Wednesday, October 22, 2008

America prepares for a massive disappointment

It's even more official than it was when Best Buy stuck it into its online store: A press release confirms that Chinese Democracy is about to fail to live up to the hype:

MINNEAPOLIS, October 22, 2008 – Best Buy and Geffen Records announced that one of the most highly anticipated albums of all time, Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy, will be available beginning Nov. 23 at Best Buy and on CD, vinyl, and digital downloads. The title track, the first single from the album, was released to radio today, October 22. Chinese Democracy is the first album of new material from one of rock’s most influential bands since the 1991 simultaneous releases of Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II.

Has anyone actually been anticipating it? Wasn't the fun of the wait the belief that it would never show up? Isn't the actual release of the record like the winner of the New Statesman's competition to write an ending which ruined the foregoing story - "enter Godot".

Still, even if it is by definition an anti-climax, that's not going to stop the overselling:
“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.”

It's only the beginning. Yes, there's every chance another album will be along in another 17 years. I'm not entirely sure 'only being available through America's mumbled answer to Dixons' is considered such a brilliant idea; perhaps they figure that Best Buy is the only store whose staff are unlikely to rip the CD to the web as soon as it turns up.
“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!”

The guy from the shop is excited! Damn, he's pumped. Thank god someone hunted down that "previously elusive" album, discovering its hiding place somewhere between Axl's inability to work with colleagues and a general can't-be-arsed-ness.

But what's with Best Buy having an entertainments officer? I know 1980s holiday camps did; and Student Unions presumably still do. But a shop? With an officer? Does he have a whistle? Is his department rounded off by a pair of identical twins, a refugee from Russ Abbot's madhouse and a punch and judy man who hates children?
“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.”

It's almost as if the label is more excited at the idea of being in a partnership with Best Buy than having the record to sell. Understandable; Guns N Roses records come round every 17 years but a chain store getting excited about selling a CD? That is something unusual.