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Metal Excess News Desk #3

Chinese Democracy unleashed upon the world and debuts at #3 on Billboard, world calls it a complete failure! Axl still in hiding, label angry!

So the numbers finally came out for GNR’s Chinese Democracy… 261,000 copies putting it at #3 behind Taylor Swift (#2 with 267,000 copies sold) and Kanye West, the week’s other big release, who came in at #1 with 450,000 copies sold.

People are blasting this #3 debut as if it’s the end of the world because they didn’t get #1. #1 would’ve been great, but for a group that hasn’t released a studio album of new material since 1991, and seeing as how this is essentially The Axl Rose Band now, the #3 spot and 261,000 copies is exceptional, as far as I’m concerned for a group that has had virtually zero precence in the mainstream since the early 90s and it considered by some to be an “80s hair band”. 261,000 copies + praise from highly respected industry critics = good enough for me. What, were people expecting this album to ship diamond to make up for that $13 million+ that has been sunk into this album? Even if this was a hugely anticipated album: perspective, people…

By the way, Axl has been incommunicado with the label pretty much since handing the album in, so it’s been said. Universal/Interscope/Geffen/whatever execs are miffed about Axl’s disappearance and lack of promoting the album. Yes, I’ll agree with that, he should be out there promoting this. But knowing Axl (which I don’t), I think he’s probably just sitting up there in his mansion reading every word people are saying about the album and taking that into account for the band’s next move (which I hope is to tour). After the world waiting 17 for new original material, I think he decided it would be best to let the music talk for him. He’s never been a fan of the press anyway.
Now, as much as Axl is to blame for not helping to promote this album, I have to point a finger at Best Buy as well. Where were the commercials for Chinese Democracy? Where were the huge in-store banners and special sections of GNR merchandise & albums? There weren’t any. Not at my local store, at least. I go to Best Buy frequently, and you wouldn’t have known the album was even coming out if you weren’t on top of the situation already. There was NOTHING there to let you know “HEY! GNR is BACK!!! And it’s EXCLUSIVE RIGHT HERE at BEST BUY!!!!”
I picked my copy up the day it was released. I came in about an hour and half AFTER the store had already opened and they were just then starting to put up a (small) cardboard stand to put GNR’s albums (including the new one) on. I mean, I know Best Buy isn’t Wal-Mart, but should have at least *tried* to follow the extremely successful formula that Wal-Mart used for AC/DC’s Black Ice.

Eleven Seven Music rock label performing well thanks to Motley Crue, SIXX: A.M. and Buckcherry


Eleven Seven Music, the independent rock label, dominates the iTunes Critics Picks for 2008. BUCKCHERRY’s “Black Butterfly” is named the Best Rock Album of 2008, MÖTLEY CRÜE’s “Saints of Los Angeles” is the top rock song, SIXX: A.M. is named a Best New Rock Artist of the Year and SIXX: A.M., BUCKCHERRY and MÖTLEY CRÜE top the sales chart. Eleven Seven Music’s releases comprise 25% of the Top 20 Best Rock Songs as selected by iTunes’ Editorial Board with MÖTLEY CRÜE’s “Saints of Los Angeles” at #1, BUCKCHERRY’s “Too Drunk…” at #2 and their “Rescue Me” at #8, SIXX: A.M.’s “Life Is Beautiful” at #10 and TRAPT’s “Who’s Going Home With You Tonight” at #17. iTunes Best of 2008 can be seen in its entirely at this location (you may have to re-enter link address once iTunes opens).

Eleven Seven Music is among the best-performing rock labels, taking hold on a good portion of the rock charts since its inception in January 2006. With the recent #1 independent release from MÖTLEY CRÜE (the label scored the #2 position last year with SIXX: A.M.’s “The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack” and BUCKCHERRY’s platinum and Grammy-nominated “15”), Eleven Seven continues to build on its model of research-based marketing strategies targeted directly to the fans and building out from that base. At rock radio, SIXX: A.M.’s “Life Is Beautiful” was the most played song of the year. Helmed by President Nikki Sixx, the label’s roster includes MÖTLEY CRÜE, BUCKCHERRY, SIXX: A.M., TRAPT, DROWNING POOL, MARION RAVEN, THE LAST VEGAS, CHARM CITY DEVILS and THE EXIES.

Really happy for all these bands and the label. Hopefully the label won’t fizzle and Nikki can stay interested enough to help keep it afloat. Great roster of talent.

Stone Temple Pilots a thing of the past… again?

USA Today

“When you commit to a band that big that sold so many records and touched that many people, you can’t easily get out of it,” he said. “I’m finally on my own, at a place I’ve wanted to be for so long.”

On being gun-shy about band duty, he said, “There’s a beauty in being part of a band, when there’s equality and trust. But at this phase of my life, I want to write and not have to think about whether a song is going to be a hit. I want to explore the music that inspires me, and I don’t want to ape myself.

“I’ve been saying for a long time that I couldn’t see myself shaking my (butt) in leather pants when I’m 40. My goal in STP was to leave an imprint. That was done. I want to move forward and be in control of what I do musically. I have kids, and I don’t want to spend my life on the road.”

This is kind of disappointing to read. STP are my favorite alternative band (probably because they had so little in common with most of the bands from that genre). As much as I don’t like Weiland these days, STP always delivered great music and I’m sure they could do it again.

