7:50pm UK, Thursday October 23, 2008

One of the longest waits in the history of rock is coming to an end. Guns N' Roses are finally to release their first album since 1993.

Axel Rose of Guns and Roses

Lead singer Axl Rose

The title track from Chinese Democracy has already made its global debut on radio - to mixed reactions from both fans and critics.

An official statement says the album will definitely emerge on November 23.

The band, whose only remaining original member is frontman Axl Rose, have not released any new material since Use Your Illusion I and II in 1991.

They have not released anything at all since their 1993 covers album, The Spaghetti Incident.

Rumours have surrounded the recording of the album with some insiders saying that Rose's behaviour was increasingly eccentric: taking months to record a single drum sound and repeatedly ordering for years' worth of sessions to be shelved as he sacked band members.

Former lead guitarist Slash

Despite this, the release of Chinese Democracy is sure to generate huge interest as fans discover for themselves what Rose has been toiling over.

The band first emerged in 1987 when they released their debut album, Appetite for Destruction.

After slow initial sales, it became a worldwide success selling around 28 million copies on its way to becoming one of the biggest selling albums of all time.

The band's knack for a chorus meant singles like Paradise City, Welcome to the Jungle and Sweet Child O' Mine managed to give them cross-over appeal that took their popularity beyond their hardcore metal fan base into the mainstream.

They packed out stadiums in the UK and across the world when they toured with follow-up albums Use Your Illusion.

But the band imploded in the mid 1990s when key members such as songwriter Izzy Stradlin and guitarist Slash left the group - alleging Axl's behaviour was becoming increasingly difficult.

Sky News entertainment editor Jon Bennett, said their re-emergence is part of one of the most fascinating passages in rock history - but said doubts surround whether they can recapture what made the so thrilling.

He said: "I was a huge fan back in the late '80s and it's difficult to overstate how important they were.

"They looked absolutely amazing, the swagger and the bottle of Jack Daniels and the tattoos gave them this outlaw look that however ludicrous it may appear now, was genuinely exciting at the time.

"I think real fans of the group discount this being a genuine Guns n' Roses release as aside from Axl, there's none of the originals left.

"Yes, he was the voice, but Izzy wrote a lot of the songs with him and anyone who really knows the group knows that after he left they very quickly went backwards and it's no coincidence that the albums dried up.

And whether they are the same band without Slash I'd doubt. It's like Mick claiming the Stones without Keith; you need the curly-haired bloke with the top hat.

Sky News entertainment editor Jon Bennett

"For all that I think a lot of people will find it irresistible to buy the album, if they're part of your youth you may just have to hear it anyway, but it will depend on the quality of the new songs as to whether the band Axl's calling G&R again to manage to generate the mass crossover appeal.

"The omens aren't good in many ways. Any album that takes that long to record is likely to sound over-produced and lack that raw immediacy that made them great but, we'll see. I can't say I'm bowled over by the snippets I've heard online."

:: Chinese Democracy is released globally on November 23 - and in the UK the following day, on CD and vinyl (accompanied by a free digital download of the tracks), and as a separate digital album.
::The 14-track album includes the song If The World, which was included on the soundtrack to the film Body of Lies.