It's a historic day for Axl Rose: Guns N' Roses fans are finally getting their first official taste of Chinese Democracy.
According to a spokesperson for the band's label, Interscope/Geffen, the title track from GN'R's oft-delayed, 17-years-in-the-making follow-up to 1991's Use Your Illusion albums, "Chinese Democracy," was made available for download to U.S. radio outlets first thing Wednesday morning (October 22), and already, stations like New York's Q104.3 are spinning the tune — which is almost five minutes long — and have posted it on their Web sites.
The track is a riff-heavy rocker that begins with eerie, soaring guitars and Rose's trademark squeal before launching into an infectious chorus. At first, Rose's voice sounds markedly deeper (think "Mr. Brownstone") than it does on some of GNR's most famous songs, but returns to its high-pitched greatness sporadically throughout the tune. The song ends with a quick explosion, which slowly trails off into silence.
"The release of Chinese Democracy marks a historic moment in rock n' roll," co-managers Irving Azoff and Andy Gould said in a statement. "We're launching with a monumental campaign developed by Gary Arnold and the Best Buy team that matches the groundbreaking sound of the album itself. Guns N' Roses fans have every reason to celebrate, for this is only the beginning."
While several of the album's tracks — including "Chinese Democracy" — have leaked online over the years, this marks the first official and authorized release of new music from Guns in more than nine years; the band's last single, 1999's "Oh My God," was featured on the soundtrack to Arnold Schwarzenegger's film "End of Days."
After years of missed deadlines, inexplicable delays and a handful of false starts, Chinese Democracy has finally been given a concrete release date of November 23. The album will be sold exclusively through Best Buy's retail locations and online through the chain's Web site. The disc will feature 14 tracks, including "Scraped," "Shackler's Revenge" (which appears on the new "Rock Band 2" video game), "Street of Dreams," "If the World" (which accompanies the closing credits of Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe's "Body of Lies") and "This I Love."
While Guns N' Roses have yet to reveal what touring plans — if any — they're planning around the record's release, rumors suggest the band might launch a U.S. tour early next year.
The imminent release of Chinese Democracy means the long wait for fans will soon be over. But it also means a free can of Dr Pepper for every U.S. citizen.
Last March, the beverage company announced it would give away free cans of the soft drink should Guns issue their LP before the close of 2008. Last week, a spokesperson for
Dr Pepper told MTV News that, while additional details will be forthcoming, the company's plan to distribute free cans of its product will involve some sort of an online coupon system. "People will go on Dr Pepper's Web site and we will send them a coupon for a free one," the spokesperson confirmed. "It's going to be real easy."