago is still better in my mind.  "Chyeahneesse democracy yeeeeaaaahhh!"

2.  Shackler's Revenge

A really goofy title.  Crazy screechy guitars.  Sounds a lot like "Oh My God" actually, which is not one of the best GNR tunes.  It's OK I guess.

3.  Better

A lot of hardcore fans seem to like this one the best....good vocals by Axl and a real "updated" sound to the band.  I like it, but it's not one of my favorites.  It's pretty good, but like 80% of the album, we've had it for years.

4.  Street of Dreams  (aka The Blues)

Always my favorite of the "new" songs back when they debuted them...it's a power ballad with signature Axl vocals.  One of the best...even though it's pretty old now I still love it.  I always thought it sounded like it could have fit on the Illusion albums.  Sounds very much like a classic Guns track.

5.  If The World

Sounds like a James Bond theme.  It's not bad really...kinda different and I like that.  Not all songs need crazy shredding guitars.  As always, Axl's vocals are the main thing.  I like it.

6.  There Was A Time

Maybe the best song on the album.  A rather sprawling rock epic in the vein of Locomotive or Breakdown.  Definitely feels like an Illusion track.  I love this song.  Classic Axl all the way...his voice rules...love how he sings "But there was a tiiiiiiiiii-iiiiiiime..."

7.  Catcher in the Rye

Another favorite...I'm so glad this one made the album cause it was rumored to not be on it.  This song feels like a 1970's AM radio hit.  The polished album version loses a little of that feel that the demo had, but I still LOVE this song...it's very unique compared to the rest of the album, especially the heavier stuff. 

8.  Scraped

One of the only truly "new" songs on the album, and it totally kicks ass!  I like the intro a lot...this is just a straight up rocker, with Axl doing his thing...man, tracks 6, 7, and 8 really rock...

9.  Riad N' The Bedouins

The first "new" song we heard way back in '01.  Sounds better on the CD than live.  Not one of my favorites.  Cool new intro though.

10.  Sorry

Another NEW song...long and slow.  Weird vocals.  Kinda dull.  Maybe it'll grow on me.

11.  IRS

Another older leak, and I've always felt it may be the weakest on the album.  Just kind of boring...no good chorus.   I think it's just filler. 

12.  Madagascar

Supposed to be an epic ballad, but I think it's just boring.  The sound clips from movies and speeches are really distracting and unnecessary.  We first heard it back in '01 and it never really did much for me back then either.

13.  This I Love

A real surprise...I have waited literally HALF MY LIFE to hear this song.  I first read about it in a magazine article back in high school and just figured this was something we'd never ever hear...lost forever in some locked up vault in Axl's mansion.  The Holy Grail for GNR fans.  So how can any song live up to that kind of hype?  First off, the song sounds extremely melodramatic, WAY over the top.  It's a piano ballad...sounds like a Broadway showtune really....but you know what?  I dig it...it's AXL!!  I'm sure most people would hear it and dismiss it right away, but for old school GNR fans that have been waiting so long...it's GOLD!

14.  Prostitute

Another slower song...kind of a ballad.  Not bad, but not great...has a nice outro which is  good way to end the album.

Overall....wow...I just can't believe this thing really exists!  I'm not sure if this is really what Axl had in mind all these years...I have a theory that the label just threw together what they had access to, and in Axl's mind it's still unfinished.  There are five tunes I REALLY like, and the rest are pretty good, and only a few I don't care for.  Street fo Dreams, There Was a Time, Catcher in the Rye, Scraped, and This I Love....awesome.  Man.  So cool to finally have this album after all these freaking YEARS.  Too bad I don't get a Dr. Pepper though.

OK...now I have to try to get the songs on my player...dunno if I can....everything's in Japanese....

 

(2018 update...the novelty of finally hearing TIL didn't last long.  Maybe two more listens and I had to concede that it indeed sucks.  I stand by the rest...I love Blues, Catcher and TWAT, and Scraped is my last favorite of the album.  I find it hilarious that so many people despise it.  Man, If the World sure got buried didn't it?  Nobody talks about it or gives a shit about it.  I was dead on in my first listen to Sorry though.   What a piece of shit.)

Good post Buddy!

Nice read.

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It was around the release of this album that I stumbled on to mygnrforum.  I remember people were posting pictures of Fernando and the other hangers on, like jarmo, holding the album outside of Best Buy.  I had no idea who any of those people were.  I assumed they were posters from the forum. 

 

Anyway, I picked up on the fact that people were amused by something in the pictures that I didn't immediately catch- and that was, someone had photoshopped a picture of Slash on to Jarmo's shirt.  "Photoshopped" is a loose term.  I wasn't paying close attention, and naturally, as an innocent old timer who just curious about the new edition of GnR, I just thought Jarmo was legitimately wearing a Slash t-shirt and it wasn't a big deal.  At some point not long after, it dawned on me that someone had shopped in a Slash picture on Jarmo's shirt, and that's what people were giggling about.  

 

Believe it or not, the altered pictures were not removed.  Mindblowing, right?  

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3 hours ago, auad said:

118042564-2.jpg

 

Released on November 23, 2008 ... today the album completes exactly 10 years.
 

 

 

Nice back cover.... Front cover is the same as the official  release ?

The "untitled" song is something we know I guess...

