When Ahab finally speared his white whale, it dragged him to the bottom of the sea along with his coffin vessel and all his savage crewman, setting a thematic precedent that would haunt every absurdly monomaniacal ambition of the ensuing centuries.
But Axl Rose has the unique advantage of beginning his vision quest from the Marianas Trench of his career. From that nadir, he can plot his campaigns with the liberty afforded to those who don’t have much farther to fall.
So, now hear this: Best Buy has announced that, on November 23rd, Chinese Democracy will at last see the light of day. In an unholy pact between the Minnesota-based electronics provider and Geffen Records, the album will be made available on CD, vinyl, and digital download.
A few paragraphs of fevered insistence from the press release:
"The release of Chinese Democracy marks a historic moment in rock n' roll," said co-managers Irving Azoff and Andy Gould. "We're launching with a monumental campaign developed by Gary Arnold and the Best Buy team that matches the groundbreaking sound of the album itself. Guns N' Roses fans have every reason to celebrate, for this is only the beginning."
"Chinese Democracy is one of the most highly anticipated albums in music history, and Best Buy is thrilled to deliver this explosive and previously elusive release to Guns N' Roses fans. Longtime fans will be rewarded for their patience and loyalty to this great band, while a new generation of fans will be blown away," said Gary Arnold, Senior Entertainment Officer for Best Buy. "Axl Rose is one of the most dynamic and gifted writers and performers in modern music. Best Buy is excited to work with Axl to make the release of Chinese Democracy THE musical event of 2008!"
"Guns N' Roses is THE premier American rock band," commented Steve Berman, President, Sales and Marketing, Interscope Geffen A&M Records. "Partnering with Gary and everyone at Best Buy to release one of rock's most anticipated and legendary albums is truly a moment in music history. We're thrilled to be able to announce that Chinese Democracy is coming, it's coming this year, and it's coming to Best Buy."
Of all the press surrounding it, Chinese Democracy is most frequently, and most glowingly, described as “long awaited.” That’s nothing more than a measure of time, and the leaked tracks have little to show for the years of delay, the scores of band members acquired and released, and the hyperbolic clouds of press that surround its mysterious core like the atmosphere of a Gas Giant. It’ll set records. It’ll make millions. It will affirm Rose’s monomania. But the State Fair Freakshow never fails to rake it in, and that’s likely the company Rose’s endeavor will be keeping. It will turn out the morbidly curious along with the morbidly hopeful, but their money spends the same, and neither Geffen nor Best Buy are likely to complain. Judging by the debut eponymous single, it looks like this is the kind of white whale you see washed ashore, scaring the tourists and flummoxing Animal Control.