U.S. rock radio outlets from Jackson, Miss., to Springfield, Mass., started their morning with the new Guns N’ Roses single, “Chinese Democracy,” and reaction to the band’s first new song in nine years is running the gamut.
“A number of GNR catalog titles test well but it’s not a foregone conclusion this song makes it beyond the starting gate,” says WMMR/Philadelphia’s Bill Weston. “We’ll expose the song on-air for a week and closely monitor listener reaction to determine further spins. The release of the record (finally) is an event but in Philly there is much resentment towards Axl Rose, due to his famous no-show concert. The long gestation period along with the fits and starts of leaked songs over the years do not help in setting up the song.”
“This is what we’ve waited 15 years (or however long) for?,” asked MD/morning host Matt Murray on WHTG/Monmouth-Ocean, N.J. “How long did we wait for the third Boston album? Remember how that turned out?,” said KISS/San Antonio’s John Lisle.
“I admit, it took a couple of listens, but ‘Chinese Democracy’ is really good,” says PD Michael Cross at KFMW/Waterloo-Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “It’s something that could have easily been on ‘Use Your Illusion.’ Much like ‘It’s So Easy,’ with Axl’s trademark screams and higher pitched vocals mixed underneath his lower vocals, the track rocks. Instant phones!”
Recalling that it has been 16 years since he last saw Guns N’ Roses live, KISS/San Antonio PD LA Lloyd says, “It takes almost as long to get into the meat of the song as it did to get it out. I was hoping for more but who wasn’t? I am putting this one on the air and (letting) the listeners decide. I hope the outcome is good. My prediction: 2010, Axl and the original members get back together for the biggest reunion tour ever.”
According to Broadcast Data Systems, “Chinese Democracy” had been spun 49 times from its 5 a.m. ET digital arrival at stations through 11:20 a.m. ET. WAAF/Boston had played it five times, while WQXA/Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle, Pa., was next with four.
“Chinese Democracy” the album arrives Nov. 23 exclusively in Best Buy stores, a move finally confirmed today by Guns N’ Roses manager Irving Azoff. “The release of ‘Chinese Democracy’ marks a historic moment in rock’n’roll,” Azoff and co-manager Andy Gould said in a statement. “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.”
Additional reporting by Mike Boyle, N.Y.