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A Look Back at 1991 as New Guns N' Roses Single "Better" Premieres

November 17, 2008 1:05 PM ET

It's T-minus six days until Guns n' Roses' Chinese Democracy hits Best Buy shelves, and the next taste is live online. "Better" is the second official single from the long-awaited album, and like it's predecessor "Chinese Democracy" it has been floating around in unfinished versions for years. Also like the first single, "Better" feels like classic Guns n' Roses — Rose's growling croon in the verses could have floated out of the Use Your Illusion sessions. While you're rocking out to "Better," think about what the world was like the last time Axl put out an original album, which was way back in September of 1991. Think about it: One of the Jonas Brothers hadn't been born yet, Bill Clinton was still just a guy from Arkansas who had no shot at winning a national election and it would be years before Jason Voorhees went to hell or space.

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Album Review: Guns N' Roses, Chinese Democracy
AC/DC Hit Big With Retail Exclusive - Will Guns N' Roses Follow?
Dr. Pepper Reveals Free Chinese Democracy Soda Plan

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“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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