Everyone's favorite frustrating rock star, Axl Rose, has been running around and promising a new album for the past 14 years.
The fabled new album, Chinese Democracy, has almost risen to the level of the Beach Boys' unfinished masterpiece, Smile, for our generation. Well, it might not have risen to the level of Smile in terms of fans' obsession with it. And, of course, Brian Wilson did eventually complete complete Smile a few years ago.
But you get the idea.
The burning question of course has been whether Chinese Democracy is any good. I certainly think so, based on the demo tracks I've heard and wrote a review about them right here. Whether the record company that eventually releases the disc ever realizes a profit is anyone's guess. Rose and his revolving cast of musicians have, after all, spent over $13 million recording the disc so far and it's no secret that CDs haven't exactly been hot sellers for the past few years.
Yes, it seems that a lot of Internet-savvy types aren't shy about taking a 10-finger discount when it comes to music. Or, a two-finger discount in the case of those hunt-and-peck typists. That phenomenon has cut mightily into CD sales, so Chinese Democracy will certainly fall victim to such theft.
Truth be told, one can argue that the album has already been hurt by downloading. There are no less than 14 demo tracks flying around out there and they're not hard to find through your favorite torrent search site.
Still, I'd suggest we all plunk down our money when Chinese Democracy does eventually get released (and who really knows when that day will come?) That little disc provides the nasty, hard rock fix that has been hard to come by over the past few years.
I know I'll be the first in line when this comes out because I'd like to hear some more from Guns N' Roses. The band was great in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and this new disc reveals that the band is still great even if it's operating as little more than Axl Rose and a bunch of sidemen these days.
This disc, from what I've heard, is genuinely worth buying if you happen to love hard rock from the 1980s. Go find the demo tracks if you must, but pull out that cash when the thing is finally released.