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The Divisive Legacy & Surprising Future of Guns N' Roses' 'Chinese Democracy

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I.R.S. is so close to being a great rock song. If only the chorus was, I don't know, not so cheesy? 

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5 hours ago, RussTCB said:

How is this started as fact? It starts with "the way I see it..." 

“It has 5 really good songs (Better, TWAT, Street of Dreams, Chinese Democracy, Catcher in the Rye), 5 average songs (This I Love, Madagascar, Riad & The Bedouins, IRS, Sorry), and it has 4 awful songs (If The World, Shackler's Revenge, Scraped and Prostitute.)”

 

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32 minutes ago, Its Tino said:

“It has 5 really good songs (Better, TWAT, Street of Dreams, Chinese Democracy, Catcher in the Rye), 5 average songs (This I Love, Madagascar, Riad & The Bedouins, IRS, Sorry), and it has 4 awful songs (If The World, Shackler's Revenge, Scraped and Prostitute.)”

 

Yes... All proceeded by "the way I see it" 

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If the World is one of my highlights from this album. I love the spanish guitar and Bucket's guitar solo. 

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22 minutes ago, Sosso said:

If the World is one of my highlights from this album. I love the spanish guitar and Bucket's guitar solo. 

Buckets solo IS amazing on that song, arguably the best solo of the entire album. Having said that... the rest of the song is half backed nonsense imo. Including the Spanish guitar, it's just TOO MUCH.

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I just listened to Sorry, IRS and Madagascar in the car on the way to my in laws for Christmas Eve. That's a great run on the record. 

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11 hours ago, RichardNixon said:

Pretty good article, although I don't know why people think Eddie Trunk is some kind of an authority on anything. Also, as Axl heavily plays material from the album, he's hardly disowned it. Fantastic album, imho, and sounds only better over time.

I’ve only grown to appreciate it more as time has gone by. Even with Axl’s political tweets making me see more of Chi dem and finding out more background to ITW. Slash and Duff playing some of tracks confirmed to me that some of the songs are really great, it’s not some studio trickery. I know it took along time but the amount of content on the record is staggering by track 10 you only just getting started. But yeah the political element becoming through more just makes the record matter more to me. 

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1 hour ago, RussTCB said:

I just listened to Sorry, IRS and Madagascar in the car on the way to my in laws for Christmas Eve. That's a great run on the record. 

The only time I listen to the whole album, or "runs" from it is when I listen to it on Vinyl. Which I think the album sounds better and flows better when listening to it like that (not just vinyl, but in the appropriate order). I actually gain new respect for it, everytime I do that. 

On my phone I probably have better, TWAT, Sorry, TIL, and maybe a couple of others. So when they come on in a shuffle, they don't have the same appeal imo. The songs are still good, just missing that "flow" factor. Even Riad and Scraped sound better within the context of the actual album imo. When you take them off, as individual songs, that's when they really sound bad imo. 

Just some of my random thoughts.

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14 minutes ago, Iron MikeyJ said:

The only time I listen to the whole album, or "runs" from it is when I listen to it on Vinyl. Which I think the album sounds better and flows better when listening to it like that (not just vinyl, but in the appropriate order). I actually gain new respect for it, everytime I do that. 

On my phone I probably have better, TWAT, Sorry, TIL, and maybe a couple of others. So when they come on in a shuffle, they don't have the same appeal imo. The songs are still good, just missing that "flow" factor. Even Riad and Scraped sound better within the context of the actual album imo. When you take them off, as individual songs, that's when they really sound bad imo. 

Just some of my random thoughts.

Sorry brother, but I stopped at "on vinyl". The album sounds like hot garbage on vinyl and it breaks my heart. 

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42 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

Sorry brother, but I stopped at "on vinyl". The album sounds like hot garbage on vinyl and it breaks my heart. 

Not the european pressings. 

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49 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

Sorry brother, but I stopped at "on vinyl". The album sounds like hot garbage on vinyl and it breaks my heart. 

I like it :shrugs:

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1 hour ago, Sosso said:

Not the european pressings. 

That has yet to be proven. While the Euro pressings might be pressed on better vinyl, they would have used the same stampers. Inner groove distortion has nothing to do with the vinyl used and everything to do with the stampers. 