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I still remember throwing on the headphones and listening to it for the first time. I also remember the sinking feeling in my stomach as I realized Axl had lost his touch.

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22 hours ago, Ragnar said:

The best album from any GNR alumni and the best album of the 2000`s as well.

 

Eat your fucking hearts out, fags....

:thumbsup:

Edited by auad

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1 minute ago, GnRLiars said:

Can we all finally agree that it didn’t pick up steam like AFD and it didn’t get better with time...

 

Give it 10 more years and it will become a classic.

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CD was a good album for what it was - Axl’s desire for what he wanted GnR to be. 

 

Better. Twat. Street of Dreams. Catcher. Great songs. The rest of the album is either solid or “interesting” as Axl tried new things. 

 

I still listen to most of it on the reg. And would love to have 3-4 more Axl albums just like it. 

 

The downfalls:

 

It isn’t strong enough to hold the entire weight of being “this is what Axl broke up GnR for? This is what a 13 million dollar album sounds like? This is an album that took 13 years to make?” No album is good enough for that. CD wouldn’t be so panned if Axl has released four more albums of material. 

 

Should have been released seven years earlier. 

 

Too much tinkering.  The Blues kills Street of Dreams. GnR was a dirty grimey sleazy rock band. A louder Rolling Stones. A dirtier Aerosmith. Fans didn’t necessarily want a GnR that had songs with three keyboards and 18 layers of vocals. We wanted Axl Fucking Rose. The guy who filled in with AC/DC...not the old guy singing with Billy Joel.  Remember what the keyboard solo in Jump did to Van Halen. 

 

Also, popular music is for young people. It’s rare that a bunch of 50 year old multi-millionaires release music that makes a huge dent in the rock world. The majority of 15-25 year old kids don’t give a fuck a Guns N Roses. Axl’s target audience is the older generation. And let’s be real - most 40 year olds aren’t influenced by music like we were at 20. I listened to Appetite on a daily basis for probably year straight.  

 

When is the last time you listened to an album 2-3 times a day for six months straight? So it was a little unrealistic to think Axl was going to release something that changed the rock music world. 

 

For what it was, at that stage in Axl’s career, CD was a great album.

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8 minutes ago, Skeeter said:

CD was a good album for what it was - Axl’s desire for what he wanted GnR to be. 

 

Better. Twat. Street of Dreams. Catcher. Great songs. The rest of the album is either solid or “interesting” as Axl tried new things. 

 

I still listen to most of it on the reg. And would love to have 3-4 more Axl albums just like it. 

 

The downfalls:

 

It isn’t strong enough to hold the entire weight of being “this is what Axl broke up GnR for? This is what a 13 million dollar album sounds like? This is an album that took 13 years to make?” No album is good enough for that. CD wouldn’t be so panned if Axl has released four more albums of material. 

 

Should have been released seven years earlier. 

 

Too much tinkering.  The Blues kills Street of Dreams. GnR was a dirty grimey sleazy rock band. A louder Rolling Stones. A dirtier Aerosmith. Fans didn’t necessarily want a GnR that had songs with three keyboards and 18 layers of vocals. We wanted Axl Fucking Rose. The guy who filled in with AC/DC...not the old guy singing with Billy Joel.  Remember what the keyboard solo in Jump did to Van Halen. 

 

Also, popular music is for young people. It’s rare that a bunch of 50 year old multi-millionaires release music that makes a huge dent in the rock world. The majority of 15-25 year old kids don’t give a fuck a Guns N Roses. Axl’s target audience is the older generation. And let’s be real - most 40 year olds aren’t influenced by music like we were at 20. I listened to Appetite on a daily basis for probably year straight.  

 

When is the last time you listened to an album 2-3 times a day for six months straight? So it was a little unrealistic to think Axl was going to release something that changed the rock music world. 

 

For what it was, at that stage in Axl’s career, CD was a great album.

my opinion is kind of this:

for a solo album by Axl, chinese is great;
but being considered a GNR album ... is weak.

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His vocals on Angel Down - all of about 30 seconds - are better than everything on Chinese Democracy. 

 

Which is unforgivable. 

 

It's a colossal failure of an album. In just about every aspect. 

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45 minutes ago, Skeeter said:

 

Too much tinkering.  The Blues kills Street of Dreams. GnR was a dirty grimey sleazy rock band. A louder Rolling Stones. A dirtier Aerosmith. Fans didn’t necessarily want a GnR that had songs with three keyboards and 18 layers of vocals. We wanted Axl Fucking Rose. The guy who filled in with AC/DC...not the old guy singing with Billy Joel.  Remember what the keyboard solo in Jump did to Van Halen. 

 

Too much tinkering killed the album. 

Agreed the Blues is better than SOD

the early demo of IRS is better

the early demo of CD was better 

 

you get my drift

 

Cut, snip, paste to all of the songs ruined any fluidity to the album

 

Also someone one said that listening to the album you can make out the time periods when the songs were recorded...

pits all over the place

 

 

some of the songs individually are good, but together as an album they’re lost

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Like I said back in 2008. in 2002 or 2004 the good version of the band, aka BH, Finck, and Brain, should have take the cuts of the songs axl wanted and re-recorded them so it was not so cut and pasted.  The earlier cuts are way better of course. Just listen to the blues demo 2001, it blows away the album version.

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