CHINESE DEMOCRACY (Possibly) Worth More Than In 2012

Last night, while mining the depths of Amazon.com’s music section, I decided to check-in and see how much a brand-new copy of CHINESE DEMOCRACY was going for these days.  The last time I did this two years ago, I was horrified to see that the album was going for less than $4.00 a copy.  That was back on October 25 2012, would the album be selling for less than $2.00?

As you can see, the value of CHINESE DEMOCRACY was low in October of 2012.  This would have been the prime opportunity to "buy low"

As you can see, the value of CHINESE DEMOCRACY was low in October of 2012. This would have been the prime opportunity to “buy low”

Thankfully for Axl, the album’s value has…increased!?

$1.22 increase! A thousand shares of CHINESE DEMOCRACY could have netted you $1220 profit! That's simple rock 'n roll investing, folks

$1.22 increase! A thousand shares of CHINESE DEMOCRACY could have netted you $1220 profit! That’s simple rock ‘n roll investing, folks

I’m kicking myself for not checking the price last year and this year on October 25–not that doing that would provide a reliable barometer of the album’s value.  As most of you serious online shoppers know, the prices on Amazon.com are in a constant state of flux.

And even taking Amazon’s pricing system out of the equation, CHINESE DEMOCRACY has a couple of things working against it in terms of it’s price/value.  Firstly, the album was sadly panned by many critics and ignored by the public.  But bad reviews and a lack of singles doesn’t necessarily make a cut-out-bin record.  Even after all these years the name Guns N’ Roses as a brand still has remarkable value.

Secondly, and the biggest reason CHINESE DEMOCRACY’s value is so low is the fact that Axl twisted Best Buy’s arm and made them buy a bajillion copies in advance so they would have exclusive rights to the infamous album’s initial release.  It’s a smart move on his part, because the albums Best Buy bought to sell were counted as “sold” albums, thus making the album appear to be a bigger hit than it was.  AC/DC did a similar deal with Wal-Mart when they released BLACK ICE back in 2008.  But there’s a downside, much the same way a Chevy Impala don’t have much re-sale value because they’re used so much as fleet cars–Axl prematurely saturated the market with albums. Thus, an abundance of unsold albums means the price is gonna drop.  I can understand why bands do these store-exclusive releases, but I really dislike them.  CHINESE DEMOCRACY was probably one of the last new CD’s I bought at Best Buy because I dislike the store so much.

The album’s going for just under $5.00, which isn’t great but it is higher.  Of course, beyond the Amazon price-fluxing, this higher price could be due to inflation or some other over-reaching economic force I’m too stupid to understand.  I’m going to definitely try to keep an eye on the album’s price for future music-geek research.

That said, at less than $5.00 there’s no excuse for you to not own this album.  I’m going to pick-up where I left off on my track-by-track review of CHINESE DEMOCRACY soon-ish because I really do feel like it’s an amazing, underrated album. The merger of Industrial rock and tender piano ballads is just too incredible.

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10 thoughts on “CHINESE DEMOCRACY (Possibly) Worth More Than In 2012

  1. stephen1001 says:

    I enjoy using the specific time of ‘soon-ish’ – and agreed re: the excellence of Chinese Democracy. I think of it as an Axl record (as opposed to GNR) but what a record!

    • Oh, I totally agree. I actually wish he had released it as a solo record. I understand he wouldn’t have been able to strong arm Best Buy with a solo record, but I think people would have dug it more if it didn’t have the expectation of being a GNR record.

      • stephen1001 says:

        And admittedly, I got the cd, imported it to my itunes & changed the artist name to ‘Axl Rose’ – it worked for me! A few of the songs in particular (Catcher in the Rye, Better) are spectacular

        • Those two are my favorites on the album, for sure. I think “Better” actually works as a GNR song.

          • stephen1001 says:

            I haven’t actually listened to it in a year or two – you’ve inspired me to break it back out tomorrow, my thanks!

            • It’s definitely a “grower.” I remember when I first heard it, I was super-disappointed (which is the general consensus). But Axl did a lot of good work on that album. Anyway, let me know if anything stands out/catches your ear after you give it a new listen.

              • stephen1001 says:

                After another listen+a half over the last couple days, it’s a solid Axl Rose record!

                It feels like there are thousands of tracks on each song so it’s not exactly ‘under-produced’ but there are some strong moments.

                Other highlights for me: The title track (actually the whole first half of the album for that matter) & the ‘should have been a James Bond theme’ If the World!

                • The production is one the most fascinating parts of that album. There’s three or four different guitar tones in many of the songs! I really wish someone would write a book about the recording of this album.

                  And you’re right, “If The World” should have been a Bond theme.

                  Glad you enjoyed Axl’s solo album.

  2. I really love that album. Its a shame people dismiss it so easily.
    I wish they’d went through with the whole “triple album” thing.

  3. […] Go ahead and check-out that first album-price post, it’s much better written. In that post I point out that prices on Amazon are always in flux so this might not actually mean anything. I also noticed (when I was halfway through writing that post) that I wasn’t comparing the price of the album at the same time of the year (October 2012 vs. December 2013). I even think I suggested that I check on the price of the CD in December 2014 to try and be more scientific about studying this trend. Of course I forgot. […]

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