I'll come clean straight away – Guns N' Roses are not my favourite band. However, it's not for this reason that I think Chinese Democracy should never be released.
No, my argument is this: if it remains in the can, the album will retain its place in rock 'n' roll history. As soon as it sees the light of day, its status as one of popular music's greatest follies will be undermined.
For me, it was the same with Prince's Black Album. When the record was pulled just weeks before its scheduled release in 1987, it instantly gained an aura of mystique. This was destroyed the moment I heard a bootleg – it's OK, but hardly the lost masterpiece I was hoping for.
It was a similar story when The Stone Roses finally got around to releasing The Second Coming. Again, it wasn't terrible, but as the long-awaited follow up to one of the most acclaimed debut albums in history, it never stood a chance.
The time for Chinese Democracy has come and gone – most of its tracks have been leaked anyway. For the sake of his reputation (and Dr Pepper's balance sheet), Axl Rose should come back from the brink and shelve it.