Top 20 albums of 2012 (10-1)

 10The Vaccines
 Come of AgeVaccinesComeOfAge

Ok, ok I know it’s a pop rock record, but I do think it deserves to be in the top 10, as it genuinely is a very good album.  Teenage Icon, No Hope & I Always Knew are particularly impressive, and although the album goes a tad stale in the middle, it redeems itself in the end.  Well worth a purchase even for the hardened classic rock fan.

Best Song – Teenage Icon

9 Lucero
 Women & Work
LUCERO Women & Work

Trying to put Lucero into a “genre” is providing near on impossible, but according to various sources they are Alternative Country, Country Rock, Blues, Southern Rock and, bizarrely, Cowpunk, whatever that means.  To be perfectly honest, I don’t care as it is s cracking album, so much so that I intend to purchase their first 5 albums at some point.  Why have I not heard of these guys before?

Best Song – Women & Work

8 ZZ Top
 La Futura

When the bearded rockers announced they were releasing a new album, I was thrilled.  Sadly, I was left a little deflated by La Futura.  Not sure why exactly, perhaps I expected too much.  Anyway, a poor ZZ Top album is still better than most bands best albums, so it still makes the top ten.

Best Song – Have a Little Mercy

7 Europeeurope bag of bones
 Bag of Bones

Europe?  Yes, Europe.  No, they haven’t only sung one song, and this high energy rock ‘n’ roll album proves that they have still got what it takes to compete with the big boys.  Trust me, you will find it extremely hard not to like Bag of Bones.

Best Song – Riches to Rags

6 Cory Branancory branan mutt


Cory Branan is probably a name that you have not heard of so far in your life.  You will.  2013 is going to be a huge year for Cory, and Mutt will be the springboard for a highly successful career.  Stunning, stunning debut album.  Irish folk rock at it’s very best.

Best Song – Hold Me Down 

5 The Rolling Stonesrolling stones grrr

Maybe slightly unfair that Grrr! makes the best album list of 2012 as it is pretty much a greatest hits compilation.  I don’t care.  It’s the Rolling Stones.  Plus Doom and Gloom is awesome.  So there…

Best Song – Brown Sugar

4 Rival Sons
 Head Downrival-sons-head-down

Saw these guys live when they toured with Black Stone Cherry last year, and they blew me away.  They could be the next Led Zeppelin they are seriously that good!  Head Down is not as good as Pressure and Time, which, incidentally, was the best album of 2011, but still a classic rock masterpiece.  This is as close you will get to reliving the 70’s rock scene.

Best Song – Manifest Destiny (Pt. 1)

3 Kiss kiss monster

Kiss are back with a bang – easily the best album they have released since Crazy Nights and a timely return to form.

Best Song – Hell and Hallelujah 
2 Foxy Shazam
Foxy Shazam - Church of Rock & Roll
 Church of Rock & Roll

If you have read my recent review on this album, you will already know that Foxy Shazam could be my new favourite band.  This album is like to other – unique, classy, great riffs, sensational vocals, melodic, emotional and genius.  If you are looking for something just a little different then I urge you to buy Church of Rock & Roll.

Best Song – (It’s) Too Late baby
1 Lynyrd SkynrydLast_Of_A_Dyin'_Breed_Lynyrd_Skynyrd
 Last of a Dyin’ Breed 

Well, it’s been a fantastic year for rock, and nothing epitomised this more than the return of Lynyrd Skynryd.  One of the best albums they have released, probably only Pronounced can actually top this.  Every track offers something completely different to the last.  The ballads are simply stunning and when they want to rock, boy do they just!  One of the best albums I have bought in the last few years, and re-affirmed my love affair with the greatest southern rock band of all time.

Best Song – Last of a Dyin’ Breed


Top 20 albums of 2012 (20-11)

Well, I am back and I am going to start the new year looking back at the best the rock world had to offer in 2012.  2012 was a massive year for the world of rock – there were comebacks galore from the likes of Rush, Europe, ZZ Top & Kiss.  Legends of rock Aerosmith, Rolling Stones & Lynryd Skynryd all released albums plus a first live album in 20 years from AC/DC!  And let’s not forget some up and coming new bands on the scene – Rival Sons are going to huge with the release of their 3rd album, Foxy Shazam have come from nowhere plus The Jim Jones Revue & Tame Impala are setting a few headlines at the moment.  Rock music has a bright future!

Anyway, here is the top 20…


 Tame Impala

Aussie rockers Tame Impala have won numerous awards for their last 2 albums, but this is the first released in the UK.  A psychedelic journey into pop rock, for those who are a fan of the original groove rocker, Glenn Hughes, and his first band, Trapeze with a hint of John Lennon randomly.  Very pleasing without rocking your world.

Best Song – Elephant

19 The Darkness
 Hot Cakes

The Darkness are back with a new look and a better sound, JH looks so much better and must have been in a tattoo studio ever since Permission to Land was launched.  Anyway, much better than the pop-esque debut album, far more rock and roll than The Darkness should be.  Koodos.

