I didn't believe it would happen. I was for sure it was a marketing stunt tied to a product that would never, ever see the light of day. But now we're six days away from the release of Guns N Roses' fifth original studio album, Chinese Democracy, and all I can say is "holy crap." That and "man, that Dr. Pepper is gonna taste so sweet."
For those of you who don't know, back in March soft drink company Dr. Pepper made an announcement to Billboard.com that it would give a free can of its product to everyone in America (except, and this is for serious, ex-guitarists Slash and Buckethead) if Chinese Democracy actually managed to come out at any point in 2008. For a record that's been in the works for 14 years, it seemed like Dr. Pepper was making a pretty safe bet, writing a check it would never have to cash.
(if you want to read the original news release, it's here).
I didn't even flinch when I found out in August that a track from this supposed new album was going to be on Rock Band 2. After all, one song done does not an album make, and Axl had already released a new song for the End of Days soundtrack in 1999.
But then a few weeks ago something fairly jarring happened... BestBuy.com was promoting that Chinese Democracy had an honest-to-God release date of November 23, 2008. And then about a week later iTunes was reporting the same thing, and it began to pre-sell digital copies of the album with a full track list up and the title track available for instant download. And all of a sudden it looked like my cynicism was misplaced... 2008 would usher in Chinese Democracy, after all.
And then my cynicism turned elsewhere, to that article on Billboard.com that my friend Vince had pointed me to more than half a year ago. And I thought, "there's no way Dr. Pepper is going to make good on this. What are the odds?"
Well, I'd say they're pretty good. Check this out.
In short: on November 23, anyone who wants to can go to the Dr. Pepper website, enter some personal information, and get a coupon for a free can of Dr. P. The coupon will arrive in 4-6 weeks and will expire in February 2009.
So this is pretty good news, I'd say. New GNR by the end of the week (that's this Sunday!), and a free soft drink in the next couple of months. Not bad atall. And incase you're wondering... I like the new Guns song in Rock Band 2. It is a little industrial-sounding, sure, but it's got a really catchy chorus and some sweet guitar action at the end. But don't take my word for it...
(it should be noted that I don't play this song in the game a lot, at least not on guitar, because that riff is hard, man!)
So yes, I am eagerly awaiting this album. I love GNR's first four studio efforts and while I'm not so deluded as to think this will live up to their best work, I'm certainly not going to count it out before I've heard the thing.
Couple that with new releases from The Killers and Bang Camaro later the same week and this is a really exciting week in music for me.
ABCP Episode 173 - OCTOBER SURPRISE
10 months ago