Axl Rose will single-handedly bring down Best Buy
Two Best Buy stories in one day, but we think we answered our own questions raised in the last post. If Best Buy sinks into the electronics abyss, blame it all on Axl Rose.
Well, blame him first and then blame Best Buy for thinking Guns N' Roses could be their savior.
Remember the pretend hype at Best Buy last month as we all quivered with excitement over the new GNR release, "Chinese Democracy". It's been 14 years after all since we were blessed with the magic of Axl Rose.
Best Buy won exclusive rights to the CD and they couldn't contain their excitement. They were envisioning floods of ecstatic fans, lining up for days to purchase the sought-after CD. And then when they entered the mega store, they would also decide to buy that huge flatscreen TV for their living room and new surround sound system and maybe even a new vacuum. GNR definitely puts us in the mood to consume.
Well, that dream bombed big time, the Wall Street Journal says. Best Buy paid millions of dollars up front to purchase 1.3 million copies of the album. In its first two weeks on the shelves, the CD has sold an embarrassing 318,000 copies in the U.S. The WSJ says it "looks destined for bargain bins".
Despite considerable curiosity about singer W. Axl Rose's marathon production -- which took well over a decade, prompting the makers of Dr Pepper to declare that if the album ever came out, they would give a soft drink to every consumer in America -- "Chinese Democracy" entered the Billboard charts in third place after being released Nov. 23. Then sales plunged 78% in the second week, to just 57,000, according to Nielsen Soundscan.
Axl Rose is quick to point fingers. It's not the GNR tunes that have people uninterested, it's the gosh-darn internet phenomenon that's stealing his thunder! During several chats with fans online, he had some explanation for the album's problems:
About the downloads, he said, "Basically for us it's devastating across the board. And when u have such a majority openly justifying their actions and throwing out nonsense such as it's not actually stealing as the original is still with whomever it's unbelievably insane".
He also had a swipe at record labels. "It exists because of the greed of the record industry, the greed of large scale pirating, the ease and common nature now of the act itself and personal motivations such as popularity among certain groups, possible momentary media recognition etc".
Axl says that neither the industry or the fans cares about the artists. "Besides, fuck musicians right? If they didn't make enough already then they probably suck anyway rt? "I ain't cryin' for no rich dude." Whatever".
His interesting comment is how would the album have done had the illegal downloads been counted as sales. ""What are our #'s on the torrent sites for this album? I don't know. So I don't know how or if it's affected us in terms of sales this time around. Maybe not but w/the economy and the core of our market I'd think there's a possibility it has had a negative effect. Anyone?"
One blogger recently pleaded guilty for leaking the album online, Radar says.
Prosecutors in Los Angeles accused Kevin Cogill of leaking the tracks on his blog months before the album by Axl Rose and company becomes available in stores. However, they agreed to probation in return for a plea deal. Although Cogill hasn't explained how he got hold of the songs, his agreement requires that he cooperate with investigators.
The album's failure seems to be taking its toll on the guy. In another chat with fans, he called one participant a "little cunt" for accusing him of not really playing keyboards on the album:
Axl: You're a little cunt and since you've been posting you've pretty much always been a little cunt. Blind accusations and insults by an anonymous coward and whiny shit stirrer aren't impressive or needed by anyone. Everyone else...talk with your administrator. Who wants to chat?!!
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.