The last time Guns N' Roses released an album, U.S. forces had just defeated the Iraqi army, the New York Giants were Super Bowl champs and the Internet was just a really cool idea. Seventeen years later, U.S. forces are in Iraq, the New York Giants are Super Bowl champs, you can't get through a day without the Internet and the GnR's follow-up single has been leaked.
"Chinese Democracy," the title track from GnR's new album, has been streaming all day on the Web site of Q104.3, a classic rock station in New York.
The album itself, which lead singer Axl Rose and his bandmates began recording in 1994, is scheduled for release on Nov. 23.
Slash, the band's original lead guitarist, left the band two years after recording began. Bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum soon followed. Slash's replacement, Buckethead, left in 2004, only to be replaced by Robert Finck, formerly of Nine Inch Nails.
Slash would later blame "Axl wanting control to the point that the rest of us were strangled," for the break-up of the original line-up his autobiography.
This may explain why Axl has run through more than a dozen bandmates since the recording of "Chinese Democracy" began.
This is, at least, the eighth time tracks from the most overdue album in rock history have been leaked over the Internet or on radio since 2003.
Anticipation for the album reached such absurd heights in March that Dr. Pepper offered a free can of soda to everyone in America -- except for the band's ex-lead guitarists Slash and Buckethead -- if Rose would release the album.