hmv's Albums of 2014: Guns N' Roses
Every day throughout January we're going to be previewing 2014's biggest records. Today we look at Guns N' Roses, it's been six years since their last album, will 2014 bring another?
A little background…
Considering the last Guns N' Roses album, Chinese Democracy, took a full 14 years to complete (writing began in 1994 when they still had more than one member of the band that recorded their seminal album Appetite for Destruction), it’s surprising that another album could be out a mere 6 years later. However, strong rumours have been swirling since the end of 2012 about an album in 2014 and certainly recording will have been taking place in between GnR’s sporadic, yet fairly constant, touring since 2008 so the notion isn’t as fanciful as it may seem…
What It's Called?
The notoriously secretive Axl Rose has given nothing away about a new record, so no name or track listing yet exists.
Who's Producing It? Are There Any Big-Name Guests?
Guitarist Richard Fortus stated in May 2013 that the album was nearing completion. Mike Clink, Sean Beavan and Bob Ezrin all worked on Chinese Democracy so a big name from the rock scene will be a shoe-in to produce. Chinese Democracy had an enormous amount of musicians credited to each track, with most of the songs featuring at least 7 members or more, but it is a much more stable line-up now- Dizzy Reed, Chris Pitman and Tommy Stinson have all been around for longer than their more well-known counterparts and only DJ Ashba of the current line up didn’t feature on the last record so the cycle of re-recording that plagued Chinese Democracy should be out.
What Will It Sound Like?
The stable line-up, coupled with a relatively short gestation for the album, means that the slight mish-mash of styles prevalent on Chinese Democracy should give way to a more coherent whole. Let’s not forget, Axl co-wrote some of the greatest hard rock songs in history ('Welcome to the Jungle', 'Paradise City', 'You Could Be Mine' and so many more) and some hugely epic masterpieces ('November Rain') so talent and songwriting are not a problem. Any new album will still be angry and hard, but a maturity should show through.
Will It Really Come Out This Year? And When?
Until the album is sitting on shelves, and Dr Pepper has given everyone in the US a free drink, there will always be cynicism regarding how quickly GnR can get an album out. But there are too many forces at work for a new album NOT to happen. Guns N' Roses are headlining a Rock festival in Mexico this March, which could signal the start of the promotion machine for a late 2014 launch. Will it happen? It’s more of a "hopefully" than a "definitely"- but it’s not all that far-fetched.