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    chinese democracy

    Guns N' Roses TIMELINE

    ( from March 1985 )

    Axl Rose - vocals
    Tracii Guns - lead guitar
    Izzy Stradlin - rhythm guitar
    Ole Beich - bass guitar
    Rob Gardner - drums

    (June 6, 1985-1990)
    Axl and Izzy retained. Duff McKagan joins on bass,
    Steven Adler on Drums and Slash on lead guitar.

    Dizzy Reed added on keyboards, piano

    (1990-November 7, 1991)
    Matt Sorum replaces Steve Adler.

    (November 7, 1991-1994)
    Gilby Clarke replaces founder member Izzy Stradlin

    (1994 - October 30, 1996)
    Paul Tobias replaces Gilby Clarke

    (October 30, 1996-1997)
    Back to a five-piece as Slash departs.

    Robin Finck joins on lead guitar.

    Josh Freese replaces Matt Sorum on Drums.

    Tommy Stinson replaces Duff McKagan, Chris Pitman added on additional

    Buckethead replaces Robin Finck on lead guitar.

    (2000-2002) Bryan Mantia replaces Josh Freese.

    Richard Fortus replaces Paul Tobias on rhythm guitar

    Buckethead departs, Guns N Roses revert to 1 (lead) guitar line-up.

    Ron Thal joins on lead guitar, Frank Ferrer added on drums.


    Robin Finck and Bryan Mantia depart.
    Line-up is now Axl Rose, Dizzy Reed, Tommy Stinson,
    Chris Pitman, Richard Fortus, Ron Thal and Frank Ferrer.

    Chinese Democracy Freese, Rose
    Shackler's Revenge Buckethead, Costanzo, Mantia, Rose, Scaturro
    Better Finck, Rose
    Street of Dreams Reed, Rose, Stinson
    If the World Pitman, Rose
    There Was a Time Reed, Rose, Tobias
    Catcher in the Rye Rose, Tobias
    Scraped Buckethead, Costanzo, Rose
    Riad n' the Bedouins Rose, Stinson
    Sorry Buckethead, Mantia, Rose, Scaturro, Reed, Rose, Tobias
    Madagascar Pitman, Rose
    This I Love Rose
    Prostitute Rose, Tobias

    Chinese Democracy 8 ( 2008 )
    Chinese Democracy / Shackler's Revenge / Better / Street Of Dreams / If The World / There Was A Time / Catcher In The Rye / Scraped / Riad N'The Bedouins / Sorry / IRS / Madagascar / This I Love / Prostitute

    Chinese Democracy Axl Rose is a clever man and that's something I never thought i'd say. Well, you've heard the Velvet Revolver albums, haven't you? They sound like grunge and/or punk never existed, that the entire 1990s never existed, in a way. Axl, by luck or by design has forged an album that sounds modern. Well, modern enough. There are a few hints towards Guns N Roses of old, but that's all they are, hints. The fact that all but two or three of the songs here were co-written by guys that are no longer in the band doesn't really bother me, either. Apparently, there are some sixty/seventy Guns N Roses tunes Axl is now sitting on and we are led to believe the ones here are the best? I know what you're thinking. No, these almost certainly are not merely the best fourteen tunes stuck on an album together. That would be silly, if you think about it. No, instead, we've got the best three songs on the album at the start, we've then got a clutch of tunes co-written by guys in the band right now, or very recently in the band. Then, Axl mixes it up again. The running order is actually very astute. Oh, I also want to make another important point. People moaned at Metallica when their album was mixed and compressed into oblivion with volume levels so high there was no escaping a headache. 'Chinese Democracy' on the otherhand is expertly mixed, no cause for concern at all. I've not read a single review praising the mixing or production here, however. It seems that's only noteworthy if it's actually a problem.

    I'm not the biggest Guns N Roses fan in the world, by a long shot. Funnily enough, that probably makes me an ideal person to review their new album. I have no hankering after any classic album or classic line-up. This new Guns N Roses are certainly more left-field than the guys that did those mega-selling albums but that's not important either. What's important is that Axl wanted to do this his way, he knew he needed a great album. In that, he's delivered. He's even toned down his 'November Rain' shriek, you know, that vocal shriek he had that would shatter not only ear-drums but glasses and pots and pans and actual house-bricks as well? It's gone! Well, he's in his mid to late 40s now. Give the guy a break. Happily then, nothing at all on this album is as bad as 'November Rain'. A couple of songs actually rank alongside the best Axl and Guns N Roses have ever done.

