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Author: Subject: Guns N' Roses had to settle for a disappointing No. 3 slot

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 11:22 AM
LOS ANGELES (Billboard) Guns N' Roses returned to the U.S. pop charts this week with their first studio album in 17 years ... but had to settle for a disappointing No. 3 slot.

"Chinese Democracy" sold a modest 261,000 copies. The tally paled against those of the band's last studio efforts, "Use Your Illusion I" and "Use Your Illusion II," which debuted at Nos. 2 and 1, respectively, with sales of 685,000 and 770,000 after being released on the same day in 1991.

Best Buy Senior Entertainment Officer Gary Arnold had predicted "Chinese Democracy" would be the week's top seller, but it ended up being bested by Kanye West's new release "808s & Heartbreak" with 450,000 copies and country star Taylor Swift's former champ "Fearless" with 267,000.

What happened? Wasn't "Chinese Democracy" one of the most-anticipated and talked-about albums of all time? Wasn't it so steeped in myth and lore that a massive debut week was all but assured? Maybe not.

The October release of AC/DC's "Black Ice," while not a perfect comparison, comes to mind. Like Guns N' Roses, AC/DC was a band that had been off the radar for a while and opted to partner with one retailer -- Wal-Mart -- for the release of its own long-awaited new album. "Ice" ultimately chilled with 784,000 copies in its debut week -- the veteran group's best sales frame since tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan started in 1991.

And now we have GNR's album, in an exclusive deal with Best Buy (and iTunes). And it starts with much less.

So, why didn't GNR's number even get close to AC/DC's?

Wal-Mart gave AC/DC the red-carpet treatment. The retail giant made sure the album had the appearance of an event record -- something every Wal-Mart shopper needed to own. If that didn't convince consumers, maybe their famed store-within-a-store display did.

But at Best Buy, based on reports from Billboard staffers on the ground during release week, the promotion was on a smaller scale.

Beyond the retail promotion of "Chinese Democracy," what about the intangibles?

Maybe the public got tired of waiting for an album that was probably never going to live up to their expectations? Maybe fans were turned off by the ever-shifting lineup of band members? Maybe it would have sold more had reclusive frontman Axl Rose and his bandmates made a promotional appearance in support of the release? Perhaps it would have started stronger had it been available to all retailers?

Or, maybe pundits should just take a step back, breathe and see where the album goes from here. There very well may be quite a long, healthy road ahead for "Chinese Democracy."

West may have also been disappointed with the 450,000 start for "808s & Heartbreak." Many pundits, including some at his Universal Music Group label, had expected his fourth album to have a better week.

His last album, "Graduation," started at No. 1 with 957,000 last year. Before that, "Late Registration," chalked up an 860,000-unit entry at No. 1 in 2005. His freshman effort, "The College Dropout," started at No. 2 with 441,000 in 2004.

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 12:35 PM
After all the times G and R have shafted their fans by cancelling shows in the last few years, I think a #3 on the pop charts is quite a good showing.

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 12:41 PM
Whatever, the album is very good.
 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 02:34 PM
The Axl Rose band waited too long to put out a mediocre record. I think a couple of tunes from the album are really good and a couple more are so so. It pales in comparison to the original Guns 'N' Roses lineup and the work they created together. Calling it Guns 'N' Roses doesn't make it Guns 'N' Roses.

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 05:41 PM
I like the new GUNS N' ROSES CD very much. To be honest, better than the Slash, Puke, Barf...whatever you want to call him era. I think it has a much more mature sound to it. Slash is a good guitarist....but good riddance is my feelings about him. I like the lead work on the new one much better.

I think # 3 is great for it, I have the AC/DC CD and have already tired of it. I think the last 2 were much better.

As far as it being a Guns N' Roses CD. well if you have the rights to call it that and it's your band....then no matter what the public says......its Guns N' Roses...at least thats the way I see it.

It's no different than calling The Allman Brothers the Allman Brothers with only one Allman and no Betts or Oakley....maybe they should be called "The Allman, Trucks, Mule Project".

Hopefully Axel can keep his Bi-Polar mind problems in check, maybe not. But for the first time, I really, really like a Guns N' Roses CD.

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 05:43 PM
Love the new GnR myself....could'nt care less about the chart position.

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 05:47 PM
If Kenny & Hugh like it, I had better get a copy.

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 06:12 PM
quote:
If Kenny & Hugh like it, I had better get a copy.


It's not perfect Ron, and it takes a few listens to appreciate it. It's not going to "grab" most folks that loved all the old stuff so much. Most of the leads are not as heavy, but they have a more in control sound to them. In a way it's probably Axel's last stand, his vocals are not as strong...but to me they have more feeling to them...instead of the old kick your ass sound. Sort of like a baseball player who's seen his better days, but puts in one more really good season before it's over with.

Maybe I don't like old band as much because when Appetite for Destruction came out I was dating this girl who played it over and over and over..then the same thing with their other releases. I'm not saying they sucked, because they were a good band.

Then when Slash and McKagan were on the American music awards wasted and being vulgar, I thought that was pretty pathetic instead of funny. Today it would be nothing to act like that.

All the above is just me being me, and you know how that goes.

