Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Chinese Democracy’ Was Supposed to Be a Trilogy
If you're still waiting on your free Dr. Pepper from when Guns N' Roses released the long-anticipated Chinese Democracy, it may be because all of the album hasn't been released yet. Well, at least that's what former band members, record execs and unnamed sources have told Billboard.
In a recently published piece assessing the legacy of Chinese Democracy from all angles from its historically lengthy writing and recording process to its 2008 release and reception, Billboard spoke with multiple key players, like Geffen-Interscope A&R executive Tom Zutaut, who was tasked with getting Axl Rose on track. "If he had released it as an Axl Rose solo record, it probably would have sold millions," Zutaut reflected on the sales of 549,000 copies in its first 12 weeks. "But when we sat in the studio and talked about Chinese Democracy, [Axl Rose] just wasn't ready to go there yet," he added.
Zutaut claimed that Rose's aim was to make a "more modern record," but its pitfall was that it was not in line with what GN'R fans wanted. "Had it been a 'W. Axl Rose' record, who knows," he stated, revealing, "but not a lot people know this: Chinese Democracy was going to be trilogy." Former GN'R bass player Tommy Stinson loosely verified this, commenting, "All I can say is…that record was not meant to be one disc."
Billboard also reported that an anonymous source declared, "All of the material that hadn't been released was coming out in 2016, then, the reunion happened." Among the unreleased tracks, which are estimated to total around 60, are songs like "Going Down" (written by Stinson) and "Atlas Shrugged," both of which have leaked. Zutaut confirmed the latter is "a song influenced by Axl's fascination with Ayn Rand."
There's been talk of the current GN'R lineup working on a new album. Guitarist Richard Fortus has spoken on more concrete terms than other members, recently stating that the band will try to get a record out soon. It's not known if any of the unreleased Chinese Democracy songs will be reworked and presented as new material.
All Guns N' Roses Songs Ranked