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Chinese Democracy Original recording

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Audio CD, Original recording, March 3, 2010
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Chinese Democracy + Use Your Illusion I + Use Your Illusion II
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 3, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording
  • Label: Geffen Records
  • ASIN: B0037BBKIK
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (450 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,669 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Chinese Democracy
2. Shackler's Revenge
3. Better
4. Street of Dreams
5. If the World
6. There Was a Time
7. Catcher in the Rye
8. Scraped
9. Riad N' the Bedouins
10. Sorry
11. I.R.S.
12. Madagascar
13. This I Love
14. Prostitute

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

The whole album is really good and different sounding.
Crystal Sky
And I don't know if Axl has a thing for reality TV, but the intro to 'There Was A Time' sounds remarkably like something you'd hear on Survivor!
I know that it took a long time for this album to come out, but it was well worth the wait.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

144 of 167 people found the following review helpful By Angry Mofo on November 25, 2008
You can argue that Chinese Democracy isn't as good as Appetite For Destruction. But if you compare it to contemporary mainstream hard rock, it blows away the competition. Maybe it wasn't a bad idea to wait until 2008 to release it. At this point, there's not even that much competition: hair metal is long gone, grunge has either gone under or degenerated beyond the point of no return. When was the last time you heard a mainstream rock band that could play guitar well enough to write a solo that actually sounded enjoyable?

The best thing about the music is how powerful it sounds -- not really "heavy," but full and invigorating. Axl's kitchen-sink approach actually benefits from the extremely loud mixing style of the 2000s. Every song, even among the less interesting ones, has at least one part that sounds satisfying. Rose's voice is in excellent shape. In the best moments, you can't even figure out the words, but it's a rush to hear the dude demonstrate his lung capacity. And even though Axl's vocal style isn't big on nuance and subtlety, he does a lot of different things within that style -- inhuman falsettos throughout the album ("If The World" and "IRS," for example), low growling on "Shackler's Revenge," a hoarse, swaggering drawl on the title track, and occasionally all of the above ("Better"). Many of the memorable moments are derived from Axl's vocal parts.
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68 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Terrence E. Martau on June 1, 2010
Format: Audio CD
There's a reason why some people can't quite get their minds around Guns N' Roses' latest offering: Axl Rose didn't make a traditional rock n' roll album, he made a movie soundtrack. And the movie is the version of Axl's life that's playing inside his head.

Like other folks, I didn't know what to make of Chinese Democracy the first couple listens. My initial response was, "Take a familiar GNR album, Appetite for Destruction for example, dial down the guitars, drop in layers of pianos, strings, choirs and all manner of excess, splice in a kitchen sink's worth of odd background voice and sound bits, then compress the mix until it's almost unrecognizable as a GNR product." No wonder many folks' reaction upon release was, "What a disappointment." Upon the third or fourth listening, however, it dawned on me: movie soundtrack.

Approach the album in that context, listen to it a few more times, and after a while you'll conclude, "Wow, this is a pretty good album. In fact, this is a pretty good Guns N' Roses album." Listen to it eight or ten times and you might even conclude, "Wow, Axl's lyrics are much better than people gave him credit for. There's some brilliant songwriting here." That's because in the context of a movie soundtrack, songs that initially don't make sense become standouts, both musically and lyrically: "Chinese Democracy" opens the film with explosive action, a sonic and verbal kick in the teeth: "...all I got is precious time". After "Shackler's Revenge" we settle down for some serious drama: "Better" is a powerful examination of an individual's inner heartbreak, pain, and eventual self realization, Axl singing, "No one ever told me when I was alone. They just thought I'd know better, better.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Ferguson-Maltzman on April 15, 2013
Format: Audio CD
I wrote this review back in 2008 but wanted to append to it.

I have often wondered what it would be like to review Guns N' Roses mythical album Chinese Democracy (2008), an album that has existed purely in imagination and in demo-form in file-sharing websites for most of the 00s. Honestly, while the album has been out for nearly two months as of this writing, it's still kind of amazing that it's here...Chinese Democracy is honestly here...

The question to obviously ask is does the album live up to the hype? The answer of course is obviously going to be no; I mean, how could it? How could the actual music live up to the legend behind the album, the story of the mad genius, the recluse who has devoted a decade of his life to create his magnum opus and spent millions of dollars in the process, etc. How could the actual fruit of that labor live up to the legend? In order for Chinese Democracy to possibly live up to the hype surrounding it, it would have to be Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Dark Side of the Moon, Sgt. Pepper, Appetite for Destruction, Queen II and Led Zeppelin IV combined...and it isn't...

That said Chinese Democracy is still a great album.

Some have said Chinese Democracy is more of an Axl Rose solo album than a GN'R album, but I would strongly disagree with that assessment. Guns N' Roses is not, nor have they ever been a band like the Smashing Pumpkins, where it's just been about one guy. The greatness of GN'R, like the greatness in any legendary band, lies in the chemistry of its members, the stew of the combined forces. Without Slash's metallic blues playing, Izzy Stradlin's Stonesy feel or Duff McKagan's injection of punk and melodic bass lines, how could GN'R survive?
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