Thursday, March 18, 2004

Disgruntled Rose can't stop greatest hits album

By Alex Veiga
The Associated Press

A federal judge has rejected a bid by Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose and two of the band's former members to block Geffen Records from releasing a greatest hits compilation next week.

Rose sued the record label, a unit of Universal Music Group, saying he never gave his permission to release the record or have its hits remixed for the new album. Former members Slash and Duff McKagan, who haven't been in the band since the early 1990s, joined the lawsuit.

This week, however, U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer of Los Angeles denied Rose's request for an order blocking the release, scheduled for Tuesday. The next hearing in the case is set for two days later.

"Their lawsuit is meritless," Universal Music Group spokesman Peter LoFrumento said. "Fortunately, since the court has denied their application for a temporary restraining order, the album will be released as scheduled."

Rose's management declined to comment.

Led by the mercurial Rose, Guns N' Roses soared to superstar status in the late 1980s following the release of Appetite for Destruction, with hits such as "Paradise City," "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Welcome to the Jungle."

The group continued to rack up hits in the early 1990s, but by the midpoint of the decade Rose was the only original member. He attempted a comeback in 2002 with a new lineup, but it fizzled after he was a no-show at several planned concerts.

Geffen decided to go ahead with the greatest hits album because Rose did not deliver on promises to complete a new record, tentatively titled, Chinese Democracy, a source familiar with the deal said.

Geffen has paid $13.5 million into the Chinese Democracy project, which has been more than seven years in the making, the source said.

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