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Long piece chronicling the history and future of Chinese Democracy

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The conundrum of Guns N' Roses' 2008 album Chinese Democracy is clear: Why on earth would a preposterously individualist rock star produce a solipsistic piece of art, thinly veil it as a democratic effort, and then nearly disown it?

 

Nielsen reports that Chinese Democracy sold 549,000 units in the first 12 weeks of release.

Chinese Democracy was, by most standards, a commercial failure

 

Chinese Democracy had a sociopathic tinge to it that made it an album that could become a character in a Bret Easton Ellis novel, not something to head-bang to; the perplexing irony being that Axl Rose previewed Chinese Democracy at a Vegas strip club in 2003

 

In 1999, reporting for Rolling Stone, David Wild was the first reporter to sit down with Axl Rose and listen to Chinese Democracy, which was "99 percent musically done" a decade before it would be released. "Axl was trying to respond to the different waves of music, and it seemed like he was trying to wait out the changes to capture something new"

 

"There is the desire definitely to do it, to get over some of the hump of the people that are trying to keep you in the past," Axl told RS.

 

Even before the Antiquiet leaks, most of Chinese Democracy was being pieced together by internet-savvy fans. "Everyone in the forums were waiting around for the album to come out, but when it came out, we'd already heard a lot of it and there was a bit of exhaustion," says Downzy, one of the moderators of the MyGNRForum

 

Tommy Stinson, who says he hasn't listened to Chinese Democracy since he helped record it, provides his take on Axl's unfinished masterpiece: "All I can is…that record was not meant to be one disc."

 

Complete article: The Divisive Legacy & Surprising Future of Guns N' Roses' 'Chinese Democracy'

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"All of the material that hadn't been released was coming out in 2016, then, the reunion happened"

 

Since the Not In This Lifetime... Tour began in April 2016, Chinese Democracy has sold 7,900 units, according to Nielsen. That's pretty insignificant. However, streams of Chinese Democracy (a total of all songs on the album) have spiked from 8 million to 24 million, which is to say that Slash and Duff's endorsement, and the tour, has led to a notable increase in album streams.

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"Chinese Democracy proves the importance of Izzy Stradlin to Guns N' Roses," says Alan Niven, who managed the band from 1986 to 1991. For an Izzy purist such as Niven, the former guitarist was the leash on Axl's mad genius, the voice who would keep him from losing himself in an abyss that's absent of limitation -- which is what makes Chinese Democracy such a fascinating study of an auteur losing control while trying so desperately to assert it"

 

I chuckled reading this last excerpt :lol:.

 

The notion that Izzy or whoever else put a "leash" on Axl and did n`t allow him to do whatever he wanted (in this case musically) is a one big streaming, unfiltered pile of horseshit pulled out of yes, you guessed it, horse' ass :lol:

 

It`s revisionism at its core. Then again, half of what fanbase believes to be truth and facts is nothing but revisionism.

 

I do wonder what Izzy`s reaction was when he heard synth overdub on "Paradise City" which we all know he, as the rest of the band, vehemently opposed.

 

I do wonder how Slash, Izzy and Duff bottled it up after Axl sent them to fuck themselves when they tried to dissuade him for releasing "One In A Million".

 

I do wonder how they reacted when they heard all the orchestration and bombast on UYIs :lol:.

 

Niven is so full of shit. I understand why Axl dismissed his dumb ass. What`s more annoying is how he thinks he`s smart when in reality, he`s dumb as a bag full of rocks :lol:.

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Contraband is the GNR album of the 2000s. It was rocking, fun, pop, generic and well written and produced.

 

Chinese Democracy is painful to listen to, it tries to copy every pop fad and fails, it's pretentious but ends up as generic as any new/alt metal album from that period, it's poorly written and a mess production-wise, including copy paste blips.

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Blah blah blah... literature...blah blah it's not the media's fault for..blah blah...Howard Hughes...blah blah Dylan...mystery..blah blah blah...go buy the record hipster...blah blah blah not axls fault blah blah the record company blew it...blah blah it's an amazing album...

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This article is forgetting, or ignoring, the fact that the media laughed at Rose for trying to make new music and carry on with the GnR name, for years, so when the album came out it was a guaranteed failure, a fart in the wind.  Now the propaganda machine is trying to blame the lack of success on unaccepting fans who wouldn't let go of appetite.     

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I don't think the media had such a huge impact. By 2000 GNR was already completely irrelevant. By 2008 and it finally came out, Axl had accumulated cancelled tours, bad MTV performances, the whole freak image damaged the brand a lot. Nobody's fault here but Axl.

