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 Rep: 69 

Re: Prostitute and Chinese Democracy 10 Years Later

esoterica wrote:


 Rep: 16 

Re: Prostitute and Chinese Democracy 10 Years Later

ClaudeF wrote:

It's funny, the word "prostitute" was indecipherable in the first demo that leaked. That's why so many folks - myself included - thought of it as "Message for You."

Once the album came out, it was startling to realize that in this case, "prostitute" is being used as a verb!

I usually resequence the album to play "Madagascar" last. It has a finality to it, and the music comes to a resolution that "Prostitute"'s fade doesn't deliver. That said, it is a powerhouse on so many levels.

 Rep: 36 

Re: Prostitute and Chinese Democracy 10 Years Later

zombux wrote:

correct, Prostitute initially leaked as "New Song #2" and most people including me didn't agree that it was Prostitute, as others suggested.
(interestingly, ITW leaked as "New Song #3", but we already knew the song title from old setlists and the lyrics made it pretty clear that it was indeed ITW. the same story was with Riad, leaked as "New Song #1", but they already played it a couple of times live in the Buckethead era, so the only news was shortening the name from Rhiad to Riad)
all these 3 demos were leaked by Antiquiet together with some more we already knew - 9 songs altogether. two months later, Chicken Dinner was leaked, which turned out to be Shackler's Revenge (remember Rock Band 2?). that's 10 songs out of 14 on the final album. add CITR we knew from and old demo, and only a handful surprises was remaining. we knew This I Love for years and Scraped for some time before the album release (initial name was Lies They Tell), and also Sorry from Baz interview.
that makes 0% surprise in the end at song names and only 3 out of 14 at songs themselves by the actual release date, LOL

 Rep: 69 

Re: Prostitute and Chinese Democracy 10 Years Later

esoterica wrote:

It did seem less rock-oriented when it leaked.

Speaking of not enunciating, I swear it sounds like Axl is saying “If The War” on the If The World demo.

 Rep: 3 

Re: Prostitute and Chinese Democracy 10 Years Later

auad wrote:
Wagszilla wrote:

Axl Rose, Prostitute wrote:

Seems like forever and a day
If my intentions are misunderstood
Please be kind
I've done all I should
I won't ask of you
What I would not do

The opening lines to the closing track of the Chinese Democracy record perfectly encapsulate why I'm drawn to Axl's art and why I still listen to Chinese Democracy to this day, almost 10 years after it's release. The work is a densely layered panoply from the artwork to the music to the lyrics to the politics.

The introductory lyrics to "Prostitute" read like a confessional, an inner monologue a weary artist is having before courageously spilling his guts to the world, blurring the line between music and theatre in the process. It's these peculiarities which make Axl a class above the competition. It doesn't matter much to me if other artists throw out an album every other year consisting of a standard four chord progression and the sky is blue lyricism, Axl thinks so deeply about his work, his deep thoughts have deep thoughts. His bass tracks have bass tracks. His drum track has a drum track. The scat vocals, sha-na-na's, and overdubs that frequent his songs certainly have their better and worse moments but you can feel the deeper grooves and intonations in Axl's voice depending on his emotional state, frame of mind, perspective, and this shows up in big ways on the entirety of Chinese Democracy.

The album is an encyclopedia into itself: the evolution of songs and production styles, album making politics, deep and abstract lyricism of the songs, the artist's personal triumphs and failures. Chinese Democracy is a veritable musical bible, full of contradictions, differing genres, glaring flaws, and batshit insane statements.

It's fucking beautiful and it's never been topped.

Slash wrote:

It's a grand statement

Youth wrote:

It was a beautiful, noble statement... even if people don't get it.

In regards to Prostitute and much of the greater album, there are many different possible interpretations, but none seem more reasonable than an aging artist sorting through the past, both on a personal level and on a state of the world level. Axl Rose had been many things: rockstar, prima donna, diva, pain in the ass, and (arguably) racist, homophobic, misogynist, but at many turns of his early career, one also got a palpable sense of decency and of a human being trying to do the right thing in a complex world.

There would be many that would see this as a charitable association but during the latter half of Rose's career, one wonders if Axl didn't throw off the shackles of fame and come down to Earth and join the rest of us. After all, privately, he's known as a decent, kind, funny, and charitable man to those in or around his circle and one that eschews attention for the sake of it.

