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Is Axl Rose our Generation's Brian Wilson and is Chinese Democracy like his Version of Smile?


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So I've always been into Guns but until Recently I haven't much gotten into the Beach Boys beyond the hits.   Their first few hits the Beach Boys took Chuck Berry riffs and layered Freshman style voca

No.

A lot of your info is about 50% correct but that’s whatever. Smile was recorded in under a year unlike Axl who took fucking forever. Brian wasn’t on crazy drugs, he smoked some hash and did acid

The only thing Rose and Wilson have in common is that they're both overrated and at the same time underappreciated...if that makes any sense?

Until 2006-ish Axl often seemed like a somewhat motivated, driven, unconventional, unique, daring if not radical musical genius, then came a depressing phase of burning out and selling out from 2010 on and his actions contradicted that reputation more and more - could have been age, health, personal stuff or whatever, but the results are pretty obvious. There could have been grace in the "reunion" but he passed on that to feed his ego with money and repeat himself instead of creating new experiences, so the last glimpse of greatness could have been his live shows with AC/DC, but even that was just getting the job done professionally and far from actual creativity.

The only thing wrong with both Smile and Chinese Democracy was their actual release. It was like having Godot suddenly appearing in person and in that robbing the entire play, the actors and the audience of sense and purpose.

In a parallel universe Axl was adding 1-2 CD songs per year on tour and is still on the road with Buckethead and Robin Finck making tons of money having fun and control plus doing the occassional Vegas appereance with more emphasis on him at the piano Liberace style (Elton John joining him for a couple of songs every once in a while), while Slash and Duff replaced Scott with Chris Cornell (who both never died) and Steven is now one of the most requested drummers in the world while Izzy succeeded cross-breeding avocado with weed and is earning more money than all of them together, curing 99% of all diseases in the world including Corona.

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3 hours ago, DTV88 said:

No. Brian Wilson released a shit ton of music and influenced the Beatles.

This is sort of true, sort of not.

They were more contemporaries who were on similar levels doing similar things. Rubber Soul made Brian go holy shit, we have to do better and he made pet sounds. The Beatles heard pet sounds and realized they had to do more technical stuff in the studio and made sgt. pepper.

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The Beach Boys are totally overrated btw. I can see similarities between the Beach Boys and the young Beatles. Both made fun music. But the older Beatles went further than that. They tried different styles. 

The only outstanding moment by The Beach Boys is 'Good Vibrations' imo. A song between depression and fun. 

This is just LSD Shit. As Soundtrack for a Disney movie, etc, fine, but not as pop song.

 

Edited by Creed
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12 hours ago, eggers said:

A lot of your info is about 50% correct but that’s whatever.

Smile was recorded in under a year unlike Axl who took fucking forever. Brian wasn’t on crazy drugs, he smoked some hash and did acid like once. He developed his mental health issues years after.  Technology of the time was a big reason why Smile wasn’t finished, editing all those little pieces together was not an easy task. 
As for the music they aren’t even comparable, what Brian was doing was ground breaking. CD is interesting but there is nothing on there that hasn’t been heard before. The Downward Spiral is far beyond and that came out in 1994.

I re read that sentence with crazy and drugs. .  What I should have said was Brians mental health was declining and his use of drugs was increasing.  Hey I'm pretty new to the world of Brian Wilson so I'm sorry If I'm off...  I think there are some parallels though. 

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There's certainly similarities in them both being tortured genius characters.

I'd say Brian was more 'experimental' in his day but had Axl been able to release more music we'd maybe have more Silkworms type stuff.

Say what you like about Shackler's but it's pretty experimental for a traditional rock band.

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Just now, GNR_RNR said:

There's certainly similarities in them both being tortured genius characters.

I'd say Brian was more 'experimental' in his day but had Axl been able to release more music we'd maybe have more Silkworms type stuff.

Say what you like about Shackler's but it's pretty experimental for a traditional rock band.

