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A realization I had - a difference between "classic" GNR and "Chinese era" GNR I didn't think about before


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I think I must have had a similar revelation yesterday when I was listening to UYI 1. I guess in my mind it's all tracks like Don't Cry, November Rain etc. (I.e. big earnest tracks) but then you forget just how much fun a track like Bad Obsession is, or as you say, the random sounds or phrases littered across the album in various ways. 

It's probably something that doesn't get talked about enough, but that may be to avoid comparisons with the lighter hearted bands of the time. 

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I always thought that Axl's: "but I don't want to do it" in Sorry was exactly that. A fun, tongue in cheek line, said with a freaking reggae voice. Did some people think he was dead serious there?

Not to mention Silkworms/Absurd of course, which is pretty much a tongue in cheek song from start to finish. The problem is that people often hate these not too serious lyrics by Axl. I've seen people whine about Absurd, saying that GNR used to be a grandious, artistic band and "pussy full of maggots" is not the GNR that they loved. 😂

Edited by Lies They Tell
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This is again something that comes down to Axl.  He always wanted the music to grow and evolve. We need 3 guitars.  We need 2 keyboard players. We need samples. Cut and paste 5 solo's together. 

For some reason, it became almost unacceptable to just write a rock song or break out the acoustic guitars and write.

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8 hours ago, WhazUp said:

One thing I realized that I subconsciously knew was missing in the "nuGNR" era but never said it out loud, was humor and random fun.  This occurred to me when I was listening to the Illusion albums, just how many random sounds Axl made vocally or just things that you can tell they did not for artistic grandeur but with a wink and a smile

The announcement at the end of Get In the Ring, Axl's "wrecked my car" bit in the intro of Dead Horse, Axl's random "eyeyeyeye" at the start of Don't Damn Me, and even just the more jammy tunes like You Ain't The First that sounds like a band who wrote it together sitting by a campfire lol

Chinese Democracy was pretty much a "serious" record by a band/brand never known for only being that level of serious.  Every single one of their musical statements before that had some sort of levity and good humor to it that translated in the band being energetic and fun sounding.  But on CD none of that was really present, even on the more throwaway rockers like Scraped or Riad

Really I am not even casting judgement in saying one is right and one is wrong, or any of that.  I just wanted to ramble and make this observation and see if others had the same thought as I did regarding that - as random as it is :lol:

This is so odd, but so true. For a guy who seems to love Queen, Elton John and Roger Waters, Axl seems to only want to live up to their grandeur and not have any of the fun they did. 

With artists like Queen & Elton John, the humor is very obvious to see. With someone like Roger Waters, it's harder to find but it's still there. Roger has a solo album called Amused To Death that might be the heaviest (lyrical) albim I've ever heard. Even he found time to put an inside joke or two on that album. 

I feel like somewhere along the way, Axl decided that everything has to be this big sweeping, super serious thing. Like he wants everything thing that comes from him to be seen as this huge artistic statement. 

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1 minute ago, RussTCB said:

 

I feel like somewhere along the way, Axl decided that everything has to be this big sweeping, super serious thing. Like he wants everything thing that comes from him to be seen as this huge artistic statement. 

 

Absolutely, I feel the same. I think in his mind it really had to be a work for the ages. While the majority would tend to disagree that he has accomplished that, I have to say, from my perspective, he has. 

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4 minutes ago, 中国民主 said:

Absolutely, I feel the same. I think in his mind it really had to be a work for the ages. While the majority would tend to disagree that he has accomplished that, I have to say, from my perspective, he has. 

I get what you're saying but it is totally unrealistic. GNR have made sooooooo many bad decisions over the years and Axl in particular really started to take himself too seriously, it wasn't even funny. AFD is definitely a top album and one of the best from the 80s. The Illusions I really enjoy, but they don't tend to be held in the same regard as AFD, and it was downhill from there really. Of course Absurd (with its philosophical line about a pussy full of maggots) will be studied by poetic scholars in centuries to come! 😅🤪

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9 hours ago, WhazUp said:

 

Axl's random "eyeyeyeye" at the start of Don't Damn Me

Of all the useless bits of trivia I've learnt from the internet, the most useless has to be that the noise you're describing is based on Chester Cheetah from Cheeto's adverts. I mean, the human brain is an amazing thing that could be put towards something worthwhile and I'm using up part of mine to remember THIS :lol:

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28 minutes ago, James Bond said:

This I Love makes me laugh, if that counts!

Hahaha! Same. The intro to Scraped is comedy gold. And who can forget the immortal line in Sorry... "but I don't want to doooooo it!" 🤪😅😀😚 Sorry is actually a decent song but that line is mind boggingly bad.

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Well he did say that If The world was kinda done in jest, making their own james bond song or 70s cop show music, but yes the remainder of the record is bone dry when it comes to humour.

I can't see this next record being a barrel of laughs either, although pussy full of maggots is a sick burn!

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37 minutes ago, King_Johnny said:

Of all the useless bits of trivia I've learnt from the internet, the most useless has to be that the noise you're describing is based on Chester Cheetah from Cheeto's adverts. I mean, the human brain is an amazing thing that could be put towards something worthwhile and I'm using up part of mine to remember THIS :lol:

Great Trivia pull.  I had no clue.  Now I can't stop watching/laughing at this commercial.

