2021 was not quite as strange as 2020 as things started to get back to normal. I got out to see a couple concerts and back to digging in the record stores and even went in to the office a few times. Covid pushed back a lot of albums in 2020 and they finally came out in 2021. Some were worth the wait and well, some weren’t. But there were some great releases and I am sure I missed a number of great albums and if you look around the web, there will be tons of Top Album lists you can get a pretty good idea of what you should check out in case you missed any of these.
This year I am doing things a little different. I am only doing one list post, but that list will be centered around my Favorite Rock Albums of the year. At the end I’ll give you my Top 5 Non-Rock Albums of the year as I didn’t listen to a ton of new releases this year as I was focused so much on my Kiss, Judas Priest, Queen and now Cheap Trick & Aerosmith Series. That took a lot of time.
Also note, these are MY FAVORITES!! These are not the most popular or trendy albums. You won’t find the cool trendy bands, because they are usually here today gone tomorrow. These are the albums that I connected with during the year and I kept coming back to again and again. And without further adieu, here are the Top Rock Albums of 2020:
THE TOP ROCK ALBUMS OF 2021:
#10 – Eclipse – ‘Wired’:
Eclipse is a melodic rock / glam rock /hard rock band out of Sweden and let me tell you Sweden knows how to pump out these bands. I think there are more rock bands in Sweden then there are people. It is just a guess. The two original guys, Erik Martensson and Magnus Henriksson. are back with their 9th album and they keep delivering. Erik’s vocals are killer and Magnus can lay down some riffs. The three opening tracks, “Roses On Your Grave”, “Dying Breed” and “Saturday Night (Hallelujah)” just suck you in and you know you are in good hands and just along for the ride at this point. Continue reading “The Top Albums of 2021”→
April was a solid month of purchases and some great finds. I went digging at an antique mall and cleaned up, I found a few things on ebay and discogs I needed for something special and then I found a few things that were especially cool.
First up, we will go with the especially cool things. I am a big fan of the Train album ‘Drops of Jupiter’ for many reasons. One, it is a really great album! Two, my brother-in-law was the engineer on that album. So when the 20th Anniversary Edition popped up online, I had to grab as I don’t think it had ever been issued on vinyl prior which means I didn’t have it. It is a beauty…
The next was a Michael Sweet album. Stryper released an album years ago called ‘Reborn’ which was the band’s comeback album. The album was originally done as a Michael Sweet solo album, but it was decided to redo it for the band. Well, now we get the original Michael Sweet solo album the way it was intended. This one is called “Reborn Again” and is on a fiery red vinyl and is autographed (on the back) by Michael Sweet…SWEET!!!
Happy Friday Everyone! It is time for another week of new releases and for me there is one I am super excited about and one I’m curious as to how they will follow-up on the success of their last album. Plus a bunch more that might be really interesting to hear. I will mark all my choices in Blue as usual. Now, your turn…what do you want to hear from the list? What may I have missed including on the list? Please let me know so we can make sure everyone else knows about it as well. Thanks so much for stopping by on this wonderful day and I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!!
Needtobreathe – Live From the Woods, Vol. 2 – (Elektra Records): Back in March, Needtobreathe did a few live shows which I think were socially distanced of course and now they are releasing the best of those shows as an album. The follow-up to Live From the Woods, Vol. 1 obviously. My vinyl is on order and will probably be here in about 3 months, but the digital piece is here today!! Enjoy!! You will have to go to about 2 minutes in to get the song…the rest is the band talking to James Corden.
Greta Van Fleet – The Battle of Garden’s Gate – (Republic Records): Greta Van Fleet is back with the follow-up to their very successful debut Gold album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army. This is the one that will determine whether the band has any staying power. The songs I’ve heard so far haven’t been bad, but I am interested to hear them in an album setting as that makes a big difference for me. We will see if they can do it.
2020 is upon us and it is always fun anticipating what new albums are and will come out in the year. There are quite a few we already know about, but some haven’t been officially announced or even a date set yet. From what I have gathered around the internet, here are the bands that should have new albums out in 2020, but no dates announced yet. The ones I would give a try (and my kids) will be highlighted in Blue. The ones with Dates Announced are at the bottom of this post. The list is building up nicely!!
