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