Right, well, it may be a little early, but as there's nothing new in music on the horizon, i've decided to begin my year-end wrap up with albums, beginning with a list of every CD i bought this year, because i know how interested you are, so in no particular order:
Black Country Communion – Afterglow
Rival Sons – Head Down
Rival Sons – Pressure And Time
O.S.T. - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Paul Simon – Live In New York City
Big Wreck –In Loving Memory Of...
Colin James – Twenty Five Live
Paula Cole – Raven
Big Wreck – The Pleasure And The Greed
Mick Abrahams – Cat Squirrel Blues
Sheryl Crow – Feels Like Home
Fish – Feast Of Consequences
The Lovin' Spoonful –Greatest Hits
Sammy Hagar – Sammy Hagar & Friends
Rory Gallagher – Kickback City
Rod Stewart – Rarities
The Beatles – On Air -- Live At The BBC Volume 2
Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick – Walnut Creek
Richard Thompson – Cabaret Of Souls
Kate Rusby – 20
Richard Thompson -- Electric
John Kirkpatrick – Every Mortal Place
Maddy Prior with Hannah James & Giles Lewin – 3 For Joy
June Tabor / Iain Ballamy / Huw Warren – Quercus
Bert Jansch – Avocet
The Albion Band -- Rise Up Like The Sun
Yes, twenty seven albums, long gone are the days when i would buy 100 CDs a year. Internet downloads are partly responsible for this (legal or illegal -- i'm not telling). There's also the fact that so many of the artists i love are either dead or inactive now, most current "pop" music holds no interest for me, and there's also the minor fact that i already have a vast collection and so little music-listening time, and so i'm maybe a bit more careful about what i buy.
That said, here are this year's best ofs. Note: many of these were released prior to 2013, but i include them because i only bought them this year, so there!
Song of the year: "The Immigrant Song" by Trent Reznor (vocal by Karen O.) (from "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" soundtrack). Fabulous techno-grunge version of the Led Zeppelin song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0bD4ts8eWY
Album of the year: "A Feast Of Consequences" by Fish. The former Marillion lead singer's solo albums have been either great or, shall i say, less than interesting, but this is without a doubt the finest album of his solo career.
Runners-up: "Head Down" by Rival Sons -- a new rock band that actually rocks, rather than pounds.
And "Sammy Hagar & Friends" by Sammy -- well, apart from my dear sister, who doesn't love Sammy?
Re-issue of the year: "Kickback City" by Rory Gallagher. As i have said ad nauseam, Rory was my fave guitarist ever. He was a fan of hard-boiled detective novels and this set is a collection of his songs that were inspired by Dashiel Hammett, etc. It's actually a 3-CD set -- disc one is all previously released schtuff, disc two is live performances that were only previously available on the "Live From Cork" DVD (which -- here's a surprise! -- i happen to have). Disc 3 is actor Aidan Quinn (big Rory fan) reading a specially-written novella by Ian Rankin (one of my fave writers and also a big Rory fan) called "The Lie Factory." All re-issues should be this sumptuous.
Runner-up: "Rarities" by Rod Stewart. No, really. Younger readers may find it difficult to believe but before he became an utterly irrelevant and boring old fart, Rod was a true rocker and a folk/blues dynamo -- and "Rarities" collects rare and unreleased schtuff from 1969-1974. His heyday and i love it.
And that's the state of music chez nous, 2013, except to add my most recent playlist:
The Kinks - Soap Opera
Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse Of Reason
Robin Trower - Roots And Branches
Sammy Hagar - Sammy Hagar & Friends
The Beatles - 1
Vinegar Joe - Live At Golder's Green
George Harrison - 33 and 1/3
The Beatles - On Air
Dagmar Krause - Angebot & Nachfrage
Jethro Tull - Repeat
Yes - Close To The Edge
Sparks - Kimono My House
Steve Hackett - Watcher Of The Skies
Ashley Hutchings - The Compleat Dancing Master
J.S. Bach - Violin Concertos BWV 1041-1042-1043-1064