Guns 'N Roses "Chinese Democracy" - Axl Rose Sings Mao's Little Red Book When Played Backwards
-by Chris Devonshire Ellis
The much hyped new CD from LA band Guns 'N Roses is now out - and available on download only at present. The only reason we're featuring this news is because the soon-to-be-released CD cover is cool, and some of our staff profess to dig their mega-hair air-guitar tune of the past, the long winded angst ballad "November Rain". Other than that, if crashing guitar chords, incessantly banging drums and the lead singers nascient whine are your thing, then cool, but however the as yet unrevealed secret behind the title is that we've found, upon playing it backwards, the entire record does appear to be Axl Rose singing verses from Chairman Mao's "Little Red Book". This is the transcript, handily translated into English, although Axl Rose sings it in (not particuarly good) Mandarin, together with literal translations of the original English song titles into pinyin. Track by track:
Track One: Chinese transliteration of title: "Cast Away Illusions"
Translation into English of Axl Rose's singing (in Mandarin) when the track is played backwards:
"Classes struggle, some classes triumph, others are eliminated. Such is history, such is the history of civilization for thousands of years. To interpret history from this viewpoint is historical materialism; standing in opposition to this viewpoint is historical idealism."
Track Two: "On Practice"
Transliteration: "In class society everyone lives as a member of a particular class, and every kind of thinking, without exception, is stamped with the brand of a class."
Track Three: "Contradiction"
Transliteration: "Changes in society are due chiefly to the development of the internal contradictions in society, that is, the contradiction between the productive forces and the relations of production, the contradiction between classes and the contradiction between the old and the new; it is the development of these contradictions that pushes society forward and gives the impetus for the supersession of the old society by the new".
Track Four: "Chinese Revolution"
Transliteration: "The ruthless economic exploitation and political oppression of the peasants by the landlord class forced them into numerous uprisings against its rule.... It was the class struggles of the peasants, the peasant uprisings and peasant wars that constituted the real motive force of historical development in Chinese feudal society".
Track Five: "Their Just Struggle"
Transliteration: "In the final analysis, national struggle is a matter of class struggle. Among the whites in the United States it is only the reactionary ruling circles who oppress the black people. They can in no way represent the workers, farmers, revolutionary intellectuals and other enlightened persons who comprise the overwhelming majority of the white people."
Track Six: "The Situation and Our Policy"
Transliteration: "It is up to us to organize the people. As for the reactionaries, it is up to us to organize the people to overthrow them. Everything reactionary is the same; if you don't hit it, it won't fall. This is also like sweeping the floor; as a rule, where the broom does not reach, the dust will not vanish of itself."
Track Seven: "Carry the Revolution Through to the End"
Transliteration: "A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another."
If you want to download the tracks, play them backwards and listen to Axl Rose singing Chairman Mao's Little Red Book in Mandarin to guitar solos and manic drumming, you can go here.