Loyal Axl Rose fans are rejoicing the release of the much-awaited Chinese Democracy, but the Chinese media is not too happy about it.
A newspaper from the Chinese Communist party has criticized the album, regarding its contents as an attack on the Chinese nation. The paper commented on the record’s title track, which reportedly made reference to the Falun Gong meditation movement, a group banned by the Chinese authorities.
China is known to exercise heavy censoring over music, films and publications, and limits the number of foreign movies and recordings that can be shown publicly in the country. The restriction is made not only for political reasons, but also for the protection of local film and music producers.
It is not yet known whether the album will be banned completely in China. Chinese Democracy has been officially released in North America on November 23, 2008 and has gotten great reviews. Rollingstone magazine gave it a four-star rating.
Chinese Democracy is the latest Guns n' Roses' album since 1993's The Spaghetti Incident. Infamously known for its numerous delays, Chinese Democracy reportedly took 17 years to make, owing to the exodus of majority of the band's original members and frontman Axl Rose's much-celebrated attitude problems. Although no official statement has been released regarding the band's breakup, new members have replaced original guitarists Slash and Duff McKagan. The present lineup now includes Tommy Stinson on bass, Chris Pitman on keyboards, Richard Fortus on rhythm guitars, Ron Thal on lead guitars, Frank Ferrer on drums and original member Dizzy Reed on piano and keyboards.
The album also generated great publicity courtesy of beverage company Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, which, in mockery of the record's never-ending release problems, announced last year that it would give each person in America a free can of soft drink if Chinese Democracy actually comes out in 2008. Recent reports confirmed that the beverage giant intends to make good on its promise, and will give away coupons for free drinks for those who will go to the Dr. Pepper website.