    Slash and co could write 100 guitar lines young kids could happily play on 'Guitar Hero', but 'Chinese Democracy' isn't quite that kind of album. Sure, we've got some brilliant twiddly and excellent solos around the place. Most of them courtesy of the now departed 'Buckethead', a replacement for Slash if ever there was one. Still, much as I don't play computer games these days, you've got to love 'Guitar Hero'. It's introducing young kids to proper guitar music. My god, my brother's adopted kids even like Rush now. Kanye West, Jay-Z etc may as well just retire right now.

    There's not much else I want to say. Well, Axl has clearly recruited guys who listened to Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Audioslave, Rage Against The Machine. 'Shackler's Revenge' and 'Better' are songs to fit into any era of a Guns N Roses set-list, if you want to think of it that way. Several songs here really do have terrific guitar solos, usually Buckethead ones. Thing is, when was the last time, oh.... The Strokes played a terrific guitar solo? Axl is in fine voice, his age actually getting rid of the one thing that was very annoying about him. There's not a single weak track on this entire LP and if you're an old 'Appetite For Destruction' era fan that's upset with 'Chinese Democracy' - just fuck off and listen to the mediocrity that is Velvet Revolver and leave Axl Rose alone, even if he is still a ginger tosser.

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    I do want to say I like alot of thier songs, but....Legendary Cock Axl Rose has a voice of a King . Undeniably beautiful. And the biggest joke ever was just made. Folks, he’s a joke. He’s fat, he's a jerk, he can’t sing. Folks, he’s a cock. A Cock in every sense of the Word. He starts riot's at concerts, and for no other good reason but to have attention thrown toward himself. Most people hate him, I do to, but nothing is worse then his Guitarist Slash. First of all, he sucks. He has no talent. But He’s Open about it. "I Suck" Says Slash. Axl and Slash had “Fights” before and they dislike one and other. I really don’t see why not. They both are complete A-Holes. They are now Broken up and Slash is with Cocky "Velvet Revolver" While Axl, the jerk he is, is stuck with Guns with Cocky new members. "Chinese Democracy" There new album, is supposed to be “Art.” But ide call it “Art Cock.” A band that starts riot's, shows up late to every concer! t, and has basically no class or respect for there own cocky fans, Still Suck. The Worst band ever? I Think So. Mabey some of thier songs are good. The un-Cocky "Pardise city" charges through the speaker with force, and The Illusion albums are a treat, but lyric wise, its just cock, cock, and more cock. November rain is an embarrasing stab at Elton, and then "Get in the Ring" is a caddel call with power attachments. mabey if they build more of a fan base, they would shine. But cock, no cock.GUNS N’ ROSES ALBUM REVIEWS.Appetite for Destruction - 4.0/10Gnr Lies - 3.0/10Use Your Illusion 1 - 5.0/10Use Your Illusion 2 – 6.0/10Spaghetti Incident – 3.0/10Live Era – 4.0/10Chinese Democracy 4.0/10 Dont ban me, but you need a cock check.
    Readers Comments

    Tom Lassanta Birmingham
    This is one of your Least convincing reviews, Adrian, lacking context and any real critical Insight. We would have expected More from someone with generally good Taste (Annie Lennox aside). Plus, I find the 'ginger tosser' line very Offensive. What's actually Wrong with ginger hair? No one ever actually says, but it's a good old lazy Cliche to throw around, isn't it? This is massively Over-produced, Overwrought drivel. To take 14 years making it is plain Embarrassing. Sad to see another critic fall for the Hype.

    Brad London
    Actually the "hype" around this record Tom was to slag it off without even listening to it just because it's taken 17 years to record and the fact that yes, Axl Rose might indeed come across as a tosser so the 8 seems an unbiased and decent review even if you only mention 2 songs Adrian?! The fact is there's no one making epic rock albums like this anymore with guitar solo's, industrial beats, crunching riffs, piano, strings, choirs, harp and everything else layered into the sound. "Street of dreams" and "This I love" are beautiful and heartbreaking with Axl's voice fragile at the start of the former as he sings of trying to change his former lover's mind and powerful on the latter as he sings his best vocal since "One in a million" some 20 years earlier. "If the world" and "Sorry" could be mid to late era Zeppelin and "Catcher in the rye" is a catchy yet structurally complex pop song. Axl sounds like Tom Waits on the french horn driven "Madagascar" as he si! ngs about not being brought down in this storm, a metaphor for Axl's paranoid mindset perhaps? Whilst "Scraped" and "Prostitute" are great rock songs, (about Slash, a scorned ex lover or the music business, who knows?) it is a flawed masterpiece like the Illusion sets, "Rhiad" and "IRS" in particular don't really do it for me but there's most ambition and sheer grandiose leaning's on here than on any other rock record I've heard in a long time. Let's hope it's not another 17 years until the apparently already recorded 2nd and 3rd parts see the light of the day but don't bet against it or actual democracy happening in China before we see them. 9/10

    dom dom

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    this page last updated 11/04/10

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