Guns’n’Roses, Chinese Democracy (2008)
I bought Chinese Democracy on vinyl (double LP) a few months after it was released. I had gone out and purchased the CD the day it made it to the shops. I’d kept away from the online previews and the various alternate versions and live tracks available. It’s the last time – that I can remember – that I’ve gone out to buy an album as soon as it was released. I’m glad I did. I loved the album, almost from first listen. And then it made more sense as a double-album to hear it over four sides of vinyl. Sure it has its mistakes, its over-indulgences, its bad songs but it is the best thing anyone could have expected from Axl. More than that, I’ll now (happily) state it’s my second favourite Guns’n’Roses album to listen to. Sure, it’s not really Guns’n’Roses – but in another way, it really is Guns’n’Roses. Axl’s budget blowout, the bubble he build around him to make this album, his inability to self-edit, his repetition of various Elton John-styled piano themes are all weaknesses. But Axl’s weaknesses are (also) his strengths. When Chinese Democracy was released I wrote this. I realise, reading it back now, my first thoughts remain (almost entirely) unchanged. That hardly ever happens three years after a record is released. (Or three months/weeks after, in fact). Say what you want about how awful you think it is but Axl Rose made an album for himself and for all time. His record made as much sense in 2008 as it would have in 1994 or as it does in 2011. It’ll sound the same in 2013 too. Those Illusion albums might have some good songs but they are ghastly to listen to these days. I couldn’t make it all the way through one of them.
Sample Track: There Was A Time
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown