|Studio album by Guns N' Roses|
|Released||November 23, 2008|
Battery Studios, Bennett House, Can-Am Recorders, Capitol Studios, Cherokee Studios, Electric Lady Studios, IGA Studios, Studio at The Palms, Rumbo Recorders, Soundtrack Studios, Sunset Sound Recorders, The Town House, The Village, Woodland Ranch
|Genre||Hard rock, industrial rock|
|Label||Geffen, Black Frog|
|Producer||Axl Rose, Caram Costanzo|
|Guns N' Roses chronology|
|Singles from Chinese Democracy|
Alternate cover used in Rock Band 2 & limited promotional copies
Chinese Democracy is the sixth studio album by American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, released on 23, November 2008 by Geffen Records. It is the band's first studio album since "The Spaghetti Incident?" (1993), and their first album of original studio material since the simultaneous releases of Use Your Illusion I and II in September 1991. Despite debuting at number three on the Billboard 200 and being certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Chinese Democracy domestically undersold expectations. It received generally favorable reviews from music critics. The album achieved international chart success and has sold over one million copies in Europe.
In 1994, Guns N' Roses' progress on a follow up to The Spaghetti Incident was halted due to creative differences between members. Slash, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum, and Gilby Clarke all resigned or were fired from the band in the mid '90's. Vocalist Axl Rose and keyboardist Dizzy Reed were the only members from the previous lineup remaining by the time production had started. A new lineup, consisting of Rose, Reed, guitarists Robin Finck and Paul Tobias, bassist Tommy Stinson, drummer Josh Freese, and keyboardist Chris Pitman began working on the album in 1997. The album was re-recorded several times with multiple lineups of the band, including later members Bryan Mantia, Buckethead, Richard Fortus, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, and Frank Ferrer. Initially intended to be released in 1999 or 2000, the album was delayed numerous times, including missing an announced March 2007 release date, before being released in November 2008. With production costs reportedly eclipsing $13 million, the album is the most expensive album ever produced.
- 1 Background
- 2 Recording
- 3 Music
- 4 Delays
- 5 Controversy and lawsuits
- 6 Commercial performance
- 7 Critical reception
- 8 Track listing
- 9 Personnel
- 10 Chart positions
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Guns N' Roses began to write and record new music in 1994. Bassist Duff McKagan said the band "was so stoned at that point that nothing got finished". Guitarist Slash criticized Axl Rose for making the band seem "like a dictatorship". Rose later stated about the dysfunction of the group at the time: "We still needed the collaboration of the band as a whole to write the best songs. Since none of that happened, that's the reason why that material got scrapped."
Rose's childhood friend and Hollywood Rose collaborator Paul Tobias was brought in to replace Gilby Clarke, whose contract with the band was not renewed. Due to creative differences with Rose and personal problems with Tobias, Slash quit the band in 1996. McKagan left soon after and Sorum was fired in 1997. Slash was replaced by Nine Inch Nails touring guitarist Robin Finck, ex-Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson replaced McKagan, and Josh Freese joined as the drummer. In early 1998, the band—which comprised Rose, Finck, Stinson, rhythm guitarist Paul Tobias, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman—began recording at Rumbo Recorders, a state-of-the-art studio in the San Fernando Valley where Guns N' Roses had partially recorded parts for their debut album, Appetite for Destruction. During this time, Geffen paid Rose $1 million to try to finish the album, with a further $1 million if he handed it in to them by March 1, 1999.
By August 1999, the band had recorded over 30 songs for the album, tentatively titled 2000 Intentions. During a 1999 interview with MTV's Kurt Loder, Rose announced the title of the upcoming album to be Chinese Democracy, stating "there's a lot of Chinese democracy movements, and it's something that there's a lot of talk about, and it's something that will be nice to see. It could also just be like an ironic statement. I don't know, I just like the sound of it." Rose also mentioned the album would feature "lot of different sounds. There's some heavy songs, there's a lot of aggressive songs, but they're all in different styles and different sounds. It is truly a melting pot."
In 1999, the industrial metal song "Oh My God" was released on the soundtrack of the movie End of Days and played over the movie's end credits. It featured Axl Rose, Tommy Stinson, Dizzy Reed, and Chris Pitman, along with former members Robin Finck, Paul Tobias, and Josh Freese. Dave Navarro and Gary Sunshine also recorded guitar parts for the song. "Oh My God" received mixed critical reception upon release and was described by Allmusic as "a less than satisfying comeback". The song was the band's first release of new material with the new lineup.
In 2000, Rose hired guitarist Buckethead, and drummer Bryan Mantia replaced Freese, who left to join A Perfect Circle. Later on in 2000, Finck (having briefly left the band in 1999) rejoined the band as the third guitarist. On January 1, 2001, Guns N' Roses played their first concert in over seven years at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, Nevada. This was followed by their headlining performance at Rock in Rio III on January 14, 2001 in front of 190,000 people. On August 29, 2002, the band made a surprise visit to the MTV Video Music Awards, playing old songs along with a new "Madagascar" to a New York crowd. The band canceled their tour in 2004 after Buckethead left the band.
Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal replaced Buckethead and touring resumed in May 2006, with Bumblefoot adding guitar tracks to the album between legs of touring throughout the year. Drummer Frank Ferrer replaced Mantia in July 2006 and added his drum tracks to the album. On December 14, 2006, Rose published an open letter to the band's fans on their website, claiming that remaining tour's shows were taking up time the band needed to finish recording Chinese Democracy. Rose also revealed that the band had parted company with their manager Merck Mercuriadis, implying that the reason the album was not released in 2006 was Mercuriadis's fault (many times throughout 2006, Rose had said the album would be released that year). In the letter, Rose announced a tentative release date of March 6, 2007 for the album; however, the album was once again delayed.
On February 22, 2007, the band's road manager, Del James, announced that all recording for the album had been completed and it was in the mixing process. James stated that there was no release date for the album but that things appeared to be moving on after a number of delays.
On September 14, 2008, "Shackler's Revenge" was released on the music video game Rock Band 2, making it the band's first official release of new material since 1999's "Oh My God". "Shackler's Revenge" was shortly followed by another release, "If the World", which plays during the closing credits of Body of Lies. A firm release date was announced by Billboard in October 2008, set for November 23. In the US, the retail release is sold exclusively through Best Buy. The first single from the album, "Chinese Democracy", was released on October 22, 2008, It was first played by the Opie and Anthony show on KRock. Krock's morning show at the time. followed by the second single "Better" on November 17, 2008. The album was released as downloadable content for the Rock Band series on April 14, 2009.
Shortly before the album's release, mastering engineer Bob Ludwig offered three versions of the album for approval to co-producers Axl Rose and Caram Costanzo, and they selected the one with no dynamic-range compression, to avoid being involved in the ongoing loudness war. Ludwig wrote, "I was floored when I heard they decided to go with my full dynamics version and the loudness-for-loudness-sake versions be damned." Ludwig feels that the "fan and press backlash against the recent heavily compressed recordings finally set the context for someone to take a stand and return to putting music and dynamics above sheer level."
Chinese Democracy was reportedly near completion in mid-2000 when producer Roy Thomas Baker convinced Rose to re-record the entire album, causing further delays. Long time Guns N' Roses producer Mike Clink was reported to have worked on the album during its conception. Moby, Youth and Tim Palmer all briefly worked on the album. According to Rolling Stone, engineer Andy Wallace, who had worked with bands such as Nirvana, Sepultura, Slayer and Bad Religion, was working on the album in 2006. Other producers who have worked on the album include Bob Ezrin, Eric Caudieux and Sean Beavan. Caram Costanzo and Axl Rose are the final credited producers on the final album.
The band has worked with numerous other artists during the recording process, including guitarists Brian May and Dave Navarro. May recorded the lead guitar parts for the leaked song "Catcher In the Rye" in 1999; however, May is not credited in the finished album, and his performances were removed from the final release. Composers Marco Beltrami and Paul Buckmaster worked on orchestral arrangements for the album in the early 2000s. In January 2007, former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach recorded backing vocals for a song called "Sorry" at Electric Lady Studios. Harpist Patti Hood has also recorded parts for the album.
In 1997, sources described the upcoming album as "sounding different from the sound you know ... definitely electronic influenced." In July 1998, journalist Neil Strauss indicated that the album would be 'electronica influenced'. The sound of Chinese Democracy was often reported to be industrial rock music similar to Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, a style of which Rose had long been a fan. However, in a 2001 interview with an Argentine radio station, Rose stated the album was not industrial, and would vary in styles, stating "It is not industrial, the closest thing to that was perhaps "Oh My God", but there are some songs that won't be on the album that were this way. There will be all kinds of styles, many influences as blues, mixed in the songs."
In 2003, DJ Eddie Trunk spoke about the demo of "I.R.S.", which was leaked on his radio show, stating "It reminded me of Use Your Illusion-era stuff, with some modern flairs to it. The song had a loop track in the beginning, but then, when it kicked in, it was that same dramatic Guns N' Roses hard rock." During the launch party for Korn's 2006 tour, Rose conducted an interview with Rolling Stone and told the magazine:
It's a very complex record, I'm trying to do something different. Some of the arrangements are kind of like Queen. Some people are going to say, 'It doesn't sound like Axl Rose, it doesn't sound like Guns N' Roses.' But you'll like at least a few songs on there.
In a Rolling Stone article in 2006, former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach described the album as "epic" and "mind-blowing" and added "It's a very cool album—it's badass with killer screams, killer guitar riffs, but it's got a totally modern sound. The word for it is ‘grand.' It's fucking epic. He's reinvented himself yet again." Bach has also described the album as having "the rawness and the power of Appetite for Destruction, but it also has the grandiosity of 'November Rain'." He went on to describe the song "Sorry", which he sings backing vocals on, stating "There's this one song called ‘Sorry' that's almost like doom metal with Axl singing really clean over this grinding, slow beat that is fucking mean, I cannot get it out of my head."
Sample of "Chinese Democracy" from Chinese Democracy. It is the first single released by Guns N' Roses since 1999.
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
Rose cited influence of Dave Grohl's drumming on Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in recording the title track of the album. The song was inspired by the movie Kundun about the Dalai Lama. The industrial flavored "Shackler's Revenge" was written in reaction to "the insanity of senseless school shootings and also the media trying desperately to make more out of one shooter's preference for the Guns song Brownstone to no avail", according to Rose. Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho had written a play based on lyrics of the Guns N' Roses song Mr. Brownstone. "Catcher in the Rye" was written after Rose watched a documentary on Mark David Chapman and wanted to write a song in dedication to John Lennon, the song is meant to criticize the book The Catcher in the Rye. Discussing the origins of "Riad N' The Bedouins", Rose stated "Riad is the name my one time momentary brother-in-law of Erin Everly went by when I knew him. Of part Lebanese descent and a former student of Pepperdine University, he claims to be an international arms dealer". Rose stated the song "Sorry" was about "anyone talking nonsense at mine and the public's expense." "Madagascar"'s bridge features interwoven samples of quotes sampled from the movies Mississippi Burning, Casualties of War, Cool Hand Luke, Braveheart, Seven & Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speeches "I Have a Dream" & "Why Jesus Called A Man A Fool". "This I Love" is a song dating back to 1992 that Rose called "the heaviest thing I've written".
In a Rolling Stone interview in 2000, Rose mentioned that part of the delay of the album was him 'educating himself about the technology that's come to define rock', stating "It's like from scratch, learning how to work with something, and not wanting it just to be something you did on a computer."
According to a March 2005 New York Times article, production costs for the album had reached $13 million, making it probably the most expensive recording "never made." Then-Guns N' Roses manager Merck Mercuriadis, however, rejected the claims made by the article in a letter and claimed that the newspaper's sources had not been involved with the project for "six to nine years".
Rose issued a press release on Guns N' Roses' official website on December 14, 2006. Entitled "An open letter to the fans from Axl", Rose announced the cancellation of four concerts that were scheduled for January 2007. He stated that if the band fulfilled the concerts, "valuable time needed by the band and record company for the proper setup and release of the album Chinese Democracy would have been lost". Also in the letter, he confirmed that Guns N' Roses had parted company with Mercuriadis. Rose blamed much of the album's delay on Mercuriadis. Rose also announced a tentative release date for Chinese Democracy of March 6, 2007, and remarked that it was the first time the band had publicly named a release date for the album.
Despite Rose's announcement, the album was once again delayed. On February 22, 2007, the band's road manager, Del James, issued a press release definitively stating that all recording for the album had been completed. James elaborated, "There is no official release date, as the band is currently mixing, but after some delays and scheduling difficulties, things appear to be moving along."
In a 2007 interview, Sebastian Bach claimed Rose had planned to have the album released by Christmas 2007: "I know Axl was very serious about putting something out before Christmas. He was talking to me about it. He was talking about finishing liner notes." Bach also said that Chinese Democracy's delay might be because of business problems: "I think there's a lot of business shit that goes on with him. It's just not as easy. It's a little more complicated than people think." Little was said about the record after this, and 2007 saw no official release of the new material.
In January 2008, rumors arose that Chinese Democracy had been handed over to Geffen Records, but had been delayed because the label and Rose could not agree on the marketing of the album. Eddie Trunk also claimed Geffen might have the album: "I hear the new GNR CD is actually done, but the delay in release is not the bands [sic] issues but the label. There is so much money tied up in this record that in todays [sic] business it will be virtually impossible to be profitable, meaning the label might want to sell it off but can not [sic] find a buyer since nobody buys CDs anymore. Problem might not be Axl this time around and might keep this CD in limbo for more years to come. Hopefully it gets resolved." However, in a February 2008 interview with Classic Rock Magazine, Rose's personal manager, Beta Lebeis, debunked Trunk's suggestion and was quoted as saying, "We're currently in negotiations with the record label".
Controversy and lawsuits
Leak by Kevin Cogill
Music blogger Kevin Cogill posted several tracks of Chinese Democracy on his website in June 2008. The website server crashed shortly after the leak because of the high user traffic, and the tracks were removed later. In August, the FBI arrested Cogill for pre-releasing copyrighted material. In October he agreed to plead guilty for misdemeanor, and spent two months under house arrest. In 2014, Cogill revealed that he could not be charged for pre-releasing copyrighted material, because the court could not prove that the album was being prepared for commercial distribution.
Dr Pepper promotion
On March 26, 2008, various media outlets reported that Dr Pepper would offer a free can of Dr Pepper to everyone in America —excluding former Guns N' Roses guitarists Buckethead and Slash— if the band released Chinese Democracy in 2008. Later on March 26, Rose replied to Dr Pepper on Guns N' Roses' official website and spoke of his surprise at Dr Pepper's support. Rose also said he would share his Dr Pepper with Buckethead as "some of Buckethead's performances are on Chinese Democracy". After it was announced that the album would be released in 2008, Dr Pepper confirmed that it would uphold its pledge. However, Dr Pepper's online distribution of free coupons upon the album's release November 23, 2008 proved less than adequate. Lawyers for the band threatened Dr Pepper's parent company with a lawsuit just two days after the album's release. In a letter to Dr Pepper, Rose's lawyer Alan Gutman said "The redemption scheme your company clumsily implemented for this offer was an unmitigated disaster which defrauded consumers and, in the eyes of vocal fans, ruined Chinese Democracy's release." Rose's lawyer also demanded that the company make a full-page apology that would appear in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times.
Later, in an online interview with a fan message forum, Rose stated he specifically told his lawyers it was a non-issue and was taken off-guard by their actions. He believed they should be focused on the record release.
Censorship in the People's Republic of China
The album is banned in the People's Republic of China, due to perceived criticism in its title track of the Government of the People's Republic of China and reference to the Falun Gong. The Chinese government said through media that it "turns its spear point on China".
In October 2009, electronic musician Ulrich Schnauss's record labels, Independiente and Domino, sued Guns N' Roses, alleging that the band had committed copyright infringement by using portions of his compositions in the song "Riad 'n the Bedouins". The suit alleges that the portions used were from Schnauss' 2001 Wherever You Are and 2003 A Strangely Isolated Place. Brian Caplan, attorney for Domino, stated that they first contacted the Geffen label on February 26. The label "attempted to explain [the samples] away", Caplan told the New York Daily News "They tried to justify it." Guns N' Roses vigorously denies the allegations. Guns N' Roses manager Irving Azoff stated that "The snippets of 'ambient noise' in question were provided by a member of the album's production team who has assured us that these few seconds of sound were obtained legitimately." Going further, he added "While the band resents the implication that they would ever use another artist's work improperly and are assessing possible counterclaims, they are confident this situation will be satisfactorily resolved." The two labels are seeking $1 million in damages against Geffen for the unauthorized use of the composition samples.
Azoff lawsuit & countersuit
In May 2010, former manager Irving Azoff's company Front Line Management sued Rose over unpaid concert fees. Shortly afterwards, Rose filed a $5 million counter-lawsuit against Azoff, claiming among others that Azoff 'sabotaged' the release of Chinese Democracy. The suit claimed Azoff had "purposefully spoiled the Chinese Democracy album art, botched a sales deal with Best Buy, and even leaked songs online."
The album was initially released November 22, 2008, in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. It was released on November 23, 2008, worldwide, except in the United Kingdom, where it was released on November 24, 2008. Chinese Democracy debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 261,000 copies in its first week, well below expectations. The album also debuted at #2 on the UK Albums Chart. Second Week sales dropped significantly in the United States, dropping from no. 3 to no. 18 on the Billboard chart, a 78 percent drop. After selling 21,000 copies it's sixth week charting at no. 30, the album was certified Gold by the RIAA, passing the 500,000 shipped mark on January 7, 2009. Chinese Democracy was certified Platinum by the RIAA on February 3, 2009, having shipped one million copies in the United States. The album placed 55th on the 2009 Billboard 200 Year End charts.
The album secured an IFPI European Platinum Award, having sold more than one million copies in Europe, and had sold 2.6 million units worldwide as of February 2009, according to Universal Music. The album also reached triple platinum certification in Canada, as well as platinum certifications in many other countries, including Finland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. It was certified gold in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Sweden, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Brazil, and Colombia. After Best Buy clearanced the album for $2 in April 2011, it re-entered the US Billboard 200 again in the week ending April 3, 2011, selling 3,200 copies, enough for the 198th position. At that date, the album had sold 614,000 copies in the US according to Nielsen Soundscan. In the UK, it has sold 365,899 copies as of July 2014.
|The A.V. Club||A–|
Chinese Democracy received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 64, based on 28 reviews. Los Angeles Times writer Ann Powers called it "a test for contemporary ears", but ultimately viewed it as "a cyborgian blend of pop expressiveness, traditional rock bravado and Brian Wilson-style beautiful weirdness". Chuck Klosterman, writing for The A.V. Club, reacted positively to the vocals and guitar parts, but critized some production elements. Rolling Stone writer David Fricke commended Rose's unrestrained approach and called it "a great, audacious, unhinged and uncompromising hard-rock record." Rolling Stone later ranked the album number 12 on its year-end list of 2008's best albums. MSN Music's Robert Christgau said that Rose succeeds on "his own totally irrelevant terms" and asserted, "Since he's no longer capable of leading young white males astray, this effort isn't just pleasurable artistically. It's touching on a human level." In a 2015 look back, Artistdirect called the album a "timeless work of art" and a "rock ‘n' roll epic of the highest order". In a mixed review, Chicago Tribune writer Greg Kot found Axl Rose's production over-embellished. Kitty Empire, writing for The Observer, accused Rose of "cribbing" from the industrial rock of Nine Inch Nails. The New York Times writer Jon Pareles described the album as 'a transitional album'. Rock biographer Stephen Davis was more vitriolic and named Chinese Democracy "the worst album ever".
Duff McKagan praised the album, saying that "Axl sounds amazing" and "I think Axl's finally made the record he always wanted to". Slash reacted positively to the title track, stating "That sounds cool. It's good to hear Axl's voice again, y'know?" When the album was released, Slash responded by saying "It's a really good record. It's very different from what the original Guns N' Roses sounded like, but it's a great statement by Axl... It's a record that the original Guns N' Roses could never possibly make. And at the same time it just shows you how brilliant Axl is." In a later interview, Slash stated the album was "exactly what I thought it would sound like," with many synthesizers and digital augmentations. Izzy Stradlin, soon after the album was released, said "I have listened to some tracks off the record and I enjoyed them" and "I like what I've heard." Steven Adler said he "didn't like the album, not one bit." Gilby Clarke stated "I think it's a really good record — I honestly do. I think it's a great record... Knowing what I know what direction he wanted to take the band, I think he hit the nail on the head; I think he did a great job" Matt Sorum called the album a 'toe-tapper'. Early Guns N' Roses guitarist Tracii Guns said he thought the album was "over-indulgent, sterile and not that exciting."
All lyrics written by Axl Rose.
|1.||"Chinese Democracy"||Rose, Josh Freese||4:43|
|2.||"Shackler's Revenge"||Rose, Buckethead, Caram Costanzo, Bryan Mantia, Pete Scaturro||3:37|
|3.||"Better"||Rose, Robin Finck||4:58|
|4.||"Street of Dreams"||Rose, Tommy Stinson, Dizzy Reed||4:46|
|5.||"If the World"||Rose, Chris Pitman||4:54|
|6.||"There Was a Time"||Rose, Paul Tobias, Reed||6:41|
|7.||"Catcher in the Rye"||Rose, Tobias||5:53|
|8.||"Scraped"||Rose, Buckethead, Costanzo||3:30|
|9.||"Riad N' the Bedouins"||Rose, Stinson||4:10|
|10.||"Sorry"||Rose, Buckethead, Mantia, Scaturro||6:14|
|11.||"I.R.S."||Rose, Tobias, Reed||4:28|
|13.||"This I Love"||Rose||5:34|
Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.
|Chart (2008)||Peak position|
|European Top 100||1|
|Argentina Albums Chart||1|
|Canadian Albums Chart||1|
|Finnish Albums Chart||1|
|New Zealand Albums Chart||1|
|Polish Albums Chart||1|
|Slovene Albums Chart||1|
|Swiss Albums Chart||1|
|Taiwanese G-music Western Chart||1|
|UK Albums Chart||2|
|German Albums Chart||2|
|Norwegian Albums Chart||2|
|U.S. Billboard 200||3|
|Australian Albums Chart||3|
|Austrian Albums Chart||3|
|Irish Albums Chart||3|
|Israeli Albums Chart||3|
|Italian Albums Chart||3|
|Japanese Oricon Albums Chart||3|
|Belgian Albums Chart||2|
|Dutch Albums Chart||4|
|Hungarian Albums Chart||4|
|Mexican Albums Chart||3|
|Russian Albums Chart||4|
|Swedish Albums Chart||4|
|Danish Albums Chart||7|
|Portuguese Albums Chart||9|
|French Albums Chart||5|
|Greek Albums Chart||10|
|Swiss Albums Chart||89|
|U.S. Billboard 200||55|
|Canadian Albums Chart||15|
- Chinese Democracy credits @ Discogs.com
- Fricke, David (November 27, 2008). Review: Chinese Democracy. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on November 28, 2009.
- Empire, Kitty (November 22, 2008). "CD of the week: Guns N' Roses: Chinese Democracy". The Observer (London). Observer Review section, p. 19. Retrieved March 25, 2013.
- Wood, Mikael (November 8, 2008). "Guns N' Roses, 'Chinese Democracy' (Geffen)". Spin (New York). Retrieved March 25, 2013.
- Condon, Dan (March 6, 2005). "Armed to the Teeth". Time Off. Retrieved November 17, 2007.
- Leeds, Jeff (March 6, 2005). "The Most Expensive Album Never Made". New York Times. Retrieved November 17, 2007.
- "GN'R press release with Axl interview". GNRonline.com. August 14, 2002. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
- "Slash: AXL Quit Guns n' Roses To Gain Control Of Band". Blabbermouth. November 9, 2007. Retrieved November 18, 2007.
- "The Guns 'N Roses Report". heretodaygonetohell.com; addict.com. January 13, 1997. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
- Harkness, Geoff (June 28, 2001). "SEVEN QUESTIONS with Matt Sorum of The Cult". Lawrence Journal-World. Archived from the original on September 14, 2008. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
- Dave Everley (August 21, 1999). "Guns N' Roses 2-part article". Kerrang!. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
- Kurt Loder (1999-11-03). "Axl Rose - A conversation with Kurt Loder". MTV US. heretodaygonetohell.com; MTV.
- Erlewine, Stephen. "Allmusic: End of Days — Overview". All Media Guide. Retrieved November 17, 2006.
- Loder, Kurt (November 21, 2002). "Beneath The Bucket, Behind The Mask: Kurt Loder Meets GN’R’s Buckethead". MTV.com. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
- Kevin Raub (March 14, 2000). "Josh Freese Leaves Guns N' Roses". heretodaygonetohell.com; Allstarmag.com. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
- Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna (October 30, 2000). "Guns N' Roses Make Buckethead, Robin Finck, & Bob Ezrin Official". heretodaygonetohell.com; Allstarmag.com. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
- Moss, Corey (December 4, 2001). "Guns N’ Roses Ante Up For Another New Year’s Eve In Vegas". MTV.com. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
- Loder, Kurt (January 15, 2001). "Guns N' Roses Kick Out The Jams At Rock In Rio". MTV. Retrieved December 2, 2007.
- Jon Wiederhorn (August 29, 2002). "Guns N' Roses Cap Night Of Spectacles From Diddy, Eminem, Timberlake". MTV. Retrieved November 21, 2008.
- Jon Wiederhorn (March 17, 2004). "Buckethead’s Hand Puppet Says Goodbye To Guns N’ Roses". MTV News. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- "Who is Bumblefoot and why is he a guitarist in Guns N Roses? ~ "The Spaghetti Incident?"". Thespaghettiincident.com. November 9, 2008. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
- "Guns N' Roses Drummer Says Axl Rose Wants To Release Remix Album Of 'Chinese Democracy' Songs - Blabbermouth.net". Blabbermouth. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
- Rose, Axl (December 14, 2006). "An open letter from Axl Rose". GunsNRoses.com. Retrieved December 20, 2007.
- "Former Guns N' Roses Manager: 'I Believe In Axl Rose'". Mercuriadis, Merck. December 15, 2006. Retrieved December 22, 2007.
- James, Del (February 22, 2007). "Chinese Democracy update". Retrieved January 12, 2008.
- "New Guns n' Roses Leak: "Shackler's Revenge"". Rolling Stone. August 14, 2008. Retrieved August 14, 2008.
- Cohen, Jonathan. "GNR's 'Chinese Democracy' Gets Release Date". Billboard. Retrieved October 9, 2008.
- "New Guns N' Roses Single Hits Radio Tomorrow". Billboard. October 22, 2008. Retrieved October 22, 2008.
- "Rockband.com". Rockband.com. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
- "Gateway Mastering & DVD". Gatewaymastering.com. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
- Ludwig, Bob (November 25, 2008). "Guns 'N Roses: Dynamics and quality win the Loudness Wars". Loudness Wars. Gateway Mastering. Retrieved March 29, 2010.
- Hyden, Steven (July 23, 2013). "Building a Better Democracy". Grantland.com. ESPN; Grantland. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
Rose hired Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker to help shepherd the album to completion. Only Baker did the opposite — he talked Axl into rerecording all of the songs, in spite of the monumental expense
- "Chinese Whispers". GNR Evolution. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
- "Episode 27: Tim Palmer - producer/mixer". 30 November 2011.
- "It's a Fact". Classic Rock Magazine. Archived from the original on August 2, 2008. Retrieved February 9, 2008.
- Sorelle Saidman (20 September 1998). "Guns n' Roses Eye Producer". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
Sources at Geffen say the company is hoping for a mid-1999 release of the new album
- David Wild (February 3, 2000). "Rolling Stone 833: Axl Speaks". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- "The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll". Rolling Stone.com. Retrieved November 21, 2007.
- Wiederhorn, Jon (June 9, 2004). "GN'R Bassist Works Solo While Awaiting Chinese Democracy". MTV. Retrieved November 17, 2007.
- May, Brian (March 2, 2006). ""Catcher in the Rye", Chinese Democracy Leaks and Axl Rose". Brian's Soapbox. Retrieved November 17, 2007.
- Erlewine, Stephen. Prato, Greg. "Allmusic — Guns N' Roses". Allmusic. Retrieved November 17, 2007.
- "GN'R axe Brian May from Chinese Democracy". musicradar.com. Retrieved November 19, 2008.
- "SEBASTIAN BACH's New Album To Feature Guest Appearance By AXL ROSE". Blabbermouth. August 20, 2007. Retrieved November 17, 2007.
- "Patti Hood Resume". Patti Hood. Retrieved December 22, 2007.
- John Bitzer (March 18, 1997). "Moby To Produce Guns N' Roses?". heretodaygonetohell.com; Allstarmag.com. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- "Guns N' Roses To Go Techno?". heretodaygonetohell.com; addict.com. March 19, 1997. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- Strauss, Neil (July 23, 1998). "THE POP LIFE; Failure's Hard But Success Can Be Worse". NYtimes.com. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
- "Axl interview Rock & Pop FM Argentina". Rock & Pop FM. January 22, 2001. Retrieved November 17, 2007.
- D'Angelo, Joe (September 2, 2003). "New GN'R Tune Leaked By ... Mets Catcher Mike Piazza?!". MTV. Retrieved November 18, 2007.
- Baltin, Steve (January 17, 2006). "Axl Rose Breaks His Silence". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 17, 2007.
- Diver, Mike (September 30, 2006). "New G'nR album: "almost like doom metal"". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved November 17, 2007.
- "Proof Axl Rose Does Go to the Studio: Photo With Sebastian Bach". Rolling Stone. September 26, 2007. Retrieved November 17, 2007.
- Zutaut, Tom (March 2008). "GN'R Exclusive! Psychic Tests! Pet Wolves! Chicken Coops! CHINESE DEMOCRACY. The Unbelievable true story - told for the first time.". Classic Rock Magazine (TeamRock) (116).
The first task set to [Zutaut] by [Axl] was to help with the drum sound for the album's title track. Axl had told the studio guys that he wanted the same drum sound as Dave Grohl on Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit
- "Meaning Behind Songs". Guns N' Roses - N.I.R. Archived from the original on August 31, 2003.
- "Guns N' Roses - "Shackler's Revenge" Review". IGN. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
- "Axl Rose Chat #3 - cd - Dec. 13, 2008". mygnrforum.com Guns N' Roses Forum. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
- "Virginia Tech Killer Named Play After Guns N' Roses Song 'Mr. Brownstone' - Blabbermouth.net". Blabbermouth. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
- "Axl Rose Takes Part In Another Online Chat, Says There Are 'No Plans' For Gn'r Tour Right Now - Blabbermouth.net". Blabbermouth. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
- "Riad N' The Bedouins". www.a-4-d.com. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
- Chinese Democracy booklet - Madagascar
- "This I Love". www.a-4-d.com. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
- "Guns N' Roses' Manager Manager Slams NY Times Over 'Rubbish' 'Chinese Democracy' Article". Blabbermouth. March 6, 2005. Retrieved November 17, 2007.
- "Rock My Monkey — Sebastian Bach Interview". Rock My Monkey. Archived from the original on December 2, 2007. Retrieved December 22, 2007.
- "GNR Finish CD?". antiMusic. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
- Trunk, Eddie. "Eddie Trunk — Trunk Blog". Eddietrunk.com. Archived from the original on December 15, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
- "USA Today". October 2013.
- FBI arrests blogger accused of leaking Guns N' Roses tracks - CNET, 27 August 2008
- The Full Story Behind The RIAA & FBI's Insanely Wasteful Prosecution Of The Dude Who Streamed Guns 'N Roses Album - Techdirt, 7 January 2014
- Johnson, Richard; Froelich, Paula; Hoffmann, Bill; Garvey, Marianne (March 26, 2008). "Doctor's Orders". The New York Post. Retrieved March 27, 2008.
- Cohen, Jonathan (March 26, 2008). "Dr Pepper Sweetens Pot For 'Chinese Democracy'". Billboard.com. Retrieved March 27, 2008.
- Rose, Axl (March 26, 2008). "Press Release From Axl Regarding Dr Pepper". GunsNRoses.com. Retrieved March 27, 2008.
- "Drinks firm to keep Roses pledge". BBC. October 24, 2008. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- "Guns N' Roses' Lawyer Blasts Dr Pepper". Billboard.biz. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
- "BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Rose angry over drinks giveaway". BBC News. November 27, 2008. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
- "Axl Rose Files Lawsuit Against Dr. Pepper; Asks For Apology, Payment | Access Hollywood — Celebrity News, Photos & Videos". Accesshollywood.com. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
- Rose, Axl (December 13, 2008). "Axl answers fans' questions on GN'R fan sites (transcripts)". HereTodayGoneToHell.com. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
- "內地封殺 GN'R 唱片" [Mainland blocked GN'R album]. Apple Daily (in Chinese) (China: Next Media). 2008-11-24. Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
- "'Venomous' Guns N' Roses album slammed in China". CNN.com. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
- Bodeen, Christopher (November 25, 2008). "Rock album 'an attack on China'". London: The Independent. Retrieved November 25, 2008.
- Kearney, Christine. "Guns 'N Roses Sued for Copying Songs". billboard.com. October 6, 2009.
- Sean Michaels. "Guns N' Roses sued for copyright infringement". the Guardian.
- John D. Luerssen (October 7, 2009). "Guns N' Roses Respond to Plagiarism Lawsuit". spinner.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011.
- James Montgomery (March 26, 2010). "Axl Rose Sued By Management Company For Nearly $2 Million". MTV News. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Associated Press (March 26, 2010). "Axl Rose Sued By Manager For Nearly $2 Million". Billboard.com. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Eriq Gardner (May 19, 2010). "Axl Rose Slams Irving Azoff In $5 Million Countersuit". Billboard.com. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Simon Vozick-Levinson (May 19, 2010). "Axl Rose sues former manager over alleged 'sabotage'". Entertainment Weekly's EW.com. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Sisario, Ben (May 18, 2010). "Axl Rose Sues His Former Manager for $5 Million". The New York Times.
- Sean Michaels. "Axl Rose: Chinese Democracy was 'sabotaged' by former manager". the Guardian. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Amy Sciarretto (June 16, 2011). "Axl Rose Settles Lawsuit Against Former Manager Irving Azoff". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- "Settlements Reached In Lawsuits Between Axl Rose And Former Manager - Blabbermouth.net". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. June 14, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- "Musiktipps24.com". Musiktipps24.com. August 13, 2010. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
- "Cede.ch" (in German). Cede.ch. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
- "DiePresse.com". DiePresse.com. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
- "Guns N' Roses Management Officially Announces "Chinese Democracy" Release, Formats". Rolling Stone. October 22, 2008. Retrieved October 22, 2008.
- Steffen, Chris. "Chinese Democracy Hits Best Buys in New York with a Yawn". Rolling Stone. November 24, 2008
- Christman, Ed. "Kanye, Guns N' Roses Post Slow Debut Week Sales". billboard.com. Dec 1, 2008.
- Hasty, Katie. "Kanye Edges GNR, Ludacris For No.1 Debut". billboard.com. Dec 3, 2008.
- Author unknown. "Missing Axl Rose Wrecks Guns N' Roses Bid for No 1". www.thesun.co.uk. Dec 2, 2008.
- Prenesti, Frank (November 30, 2008). "Take That top singles chart for 11th time | Entertainment | Reuters". Uk.reuters.com. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
- "A long wait, a fast fall". latimes. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
- "Guns N' Roses: 'Chinese Democracy' Officially Passes 500,000 Sales Mark In U.S. - Blabbermouth.net". Blabbermouth. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
- "Gold and Platinum Database Search". Retrieved November 25, 2009.
- Cohen, Jonathan. "Axl Rose Speaks". billboard.com. February 9, 2009.
- "Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
- "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards - Q4 2008". Ifpi.org. September 1, 2005. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
- "IFPI Awards". Ifpi.org. September 1, 2005. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
- GUNS N' ROSES To Tour South America In March/April - Nov. 26, 2009. BlabberMouth.net. Retrieved on May 12, 2010.
