Richfield-based retailer Best Buy may have landed exclusive retail rights on the biggest -- or at least the biggest-budgeted -- rock album of the year: Guns N' Roses' perennially delayed, decade-in-the-making "Chinese Democracy."
Billboard magazine reports that Best Buy is finalizing a deal to have the record in its stores by the end of 2008. The deal would be a sharp counter-punch to its competitor Wal-Mart, which has the exclusive retail rights on AC/DC's "Black Ice" (out Oct. 20) and was the lone seller of last year's Eagles reunion album, "Long Road Out of Eden." The Eagles' savvy manager, Irving Azoff, is GNR's new ringleader.
"Chinese Democracy" is already one of the most talked-about albums of all time. Front man Axl Rose began working on it in the mid-'90s and has gone through several lineup changes, numerous release dates and millions of dollars trying to finish it.