Best Song – Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us

18 The Gaslight Anthem
 Hand Written

Going on tour with Bruce Springsteen has not gone to the head of New Jerseys finest.  Their 4th album is not quite up to the quality of their 2010 epic, American Slang, but they still deliver some catchy rock pop which will make them a hit with classic rock lovers as well as Snow Patrol fans.

Best Song – Mullholland Drive

17 Van Halen
 A Different Kind of Truth

I like VH, and I was eagerly anticipating the return of Dave Lee Roth and an album that I was hoping to be the highest of quality.  It’s not.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent rock album.  Was I expecting more?  Oh yes.  Still worth a listen, tho..

Best Song – Blood and Fire

16 Black Country Communion

The supergroup had a lot to live up to with their 3rd album, Afterglow, after the glowing (no pun intended) references of their first two albums, but they have succeeded by going back the the groove train of the 70’s.  Messers Hughes, Bonamassa, Bonham & Sherinan prove they still “have it” in abundance.  This could be a prized possession, as there won’t be another album – they will be splitting very soon.

Best Song – Midnight Sun 

15 Jack Whitejack white

Quite possibly Jack Whites finest work.  Whether that be The White Stripes, The Raconteurs or solo, this is by far the best.  A real treat on the ears and a must have for any genuine rock fan.  Just a shame that so many other fine albums were released this year.

Best Song – Love Interruption

14 Muse
 The 2nd Law

The Queen love affair is taken to a new level, and a reminder of the fateful Jazz album that they released.  That bombed – will The 2nd Law?  Absolutely not.  It’s a wonderful album.

Best Song – Supremacy

13 The Jim Jones Revue the-jim-jones-revue-the-savage-heart
 The Savage Heart

New-age, kick-ass blues hard rock with a twist of punk at it’s finest.  The boys from Camden Town will make the big time with their 3rd studio album, The Savage Heart.  Yet to hear the first two albums, but will be purchasing soon….thanks to Classic Rock magazine for this tip 🙂

Best Song – Where Da Money Go

12 Heart12-12-Discs-Heart-Fanatic

A welcome return for 80’s pop-rockers Heart.  They haven’t lost their looks or their voices if this is anything to go by.  In fact, they have gone even harder in their old age.  The opening few tracks are first class, and while it tails off towards then end there is no denying that we all missed them.

Best Song – Fanatic

11 Aerosmithaerosmith-music-from-another-dimension
 Music From Another Dimension

It has been said that there are too many ballads in this album, and I tend to agree.  Don’t get me wrong, previous ballads such as Amazing, Crazy and that one from Armageddon that no-one admits to like but secretly love it are some of the Boston rockers finest work, and all in all, MFAD is a top, top album.  Just one comment – more rock and roll please guys!

Best Song – Oh Yeah

Top 100 rock vocalists : 7 Bon Scott

7.  Bon Scott (AC/DC)

Now, considering DC are my all time favourite band, many of you may have thought Scott would have been #1.  I wouldn’t be that predictable now would I?

Now as much as Scott was pure entertainment on a stage, he certainly isn’t the greatest.  However, Scott would captivate his audience with his sexual innuendo’s, tight jeans, hairy chest and a cheeky smile….hang on, he was a rock singer – so was this for the girls or boys?  Who cares…

He wrote many a song on early DC albums Highway to Hell, TNT, Powerage, Let there be rock and Dirty Deeds, and when Scott sadly passed away in February 1980, many thought that was the end of AC/DC as was the legacy he left.  However, he would have wanted the band to continue, and promptly appointed Brian Johnson from relatively unknown band Geordie.  Before you could blink their best ever selling album Back in Black was released as a tribute the great man and soon became the second biggest selling album of all time.

Too many great albums, so little time…

Habits by Neon Trees - recently purchased

I have recently purchased a number of rock albums which I plan to review in the next few weeks.  There are so many great rock bands at the moment.  BCC, Avenged Sevenfold, Bonafide, Million $ Reload to name a few, many classic rock bands still going strong – AC/DC, Thin Lizzy and Deep Purple.  Plus many bands making comebacks like Def Leppard, Mr Big and Warrant.

But, the most fascinating aspect of the rock industry at the moment is the emergence of a number of great bands who are re-inventing the wheel.

So, I have purchased Habits by Neon Trees, We Stitch These Wounds by the Black Veil Brides, The Heart of Everything by Within Temptation, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Black Stone Cherry and American Slang by The Gaslight Anthem, which I do plan to review – so keep checking back!

It’s going to be a fun few weeks, I can’t wait….

Top 100 rock vocalists : 30 – 21

  30.  Bruce Springsteen

He commands the stage, his presence and aura are second to none, and tracks like Thunder Road, Born to Run and Backstreets  just confirm this.

  29.  Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac)

Whether she was performing with Fleetwood Mac or on her own, Nicks’ voice is captivating.  Edge of Seventeen is one of the greatest songs there is, and the number of Mac songs that she comes into her own on are just too many to mention.

  28.  Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy)

Thin Lizzy are one of the best live bands of all time, and the reason has to be Phil Lynott.  Granted, Brian Robertson and co obviously played their part but Lynott’s mesmerizing performances (despite being off his head) turned Lizzy into a much coveted and well-respected rock band.