- "Guns N' Roses: 'Chinese Democracy' Re-Enters US Charts | News @". Ultimate-guitar.com. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
- Eamonn Forde (9 July 2014). "From Robin Thicke to Mariah and Mick: five blockbuster albums that bombed". The Guardian.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Review: Chinese Democracy. Allmusic. Retrieved on November 28, 2009.
- Klosterman, Chuck (November 18, 2008). "Chuck Klosterman reviews Chinese Democracy | Music". The A.V. Club. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
- Christgau, Robert (February 2009). "Inside Music: Consumer Guide". MSN Music. Archived from the original on March 25, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2013.
- Petridis, Alexis. Review: Chinese Democracy. The Guardian. Retrieved on March 20, 2010.
- "Review: Chinese Democracy". Mojo (London): 108. February 2009.
- Cohen, Ian. Review: Chinese Democracy. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on November 28, 2009.
- "Review: Chinese Democracy". Q (London): 110. January 2009.
- Boland, Casey (November 24, 2008). "Guns N' Roses: Chinese Democracy". Slant Magazine. Retrieved March 25, 2013.
- Chinese Democracy (2008): Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on November 28, 2009.
- Powers, Ann. Review: Chinese Democracy. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on April 9, 2010.
- "Rolling Stone's Top 50 Albums Of 2008 - Year-End List — Stereogum". Steeogum.com. Retrieved December 27, 2008.
- "New Classic Album: Guns N' Roses – 'Chinese Democracy'". ARTISTdirect. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- Kot, Greg. Review: Chinese Democracy. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on April 9, 2010.
- Pareles, Jon. Review: Chinese Democracy. The New York Times. Retrieved on November 28, 2009.
- Berndtson, Chad (13 December 2008). "Author Stephen Davis has chronicled rock royalty". The Enterprise. GateHouse Media. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- "DUFF MCKAGAN Says AXL ROSE 'Sounds Amazing' On 'Chinese Democracy'". Blabbermouth. December 12, 2008. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
- "Slash Endorses 'Chinese Democracy'". Starpulse. October 24, 2008. Archived from the original on February 10, 2009. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
- Joe Bosso. "Slash calls Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy "a great statement"". musicradar.com. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Banned Slash gear may be rumour: ex-GNR guitarist". Toronto Sun. March 12, 2010. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
- "Ex Guns N' Roses Guitarist Izzy Stradlin Is A Fan Of 'Chinese Democracy' - Blabbermouth.net". Blabbermouth. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin Weigh in on "Chinese Democracy"". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Steven Adler: I Didn't Like 'Chinese Democracy' One Bit - Blabbermouth.net". Blabbermouth. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Gilby Clarke: 'Chinese Democracy' Is A Great Record, But Not Something I Would Buy - Blabbermouth.net". Blabbermouth. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Matt Sorum Says 'Chinese Democracy' Is A 'Toe Tapper' - Blabbermouth.net". Blabbermouth. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Tracii Guns: ‘Chinese Democracy’ Not a Brilliant Guns n’ Roses Release". Noisecreep. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- Chinese Democracy (Media notes). Guns N' Roses. Geffen Records. 2008.
- "'Chinese Democracy' Fires GNR To Euro Albums Summit". Billboard.biz. Retrieved December 27, 2008.
- "Argentina Top Albums Chart". allcharts.org. Retrieved December 5, 2008.
- Williams, John. "Canoe — Jam! Music — Artists — Guns N' Roses: GN'R has unremarkable chart debut". Jam.canoe.ca. Retrieved December 27, 2008.
- "Suomen virallinen lista | YLE Pop | yle.fi". Pop.yle.fi. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
- "Rianz". Rianz.org.nz. Retrieved December 27, 2008.
- "Polish Top20". zpav.pl. Retrieved December 5, 2008.
- "Slo top 30". vikend.sl. Retrieved December 5, 2008.
- "Chinese Democracy' Fires GNR To Euro Albums Summit". billboard.com. Retrieved December 4, 2008.
- "Weekly top 20 Western Chart". g-music (in Chinese). December 17, 2008. Archived from the original on December 17, 2008. Retrieved 2015-07-24.
- Authentic Entertainment. "ARIA Charts - Australias Official Music Charts - Single, Album, Digital Charts and more". ariacharts.com.au. Archived from the original on December 7, 2008.
- ">> IRMA << Irish Charts — Singles, Albums & Compilations >>". Irma.ie. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
- "Suomen virallinen lista | YLE Pop | yle.fi". Pop.yle.fi. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
- "Classifica settimanale dal 21-11-2008 al 27-11-2008 Top of the music ACNielsen". fimi.it. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
- "Chinese Democracy" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved October 7, 2009.
- "UltraTop 50". ultratop.be. Retrieved December 5, 2008.
- Novum (November 28, 2008). "Guns N' Roses komt hoog binnen in albumlijst". Nieuws.nl. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
- "http://www.greaves.tv/amprofon3/100.php" (PDF). Retrieved November 11, 2010.
- "Russian Top25". 2m-online.ru. Retrieved December 13, 2008.
- "Denmark Top40 Albums". achart.us. Retrieved December 5, 2008.
- "Greek Top 50 album charts". ifpi.gr. Retrieved December 16, 2008.
- "Swiss Year-End Charts 2009". Media Control. Hung Medien. Retrieved February 6, 2009.
- 2009 Year end canadian albums