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Guns N' Roses
Chinese Democracy
Geffen Records
www.geffen.com
Page 1


The most expensive album never made is finally born.

After 15 years, 14 studios, and 13 million dollars, it finally happened. On November 23rd, 2008, Guns N' Roses released the most-rumored, über-anticipated, and oft-ridiculed album in the history of rock music: Chinese Democracy.

For anyone not familiar with the back story, suffice it to say that Chinese Democracy is the biggest boy-who-cried-wolf album of all time. Originally slated for release circa 1999, the album has been perpetually promised and delayed by the maligned Axl Rose, a rock 'n' roll has-been notorious for his maniacal perfectionism. But after enough empty deliveries, the music world called Axl's bluff, and Chinese Democracy became a myth, if not a joke; nothing more than a magnum opus in the mind of its troubled creator.

It's easy to forget that Rose was once respected for spearheading the unstoppable force that was Guns N' Roses. But by the mid-90s, his despotic nature and control-freak tendencies had run every member right out of the band. Yet even without key guitarist Izzy Stradlin or the irreplaceable Slash, Guns N' Roses never officially broke up, and Rose soldiered on under the GNR label (not unlike Roger Waters and his egocentric insistence that he was Pink Floyd).

In the decade since, Rose holed up in the Hollywood Hills to endlessly hone the sixth Guns N' Roses album, all while the band's lineup remained in a state of flux. For the incredibly drawn-out recording process of Chinese Democracy Rose ultimately enlisted an army of personnel to perfect his masterpiece. According to the exhausting list of album credits, Rose used 14 additional musicians and a production crew of 41 to handle the engineering, mixing, and mastering.

In his April Fools' review of the album in 2006, writer Chuck Klosterman said that to avoid complete failure, Chinese Democracy "needs to be the greatest rock album ever made." Given the impossible-to-meet expectations, though, Chinese Democracy is certainly not the greatest rock album ever made. But somehow, against all odds, Chinese Democracy is surprisingly good. At times it is great. And it gets better with each listen.

Continued on Page 2

-Ken Devine

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