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The record should never have been released. Axl probably didn't want to release it. He probably couldn't be bothered with it after tinkering with it on and off for ten years and it still sounded like crap.

 

There's nothing inspiring about what was released. The list of crap is endless, from the production, to the vocals, to the simply dreadful musicianship, there is just no end to how bad it is.
 

I'm glad it failed. To take a bunch of unknown session musicians, and labelling them 'Guns N' Roses' was a stupid enough idea, but releasing a crap record under that name too, well, it got what it deserved.

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This article reminds me why I’m so dismissive of the band’s future. The failure and reputation of Chinese Democracy is exactly why having their next comeback album sound so drastically similar to their last comeback album that crashed and burned (which Axl confirmed is the case for the unreleased stuff) is a horrible idea. Hands down the worst mistake the band can make. Having Slash and Duff peppered onto an already overlayered monstrosity won’t help. Fuck off with that notion. Even scarier since it does unfortunately seem to be the most likely scenario for “new music”. But would the label let them waste the opportunity like that? Because it makes zero business sense.

 

I’d only care about a new album if the recordings are at least fresh (don’t care what year the songs are stemmed from), and if Izzy is mostly involved in the process as this is where they need Izzy. Neither of which are likely to happen. Ya know, because it’d make too much sense and all. Something that’s kriptonite to this band. Fuckin fags.

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Izzy Stradlin must be the most over-hyped fuck in the history of music.....How's that hot tune he wrote about going to the dentist?  Just fucking sad........  The romanticism over past junkies that were given way to much credit is sickening at best, and outright pathetic.

 

Fun game to play if you know multiple GNR fans.  If you like CD, compare yourself to a fan you know that doesn't, or vice versa.  The line of delineation is staggering on so many levels.

Edited by deelowbrown

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10 minutes ago, deelowbrown said:

Izzy Stradlin must be the most over-hyped fuck in the history of music.....How's that hot tune he wrote about going to the dentist?  Just fucking sad........  The romanticism over past junkies that were given way to much credit is sickening at best, and outright pathetic.

 

Fun game to play if you know multiple GNR fans.  If you like CD, compare yourself to a fan you know that doesn't, or vice versa.  The line of delineation is staggering on so many levels.

Like every one of them, he sucks without the others. But he’s essential to lying a foundation to a good tune that Axl and Slash can accelerate to something great. The history of that speaks for itself. Axl, Slash, and Izzy are the trifecta to what made GNR actually work. Without one of them, they suck that much more. Yeah he’s not really needed for touring and live performances. But he is for the creative process.

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Do you honestly believe, that in 2018, he is going to be able to help Axl Rose (or anyone on this planet) with writing a song?  

Those days are dead.  I really think some fans need to embrace this and either adapt or move on.  

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1 hour ago, deelowbrown said:

Do you honestly believe, that in 2018, he is going to be able to help Axl Rose (or anyone on this planet) with writing a song?  

Those days are dead.  I really think some fans need to embrace this and either adapt or move on.  

I don’t have much faith any of them have it in them to put out a great Guns N’ Roses record in their fuckin mid-late 50s 😂 

 

But they have a better chance with Izzy than without.

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11 hours ago, deelowbrown said:

Izzy Stradlin must be the most over-hyped fuck in the history of music.....How's that hot tune he wrote about going to the dentist?  Just fucking sad........  The romanticism over past junkies that were given way to much credit is sickening at best, and outright pathetic.

 

Fun game to play if you know multiple GNR fans.  If you like CD, compare yourself to a fan you know that doesn't, or vice versa.  The line of delineation is staggering on so many levels.

Quoted for truth. Izzy can eat a dick.

 

By far the most overrated member of the classic lineup. Yes, more overrated than fucking Steven.

 

As far as I`m concerned, he has made one good album on his own "Like A Dog", "Juju Hounds" and "On Down the Road" have like two or three halfway decent song ideas, the rest, the less spoken of, the better.

 

To suggest Axl can`t make good music without Izzy is just, let`s say naive without offending anyone (if they take offence, well, it`s not my problem). 

 

Yeah, yeah, I know everyone has a right to voice their opnions and all that jazz but there comes a time when it`s much better to keep silent than say some inane bullshit :lol:.

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Axl's best efforts have been seen, and they have been humiliating for him. He might not need Izzy, but he does need someone to write songs for him.

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The recipe for Axl is simple and unique. Do as Aerosmith did.

Hire two good composers who create 4 hits per disc, fill each disc with 6 experiments, and cast videos from those 4 hits.

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