The year is almost over so it is time to look back at what was awesome in music during the year. I have already looked back at the Top Rock Albums of 2020 (click to read). This list will cover all other genres that I listened to over the year including Pop, Country, Christian and whatever other genre you want to classify these albums. Rock is my favorite genre and that is why it gets it’s own list, but that doesn’t take away from any of these choices as I think they are great on their own.
I feel I didn’t get to as many as I would have liked as the year seem to got away from me with all that went on with Covid. I did spend a lot of time on a few series such as finishing The David Coverdale Series, The Gene Simmons ‘The Vault’ Series and starting the epic Kiss Review Series. These consumed a lot of my time. What I am trying to say is I missed a lot.
Note: These albums were my favorites and not necessarily the most played on the radio (which I hate the radio) or even the biggest sellers. There aren’t the trendy indie bands on everyone else’s top albums list (okay, there might be one or two). These are just what I came across during the year and connected with me in some way and some thanks to my kids. So, we might as well get started…
#10 – Richard Marx – Limitless:
I have a soft spot for Richard Marx. I think he is a hell of singer and songwriter. I also have a soft spot for pop ballads and he is the King. This album always put me in a good mood and would relax me when I needed a break from the heavy rock. The songs “Another One Down” and “Limitless” really show off those vocals and are so beautiful. And then when your throw in “Front Row Seats” and “Let Go” well, you get an incredible pop masterpiece.
When I heard Queen + Adam Lambert were releasing alive album, I was quite excited. I had seen them live together and thought it was a wonderful show. They were here in Charlotte back on August 23, 2019 and you can read about it HERE. Sadly, this show wasn’t part of this release. But there were many others as the band chose from over 200 shows to come up with the 22 song set. The release came in both the CD and a Blu-Ray with the actual clips from the shows they used including the Fire Fight Australia appearance where they performed the full Queen set from 1985’s Live Aid and yes, that included the famous “Ay-Oh” actually done by Freddie.
The CD is missing two tracks that you only get on the Blu-Ray and those are the “Drum Battle” and the Brian May Guitar Solo / “Last Horizon”. The “Drum Battle” was really awesome because Roger was dueling with his son, Rufus Tiger Taylor. And Tiger is a pretty great drummer in his own right. What a proud moment that must be for Roger. The Brian May guitar solo was similar to what I saw at my show, but the difference was instead of riding an asteroid into the rafters, Brian was being lifted in the palm of the hand of the robot from ‘News of the World’.
Is October already over!! Wow! The time is flying by now. Luckily for me, it was another stellar month for picking up so new stuff (most is old stuff new to me though). And I didn’t waste any time as right at the end of September after I wrote the September Purchases post, a few things came in the mail from Amazon within minutes and days of each other. First up was Ace Frehley’s Origins. Vol 2…and yes I have Vol 1…duh!!
Then Queen & Adam Lambert’s Live Around the World. I chose CD on this only because when I ordered it the vinyl wasn’t listed. It did come with a DVD of the shows as well. Since my daughter saw this tour a couple years ago, no brainer…
Welcome to October and this month starts off with a BANG!! There are so many releases this week and a ton I am interested in at the very least, hearing. October has a lot coming so this is only the beginning. Everyone that has been holding off due to Covid is finally being released. This week, I am sure there is something you will find that you like. I am going to highlight my choices in Blue. I want you to let me know what you want to hear and what I may have missed that is coming out. Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Queen & Adam Lambert – Live Around the World – (Hollywood Records): This one is on order and I hope it will arrive sometime today as I am dying to hear this one. I took my daughter to see them on their most recent tour and since Adam sounded amazing, it will be nice to have an album with him on vocals.
Bon Jovi – 2020 – (Captain Kidd / Island Records): Am I excited about this one or what?? Actually, it is or what! I am not excited at all and do not have this on order. I am only interested in hearing it to confirm to myself that Bon Jovi is still not worth a damn anymore. Now, if I find the vinyl in the used section of my local store and less than $10…I might pick it up as the completist in me feels the need to do. I haven’t liked what I’ve heard so far so my hopes aren’t very high.
