Well, it's looking more and more likely that Guns N' RosesGuns N' Roses' follow-up to 1991's Use Your Illusion albums, Chinese Democracy, will actually see the retail light of day in our lifetime.
Last month there were rumors that frontman Axl Rose had inked a deal with Best Buy allowing the chain to be the album's sole purveyor, and that GN'R's manager, Andy Gould, told 900 Best Buy employees during a Dallas convention that the LP would be on store shelves by November 25. Now comes word from Hits Daily Double (you need to register to access the site) that Interscope has arrived at a hard-and-fast, set-your-clock-to-it release date of November 23.
Although a spokesperson for Interscope had not responded to MTV News' requests to confirm the report as of press time, Hits Daily Double claims the record will drop the Sunday prior to Thanksgiving, giving the record a full seven days at retail before entering the December 2 Billboard chart; typically, albums are released in the U.S. on Tuesdays.
With the site reporting a firm release date, it seems Chinese Democracy is finally imminent, but without label confirmation, the report could just be the latest in a long string of rumors. A track from the album called "If the World" accompanies the closing credits of "Body of Lies," the new thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. Plus, Guns N' Roses' song "Shackler's Revenge" appears on the new "Rock Band 2" video game.
If the report is true, then November 23 marks the end to what's been a 17-year saga, rife with broken promises, confusing delays and rock criticism punch lines. And you'd have to imagine no one could be happier about it than Rose himself. In 2006, in an online posting that promised the band would do its best to have the record ready for release that year, the frontman said that "to say the making of this album has been an unbearably long and incomprehensible journey would be an understatement.
"Overcoming the endless and seemingly insanity of the obstacles faced by all involved, not withstanding the emotional challenges endured by everyone — the fans, the band, our road crew and business team — has, at many times, seemed for all like a bad dream where one wakes up only to find they are still in the nightmare, and unfortunately this time it has been played out for over a decade in real life," Rose continued. "The true ongoing behind-the-scenes triumphs and casualties are much more complicated than any negative speculation that media or otherwise has managed to hit upon. For much of the time some form or another of legalities have been taking place that really the best way to deal with publicly was to keep our mouths shut in an attempt to ensure the best outcome and especially one that wouldn't jeopardize the band or the album."
Despite all this, and with fans growing increasingly impatient for a taste of Chinese Democracy, Rose has still managed to tour — successfully, at that — as Guns N' Roses. The road to the record's release has also been littered with numerous leaks (one reportedly facilitated by former baseball catcher Mike Piazza), false starts and a number of sightings, where the singer has reportedly previewed his magnum opus for complete strangers. In 2006, Rose stopped into a New York nightclub to celebrate his 44th birthday and played 10 tracks for the club's owners and a group of friends.