Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


A new reason to hope that ex-Zeppelin members find new hobbies + the new GNR album

Greetings kids!

I know I've been a tad silent in the past couple of days, and I've got a good explanation for that. Assuming that I start getting mail again someday (long story,) I decided to go ahead and finish up Andy Taylor's Duran Duran book, so that I can start to power through some of the many other books that I have on tap and on the way.

End result on the Andy Taylor book: I wasn't impressed. You would think that a book about Duran Duran that includes stories about all of the drugs and fights would be compelling, but I found myself bored with it, hence why I hadn't finished reading it until now. Some of the best parts of the book were the pages focusing on Taylor's time with The Power Station and fellow members Robert Palmer, Tony Thompson and Bernard Edwards, and also some of his auxiliary recording with artists like Rod Stewart. The book had great potential, but never really took off.

Next up, I'm finally going to read Lonn Friend's Life on Planet Rock book, which I had on loan for about a year from my pal Chris Akin, gave back to Chris, and now have back on loan again. After that, I'll tackle Don Felder's Eagles book, and probably Valerie Bertinelli's book, which I just got in paperback - as a VH fan, I've got to read that one.

No Stairway.

We've got new reason to hope that the former members of Led Zeppelin will not end up touring with Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy.

Two words:

Creed reunion.

Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti spoke with Music Radar about the possibilities of a Creed reunion:

"Who knows what can happen next year? 2009 could be one of the craziest years ever for us. Again, all I can say is that Alter Bridge is still very much a band and we have every intention of carrying on."

I loved the first Alter Bridge album, and saw a few amazing shows from the Alter Bridge boys including a Cleveland show at The Odeon. Blackbird, their most recent album didn't quite measure up, but it's no surprise that the ex-Zep guys would be looking at Myles Kennedy - he's one of the more underrated singers in the biz.

Creed. Yuck.

Mark, say it isn't so....although with the above quote, it looks like it pretty much is so.


What's the point of Zep without Robert Plant? Even if you call it something else, why bother?

Chinese Democracy:

I finally got my ears around Chinese Democracy, the new album from Guns n' Roses that finally really absolutely exists. My reaction after one listen was to pull out the Use Your Illusion albums. Kind of a cleansing move to try to make my ears forget what they heard. Except for the title track, which I really like, I didn't really hear much on Chinese Democracy that made me want to come back for another listen. I'll admit that I wasn't too high on the title track the first time I heard it, but I've grown to like it with repeat listens. After hearing the entire album, "Chinese Democracy," the song, sounds like the closest thing to the GNR that many of us are familiar with.

My pal Chris had a good point and says that we're lacking the benefit of hearing the 3-4 albums worth of material that Axl could have put out between then and now, that would have better illustrated the progression of GNR musically. I'll agree with that, and without the benefit of hearing that timeline of recordings, the evolution is jarring.

GNR took a lot of flack in 1991 for putting out two albums at the same time, with many critics/fans arguing that Use Your Illusion would have been a better album as a single release. Listening to the albums now, you hear the building blocks of insanity that would eventually become Chinese Democracy, with one major added benefit that is missing on Chinese Democracy: Slash, Duff, get where I'm going with this?

I'm interested to see how Chinese Democracy will do when it is released on Sunday as a Best Buy exclusive. The AC/DC album allegedly sold 750,000 copies first week as a Wal-Mart exclusive. I think that GNR will easily sell a million first week out. I'd be curious to know the current BB exclusive record holder, because I think that GNR could surpass it with the curiosity factor alone.

Then again, a friend of mine wasn't aware that it was a BB exclusive, and was planning to go to his traditional record store to pick it up. How good of a job has Best Buy done getting the word out there on this one?

Anyway, let's wait and see - this one's going to be fun to watch.

Stream the entire CD via Myspace

UPDATED with 7 additional reviews:

Rob @ 1888Media slaps his GNR review on the internet for all to read and enjoy!

For those that dig the video blogs, check out Kevin Mason's thoughts on Chinese Democracy.

Chuck Klosterman reviews Chinese Democracy, and it's a good read - especially this part:

On the aforementioned "Sorry," Rose suddenly sings an otherwise innocuous line ("But I don't want to do it") in some bizarre, quasi-Transylvanian accent, and I cannot begin to speculate as to why. I mean, one has to assume Axl thought about all of these individual choices a minimum of a thousand times over the past 15 years. Somewhere in Los Angles, there's gotta be 400 hours of DAT tape with nothing on it except multiple versions of the "Sorry" vocal. So why is this the one we finally hear? What finally made him decide, "You know, I've weighed all my options and all their potential consequences, and I'm going with the Mexican vampire accent. This is the vision I will embrace. But only on that one line! The rest of it will just be sung like a non-dead human."

Read the entire review here

My comrade TJ @ Viva La Mainstream has his Dr. Pepper fueled review online here.

TDavid says that Slash isn't missed very much in his detailed review.

And Chris Akin @ Pitriff says that Chinese Democracy wouldn't have been worth a six month wait. There are some other Pitriff reviews here as well.

And those are just a few of the many reviews that I've read. The Chinese Democracy album will be without a doubt, one of the most reviewed albums in a long time. But will that translate into record sales? Hard to say - the early reports are conflicting.

Guns n' Roses - Knockin' On Heaven's Door (live at the Ritz)

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  • Kelly

    Thanks for bringing that Klosterman Article to my attention — it was definitely a good way to break up a Friday afternoon at work 😉

  • Jose

    I hate Creed, I am not saying I wish Death on Scott Staph but if he were to disappear I would not shed a tear. Of course I do enjoyed hearing good gossip about him being an ass in public and unfortunately he has dropped out of the limelight for a while now.

  • Matt Wardlaw

    Kelly – no worries!!

    Jose – good point…a Creed reunion would be a good chance for Scotty to make some new headlines.

    This seems like a good time to point out the obvious:

    Creed shreds.

  • Swapmeet Louie

    Loved your assessment of the new GnR… I gotta say, though, I totally dug it. Axl sounds more “melodic” than ever before, and the music sounds like everything he was starting to do in UYI. I wholeheartedly agree that it would have been interesting to hear the progression to Chinese Dem… good point there!

  • Matt Wardlaw

    Thanks Louie – here’s a question…do you think you’ll still be listening to the new GNR six months from now? How about a couple of years from now, will you be compelled to give it a listen in the same way you would begin feeling nostalgic about any of the old GNR albums?

    I have to say, I am surprised at the amount of positive reviews that Chinese Democracy has gotten. I’d be happy to see both sales and reviews indicate that all of the time that Axl spent working on this album was worth it.

    I did see one particular review that surprised me – he gave an overall positive review, yet said that he probably wouldn’t put it on his Ipod….which I think is one of the new standards that is interesting – good enough to put on your Ipod?

    I know that I have those thoughts all of the time.

    For me, I’ll probably keep only the title track on my Ipod when I’m done listening to the new album.

    I’m interested in the rumors that a reunion of the original GNR could happen summer 2009 – GNR managed by Irving Azoff, who put the Eagles back together, and VH back with Sammy Hagar. Irving pushes to get Axl to sign off on Chinese Democracy…..get the album out there and out of the way, clearing the way for a reunion of the original band in 2009.

    If the above is true…does Axl tour for Chinese Democracy? I’m guessing no – let Chinese Democracy run it’s course, and move on to the inevitable reunion tour….

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