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The big "Fuck Bob Ezrin" thread

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I've only heard rough mix disc 1 but...

In its stripped back form sounds more vulnerable....and more genuine in a way

then axl is told it isnt good

he loads it up with bells, whistles, movie soundtrack dudes, flutist and virtuoso guitarists.

Result for me is a couple of stunning tracks (TWAT, PROSTITUTE) and some other awesome moments but the sum total of all the added musicians and diversity of the music is insecurity? 

People would have loved the 1999 album... From Ezrins re-telling of his meeting with Axl (Axl was anxious, I had a dinner party to go to) he sounds a bit aloof - telling axl what a gnr album should sound like - joke book stuff. Label politics indeed..

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Ezrin wasn’t wrong from a commercial appeal prospective. That doesn’t have to diminish Axl’s work as a creative expression. But the label was fronting all the money and giving a ton of breathing room... are they not supposed to give any feedback? Or get some third party appraisal of their investment?

In a world and business full of hangers-on, yes-men and obsequious hired hands, the biggest favour you can do someone is give them the unvarnished truth as you see it. Props to him. 

Edited by Ant
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18 minutes ago, Ant said:

In a world and business full of hanger-on, yes-men and obsequious hired hands, the biggest favour you can do someone is give them the unvarnished truth as you see it. 

I doubt Axl has anyone close to him who would do that. I'm guessing people around him are walking on eggshells.

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48 minutes ago, Fourteenbeers said:

I doubt Axl has anyone close to him who would do that. I'm guessing people around him are walking on eggshells.

Exactly right.. and Ezrin has proven chops and a hell of a resume, he’s not some forum troll. Combined with no skin in the game and an admiration for Axl’s talent, he gave his view. Isn’t that respectable?

Someone said he wanted co-writing credit? It was a cynical money making scheme? I mean, maybe? Maybe he desperately wanted a second beach house? Or maybe he just had a track record and was established enough to call a spade a spade and walk away. No reason to trash him. 

 

Edited by Ant
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I used to love The Wall and Floyd in general, but now I find it rather self-indulgent. I believe my favourite of theirs is Wish You Were Here.

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4 minutes ago, Ant said:

Exactly right.. and Ezrin has proven chops and a hell of a resume, he’s not some forum troll. Combined with no skin in the game and an admiration for Axl’s talent, he gave his view. Isn’t that respectable?

Someone said he wanting co-writing credit? It was a cynical money making scheme? I mean, maybe? Maybe he desperately wanted a second beach house? Or maybe he just had a track record and was established enough to call a spade a spade and walk away. No reason to trash him. 

 

Yeah, but... fuck Bob Ezrin.

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5 minutes ago, DieselDaisy said:

I used to love The Wall and Floyd in general, but now I find it rather self-indulgent. I believe my favourite of theirs is Wish You Were Here.

Well it was always self indulgent. It's actually the main theme of the record  

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so is there a destroyed / lost pre 99 album? 

What I heard was something that he had painted over too many times." 

"So, by the time I heard it, the original content was lost and it was just a highly produced piece of something." (Bob Ezrin, HitChannel, 04/12/12)

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I was actually thinking how everything would look if CD had been accepted and released around 2001 as was seemingly originally intended. If it was, I'd imagine the follow up would have been released at some point, so I figured I may as well put together what in my opinion the two albums would/should have looked like based on what we know was recorded with vocals by 2008. CD 1 just includes the tracks with vocals from the Village sessions as I'm going off the assumption that there was nothing else recorded at that time, while the second album includes tracks that were completed after 2001 from CD, and unheard tracks that are confirmed to have vocals. Plus Hard School to make the numbers even and cos I like it as an opener.

So going off that, this is my fictional dual album:

 

Chinese Democracy (2001)

1. Chinese Democracy

2. IRS

3. Atlas Shrugged

4. Perhaps

5. The Blues

6. There Was a Time

7. Catcher in the Rye

8. Rhiad n the Bedouins

9. Silkworms

10. Eye on You

11. State of Grace

12. Madagascar

13. Prostitute

 

Chinese Democracy II (2008)

1. Hard School

2. Shacklers Revenge

3. Better

4. Seven (Dummy?)

5. Zodiac

6. Soul Monster

7. Oklahoma/Berlin

8. If the World

9. Going Down

10. Scraped

11. Sorry

12. This I Love

13. The General

 

Thoughts?

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On 9/27/2019 at 12:09 PM, Ant said:

Ezrin wasn’t wrong from a commercial appeal prospective. That doesn’t have to diminish Axl’s work as a creative expression. But the label was fronting all the money and giving a ton of breathing room... are they not supposed to give any feedback? Or get some third party appraisal of their investment?

In a world and business full of hanger-on, yes-men and obsequious hired hands, the biggest favour you can do someone is give them the unvarnished truth as you see it. Props to him. 

The problem is that the material he rejected has received an overwhelmingly positive response from the fans and even some press back in the day. The "two great songs" comment is just laughable now. Axl apparently played him everything, and even we haven't heard everything from back then yet we have enough great material to make a very strong album that would have done well back in 99/00. Maybe that's truly what he felt back then, but we are just as justified to use our hindsight and see that he was definitely wrong. 

 

So.... Fuck Bob Ezrin!!!!

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"Every time we thought we had the right sequence of songs, somebody else thought we could do better." - Axl (2008?)

