Chinese Democracy is the sixth studio album by American rock band Guns N' Roses. It was released on November 23, 2008, worldwide and in the United Kingdom on November 24, 2008. It is the band's first studio album since 1993's "The Spaghetti Incident?", and their first album of original studio material since the simultaneous release of Use Your Illusion I and II in September 1991. Retail store chain Best Buy is the exclusive retailer of the album in the United States.
In a 2007 interview, Axl Rose's close friend Sebastian Bach stated that Chinese Democracy will be the first installment in a trilogy of new albums. Bach also remarked that Rose had told him the third, as yet untitled, album has been slated for 2012.
Guns N' Roses began to write and record new music in 1994. Ex-bassist Duff McKagan is quoted as saying, "[the] band was so splintered at that point that nothing got started". Slash has criticized Rose for making the band seem "like a dictatorship". Slash quit the band in 1996; drummer Matt Sorum and McKagan left soon afterwards. Slash was replaced by Nine Inch Nails touring guitarist Robin Finck, ex-Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson replaced McKagan, and Josh Freese joined as the drummer. In early 1998, the band — which comprised Rose, Finck, Stinson and Freese along with long-time Guns N' Roses associate Paul Tobias, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman — began recording at Rumbo Recorders, a state-of-the-art studio in the San Fernando Valley where Guns N' Roses had partially recorded parts for their debut album, Appetite for Destruction. During this time, Geffen paid Rose $1 million to try to finish the album, with a further $1 million if he handed it in to them by March 1, 1999.
In 2000, Rose hired avant-garde metal guitarist Buckethead, and drummer Bryan "Brain" Mantia to replace the departed Freese. Later on in 2000, Finck rejoined the band as the third guitarist. On January 1, 2001, Guns N' Roses played their first concert in over seven years at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, Nevada. This was followed by their headlining performance at Rock in Rio III on January 14, 2001 in front of 190,000 people. On August 29, 2002, the band made a surprise visit to the MTV Video Music Awards, playing old songs along with a new "Madagascar" to an ecstatic New York crowd.
On December 14, 2006, Rose published an open letter to the band's fans on their website, claiming that remaining tour's shows were taking up time the band needed to finish recording Chinese Democracy. Rose also revealed that the band had parted company with their manager Merck Mercuriadis, implying that the reason the album was not released in 2006 was Mercuriadis's fault (many times throughout 2006, Rose had said the album would be released that year). In the letter, Rose announced a tentative release date of March 6, 2007 for the album, however, the album was once again delayed.
On February 22, 2007, the band's road manager, Del James, announced that all recording for the album had been completed and it was in the mixing process, James stated that there was no release date for the album but that things appeared to be moving on after a number of delays.
On March 26, 2008, various media outlets reported that Dr Pepper will offer a free can of Dr Pepper to everyone in America — excluding former Guns N' Roses guitarists Buckethead and Slash—if the band releases Chinese Democracy in 2008. Later on March 26, Rose replied to Dr Pepper on Guns N' Roses' official website and spoke of his surprise at Dr Pepper's support. Rose also said he would share his Dr Pepper with Buckethead as "some of Buckethead's performances are on [Chinese Democracy]". After it was announced that the album would be released in 2008, Dr Pepper confirmed that it would uphold its pledge.
On September 14, 2008, "Shackler's Revenge" was released on the music video game Rock Band 2, making it the band's first official release of new material since 1999's "Oh My God". "Shackler's Revenge" was shortly followed by another release, "If the World", which, according to Rolling Stone, plays during the closing credits of Body of Lies. A firm release date was announced by Billboard in October, 2008, set for November 23rd. In the US, the retail release will be sold exclusively through Best Buy. The first single from the album, "Chinese Democracy", was released on October 22, 2008.
Check out the Chinese Democracy Wiki page.
It's about freakin' time!!! I can't wait to pick up my copy... and I want my free Dr. Pepper, too! =)
Speaking of the Dr. Pepper promotion, you gotta love the press release from back in March, it's a classic...
DR PEPPER WILL GIVE EVERYONE* IN AMERICA A FREE SODA IF AXL ROSE RELEASES NEW GUNS N’ ROSES ALBUM, CHINESE DEMOCRACY, IN 2008
*Guitarists Slash and Buckethead Will Not Be Eligible For Free Soda.
Then, the response from Axl...
We are surprised and very happy to have the support of Dr Pepper with our album “Chinese Democracy,” as for us, this came totally out of the blue. If there is any involvement with this promotion by our record company or others, we are unaware of such at this time. And as some of Buckethead’s performances are on our album, I’ll share my Dr Pepper with him.
UPDATE: Got the album and it freakin' rocks! Be sure to check it out, it's an awesome addition to any music collection!!!