My world is Axl's first Brian Wilson moment.

Axl's decision to go 'solo' in 1996 was good. The idea to buy new musicians for his ideas was also fine. But he should have killed NuGnR in 2004 and re-watch / re-work the stuff with Slash, Duff, Matt and Izzy in 2005/2006. 

 

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1 minute ago, Creed said:

My world is Axl's first Brian Wilson moment.

Axl's decision to go 'solo' in 1996 was good. The idea to buy new musicians for his ideas was also fine. But he should have killed NuGnR in 2004 and re-watch / re-work the stuff with Slash, Duff, Matt and Izzy in 2005/2006. 

 

Genuinely love My World. It shows where the industrial GNR could have gone. 

And yeah GNR needed to collapse in the 90's. Axl and Slash were at odds with each other creatively.

Axl should've gone solo, put out a string of albums, and reunited with GNR later. 

The point when Nu-GNR emerged with no new album it was DOA. Even if they'd released an EP of CD, SOD and Madagascar it would've fixed things. 

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This would only be correct, in some measure if Axl gets the chance to record CD, in a couple years or so, the WAY HE intended it to be. It's very obvious the studio wasn't happy with the product--see the difference in the demos from 1999-2000, 2002, 2006, etc. The final product is just an amalgamation of what Axl could get by with, I think. 

 

SMiLe hid under in the shadows--only a few, somewhat incomplete versions of the songs were released through records like Smiley Smile, and Surfs Up. Brian had an amazing voice and was a generational writer and producer. I love Axls voice and his lyrics are pretty out of his world. Axl works best with others on tracks though--often getting bogged down with overdubs and not a concise vision. So, I would give the talent nod to Brian. 

But they are somewhat similar in analogies--uncompromising in their music. I just hope both finally found peace after all these years

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5 hours ago, Stiff Competition said:

This is sort of true, sort of not.

They were more contemporaries who were on similar levels doing similar things. Rubber Soul made Brian go holy shit, we have to do better and he made pet sounds. The Beatles heard pet sounds and realized they had to do more technical stuff in the studio and made sgt. pepper.

Yes, I agree. I didn't mean that it was a one-way street. They influenced each other over the years.

 

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Also, for the people saying they were both experimental...

Brian was experimenting with things that hadn't been done before and changing the way music is recorded even until this day.

Axl was experimenting in what it would be like to be like NIN or other similar bands he was into. He was never breaking new ground, he was just breaking (or trying to) the perception of what GNR was which when you think of it isn't a big deal at all.

 

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1 hour ago, Stiff Competition said:

Also, for the people saying they were both experimental...

Brian was experimenting with things that hadn't been done before and changing the way music is recorded even until this day.

Axl was experimenting in what it would be like to be like NIN or other similar bands he was into. He was never breaking new ground, he was just breaking (or trying to) the perception of what GNR was which when you think of it isn't a big deal at all.

 

Thats true indeed. Fun fact, the costs for CD are still rising, since they are still working on that stuff (like Hardschool). CD was and still is the most expensive album ever made. 

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21 minutes ago, Creed said:

Thats true indeed. Fun fact, the costs for CD are still rising, since they are still working on that stuff (like Hardschool). CD was and still is the most expensive album ever made. 

I wonder if we will ever get a Slash / Duff version of CD.  It would be cool if Izzy came back to write even if he didn't tour.  This should be the time with COVID for them to be in the studio. 

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2 hours ago, Stiff Competition said:

Also, for the people saying they were both experimental...

Brian was experimenting with things that hadn't been done before and changing the way music is recorded even until this day.

Axl was experimenting in what it would be like to be like NIN or other similar bands he was into. He was never breaking new ground, he was just breaking (or trying to) the perception of what GNR was which when you think of it isn't a big deal at all.

