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"Slashing ‘Chinese Democracy’ to 45 Minutes" (Ultimate Classic Rock article)


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Slashing ‘Chinese Democracy’ to 45 Minutes: Roundtable

Axl Rose ended one of the most agonizing waiting periods in rock history when his handpicked Guns N' Roses lineup released Chinese Democracy on Nov. 23, 2008.

Commercial and critical reception were mixed upon its release. The album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, below Kanye West and Taylor Swift, selling 261,000 copies its first week. Publications such as Rolling Stone and the A.V. Club issued rave reviews, but many longtime (and long-suffering) GNR fans lamented the band's dramatic stylistic shift from its Slash-assisted glory days.

Regardless of one's opinion of Chinese Democracy's musical merits, one thing is indisputable: The album is long. Rose indulges every musical whim on the 71-minute LP, from arena rock to industrial metal to weepy balladry, resulting in some inevitable bloat. The bombastic ballads and hard-rock epics are the sonic equivalent of chocolate cake: rich and decadent but stupefying in large quantities.

In the interest of brevity and a balanced musical diet, we've enlisted UCR's 45-Minute Police to, um, slash 26 minutes from Chinese Democracy. Read on to see how six writers would restructure Rose's tortured opus.

Full article:

https://ultimateclassicrock.com/guns-n-roses-chinese-democracy-45-minutes/

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16 minutes ago, Blackstar said:

Slashing ‘Chinese Democracy’ to 45 Minutes: Roundtable

Axl Rose ended one of the most agonizing waiting periods in rock history when his handpicked Guns N' Roses lineup released Chinese Democracy on Nov. 23, 2008.

Commercial and critical reception were mixed upon its release. The album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, below Kanye West and Taylor Swift, selling 261,000 copies its first week. Publications such as Rolling Stone and the A.V. Club issued rave reviews, but many longtime (and long-suffering) GNR fans lamented the band's dramatic stylistic shift from its Slash-assisted glory days.

Regardless of one's opinion of Chinese Democracy's musical merits, one thing is indisputable: The album is long. Rose indulges every musical whim on the 71-minute LP, from arena rock to industrial metal to weepy balladry, resulting in some inevitable bloat. The bombastic ballads and hard-rock epics are the sonic equivalent of chocolate cake: rich and decadent but stupefying in large quantities.

In the interest of brevity and a balanced musical diet, we've enlisted UCR's 45-Minute Police to, um, slash 26 minutes from Chinese Democracy. Read on to see how six writers would restructure Rose's tortured opus.

Full article:

https://ultimateclassicrock.com/guns-n-roses-chinese-democracy-45-minutes/

"indisputable" as in, you cannot disagree with the writer's opinion on how long the album is lol

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I really don't understand why he didn't put Hard Skool on CD. I think it alone would have changed the perception of the album. The inclusion of a more classic style rock track would have assured sceptics that it had an aspect of GnR that people expected, and meant less of the "load of tortured ballads with a couple of weird industrial tracks" criticism. 

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4 minutes ago, Nice Boy said:

I really don't understand why he didn't put Hard Skool on CD. I think it alone would have changed the perception of the album. The inclusion of a more classic style rock track would have assured sceptics that it had an aspect of GnR that people expected, and meant less of the "load of tortured ballads with a couple of weird industrial tracks" criticism. 

I think the explanation is that Axl didn't care about any of that.

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It's funny I was discussing with people just today how I feel some recent rock LPs are too short. Wish new buckcherry was longer and the new darkness LP sounds like a more complete album with the 3bonus tracks on the delux. Skip the "bloat" if you want and let the ones that want more get it. 

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This is a little silly… But if I absolutely HAD to do this I’d go with:

SIDE A (~24:00)

1.Chinese Democracy

2.Shackler’s Revenge

3.Better

4.If the World

5.There Was a Time

SIDE B (~23:50)

6.Sorry

7.Madagascar

8.This I Love

9.Prostitute

Honestly, now that I typed that all out, the only song that was hard for me to cut was IRS.

You can probably also do this with the UYI’s (since those were also 2 LP’s each), though you’d probably have to move some songs around between the two albums to “make it all fit right.”

Edited by rocknroll41
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Chinese (short intro)

Street Of Dreams

There was a Time

Sorry

Better

Shacklers

If The world

Madagascar

This I love

I.R.S

Prostitute

 

Putting them in some kind of order os the hard part, cutting those extra songs was easy. I'd like to change a few other things but if this was the album it's hard to argue with it... although it seems most of the UG lists ditched Shacklers, I.R.S, This I Love and If the World. To me the album would be meh without at least half of those. 

Biggest problem with Chinese from a listening point of view is that it's a very dark record with very little fun... well that's my opinion at least. I think the sound/mix of the record is still amazing, especially considering there's 200 tracks for each song!

