The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Rumor Alert: Does Axl Think “Better” of “Democracy”?

with 6 comments

It goes without saying that Chinese Democracy has one of the most bizarre histories behind any album in rock and roll history. While most expected Guns N’ Roses to dissolve in the 1990s after nearly all of its members left or were ejected from the band, lead singer and solo original member Axl Rose was insistent that the band’s next album would come out. He remained insistent at various intervals between 1999 and the album’s eventual release in 2008, by which point the band lineup shifted around him, the band dabbled in industrial music and awkward comeback attempts on MTV, and fans shook their heads while reading The New York Times and drinking Dr. Pepper.

So Chinese Democracy has come and gone, and Axl and friends (what? do you call that GN’R?) have sporadically hit the road in support of the not-as-awful-as-you’d-think-but-nowhere-near-Appetite for Destruction LP. What’s next? Does anyone know or care? One person says he does, and the results are two ridiculous not to post here.

Mister Saint Laurent, a singer/songwriter/professional wrestler by trade (I swear I’m not making this up), posted on his official message board a claim to have received documents outlining another step in GN’R’s comeback attempt, including “a very thorough and dedicated plan to re-market Chinese Democracy in the U.S. later this year”:

A full North American arena tour and Best Buy-exclusive reissue of Chinese Democracy would both launch on March 29. The tour would run through May 17 and hit 30 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Ft. Lauderdale, Boston, Detroit, Toronto, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Tampa, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Denver, San Jose, Calgary, Winnipeg, Omaha and Houston.

The album reissue would contain new artwork and a second disc containing bonus material. In addition to remixes of tracks from the album, the bonus disc would contain a new song “Blood in the Water” as well as a new version of “Better” featuring DJ Ashba, which would serve as the radio single for the reissue.

All of this would be announced February 7, with a secret show the day before the Super Bowl (February 5) at The Lodge in Dallas. Yet, it’s February 2 and those in the GN’R camp that were willing to speak to insist they have not received any airfare or itinerary.

Now, why should one even consider such a theory? Really, there’s no reason you should. But the crazy thing is that Mister Saint Laurent has been mired in Chinese Democracy-oriented controversies for years. Since 2007, Laurent has been an alleged leaker of tracks and demos from the album. The facts don’t add up – I can’t see Best Buy agreeing to more copies of an album they already can’t get rid of – but who knows? Of course, this is all to be taken with a heap of salt, but I wonder how many of our readers would consider a reissue of Chinese Democracy if it existed.

Written by Mike Duquette

February 3, 2011 at 09:32

6 Responses

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  1. Nope, probably not. I bought it when it came out. It’s not bad but the songs aren’t that memorable either. I haven’t played it since it was released. I also saw them live shortly before the album was released. The concert wasn’t that great either when compared to the “Use Your Illusion” tour that I saw with (most) of the original lineup when they toured with Metalica.
    Stop beating a dead horse Axl. Go in the studio and release a new album with better songs instead of trying to milk the one you put out two years ago that was largely rejected by fans. Or better yet, put your ego behind you and bury the hatchet with your old mates.

    Bill B

    February 3, 2011 at 12:27

  2. So what happened to the supposedly three albums worth of songs that Sebastian Bach claimed Axl had? Not that S.B. is a reliable source, but I was hoping there was some kind of truth to that. Especially since Chinese Democracy offered very little beyond the leaked tracks in the years prior to its release. Slash’s solo albums have been decent, but not great IMO. If anything, all they done is prove that the original GnR as a band was much better than the sum of its parts.


    February 3, 2011 at 13:13

    • Mike, maybe there are 3 albums worth of tracks. He released the first album worth of songs in 2008 (after a ten year wait). The next album’s worth of songs will be released in 2018. And, if there are any GnR fans still alive, the last will be released in 2028.

      Bill B

      February 3, 2011 at 15:47

  3. Interesting how this album is widely believed to have been a failure, when the most reliable source available there puts worldwide sales at 2.6 million copies worldwide ( despite the fact that major portions of the album were leaked over the internet well before release.


    February 3, 2011 at 17:14

  4. There certainly ARE many more songs ready for release, but Axl wants to re-address Chinese Democracy first. He hasn’t accepted that it’s not the album he thinks it is and that it did not connect with the public or (what should be) his fanbase. In other words, it’s “failure” was everybody else’s fault, and they should fix that.

    There was talk of suing Best Buy, of suing his management, etc. So while I don’t know if the source for this news is reliable, I have no trouble believing in the existence of this document. The idea that any of the parties involved would like to see it executed (besides Axl) is highly doubtful, but I can see it being written to keep him placated & moving forward (ish).

    FWIW, I think there are probably some great songs from all of the sessions for CD, but wonder if they were ever recorded properly, or not overdubbed to death.


    February 3, 2011 at 17:17

  5. I liked the album, but I like Slash’s new album better and I am glad I waited to get the deluxe edition of that one! If they reissue Chinese Democracy with a bonus disc, I would hope it includes some of the songs Axl did with Brian May and Roger Taylor. Chinese Democracy would have been a monster in 1995 or 1996, but Axl waited too long and people just lost interest. It just wasn’t worth a 17 year wait.


    February 3, 2011 at 18:08

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