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5 hours ago, RussTCB said:

This is so odd, but so true. For a guy who seems to love Queen, Elton John and Roger Waters, Axl seems to only want to live up to their grandeur and not have any of the fun they did. 

With artists like Queen & Elton John, the humor is very obvious to see. With someone like Roger Waters, it's harder to find but it's still there. Roger has a solo album called Amused To Death that might be the heaviest (lyrical) albim I've ever heard. Even he found time to put an inside joke or two on that album. 

I feel like somewhere along the way, Axl decided that everything has to be this big sweeping, super serious thing. Like he wants everything thing that comes from him to be seen as this huge artistic statement. 

Yeah I feel the same way, maybe it is Axl putting pressure on himself at that time to make the biggest "comeback" he could and there was no room for that type of stuff in his mind or something.  But like you said even some of Queen's masterpieces you can hear the good humor in Freddie's voice and personality

 

 

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5 hours ago, 中国民主 said:

Absolutely, I feel the same. I think in his mind it really had to be a work for the ages. While the majority would tend to disagree that he has accomplished that, I have to say, from my perspective, he has. 

No album featuring Scraped, If the World, Riad, Cather in the Rye etc was ever going to be album of the year, let alone 'a work for the ages'.

I think at one point it was intended to be a masterpiece, when he had The Blues, Madagascar, TWAT, Better and a ton of interesting instrumentals and a band of amazing musicians.

By the time the record came out, that had been long abandoned, the exciting instrumentals forgotten, and they just put out what they could paste over his old vocals.

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3 hours ago, Tom2112 said:

Well he did say that If The world was kinda done in jest, making their own james bond song or 70s cop show music, but yes the remainder of the record is bone dry when it comes to humour.

I can't see this next record being a barrel of laughs either, although pussy full of maggots is a sick burn!

He said that after the song was heavily criticized.  He fully intended it to be a good, serious song, unfortunately it was horrendous.

He also said the old man vocals on Madagascar were deliberate when people didn't like them.

He also said OMG was a demo when people said it was poor.

I speculated he released Silkworms instead of HardSkool, so he can hide behind 'it's just a bit of fun, not a serious song' when people correctly pointed out that it was terrible.  He said that exact thing before performing it the very next night.

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25 minutes ago, Pele said:

No album featuring Scraped, If the World, Riad, Cather in the Rye etc was ever going to be album of the year, let alone 'a work for the ages'.

I think at one point it was intended to be a masterpiece, when he had The Blues, Madagascar, TWAT, Better and a ton of interesting instrumentals and a band of amazing musicians.

By the time the record came out, that had been long abandoned, the exciting instrumentals forgotten, and they just put out what they could paste over his old vocals.

I would agree with most of this, especially the first point. 

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6 hours ago, jacdaniel said:

This is again something that comes down to Axl.  He always wanted the music to grow and evolve. We need 3 guitars.  We need 2 keyboard players. We need samples. Cut and paste 5 solo's together. 

For some reason, it became almost unacceptable to just write a rock song or break out the acoustic guitars and write.

That raises another good point - the revolving door of musicians adding to the mix.  Some of the humor I think, comes from a band being together, having shared war stories and history together, riffing and having fun with one another.  To the (absurd) degree - Cornshucker for example lol.  A band jamming on it together and coming up with the lyrics?  That is just a band being drunk and having fun.  But a hired gun bringing it in to show Axl for the CD sessions?  That is just a weirdo :lol:

 

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3 hours ago, Pele said:

He said that after the song was heavily criticized.  He fully intended it to be a good, serious song, unfortunately it was horrendous.

He also said the old man vocals on Madagascar were deliberate when people didn't like them.

He also said OMG was a demo when people said it was poor.

I speculated he released Silkworms instead of HardSkool, so he can hide behind 'it's just a bit of fun, not a serious song' when people correctly pointed out that it was terrible.  He said that exact thing before performing it the very next night.

Nah If the world is a good song. Admittedly not for everyone, but once you remove the "this sounds nothing like classic gnr" it's fun, got a catchy chorus, insane vocal and some great solos! 

He wanted Absurd released because he likes the song, he's not a pro wrestler doing an angle🤣 he took a risk by assuming people would be more receptive to the more experimental CD era material if Slash was on it. To some degree he was right, but mostly he was wrong because he put a vocal on the song that 90% of people seem to hate. 

I believe he said that the song was fun thet got a kick out of playing it and they were playing it for that reason whether people like it or not. He never suggested it wasn't a serious song.

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5 minutes ago, Tom2112 said:

Nah If the world is a good song. Admittedly not for everyone, but once you remove the "this sounds nothing like classic gnr" it's fun, got a catchy chorus, insane vocal and some great solos! 

He wanted Absurd released because he likes the song, he's not a pro wrestler doing an angle🤣 he took a risk by assuming people would be more receptive to the more experimental CD era material if Slash was on it. To some degree he was right, but mostly he was wrong because he put a vocal on the song that 90% of people seem to hate. 

I believe he said that the song was fun thet got a kick out of playing it and they were playing it for that reason whether people like it or not. He never suggested it wasn't a serious song.

It's got the most horrible vocal I've ever heard.  Like an autotuned Mickey Mouse.

He didn't 'put a vocal' on a song everyone hates.  He got some guitars recorded over a vocal he did 21 years ago.

He likely did the same with HardSkool, but it's harder to sing and he couldn't really pass it off as a joke as it's just a straightforward song, so he released Absurd.

 

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