Now that the major fuss related to the release of Chinese Democracy by Guns N’ Roses has seem to passed, I made some reflections while listening to Madagascar. These are obviously my personal opinions and not some “expert’s”.
Som indisputable facts about the album, GNR and Axl Rose are of course that the record took a zillion years and a trillion dollars to complete, it’s been surrounded by fights, arguments, chaos and mayhem. The band has only one original member left from the glory era of Appetite of Destruction (and to some extent Use Your Illusion), and Axl Rose is considered to be an oddity and prima donna.
The only reason all of this matters to people is because it’s Axl Rose and GNR we’re talking about (and because so many people seem to be missing a daytime hobby). Many successful bands have gone through the same bickering, fighting, and mayhem.
One of my all time favorite bands, Pink Floyd, split and left Roger Waters behind, something many “die-hard fans” have never been able to forgive. I have never been to a Pink Floyd concert that wasn’t fantastic; with or without Roger Waters. Creed dumped their lead singer, Scott Stapp, and turned into Alter Bridge (despite what its members claim); in Myles Kennedy they found a singer with awesome dynamics. The rest of GNR (save Izzy and Adler) got together and formed Velvet Revolver; and after a while, they too were looking for a new lead singer. Aerosmith still hasn’t released an album better than Pump and Pearl Jam still can’t produce anything near Ten or VS.
Shit happens, life goes on.
If any other band than GNR had released Chinese Democracy, it would have gotten much better reviews.
I’m not writing this to defend Axl Rose, GNR, nor to take some sort of “high ground” stand here. I don’t care what Axl Rose does in his spare time, I don’t care if he’s weird, nor if his album costs 15 million dollars. My only issue with Chinese Democracy is that it took too long to materialize.
If you like it, buy it, listen to it, go to their concerts (the last one I was at was excellent). Don’t compare it to Appetite for Destruction. I mean seriously, did you really expect it to be Appetite II? If you don’t like it, don’t buy it and don’t listen to it.
And while I’m at it: Slash/Matt/Duff/Dave: Go talk to Rod Jackson.. you guys need him for your line-up! 🙂