A few weeks back I stumbled across this documentary on Netflix. It was called ‘The Show Must Go On: The Queen + Adam Lambert Story’. It was about how the band carried on after the death of Freddie Mercury and how the band came upon finding Adam Lambert. The nice thing about the documentary is it is quick at around 85 minutes, but that is really too short as this is Queen. They have so much history, to cram in, but they don’t need to as the focus is really Queen with Adam Lambert.
They do go in to a little backstory about Freddie and they go in to his death and how things felt over at that point, then they started a come back with the Freddie Mercury Tribute show that saw so many great singers perform. They go in to Paul Rodgers and his stint with the band and then finally they spend their time on Adam Lambert and how he came to be known, hello…American Idol!! and his time with the band.
Now, I saw Queen last year about this time with Adam Lambert and it was one of the best shows I have seen in a long time. Adam is flamboyant and he has one helluva a vocal range and is probably one of the only ones that could pull off the Queen catalog with any validity. And he did just that. Go check out my Queen Concert Review if you have time.
Happy Friday and hope everyone is hanging in there with all the craziness in the world. Despite the world’s events, there are some pretty decent releases. I think there is something here you will find. I have a few I am interested in, but for those that love pop you’ve got The Weeknd, Conan Gray (my kids are thrilled) and Kelsea Ballerini. But those aren’t for me even though I am sure that I will hear Conan without having a choice. My choices are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you see that you like or what I might have missed. As always, thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!!
Def Leppard – The Early Years – (Virgin EMI / Mercury Records): If you follow the site, you know I have no choice in buying this. Why? Because they are my favorite. It is already bought and will be delivered this fine day. It is a remaster of their first two albums, B-Sides & rarities, but the gem of this are the live shows from the early 80’s. Pete Willis anyone!!! Steve Clark!!! Enough said!! These are going to be AWESOME!!! I guess that wasn’t enough said.
Adam Lambert – Velvet – (More is More LLC / Empire): Adam’s vocals keep getting stronger. With Queen, he is amazing. His solo stuff a little hit and miss, but with that voice, I am willing to give it a listen. It is very different from Queen so don’t expect anything like that except maybe the theatrics and drama.
Welcome to the last Friday of the month and the last of the September new releases. Let me tell you there are a bunch. There seems to be a little for everyone from Metal to Pop to Christian to Country to Jazz to Electronica to Soundtracks. You name it and it is probably here. I have a few I am interested in and will stream, but nothing that I am running out and buying until I have heard it first. Those choices are highlighted in Blue. Let me know who you want to hear and what I might have missed as it is known to happen (quite frequently actually). I hope there is something for you. Have a great weekend.
Hellyeah – Welcome Home – (Eleven Seven Music): The band’s sixth studio album and first since losing founding member and drummer, the great Vinnie Paul. Luckily for us, he is featured on this album so fans need to grab this for that fact alone. For me, the band is hit and miss. They are hard and heavy, no doubt, and sometimes I need it that way. It will get blasted in the car for sure (and at home).
Steel Panther – Heavy Metal Rules – (Steel Panther): Yet another release by the Steel Panther. Let me tell you they don’t hold back on this one. Their porn rock has kind of grown old for me and I really wish they would do a straight up rock record that isn’t such filth. It was funny at first, now it is old and boring. I will give it at least one listen, but honestly, not expecting much…sorry guys. Seeing them live is where the fun is really at so go check them out.
On a dark stormy night in August, Queen + Adam Lambert came riding in to town for the very last show of their Rhapsody Tour. Yes, Charlotte, NC was able to bid farewell to this legend of a band who has seen a massive resurgence thanks in large part to the movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and in small part due to the current singer Adam Lambert.
There is no exciting story to tell leading up to the show except the Rain Gods were nice to my daughter and I by not raining on us. We got in to the Spectrum Center and about 5 minutes later the skies opened up. People were coming in dripping wet, but no one cared because everyone was there to have a good time and listening to everyone’s favorite band, Queen.
When we finally arrive to our seats after a long line at the merch table and a long line at the bathroom and a short line at the refreshment stand to grab a couple of $5 waters (each), we were greeted to this…
A giant crown wrapping the stage. It looked so real and like it was made out of metal. Impressive. Even more impressive was the fact it was a giant TV screen. The graphics, detail, clarity, hell everything about it was impressive. It looked 3D without the glasses…amazing.