After scoring one of the biggest exclusive deals in music retailing in a long while– or at least since Wal Mart snagged the exclusive for the new AC/DC opus “Black Ice” earlier this year– Best Buy began selling the long awaited new recording by Guns n’ Roses, “Chinese Democracy,” on Sunday.
But stepping down the escalator at the chain’s Chelsea story in New York City on Sunday, when a more than 17 year wait for original Guns n Roses material ended, it would have been easy to walk by the modest display box with the Chinese Democracy CDs and vinyl LP’s. There were few other signs of CDs being available, and the store was not blasting it on the P.A. system as a record store would have back in the old days.
It was a far cry from the scenes in 1991, when fans waited in long lines outside record stores in cities around the world for the band’s “Use Your Illusion” two-CD set.
But then again, 1991 was a long time before iTunes, Apple’s online music store, made its debut. While Best Buy has the exclusive on “Chinese Democracy” in actual stores, the 14-song set is available on iTunes too, unlike the AC/DC record which can only be bought at Wal-Mart stores (and to accommodate Wal-Mart free New York City, at MTV’s store in Times Square.)
And for all the quiet at the Chelsea store on Sunday afternoon, the new Guns n Roses is a clear early hit, with iTunes on Monday morning ranking it the #1 album in the U.S.