Which brings us back to Prostitute, the closer on the narratively puzzling Chinese Democracy album. Axl seems to be talking to someone and again, we ask, whom is Rose addressing? We can turn to the alternative artwork and wonder if the red haired prostitute is a reflection of Rose, an aging pawn in a much larger game. Is it to a former lover, a former bandmate? To none of the above? Is Rose talking about the music industry gatekeepers or about the various commercial forces that attempt to control him and everyday individuals? Is he finding peace in his role in the world? Is he rejecting the idea of ghostwriters and committing himself to success or failure on his own merits? Is he forewarning the public of the illusory systems that influence their thought on a daily basis from the media and oil barons to businessmen and politicians? The answer is likely, "Yes". And "No". And "It doesn't matter". Or does it? Maybe it matters more than we even know. Different lines written to and about different people, different fractals in time, a cracked mirror reflecting a thousand fleeting moments for us to misinterpret and discuss. A fractured concept album with overlapping bands and concepts.

It seems that Rose is talking about much deeper things than his own pain, although it is entirely possible that he is. But Axl has always had no problem voicing his opinion when he sees something he doesn't like: people being taking advantage of, the abuse of the powerless, and business interests spreading lies for their own benefit. He also made no qualms about telling people to get their act together or else they'd be working at McDonald's their whole lives and spoke up about people being lied to by the media decades before #FakeNews came into the American consciousness. He is, perhaps then, an artist leaving breadcrumbs, hoping his fans have the courage find the keys to the cell door, and spring them themselves loose.

If Rose harbored deeper intentions, he might've done well to light a stick of dynamite and throw it into the hallway, instead of the cloak and dagger routine. Then again, that could've entirely been the point. A high art subversive record disguised as a hyper-creative multicultural Chinese buffet. Or what made it to the table was the public safe Orange Chicken and Crab Rangoon and the spicy stuff was kept in the high cupboard behind red tape for later days, later days which'd never come.

Chuck Klosterman wrote:

I find myself impressed by how close Chinese Democracy comes to fulfilling the absurdly impossible expectation it self-generated.

These abstract interpretations aside, Prostitute is one of the finest Guns N' Roses songs ever produced. It simultaneously manages to "sound like Guns N' Roses" yet dramatically push that sound forward with sweeping piano, ambient soundscapes, and string orchestration combined with classical razor riffs and double drum kicks. It is absolutely stunning. The promise of unreleased 'Big Guns' to hardcore fans proved to be a yarn spun by management yet "Prostitute" graciously fits the bill as a big gun and perhaps the biggest one of all. It's one of Axl's finest hours. The band is firing on all cylinders here and my personal favorite moment outside of Buckethead's searing guitar solo is Brain's impeccable drumming. Speaking of finest hours... hats off to you, Mr. Mantia.

The holy trinity of the Chinese Democracy album are "Prostitute", "Better", and "There Was A Time" all of which are relatively flawless. But the raucous "Riad And The Bedouins" and "Shackler's Revenge" are wholly competent B-sides that show off a talented band about to take it to another level. If only they had the opportunity.

This isn't to say others works are inferior but they feel belabored or middling, even my personal favorite "Madagascar". The brilliance of "Prostitute", isn't just in diversity but in the fact that it says in musical arrangement what other songs say in lyrics. It goes in a thousand different directions, it's the sound of adversity - of falling down and getting up and coming back stronger than ever. There is an increasing amount of tripe written about artists reinventing themselves but "Prostitute" is a the true to life sound of resurgence and personal redemption. It's powerful, it's tender, it's deeply layered, it's oozing humanity, it's just so damn cool. And it's a masterpiece.

Thanks, Axl.

Tommy Stinson wrote:

I still think it's a great record.

I think it will go down as being a great record down the line.

Compare it lyrically to past GN'R records, where his head was at and what he was trying to get out with the record, and I think there's some significantly deep, thought-out stuff. Down the road people will see that.

"Prostitute" is an excellent song, above average.
Unfortunately Axl is not able to defend it live, and I do not think he has an interest in promoting it.
No live performance of this song had good vocal performance consistent with the CD version. He can not sing it. That simple.

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