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 Rep: 485 

Re: Dissecting Chinese Democracy: Track 5 - If The World

Neemo wrote:

Written By Axl Rose and Chris Pitman, first performed live on December 11, 2009 @ Taipei City Stadium in Taipei, Taiwan

I've really grown to like this track, its a shame its been voted out so early, its just got a really cool vibe to it.

The song was featured in the credits of the Leonardo DiCaprio/Russell Crowe movie, Body of Lies

Listening to it I struggle to find out what it is about, I think the general consensus on the message forums is about a lost love, perhaps Stephanie or Erin .... Axl once joked that it was GnR's take on a James Bond Theme Song ... but I'm thinking maybe it might be about his mother, I believe she died in 1996 from cancer...or perhaps its about Beta (in a motherly role)

When he says Love in the song I don't think it is referring to "the love of his life" kinda love, but more of a motherly love

I also read somewhere that the song was conceived in 2004...but I have no evidence to back that claim up

 Rep: 664 

Re: Dissecting Chinese Democracy: Track 5 - If The World

James wrote:

It's one of my favorites as well. Had the album been released in that 01-03 period this song could have been a minor hit on the easy listening stations. Fits nicely next to Simply Red, Kenny G,etc.  The song suffers from the fact that its leak is better than the album version but if we got it when it should have come out that wouldn't have been a problem.

 Rep: 221 

Re: Dissecting Chinese Democracy: Track 5 - If The World

polluxlm wrote:

Love the groove on this song. For once Tommy is high in the mix.

 Rep: 69 

Re: Dissecting Chinese Democracy: Track 5 - If The World

esoterica wrote:

This is one of my favorite songs on the album.

The great Stanley Kubrick once said that when everything is epic, nothing is. Axl Rose would've done well to heed his words of wisdom, as most of the songs on Chinese Democracy are packed to the gills with bombast and self-seriousness. While the album is overwhelming when taken collectively, songs like the sublime "Sorry" and underrated "If The World" provide a much needed reprieve.

There have been countless articles written praising the work of the enigmatic Buckethead and many others extolling the virtues of the under-appreciated Robin Finck, but little has been written about keyboardist Chris Pitman. Say what you will of his personage, his two main contributions to the album, "Madagascar" and "If The World", both written with Rose, are two compelling arguments for his songwriting ability and do well to complement the reclusive orange-haired one.

The song opens with sweeping flamenco guitar ripped from the "Double Talkin' Jive" outro before a funky groove and light synth line kicks things off proper. It's as if a hipster band set in The Jetsons universe was doing a theme song for a blaxploitation James Bond film featuring Shaft. It's Pitman's work in combination with a hip-hop inspired drum beat that shines here, culminating in a soulful and piercing guitar solo by Buckethead. Rose signs a high-pitched wail overtop the band as if he were a spurned lounge singer pouring his heart out sometime before last call.

The aforementioned combination of Rose and Pitman is an underrated one and makes this commenter wonder if there are more goodies stashed in a vault somewhere in California. Pitman's efforts were regrettably scaled back on the finished version of the album (see: the Catcher In The Rye bridge in the pre-Bumblefoot version) however his psychedelic, alt rock sensibilities are present throughout. Here and on "Madagascar", he builds a convincing soundscape with little more than a couple of extended notes on his keyboard. His work on the 1997 Lusk album "Free Mars" are further examples of his ability to write engaging and diverse music and helps one see why he and Rose were able to get on so well throughout his near 20 year tenure in the band.

It's a Herculean effort keeping track of the who's and why-for's on this monstrosity of an album but it's worth noting that Finck and crew do a good job of adding little flourishes throughout the five minute run time without distracting from the proceedings. It's a glimpse into the brilliance of the 1997-1999 band and further evidence of the "Zeppelin, Nine Inch Nails and Pink Floyd" sound Axl was going for early on. It's also one of the few hip-hop inspired Guns N' Roses songs penned by Rose, the universally loved "Better" being the other.

Extended listening:

 Rep: 69 

Re: Dissecting Chinese Democracy: Track 5 - If The World

esoterica wrote:

ELO, James Bond, blaxploitation, and Double Talkin Jive as the GN'R seed/reference

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