One of the new bright spots in rock music is on tour and when they came through Charlotte, I thought I needed to check them out. So, we bought tickets for the whole family as my kids enjoy them too. Now it is unusual that we all like the same band which made a perfect time for all of us to go see a show together.
That band is Greta Van Fleet. Yes, they catch a lot of heat for sounding so much like a former band that the press on that is old and we need to move on. I have their E.P.s and their lone album on vinyl and I dig everything they do. The question left for me…Can this band pull it off LIVE!!!??? If they can, they are real, legit and people should stop giving them a hard time. These guys are new in the industry and only in their early 20’s so this was a big question mark for me.
Before the show, I cheated and checked out the set list from some previous shows and I was very disappointed. They were only playing 10 shows!! They are the headliners…how can they only have 10 songs? I told my daughter the only way the can turn it in to a full show is that they are going to have to stretch these songs out way longer than they were done on the records.
Before we talk about how they did, let’s see the setlist…
The opening act for Greta Van Fleet was a duo named Ida Mae. It is a husband and wife duo out of England who now reside in Nashville, Tennessee. At least they have for the last 10 months as they just moved to the States to seriously pursue this thing called music. The husband is Chris Turpin on guitar and vocals and his lovely wife Stephanie Jean also on vocals.
And they are all you got as the opening act. It was just Chris and Stephanie on stage for their 6 song set. And let me tell you that was all you need as they were beyond impressive. They did some covers and played some of their original songs for an album that will not be released until June 7th.
They were selling that album though at the Merch table and, of course, I picked it up on vinyl (review will come later as I need time to dive into it fully). I wanted to get them to sign it, but since they didn’t come out until after the show, I was unable to hang around and wait. My kids had to go to school the next morning and it was already 10:45 and we still had to drive 45 minutes home.
Anyway, about the music. The setlist was as follows:
How can a band so new get its own Memes collection? Well, because it is my site and I can feature anyone. I tried not to make it all Led Zeppelin comparisons and its not, but there are a lot. I hope you still enjoy it.
Welcome to the Top 20 Rock Songs of 2018. These songs are my favorite songs of the year and were not necessarily played on the radio or even shot up the charts. They just moved me in some way good or bad!
#20 – “Loading Zones” – Kurt Vile off the album ‘Bottle it In’: Kurt’s can be about the mundane and anything that troubles him in life. This is about the horrors of trying to park in the city. It has such a great little beat to it and some great guitar and such a simple subject that yet turns into something amazing. The video is great as well.
#19 – “Roll Me Under” – Stone Temple Pilots off the album ‘Stone Temple Pilots (2018)’: I know I did give the album the best review, but I liked this song. It had the old STP sound, but it was also Jeff Gutt at his best on the album. Such a heavy bass and guitar sound, it was just great.
2018 was another year with some great releases and way too many to get through them all so I am sure I missed a number of great albums and if you look around the web, there will be tons of Top Album lists you can get a pretty good idea of what you should check out in case you missed any of these.
This list will be my favorite “Rock” albums of the year. All other types of music will be for a later post. I am going to leave this one to my favorite genre. It is a broad genre, but these are the albums that I consider to be ROCK!!
Also note, these are MY FAVORITES!! These are not the most popular or trendy albums. These are the albums that I connected with during the year and I kept coming back to again and again. And without further adieu, here are the Top Rock Albums of 2018:
My #1 Album of the Year:
Reach – The Great Divine: A modern, yet melodic rock album that just grabs hold and won’t let go from beginning to end. A band I had never heard of prior to this album and I am now wondering where they have been my whole life. Just a fantastic album with no songs to skip or delete. Almost pure perfection. The first album I bought that was new in 2018 and still listen to it today. With songs like “The Great Divine”, “Nightmare” and “Into Tomorrow” you can see they have the goods. The production value was great, the music, the vocals, it was all solid and my favorite album of the year!! Give it a try (and check out my original review by clicking the album title).
The Winner was Alex Bolbat from the fine city of Moscow of the Russian Federation. Congratulations to Alex as the CD has been shipped (might take awhile to get there). Thanks to everyone that participated and maybe I will do it again sometime.