|By Jonathan Cohen
NEW YORK (Billboard) - While work continues on Guns N' Roses' endlessly delayed album "Chinese Democracy," Geffen Records has set a March 23 release date for "Greatest Hits," compiling 14 of the hard rock act's best-known tracks.
The album boasts such favorites as "Welcome to the Jungle," "Sweet Child O' Mine," "Patience," "Paradise City" and a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" from the "Interview With a Vampire" soundtrack.
This is the third archival Guns N' Roses release since last fall, when Geffen issued DVDs of the home videos "Welcome to the Videos" and the two-volume "Use Your Illusion."
However, according to sources, the band did not give its consent for "Greatest Hits" to move forward and may pursue legal action to block its release.
The group, which revolves around sole original member Axl Rose, will return to the live stage May 30 at the Rock in Rio-Lisbon festival in Lisbon, Portugal. It will be GNR's first live appearance since a disastrous 2002 comeback tour, which was canceled with 13 dates remaining.
As for "Chinese Democracy," it is unknown when the album will be released. Bassist Tommy Stinson told Billboard.com last year that finishing touches were being applied to the set before it would be sent off for mixing.
LEGAL JUNGLE: Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose, who controls the name of the band, considering legal action against Geffen Records to block the March 23 release of a Greatest Hits collection, featuring 14 of G N' R's best-known tracks.
PARADISE CITY: Meanwhile, Axl and his newly revamped Guns N' Roses are scheduled to play the Rock in Rio-Lisbon festival on May 30, their first live gig since their disastrous 2002 comeback tour which was scrapped with 13 dates remaining.