“Chinese Democracy” Is A Radio Hit? Really?

Dan Gibson / October 28, 2008

Axl’s first salvo at radio from the more-and-more-likely-to-actually-come-out-no-I-can’t-believe-it-either album Chinese Democracy hit the active rock stations of America hard last week, and this week brought a few news outlets claiming that the title track was, in fact, a bona fide, many-years-in-the-making hit. But is it?



It depends on what you call a “hit” these days. First, Antimusic’s contention:

Some artists can stay away almost two decades and come roaring back with hits. Take Axl Rose. The title track from the new Guns N’ Roses album hit radio on Wednesday and within a day it was already getting more airplay than the No. 1 song on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock radio chart.

Here is a little info that we went sent over: According to Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, between 5am Eastern on 10/22 and 5am Eastern on 10/23, “Chinese Democracy” was played 683 times – full length – on all BDS monitored terrestrial and satellite radio stations.

Did the track receive more spins than Metallica’s “The Day That Never Comes,” the No. 1 song on the Mainstream Rock chart? Yes–but only for one day. “Chinese Democracy” is suffering from a serious case of diminishing returns: It had 500-plus spins the first day out of the gates, but those numbers dropped each day since; its airplay was down to 193 spins by Sunday. In comparison, while Metallica took a hit from the GNR express on Oct. 23, “The Day That Never Comes” has held strong, with over 500 spins on both Saturday and Sunday.

“Chinese Democracy” doesn’t have anything to be ashamed of, but Axl and company will find themselves a few spots shy of the top spot on the Mainstream Rock chart, where they’ll be looking up at Metallica, AC/DC, and most regrettably, Theory of a Deadman.

GNR’s Chinese Democracy A Radio Hit [Antimusic]