So it seems there’s a new single that’s doing pretty well on iTunes.
It’s called Chinese Democracy and it’s the taster to what will surely be the biggest rock record of the decade.
By all accounts the song has been shifting at a phenomenal rate but I just can’t get excited about getting hold of something that you can’t, well, get hold of.
A couple of days ago I was poking my grubby mits through hundreds of vinyl records seeking out something special in a tiny little Edinburgh emporium.
I ended up buying the seven inch picture disc version of 7’O’Clock by the Quireboys and the bog standard seven inch of Joan Jett’s I Love Rock And Roll.
And it was only when I parted with my hard-earned four quid that I clapped eyes upon the 12 inch picture disc version of Guns N Roses’ Appetite For Destruction.
Now that really was worth buying when it first hit my favourite record shops all those years ago.
It looked great. It felt great. And that was even before you realised it sounded great.
In fact there was – and still is – a certain sense of excitement which surrounds every physical purchase of your favourite music.
Now if Axl (we can’t really call the new crew GNR) was selling Chinese Democracy as a seven inch coloured vinyl or a 12 inch gatefold sleeve I’d already have it spinning as we speak.
And I will end up buying the mp3 version of a song which will change the shape of 21st century rock.
But I’m in no hurry. There’s no real incentive. It just doesn’t feel real.
Then again the mp3 track will be on my iPod in seconds. And I love the immediacy, ease of transfer and no-clutter aspect of my modern music collection.
But I don’t love it quite as much as the time-consuming, space-consuming, cash-consuming joy that is my favourite music collection.
Thankfully Axl has spent his decade of downtime wisely assessing the habits and quirks of grown up rock kids like me.
And when he finally releases the full Chinese Democracy record, the vinyl version will be bundled with an mp3 album to boot.
Call it the best of both worlds. Call it very shrewd marketing. And call it a triumph for those of us who still treasure music in its most appealing form.