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NEW YORK (Billboard) - Nine purported "mastered, finished" tracks from Guns N' Roses' 14-years-in-the-making album "Chinese Democracy" have been leaked online by the Web site Antiquiet.com, prompting a quick cease-and-desist from the band's handlers and the removal of the links.
Six of the songs have already leaked in one unfinished form or another: "Better," "The Blues," the title track, "Madagascar," "IRS" and "There Was a Time." But these versions appear to be much further along on the path toward completion, and feature new touches like organ and tambourine on "IRS" and a beefed-up chorus with multi-tracked vocals on "Madagascar."
The three previously unheard songs are "Rhiad and the Bedouins," "If the World" and a track whose title is unknown.
"Rhiad," which was played live by Guns N' Roses in 2001 and 2002, is a pounding rocker with a trademark down-and-dirty main guitar riff and a flashy solo. "If the World" is a head-spinning blend of flamenco guitar, industrial synth tones, bluesy piano licks and singer Axl Rose at the top of his vocal register, while the unnamed track is an even more unusual melange of piano-led crooning, orchestral bombast and a serene instrumental outtro.
"Chinese Democracy," the follow-up to the 1991 "Use Your Illusion" albums, will likely go down as the album with the most troubled birth in rock history. Work began way back in 1994, and since then, Rose has burned through a reported $13 million in production costs as well as every original member of the group.