After over a decade of anticipation, Guns N’ Roses fans can finally listen to the elusive track “The General” on their streaming platform of choice. The legendary rock band recently released the song that they originally recorded during the tumultuous sessions for their 2008 comeback album, Chinese Democracy.
Feature image courtesy: Instagram/gunsnroses
While GNR has occasionally referenced “The General” in interviews over the years, followers of the band have been desperately curious to hear the full studio version of the song. Their patience paid off last month when Guns N’ Roses shocked fans by performing the live debut of “The General” during a show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. According to reports, lead singer Axl Rose gave a disclaimer that the song was brand new and “could be very interesting” before launching into the grinding, heavy rocker.
Before premiering the song live, Guns N’ Roses included “The General” as the B-side on a limited-run vinyl single of their new song “Perhaps,” which shipped in late October. The single marked the first opportunity for fans to own a physical copy of the infamous lost song.
The origins of “The General” trace back to the early 2000s, when former GNR drummer Bryan “Brain” Mantia co-wrote the song with the band. As he told Rolling Stone in 2008, Mantia came up with the song’s title as well. In a separate interview, Sebastian Bach recalled Axl describing “The General” as a “slow, grinding track” that serves as a sequel to the epic ballad “Estranged.” The former Skid Row frontman praised it as maybe the heaviest song Rose had ever sung.
After 14 years of rumors and glimpses of “The General,” the GNR faithful can now hear the full studio version in all its dark majesty. The newly unearthed song holds up as one of the band’s most unique and crushing tracks, making it well worth the extended wait.