While most of you with a passing familiarity with what Fred Willard might call “the entire rock’n’roll genre” have heard a thing or two about Guns N’Roses’ unreleased, unfinished 3rd album, ‘Chinese Democracy’, the New York Times’ Jeff Leeds has done an excellent job of tying the whole crazy tale together.
Axl Rose’s current manager, Merck Mercuriadis of the Sanctuary Group, tried to put the oft-delayed album into some historical perspective.
Other artists including Peter Gabriel and Stevie Wonder “have throughout their careers consistently taken similar periods of time without undeserved scrutiny as the world respects that this is what it can sometimes take to make great art.”
Ahem. Peter Gabriel? Stevie Wonder? At last check, both artists were just a bit more prolific than Rose. With the countless lineup changes, producers hired and fired, hundreds of hours of recordings scrapped, and millions of dollars squandered, there is no precedent. You can call ‘Chinese Democracy’ the “Heaven’s Gate” of hair metal except “Heaven’s Gate” was actually completed.
Rather, I think it is time that Axl’s true genius was acknowledged by the rock cognoscenti. This is no mere pop idol — we’re talking about a singer whose attention to detail, whose quest for perfection, makes the likes of Brian Wilson, Lee Mavers or Kevin Shields look like rank amateurs.