Tuesday, December 31, 2013

We Lost A Few Great Ones and Got Some Good New Ones in 2013.

Well 2013 is coming to a close and this years album sales hit an all-time low. More consumers are buying music online and streaming services have started contributing to the music charts. Some of the heavy weight classic rockers put out new material and several of these albums made Billboards top selling list of 2013.
At #59 is Aerosmith's, "Music From Another Dimension!", this album is everything a fan of Aerosmith would expect but without any surprises. Paul McCartney's, "New", is at #56, I've heard a few of the songs and I would like to here the rest of it. At #52 is Eric Clapton's, "Old Sock", and it features two new compositions with covers of some of his favourite songs. John Fogerty's, "Wrote A Song For Every One", is very good but only two songs are new and the rest are Creedence songs performed by Kid Rock, Bob Seger, The Foo Fighters and several country stars and it ranks in at #47. At #42 is David Bowie's, "The Next Day", his first album of new material in ten years. Coming in at #41 is Jimi Hendrix's, "People, Hell and Angels", it contains twelve unreleased recordings that he was working on for the follow-up to Electric Ladyland. I picked up a copy and it is just more music to add to his collection. The Rolling Stones box set, GRRR!", made it to #38 and at #32 is Bon Jovi's, "What About Now". One of the most anticipated releases was the new Black Sabbath album, "13", which went to number 1 in the US and the UK. I got the CD with the bonus tracks and it is worth the money, Iommi can still play a mean riff and Ozzy still sounds good, it stands at #18. The highest classic rock band on the year end chart was Led Zeppelin's, "Celebration Day", it is at #13 but it was released in October of 2012.
A few other noteworthy bands also had new albums and a few of them surprised me, especially the bands that I thought were gone. The German metal band, Helloween released their thirteenth album. I used to watch them on headbangers ball but when that was cancelled so was my interest in them. Does anyone remember Adam Ant, he scored three number 1 hits in the UK from 1980 to 1983 and then he got into acting. He appeared in several movies and dozens of TV shows. In 2010 he got back into music and after three years released, Adam Ant Is The BlueBlack Hussar in Marrying The Gunner's Daughter, heck of long title but apparently the album did well in the UK. They Might Be Giants, an alternative rock band from Brooklyn, NY cut their first album in 1986 and released their sixteenth this year. Their first hit, Don't Let's Start, an MTV hit, still makes me smile. The Stooges, they reunited in 2003 with Iggy Pop at the helm and released an album in 2007, then a new one this year. Buckethead, one of today's more innovative guitarists, released thirty two albums in 2013 bringing his total album count to seventy two albums in twenty one years.
We lost some rock icons this year, Lou Reed died of liver disease at the age of 71. J.J. Cale, who wrote "Cocaine" and "After Midnight", died of a heart attack at age 74. Ray Manzarek, founding member of The Doors, also died at 74 after a long fight with cancer. Alvin Lee, the front man of Ten Years After and an outstanding guitarists died of complications related to a routine surgery, he was 68.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted six artists, Heart, Albert King, Randy Newman, Donna Summer, Rush, and Public Enemy. The big surprise here is that hip hop is considered a category of rock and that Public Enemy released their first album twenty six years ago.
So as 2013 ends and the cycle starts again with a new year I find myself asking, what next? Will a long dissolved band rise from the ashes and cut an album worthy of the critics and the praise of their fans. Will Buckethead release fourty albums next year and whose eulogy will be in the news? At the end of twelve months we'll have our answers.

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