54 minutes ago, Iron MikeyJ said:

I like it :shrugs:

Wow, really? It sounds awful past the first 2 tracks on each side to me. It seriously breaks my heart 

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3 hours ago, RussTCB said:

I just listened to Sorry, IRS and Madagascar in the car on the way to my in laws for Christmas Eve. That's a great run on the record. 

Had it on shuffle earlier for this album and got TWAT, Catcher, Madagascar in a row. You get those three in a row and it starts to feel like a masterpiece 

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If someone would erase all those samples, all that electro synth shit, if someone would make spanish guitar sound less computorised, maybe then it would work for me... 

In this condition I cannot but hear squeaky Axl in eletronic noise...

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14 hours ago, wasted said:

I’ve only grown to appreciate it more as time has gone by. Even with Axl’s political tweets making me see more of Chi dem and finding out more background to ITW. Slash and Duff playing some of tracks confirmed to me that some of the songs are really great, it’s not some studio trickery. I know it took along time but the amount of content on the record is staggering by track 10 you only just getting started. But yeah the political element becoming through more just makes the record matter more to me. 

I wonder how many unreleased Chinese era tunes Axl got that are just as great as the best stuff on Chinese and how would that sound like with Slash and Duff. versatility is important, Robin and Bucket came up with some solos that Slash didn't exactly blew away and yet I can see how in the studio he could still come up with high quality compositions. just not sure how Axl will handle it, will he replace all the Bucket and Robin leads or will it be more objective in a sense and some of the recorded work will be kept as is but with mostly Slash. More of a Bucket role if anything Chinese makes it on the album and let him loose on his own tunes/new material.

Edited by Rovim

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It's interesting that ten years later, after all the dust has settled, we find out that Jimmy Iovine really wasn't crazy about a new GN'R being on his label.

That he acted ambiguously and half-heartedly tried to both support and diminish the new band, with the hopes that one day he would be in possession of the old one.

While we knew from Axl's chats that there was a cold-war between himself and the people who owned the masters, Axl seemed to indicate he always personally believed in Jimmy's sincerity. It seems now from Tommy, that they always knew they had a major leak in the boat and that leak was Jimmy, himself.

 

It makes only too much sense. I couldn't understand why Jimmy would be so gung-ho to support something with a tenuous business prospect. He might have been curious, but he obviously never had much faith in the success of a new band. It lends credence to the many years of nebulous bullshit where people involved pointed at the label for delaying the album. If Jimmy was betting on the old band getting back together, he lost that bet in the short term but won the bet in the long term.

Now the question remains, is Axl holding back because he doesn't want to give Jimmy a new album with the old members? I believe that Jimmy still owns the masters to the recordings done in the Chinese Democracy era, they're his...how does that very icky business relationship factor into new music in the future?

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44 minutes ago, appetite4illusions said:

It's interesting that ten years later, after all the dust has settled, we find out that Jimmy Iovine really wasn't crazy about a new GN'R being on his label.

That he acted ambiguously and half-heartedly tried to both support and diminish the new band, with the hopes that one day he would be in possession of the old one.

While we knew from Axl's chats that there was a cold-war between himself and the people who owned the masters, Axl seemed to indicate he always personally believed in Jimmy's sincerity. It seems now from Tommy, that they always knew they had a major leak in the boat and that leak was Jimmy, himself.

 

It makes only too much sense. I couldn't understand why Jimmy would be so gung-ho to support something with a tenuous business prospect. He might have been curious, but he obviously never had much faith in the success of a new band. It lends credence to the many years of nebulous bullshit where people involved pointed at the label for delaying the album. If Jimmy was betting on the old band getting back together, he lost that bet in the short term but won the bet in the long term.

Well said.

As far As Jimmys attitude at the time CD was being made, if Im not mistaken he found himself faced with not only Axl working very slowly on an album, but also Dr Dre (Detox) and Trent Reznor (The Fragile). I dont have the chance to check right now if Jimmy helmed all those projects. but if so I can actually understand it making him a bit frustrated.

Of course, if he fucked with Guns then he should be sent on a one way trip to Mars, but Im just trying to get a glimpse at his pov.