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One of them said skip TWAT? :facepalm:

 

3 hours ago, Nice Boy said:

I really don't understand why he didn't put Hard Skool on CD. I think it alone would have changed the perception of the album. The inclusion of a more classic style rock track would have assured sceptics that it had an aspect of GnR that people expected, and meant less of the "load of tortured ballads with a couple of weird industrial tracks" criticism. 

Was probably slated for CD 2. Remember, it was supposed to arrive in the following years. He had to leave some good stuff for the second half, didn't he. 

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Doing this with the UYI’s:

UYI 1 SIDE A (~22:30)

1.You Could Be Mine

2.Live & Let Die

3.Don’t Cry

4.November Rain

UYI 1 SIDE B (~21:35)

5.Garden of Eden

6.Don’t Damn Me

7.Double Talkin’ Jive

8.Coma

UYI 2 SIDE A (~20:50)

1.Civil War

2.14 Years

3.Yesterdays

4.Knocking On Heaven’s Door

UYI 2 SIDE B (~21:00)

5.Pretty Tied Up

6.You Ain’t the First

7.Dead Horse

8.Estranged

The only one that really hurt to cut there was Locomotive.

Edited by rocknroll41
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41 minutes ago, jamillos said:

One of them said skip TWAT? :facepalm:

 

Was probably slated for CD 2. Remember, it was supposed to arrive in the following years. He had to leave some good stuff for the second half, didn't he. 

I think he was just talking out his ass when he said that cd2 would be ready for 2009.

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1 hour ago, rocknroll41 said:

I think he was just talking out his ass when he said that cd2 would be ready for 2009.

Maybe not 09 but "definitely" for later years, even the so-called management confirmed it at some point. But yeah, 09 would seem unlikely. Then again, UYI... 

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52 minutes ago, jamillos said:

Maybe not 09 but "definitely" for later years, even the so-called management confirmed it at some point. But yeah, 09 would seem unlikely. Then again, UYI... 

Wishful thinking on Axls part... unfortunately that slip of the tongue set expectations high and 13yrs later not having a follow up album is both embarrassing for the band and a slap for the fans that waited for the original Chinese release. He said "you won't have to wait as long for the next release" or something like that... well, that's bullshit🤣 Such a shame really! If they had released a new album even 5yrs later peoples jaws would have dropped! what could have been, probably would have saved the line up too.

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6 minutes ago, Tom2112 said:

Wishful thinking on Axls part... unfortunately that slip of the tongue set expectations high and 13yrs later not having a follow up album is both embarrassing for the band and a slap for the fans that waited for the original Chinese release. He said "you won't have to wait as long for the next release" or something like that... well, that's bullshit🤣 Such a shame really! If they had released a new album even 5yrs later peoples jaws would have dropped! what could have been, probably would have saved the line up too.

I partially agree, but given the huge rebirth, it hasn’t been 13 years, it’s been 5 years of no album to me. Not that it doesn’t suck. And thank god that line-up went to hell. I mean, it was cool and all, but we finally got Slash and Duff back. The fact that all the band’s been doing is fucking around on endless tours is another thing. 

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I think that Chinese Democracy is quite an epic/in-depth album; it just takes one to be in that epic/in-depth mood to really understand it from beginning to end. If I had to cut it down to my few favourites:

There Was A Time
Catcher In The Rye
Sorry
Street Of Dreams
Madagascar
Prostitute
If The World
This I Love

Edited by Screamin' Demon
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Something like this would've been cool

Vol. 1 (2006)

Chinese Democracy (Village intro)
Scraped (live intro)
Rhiad (Village intro)
Better
The Blues
Zodiac
State Of Grace
Madagascar
IRS
Prostitute

Vol. 2 (early 2007)

Hardschool (Village intro)
Quicksong
Realdoll
Silkworms (Absurd intro)
Tommy Demo #1
If The World
Perhaps
Atlas Shrugged
Catcher In The Rye
Oklahoma

Vol. 3 (late 2007)

The General
Shackler's Revenge
Sorry
This I Love
Soul Monster
Tonto
Going Down
There Was A Time

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8 hours ago, lilacmess said:

I admit Scraped gets skipped a lot.

you're a serial skipper. What are your current favorites from Chinese? always thought that the best way to listen to it is through headphones unless you own a very expensive boombox

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15 hours ago, rocknroll41 said:

I think he was just talking out his ass when he said that cd2 would be ready for 2009.

I’m not so sure. I think there absolutely was a plan to release part 2 within a reasonably short period after CD1. I still think something happened sometime during 2009-2011 that we don’t know about that completely fucked the chances of a new record. Axl at RIR in 2011 was a different guy.

Edited by gavgnr
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18 minutes ago, Rovim said:

you're a serial skipper. What are your current favorites from Chinese? always thought the best way to listen to it is through headphones unless you own a very expensive boombox

My favorites are Street Of Dreams, Sorry, I.R.S, Madagascar and Prostitute. 

I do own a really expensive boom box, but husband and kids have zero tolerance for "mommy's wild music". 😅 

Edited by lilacmess
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