 

Whether it was Bob Ezrin, Jimmy Iovine or Tom Zutaut, it seems the major reservation wasn't if the current songs were up to par in production - but whether any of them had the potential to be successful singles. 

I think there was proper doubt that Axl ever had the right "single." A song with undoubted tremendous commercial appeal. Listen to the 2000 Intentions leaks...which one of those would you stake your house on would be a "hit"?

Good songs, but none of them scream "money in the bank - release me now and watch me climb the charts!"

I think the major hope that the label and the producers held out for is that if they thew the band back in the studio and never took them out, then one of those days, the band would write a song that had such massive commercial appeal that they could throw the whole weight of the project behind it. That never really happened, as far as we've heard and the best and most commerical song they got out of the process was "Better," which didn't really have any legs.

Do you guys remember the Classic Rock interview Zutaut gave in 2007? In the closing moments of the article, Zutaut says "It's a great Guns N' Roses album, but is there a single on it? You can't do the big business without a hit single."

All that time, everyone seemed to doubt that Axl had a song which would unquestionably, bring him back from the rock and roll crypt.

Edited by appetite4illusions

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1 hour ago, appetite4illusions said:

Listen to the 2000 Intentions leaks...which one of those would you stake your house on would be a "hit"?

Hard School.

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2 hours ago, appetite4illusions said:

"Every time we thought we had the right sequence of songs, somebody else thought we could do better." - Axl (2008?)

Whether it was Bob Ezrin, Jimmy Iovine or Tom Zutaut, it seems the major reservation wasn't if the current songs were up to par in production - but whether any of them had the potential to be successful singles. 

I think there was proper doubt that Axl ever had the right "single." A song with undoubted tremendous commercial appeal. Listen to the 2000 Intentions leaks...which one of those would you stake your house on would be a "hit"?

Good songs, but none of them scream "money in the bank - release me now and watch me climb the charts!"

Which also means that whatever is still in the vault, probably isn't much better :shrugs:

Also Axl wanted to go more industrial, but has he ever succeeded at that? I'm listening to Nine Inch Nails right now... and one song after another would just run over State Of Grace like a bulldozer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g12WWLmcxw0

Bob was just doing his work...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9BfvPjsXXw

This just makes me tap my feet and start head banging. In a way nothing on CD does :shrugs:

I like Chinese Democracy... I really do, but it's missing something.

Edited by Lethalis

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I knew Axl had taken his eye off the ball once I heard a majority of the material and determined none of it could compete with a song like "Slither."

Contraband as an album is good, while Chinese Democracy is great...but CD just didn't have that one song to put it over the top. It's too bad, because with all that time, talent and passion, they should have been able to smoke "Slither."

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3 hours ago, Lethalis said:

Also Axl wanted to go more industrial, but has he ever succeeded at that? I'm listening to Nine Inch Nails right now... and one song after another would just run over State Of Grace like a bulldozer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g12WWLmcxw0

Bob was just doing his work...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9BfvPjsXXw

I don't agree, at least as far as these two examples go. I think State of Grace is better, and I don't think it's so industrial, although there is some influence.

But then, I'm not such a big NIN fan, so to each their own etc.

Edited by Blackstar

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The only really industrial songs I've heard are Silkworms, Oh My God, and Eye on You. The others mentioned don't really sound in any way industrial. 

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This talking about being a hit or not...

In 2000, I don't think any of the CD songs had enough to top RHCP Californication. But it could be as great in the charts as shit like Creed and 3 Doors Down without a sweat:

https://www.billboard.com/archive/charts/2000/hot-mainstream-rock-tracks

 

In 2001, I trully think it could perform even better. Aerosmith's Jaded is a good song, but I dont think that would be much of a competition. Again, Creed and Staind (??) couldn't be anywhere close to the quality of the songs in the 2000 Intentions/early CD. 

https://www.billboard.com/archive/charts/2001/hot-mainstream-rock-tracks

 

The songs were strong. With stuff like CD, The Blues, Perhaps and Hardschool, the band could have stuff for everyone. All the album needed was a proper marketing campaign. And, of course, to be released. 

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6 hours ago, Blackstar said:

I don't agree, at least as far as these two examples go. I think State of Grace is better, and I don't think it's so industrial, although there is some influence.

But then, I'm not such a big NIN fan, so to each their own etc.

I thought about it some more, and the problem might be "too many ballads, not enough in your face rock songs".

A lot of songs on CD are nice to listen to and some of them are really great. I still love The Blues and CITR for instance.

But it's missing the attitude AFD and UYI's had. In a way Slash was right when he told Axl he was tired of the Seymour ballads and wanted a rock album. It's just a shame these people couldn't compromise. 6 Slash / Duff rockers + 6 Axl ballads and you would have a great rock album.

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The thing about the ballads is...they were always the other side of the coin.

People appreciated November Rain and Estranged because it was a contrast from the real catchy, adrenaline driven songs that GN'R catered to.

 

But take away the fist-pumping, blood rushing rock and just leave the ballads...that turns off a fair amount of the fanbase. You've now diminished a part of what made Guns N' Roses so successful in the first place. 

GNR are only as strong as the rockers - because they are and always will be a, a rock oriented band. So, if all your serving for rock is Chinese, IRS and Hard School....it doesn't matter too much how good those ballads are...

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