Perhaps the FBI is standing guard.
Word, according to Billboard, is that Guns N' Roses' "Chinese Democracy" will finally see the fluorescent lights of retail outlets on Nov. 23, the Sunday before the big Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend. Additionally, the album will be a retail exclusive to big box outlet Best Buy.
But those who want to avoid hordes of shoppers clamoring for a Wii Fit need not fear. Certainly the first-week Best Buy price will be cheaper than the major label wholesale cost. The end result, as when the Eagles partnered with a mass merchant, is that other retailers will likely just buy the album from Best Buy and stock it themselves, unless federal agents will be retained to enforce the maximum purchase limit.
The strategically-timed release will undoubtedly pump up first-week sales for the much-ballyhooed record, one that has been so overly hyped and ridiculously guarded that a blogger was actually charged with a felony for leaking many of the songs. It will be interesting to see how fans respond after the initial week of curiosity has passed, and if the story of the album will prove to be more interesting than the actual album, especially after years of on-and-off tours and promises that the record would be coming soon, really!
A recent conversation with a music industry manager had this usually insightful fellow proclaiming that "Chinese Democracy" would sell more than 1 million copies in its first week, but I can't see that happening. Guns N' Roses has hype but hasn't been consistently feeding its fanbase, a la Lil Wanye, and the band did little to show that it didn't have an antagonistic relationship with its fans after "Chinese Democracy" hit the Web this summer.
And that doesn't take into account that Guns N' Roses is essentially a classic rock band these days. Boo and hiss all you want, but the band, after all, is taking a page from Don Henley and Co. to release the album. What's next? A song exclusive "Guitar Hero" or "Rock Band"? Actually, yes, as the album's "Shackler's Revenge" will debut in "Rock Band 2."