 

True, but Brian had the advantage of being in a time when there was still ground left to be broken. What Dylan was doing lyrically, Brian and the Beatles were doing sonically. I'm not taking anything away from any of them, I think they're geniuses, but things were ripe for experimentation. Fast forward 35 years later and pretty much everything had been done. It's like something I read the other night, a person asked a musician why songs don't have that "classic" impact or sound anymore. He said it's simple, we're running out of melodies. 

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2 minutes ago, lame ass security said:

True, but Brian had the advantage of being in a time when there was still ground left to be broken. What Dylan was doing lyrically, Brian and the Beatles were doing sonically. I'm not taking anything away from any of them, I think they're geniuses, but things were ripe for experimentation. Fast forward 35 years later and pretty much everything had been done. It's like something I read the other night, a person asked a musician why songs don't have that "classic" impact or sound anymore. He said it's simple, we're running out of melodies. 

I agree with what you're saying in terms of there being more to advance in the 60s. I was more making the point that Axl "experimenting" is really more an evolution of axl's tastes in music rather than him really experimenting.

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15 hours ago, Creed said:

There are similarities, but Smile is worse musically imo.  Brian Wilson wanted to create the best album ever made. And there is no single tune, which had this potential. 

CD is the most expensive album ever made and it simply has others problems than Smile.

This is the worst post I have ever read.

I truly, truly despise this post. 

Heroes and villains? Wonderful? Cabin essence, surfs up? GOOD FUCKING VIBRATIONS to name just a few 

You are an idiot 

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4 hours ago, lame ass security said:

True, but Brian had the advantage of being in a time when there was still ground left to be broken. What Dylan was doing lyrically, Brian and the Beatles were doing sonically. I'm not taking anything away from any of them, I think they're geniuses, but things were ripe for experimentation. Fast forward 35 years later and pretty much everything had been done. It's like something I read the other night, a person asked a musician why songs don't have that "classic" impact or sound anymore. He said it's simple, we're running out of melodies. 

Disagree here. Music always has the ability to for ppl to things differently, just might not appeal to our, my, your tastes. The art form itself is always ripe for experimentation, always has been, always will be. 

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9 minutes ago, hudsonsaul said:

Disagree here. Music always has the ability to for ppl to things differently, just might not appeal to our, my, your tastes. The art form itself is always ripe for experimentation, always has been, always will be. 

I know what you mean, being a musician I grapple with it. Sometimes I can't get to a place I want to go or it sounds like something else. That's where being willing to experiment or break the rules a bit helps. I need to definitely do more of that. Thanks for the reminder.😄

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Here's some GnR/Beach Boys parallels no one else has mentioned on this post:

+The Beach Boys, drummer, Dennis Wilson, befriended Charles Manson for a period, when Manson was an aspiring musician. Wilson even took Manson to record at his studio, in which Manson had an altercation with the producers. Then, in 1968, the Beach Boys recorded an altered version of a Charles Manson written song. Manson called the song, "Cease to Exist," the Beach Boys renamed the song, "Never Learn Not To Love."

+As you all know, on GnR's, 1993 "Spaghetti Incident" Album, the "hidden track" is a cover version of Charles Manson's "Look At Your Game, Girl."  

 

By the way, I personally really liked reading this thread, and found the similarities between Brian Wilson and Axl Rose intersting. 

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I'm a big fan of both Brian and Axl and their creative work. I can definitely see the parallels between CD and Smile and the other comparisons pointed out by others. I don't want to stir the pot here (as I know this can be contentious in the online GN'R world), but I can't help but make a mental correlation between Eugene Landy and Team Brazil sometimes too (and I say that without knowing the whole story of course.) 

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Axl's no Brian Wilson. He should've gone the route of Prince and Bowie, churning out a whole lot of experimental music under his own name.

Instead of putting all his eggs in one basket, he could've had a respectable solo career, maintained by the odd Guns album/tour cycle with Slash.

This would've also brought new, field-tested Axl ideas to the Guns sound, keeping it fresh and interesting as musical landscapes shifted. But it is what it is.

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