:-)

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 06:33 PM
I don't know what to call the new band, but it is certainly NOT Guns N Roses. This new album can't hold a candle to anything from the original lineup.

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 06:49 PM
quote:
I don't know what to call the new band, but it is certainly NOT Guns N Roses. This new album can't hold a candle to anything from the original lineup.
I have to agree with that....not to say Chinese Democracy is BAD. It's not. One original member of the band? Come ooooooooon!!

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 06:50 PM
quote:
but it is certainly NOT Guns N Roses.


I always think it funny when folks say sh*t like that.

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 06:52 PM
quote:
quote:
I don't know what to call the new band, but it is certainly NOT Guns N Roses. This new album can't hold a candle to anything from the original lineup.
I have to agree with that....not to say Chinese Democracy is BAD. It's not. One original member of the band? Come ooooooooon!!


and that.

He owns the rights to the name and his voice was the band. Without him they would have not been sh*t. He is the band, the rest were just names that came and went.

[Edited on 12/7/2008 by OldDirtRoad]

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 07:46 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
I don't know what to call the new band, but it is certainly NOT Guns N Roses. This new album can't hold a candle to anything from the original lineup.
I have to agree with that....not to say Chinese Democracy is BAD. It's not. One original member of the band? Come ooooooooon!!


and that.

He owns the rights to the name and his voice was the band. Without him they would have not been sh*t. He is the band, the rest were just names that came and went.

[Edited on 12/7/2008 by OldDirtRoad]
Kenny, you and I will just have to disagree on that.

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 07:50 PM
quote:


He owns the rights to the name and his voice was the band.

Without him they would have not been sh*t. He is the band, the rest were just names that came and went.




No wonder

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 07:56 PM
G n' R had two Killer guitarists in a couple of the latter incarnations - Buckethead and Bumblefoot. Did any of their contributions make to the final Chinese Democracy??? Kenny? And forgive me Kenny I've got to side with Dave on this one. Axl is one psycho monomeglamaniac (Is that even a word? And if it is, did I use it in the right context?)

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 08:10 PM
quote:
G n' R had two Killer guitarists in a couple of the latter incarnations - Buckethead and Bumblefoot. Did any of their contributions make to the final Chinese Democracy??? Kenny? And forgive me Kenny I've got to side with Dave on this one. Axl is one psycho monomeglamaniac (Is that even a word? And if it is, did I use it in the right context?)



Buckethead appears on all but two songs.

I don't know much about Bumblefoot, other than he got his name from a bacterial infection.

Plus your welcome to side with Dave...does not mean i'm not going to stand by what I say. I don't have to have anyone on my side to have an opinion.

Why would I need to forgive you for agreeing with Big Dave ?

I like Dave.

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 08:12 PM

and yes.....Bumblefoot is on the CD also.

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 08:14 PM
quote:
quote:


He owns the rights to the name and his voice was the band.

Without him they would have not been sh*t. He is the band, the rest were just names that came and went.




No wonder


You got me with that one, I failed to catch the joke.

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 08:41 PM
the promotion for this album has been poor. best buy dropped the ball. there should have had the album on the front page of their sales papers, the choices for the singles so far have been odd and the lack of any tour news or music videos is just confussing.


that being said this album is much better than use your illusions with its cover songs, 3 minute "angry" filler tunes and alternate versions of songs. this album wouldn't have sounded like 80's GNR no matter who was in the band. why doesn't velvet revolver sound just like GNR if slash and duff are so great? the answer is because most of the good songs from GNR were axl/izzy cowritten tunes. izzy is the missing piece of the puzzle for either band. his solo albums basically prove it. buy the album and enjoy great music and stop complaining about who is or isn't in the band anymore. 2 of the guys have now been in the band longer than slash.

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 08:50 PM
quote:
You got me with that one, I failed to catch the joke.


No Joke intended... I think the guys' a punk

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 08:51 PM
Nuff said

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 08:52 PM
Saul rocks!!

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 09:05 PM
quote:
quote:
You got me with that one, I failed to catch the joke.


No Joke intended... I think the guys' a punk



Good for you.

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 09:08 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
You got me with that one, I failed to catch the joke.


No Joke intended... I think the guys' a punk



Good for you.


You betcha

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 09:14 PM
In 2007, Slash admitted to going to Rose's home with the intention to settle a long-standing legal dispute and make peace with his former band mate. Slash elaborated on the incident in his autobiography, claiming that what actually occurred was that he simply went to Rose's house while intoxicated and left a note asking Rose to contact him to settle a pending lawsuit. He also added that he had not actually spoken to Rose in person since leaving Guns N' Roses in 1996 . Slash further stated that incident's publicity created a rift in Velvet Revolver; as his bandmates were unsure of what Slash had actually done and Slash had confronted Weiland over his scathing reply to Rose, feeling that Weiland did not have the "right" to criticize Rose, not actually knowing him.

Recently, Slash expressed his concern on the probable induction of Guns N' Roses to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. After being involved in Van Halen's absence from their induction due to the fact that members of original line-up refused to put their differences aside, Slash feared the same thing could happen to Guns N' Roses.


I like the fact that Slash confronted Weiland about the fact that he had did not know Axel and had no right to criticize him.

 

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