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It's strange to me, I've loved If The World since the album was released but it's apparently one of the most divisive songs on the album.  If I had to rank the songs right now:

  1. Better
  2. There Was a Time
  3. Street of Dreams
  4. Shackler's Revenge
  5. If The World
  6. Madagascar
  7. Prostitute
  8. Chinese Democracy
  9. I.R.S.
  10. This I Love
  11. Riad N' The Bedouins
  12. Sorry
  13. Catcher in the Rye
  14. Scraped

Some are hard to place because they're equally essential when picking out individual tracks to listen to from the album, but the latter half are songs that I typically don't care to listen to on their own.  I wanted to place TWAT higher, but I honestly find Better to be more enjoyable throughout the entire song than waiting for it to really pick up.  Without the guitar solos, TWAT would likely fall into the lower half of the list.

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I love Chinese Democracy. I always hoped we would get at least one other disc out of the 'trilogy'.

 

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Scraped gets a lot of hate, but it’s the only motivational moment in the album. The cohesiveness of this album would have worked nicely with the first 6 or 7 songs being an airing of grievances against people in Axl’s life then have Scraped be that turning point where he just says “F em, they aren’t going to stop me” then you finish the album with 6 or 7 in your face, I’m gonna kick your ass songs. 

Back to Scraped specifically, I like that it’s basically Axl arguing with himself. You hear two voices, and you get the impression that one is feeling crushed while the other is looking to prevail and he’s trying to lift himself up 

Some may convince you
No one can break through
I'm here to tell you
You're worth
More than they tell you

then you get the contradicting lyrics which are some of my favorite on the album 

Sometimes I feel like The world is on top of me
Breakin' me down with An endless monotony Sometimes I feel likeThere's nothing that's stopping me All things are possible
I am unstoppable

Sometimes I feel like My life's a catastrophe
Can't understand why It seems like it has to be Sometimes I feel like It's all opened up for me
Nothing's impossible I am inconquerable

For me Scraped has a little bit of what I was hoping an Axl Rose return album would have. Just enough fire to feel like he’s going to kick some ass versus the more depressed state the rest of the album takes. 

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Today I went to my Mom's basement. I have all my cd boxes there, and I found "Chinese Democracy" the SHMCD Version, I had bought when the album came out.

Had a two hour drive this morning and listened to the album from start to finish, and I can tell you that the SHMCD version, sounds like a Remastered version of CD on my car's cd player. Especially on the title track "Chinese Democracy", you can hear a clear difference. The bass is stronger and the drums are finally audible. I'm surprised I had this cd shelved on a basement, and had the regular one on my car lol

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1 minute ago, Propaganda said:

Today I went to my Mom's basement. I have all my cd boxes there, and I found "Chinese Democracy" the SHMCD Version, I had bought when the album came out.

Had a two hour drive this morning and listened to the album from start to finish, and I can tell you that the SHMCD version, sounds like a Remastered version of CD on my car's cd player. Especially on the title track "Chinese Democracy", you can hear a clear difference. The bass is stronger and the drums are finally audible. I'm surprised I had this cd shelved on a basement, and had the regular one on my car lol

I recently listened to it through Tidal Hi-Fi and thought the same thing. I actually had a few other people (at my weekly music gathering) say it was far superior to any other time they've heard it. 

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3 hours ago, Gackt said:

It's strange to me, I've loved If The World since the album was released but it's apparently one of the most divisive songs on the album.  If I had to rank the songs right now:

  1. Better
  2. There Was a Time
  3. Street of Dreams
  4. Shackler's Revenge
  5. If The World
  6. Madagascar
  7. Prostitute
  8. Chinese Democracy
  9. I.R.S.
  10. This I Love
  11. Riad N' The Bedouins
  12. Sorry
  13. Catcher in the Rye
  14. Scraped

Some are hard to place because they're equally essential when picking out individual tracks to listen to from the album, but the latter half are songs that I typically don't care to listen to on their own.  I wanted to place TWAT higher, but I honestly find Better to be more enjoyable throughout the entire song than waiting for it to really pick up.  Without the guitar solos, TWAT would likely fall into the lower half of the list.

1. Better

2. Street of Dreams

3. Chinese Democracy

4. There Was a Time

5. Catcher in the Rye

6. Madagascar

7. This I Love

8. IRS

And I could do without the rest.

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2 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

I recently listened to it through Tidal Hi-Fi and thought the same thing. I actually had a few other people (at my weekly music gathering) say it was far superior to any other time they've heard it. 

It is, it sounds like the album was remastered, literally. :lol: Would love to know if Axl is an audiophile fanatic (he probably is), and if he's aware of this.

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