2008 Power List: 30. Chinese Democracy

Reclusive Rock Album (Age: 14)

Eighteen band members. Three managers. Four producers. More leaks than the Bush White House. Close to $20 million spent. Fourteen fucking years. Yet somehow Chinese Democracy—the absurdly delayed opus from Guns N' Roses—owns you. You don't want to care, but you simply can't help yourself. Blame the train-wreck factor of the reclusive, enigmatic Axl Rose, who's become rock's answer to Michael Jackson (minus that sketchy man-boy-love thing). But beneath the apparent hair plugs and Botox is a mad scientist still capable of a few flashes of greatness. Tracks like "There Was a Time" and "This I Love" sound more like "November Rain" than like anything on the band's classic debut, Appetite for Destruction, but they still rock. More surprising, though, they're actually being released. "We never thought this day would come," announced Tony Jacobs, VP of marketing at Dr Pepper, who earlier this year promised free bottles of the soda to anybody who bought Chinese Democracy if the album made an appearance in 2008. "Now all we can say is the Dr Pepper is on us." Great. You waited 14 years and all you got was one stupid album and a soda.


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