These comments are quite odd though considering the band still has a few dates to play this month and Weiland has already gone on record to say the’ve written tons of new songs while on the reunion tour… Bait and switch?

And the 2008 Grammy nominees are…

A few categories in which some of the nominees are relevant to this blog:

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals

* Rock N Roll Train – AC/DC

* Violet Hill – Coldplay

* Long Road Out Of Eden – Eagles

* Sex On Fire – Kings Of Leon

* House Of Cards – Radiohead

Best Hard Rock Performance

* Inside The Fire – Disturbed

* Visions – Judas Priest

* Wax Simulacra – The Mars Volta

* Saints Of Los Angeles – Mötley Crüe

* Lords Of Salem – Rob Zombie

Best Metal Performance

* Heroes Of Our Time – DragonForce

* Nostradamus – Judas Priest

* My Apocalypse – Metallica

* Under My Thumb – Ministry

* Psychosocial – Slipknot

Best Rock Instrumental Performance

* Castellorizon – David Gilmour

* Suicide & Redemption – Metallica

* 34 Ghosts I-IV – Nine Inch Nails

* Hope (Live For The Art Of Peace) – Rush

* Peaches En Regalia – Zappa Plays Zappa

Best Rock Album

* Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends  – Coldplay

* Rock N Roll Jesus – Kid Rock

* Only By The Night – Kings Of Leon

* Death Magnetic – Metallica

* Consolers Of The Lonely – The Raconteurs

It’d be really cool for Priest to win at least one of the awards they’ve been nominated for. I listened to Nostradamus again two weeks ago and I’m becoming a big fan of it.

MOTLEY CRUE – Saints of Los Angeles






Motley Crue – Saints of Los Angeles [Best Buy Exclusive DVD Limited Edition] (2008, Motley Records)

Track Listing:
1. “L.A.M.F.” … 1:21
2. “Face Down in the Dirt” … 3:44
3. “What’s It Gonna Take” … 3:45
4. “Down at the Whisky” … 3:50
5. “Saints of Los Angeles” … 3:40
6. “MF of the Year” … 3:55
7. “The Animal in Me” … 4:16
8. “Welcome to the Machine” … 3:00
9. “Just Another Psycho” … 3:36
10. “Chicks=Trouble” … 3:13
11. “This Ain’t a Love Song” … 3:25
12. “White Trash Circus” … 2:51
13. “Goin’ out Swingin'” … 3:27

Best Buy Exclusive Bonus DVD
1. “Saints of Los Angeles” Music Video
2. Crue Fest Press Conference
3. “Kickstart My Heart” live performance
4. “Saints of Los Angeles” live performance

Vince Neil – Vocals
Mick Mars – Guitar
Nikki Sixx – Bass
Tommy Lee – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Josh Todd – Gang Vocals
Jacoby Shaddix – Gang Vocals
Chris Taylor Brown – Gang Vocals
James Michael – Backing/Gang Vocals, Keyboards
Marty Frederikson – Backing Vocals
Melissa Harding – Backing Vocals

Produced by: James Michael
Co-Produced by: Nikki Sixx & DJ Ashba

When Motley said they were working on NEW material, I was ecstatic. I loved the new stuff, “Sick Love Song” and “If I Die Tomorrow”, they added onto the Red, White & Crue compilation. I thought they were a perfect mix of the classic Motley sound and modern hard rock, even if some Motley fans didn’t care for’em. I remember seeing them on the Carnival of Sin tour and the crowd just sitting on their hands when they played those songs. So, I was thinking we’d get an album full of sick love songs, but Motley has gone back to their roots with this album and is delivering good old-fashioned Motley hard rock.

Even in anticipation, I was kinda worried, because their last studio album, 2000’s New Tattoo fell flat with me. But SOLA definitely has bite and definitely sounds like Motley, despite the fact that Nikki’s side project, SIXX:AM, was pretty much the creative force behind it (James Michael & DJ Ashba produced and had a hand in writing every song alongside Nikki). Veteran rock songwriter/producer Marti Frederikson had a heavy hand in the songwriting as well, and Mick did also, to a lesser extent. At least, they didn’t bring Bob Rock back. He neutered Metallica for a decade and nearly did the same with Motley in 1994!

Anyway, song samples posted on a few weeks back didn’t give me much hope, but I don’t know what I  was thinking at the time, because the album rocks and is one of 2008’s best releases. “Saint of Los Angeles” is my favorite track and is classic Motley without any modern influences. It also features “gang vocals” from Crue Fest-mates James Michael (SIXX:AM) Josh Todd (Buckcherry), Jacoby Shaddix (Papa Roach) and Chris Taylor Brown (Trapt). On the flipside, “The Animal in Me” screams modern rock radio to me, but is very good, and should be their next single. Nikki’s always had a good ear for writing catchy modern hard rock songs (listen to Saliva’s “Rest In Pieces” and tell me I’m lying!).

I picked up the Best Buy limited edition, but the only difference is there’s a bonus DVD, but it’s pretty cool. There’s a music video for “SOLA”, their Crue Fest press conference in full and two songs they performed live at the press conference. Plus, photo stills of the band and a bunchload of excerpts from their band autobiography, “The Dirt”.

Highlights: “What’s It Gonna Take”, “Down at the Whisky”, “Saints of Los Angeles”, “MF of the Year”, “The Animal in Me”, “This Ain’t a Love Song”, “Goin’ out Swingin'”.

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