Guns n’ Roses Release Something – But It Isn’t An Album

At this stage in the long career of the world’s most notorious metal band, we know better than to expect new albums by Guns n’ Roses to turn up regularly. It took almost twenty years for them to put “Chinese Democracy” together – a period in which every member of the legendary act other than lead singer Axl Rose was replaced at least once. There hasn’t been anything new released in the twelve years since then. The original lineup for the band – or most of them at least – are back together, and they’re said to be working on new material, but we’re not holding our breath about hearing anything new from them imminently.

While there might not be anything new for fans of the band to enjoy from a musical point of view, there is a brand new Guns n’ Roses product on the market for them to get their teeth into. It’s a pinball machine, and it’s been described by iconic guitarist Slash as “the most exciting rock and roll pin ever produced.” We’re not sure how stiff the competition is in that particular category, but we’re willing to take his word for it. The pinball machine – which takes the physical rather than digital form, bucking the trend for the 21st century – is based on the band’s “Not In This Lifetime” tour, and therefore the images on the machine capture the performers in their prime.

Launching branded products is nothing new for Guns n’ Roses – a band who have their own beer, their own whiskey, and briefly had their own official cheese. It’s not their first foray into the world of gaming either. A few years ago, they became the first major musical act to release their own game to online slots websites. In doing so, they started a trend. The slot, which features a soundtrack made up of the band’s greatest hits, has proven to be hugely popular as Wold Gold slot. After seeing that success, many other rock bands released official online slots of their own. KISS, who are in the middle of what they claim to be their last-ever tour, recently put out their own online slots game. Alice Cooper has an online slots game to his name, too. If history repeats itself, we’re probably about to see a flurry of rock and metal pinball machines made available to buy for people’s homes.

Slash was personally involved in the production of the new machine, which comes in three different versions and features a soundtrack of famous Guns n’ Roses songs alongside some new music that he composed himself for the project. The guitarist was approached by Jersey Jack Pinball – one of the biggest and most trusted names in the pinball world – to put the machine together. He accepted the offer gladly and described the opportunity to work on the project as an honor. Aside from containing no fewer than twenty-one Guns n’ Roses songs, the impressive-looking machine also features a ‘performance stage’ complete with spotlights, a series of band-specific sculptures, and a rendition of Slash’s famous top hat.

Aside from the sculptures and the songs, there’s more exclusive content for fans of the band to enjoy if they’re willing to pay the (considerable) price required to secure one of the brand-new pinball machines. Every member of the band has recorded audio for the game, with Duff McKagan serving as your narrator for every flick of the bumpers. MC Bob, the band’s longtime announcer, welcomes you to the game and also lets you know how you did when you’ve lost your last life, and the game is over. There are also a few ‘surprises’ included that can only be unlocked when specific achievements are made, including some exclusive video content from the band’s lengthy back catalog.

If you’d like a Guns n’ Roses pinball machine for tour home, the ‘standard edition’ of the table comes with a price of $6,750. A slightly different-looking ‘limited edition’ version of the table is priced at $9,500 for the five thousand units that have been built, whereas the ultra-exclusive ‘collector’s edition’ comes in at $12,500. There are only five hundred units of the collector’s edition, each of which comes with a card signed by Slash, McKagan, and Axl Rose. The fact that as many as five thousand units of the supposedly limited edition of the table have been built indicates that both Jersey Jack Pinball and Slash believe there’s going to be strong demand for their creation.

If you’d be more interested in hearing new music from the band than playing the pinball game, you might be in for a long wait. The hopes of the band’s millions of fans all over the world were raised this summer when Slash confirmed that he’d been ‘jamming’ with McKagan and Rose while the world was in lockdown, but those hopes were quickly dashed when he admitted that none of the music they’d been experimenting with had yet been identified as being worthy of inclusion on an album. All three ‘senior’ members of Guns n’ Roses have confessed that they’d like to release at least one more album before they retire from the music industry, and that they’ve been working on doing so intermittently, but coming up with tracks that all of them are happy with appears to be easier said than done. Slash also has concerns about the way in which the modern music industry operates, suggesting that there’s no longer any point to recording albums when most fans stream new releases rather than buying physical discs or listening to recordings in one go. It might be the case that we get future recordings one at a time rather than in sets of ten or twelve.

While we always expected The Who to be the most likely of the bands of the past to release a pinball machine, we suspect that this is going to be a highly desirable object to anyone whose interests include both Guns n’ Roses and owning pinball tables. At the time of writing, the “standard edition” of the table is already sold out on the Jersey Jack Pinball website, although both of the more expensive models are still available. If you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket and this sounds like the ideal Christmas gift for either yourself or someone you know, you can secure yours right now!

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