After years of inveterate delays, empty promises and false alarms, it looks like hell's first-ever snowball fight could go down this November. That's if the latest reports on Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy — an LP the band's sole original member, Axl Rose, has been working on for well over a decade with a handful of producers, racking up a production bill estimated at more than $13 million — are to be believed.
While there's been no official announcement yet (per usual), it seems we may finally be close to a genuine, authentic, set-in-stone release date for Rose's long-awaited magnum opus. But of course, Rose's manager, Andy Gould, won't confirm recent reports that the sixth GN'R album could be in stores before year's end. MTV News contacted Gould's office last week to inquire about the release date but were told he wouldn't be commenting. (The release date of Chinese Democracy has been prematurely expected so many times that we wrote a Newsroom blog post about all the false alarms back in July.)
Yet, according to Rolling Stone's Web site, Gould reportedly told 900 Best Buy employees — during some sort of mystery convention held last week in Dallas — that Chinese Democracy would hit the streets on November 25; Interscope last listed the album's release date as March 2007. Gould also declared that the record would be a Best Buy exclusive, and even previewed three of the album's tracks — this all according to a man who claims his nephew works for Best Buy and was present for the big reveal.
Several calls left with Best Buy's public-relations department were not returned as of press time, but this deal has been rumored for weeks, with several news outlets citing unnamed sources "close to the negotiations" who claimed the release of the disc was imminent. Meanwhile, other rumors have suggested Wal-Mart would be the album's exclusive retail carrier.
In what some believe is a strong sign we could be closer than ever before to hearing Chinese Democracy, one song from the oft-delayed record, "If the World," was chosen to accompany the closing credits of Leonardo DiCaprio's forthcoming film, "Body of Lies," which hits theaters nationwide October 10. A mastered version of the same song — which is a speedy, riff-heavy tune, reminiscent of "Night Train" and "Dead Horse" — leaked online earlier this year.
It's worth noting that, way back in 1991, GN'R's track "You Could Be Mine" was the second to surface from the band's perpetually postponed Use Your Illusion albums, and it also appeared on the soundtrack to "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." At the time, some hinted that the song's inclusion on the film's soundtrack helped encourage Axl and the boys to push forward the albums' release date. The first song released from those conceptual companion efforts was "Civil War," which appeared on a charity compilation in 1990.
The first recent sign that the release of Chinese Democracy could be nigh came this summer, when Harmonix and MTV Games announced that "Shackler's Revenge," a track from the album, would be making its worldwide debut on the forthcoming game "Rock Band 2." So, while questions of "if" and "when" continue to remain unanswered, the signs are there, giving fans new hope that Rose will soon deliver on his decade-long promise. But, as with everything in Guns N' Roses Land, nothing's official until Axl says so.