New Guns N' Roses album hits stores, a little late

Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:44pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The day many rock fans never expected to see in their lifetimes is nigh.

Guns N' Roses, the rock band that ruled the music world in the early 1990s and then self-destructed in a slow-motion death march, will release its first album of new material in more than 17 years worldwide on Sunday.

Some equate "Chinese Democracy" to the Second Coming, or at least to the resurrection of Elvis Presley.

"It's just a remarkable moment in popular culture," said Blender magazine editor-in-chief Joe Levy, without a trace of hyperbole. "It really is. We never thought we would get here."

Others are hedging their bets. Reclusive singer Axl Rose, 46, is the only original member left. His volatile behavior drove out key members such as top-hatted guitarist Slash years ago. Some purists say he should not have used the Guns N' Roses name with this new project.

Either way, "Chinese Democracy" has assumed mythical proportions over the years. Fans and skeptics alike are driven by sheer curiosity to see whether the album justifies its status as a lost masterpiece, or whether it turns out to be the anti-climactic equivalent of "The Godfather III."

"Chinese Democracy" was originally envisaged as a 1995 release, the follow-up to the pair of "Use Your Illusion" albums that came out simultaneously in September 1991. But as work proceeded at a snail's pace, Rose took control of the group, and parted ways not only with all his original bandmates but with several of their replacements. He tinkered on the project with a succession of producers at his Malibu hideaway.

90 MILLION ALBUMS   Continued...