  27.  Steven Tyler (Aerosmith)

I once saw Tyler place a whole orange in his mouth on TGI Friday with Chris Evans.  If you can open your mouth that wide, you are sure to have a powerful voice yeah?  Love in an Elevator, Janie Got a Gun, Amazing, Pink, I don’t wanna miss a thing, Dream On, Walk this Way, Sweet Emotion, Crazy.  Need I go on?

  26.  Eddie Veder (Pearl Jam)

Illinois’ finest, ukulele-plying, head banging, grunge rocker Eddie Veder, born Edward Louis Stevenson III.  No wonder he changed his name.  Pearl Jam’s main man has just released an album with him and his ukulele – shows he doesn’t need anything else….

  25.  Brian Johnson (AC/DC)

Just because Back in Black was #1 in the rock album’s top 250, doesn’t mean Johnson would walk this countdown.  Far from it – I hugely respect the Geordie, and think he has a tremendous vocal range but he is most certainly the best vocalist.  Thank you for Wembley 2010 tho – what a gig!

Replacing Bon Scott in AC/DC must have been one of the hardest jobs ever in music, however, the former lead singer of Geordie instantly gelled with the Young brothers, and before you could scream “Hells Bells” the first album was out in 1980.  The rest, they say, is history…..

  24.  Jimi Hendrix

Not renowned for his vocals, but more than held his own.  Whether we were just mesmerized by his guitar playing and didn’t actually concentrate in his voice, I don not know.  Ah well….

  23.  Ronnie Van Sant (Lynryd Skynryd)

He sang Sweet Home Alabama……..I hear pennies drop everywhere.  Lead singer of southern American rockers Lynryd Skynryd.

  22.  Elton John

Not technically a rock vocalist, granted.  Some of his earlier tracks had a rock feel to them didin’t they?  No?  Just me then…

  21.  Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath, solo)

How can there be a rock vocalist countdown without Ozzy?  There can’t – impossible.  Black Sabbath weren’t the same with any other lead singer (as much as I love Dio – sorry!), and his first two solo albums, Blizzard of Oz and Diary of a Madman were mighty fine.  And he was back to form with 2007’s Black Rain.  Ozzy and Randy Rhodes together were a superb partnership which was over far, far too soon.

Album review : Fill your head with Rock by Bonafide

Fill your head with rock by Bonafide

A big thanks to Classic Rock magazine once again for putting me in contact with rock band Bonafide, and their little gem of an album Fill your head with Rock.

As you probably now, CR give away a free CD with every issue of their mag, and every time I find a little pearler or two which make me go out and purchase their album.  On this occasion it was the title track to Bonafide’s album which was released on the 28 January this year.

1.  Fill your head with Rock – I might be out on a limb here, but I suspect their influences include AC/DC, as the opening track has a very distinct feeling of For those about to rock (we salute you).  Not that’s a bad thing.  Most certainly not.  Fill your head is a very, very good track and a track that certainly takes you back to the glory days of the 70’s.  It’s a thunderous start to an album.  9/10.

2.  No doubt about it – Great drums, great rift, great vocals.  Crumbs he sounds like Brian Johnson.  Backing vocals kick in – very DC.  Great song, but seems to be lacking a big chorus.  7/10.

3.  Kick me out – Now we are talking, this is proper rock and roll.  Pontus Snibb’s vocal range is really excelled here.  Just found out they are swedish.  8/10.

4.  I don’t need a doctor – Again, if you like rock ‘n’ roll, there is nothing to dislike here.  The riffs are dirty, the lyrics are intriguing and I believe they have a hidden meaning?  Very clever.  7/10.

5.  Can’t explain – Now anyone that is planning to cover a classic song by The Who needs to be careful.  This could have gone horribly wrong, but it’s not too bad actually.  Granted it’s not a patch on the original and it’s very similar to it, but it’s not too bad.  6/10.

6.  Nice boys (don’t play rock ‘n’ roll) – Back to form with the final track – a great finale to an all-in-all very good rock and roll album.  8/10

Now if you are missing a bit of 70’s rock then I suggest you go out and give this album a go.  They are a bon-a-fide rock group.  Check out their website –

Top 250 rock albums : The winner

Back in Black by AC/DC

So, what is the greatest rock album of all time?  Well, do you know what the 2nd biggest worldwide selling album of all time is?  Only 2nd to Michael Jackson’s Thriller?  No?  Then I will tell you.  This might come as a surprise to you…..are you ready…?

Back in Black by AC/DC.

It’s not a surprise to me, as Back in Black is THE best album that has ever been released.  Every song has something that sets it apart from it’s predecessors.  As soon as the bells kick in on the opening track Hells Bells you know it’s gonna be a cracker.  The title track Back in Black, Shoot to Thrill, Let me put my love into you and What do you do for money, honey?  are classics in their own right, however, it’s Givin’ the Dog a Bone and the ingenious You Shook Me All Night Long that turn Back in Black from a contender into the world champion.


I see Back in Back as a tribute, of sorts, to the late, great Bon Scott who tragically died before the making of this album, and you can tell in some of the lyrics especially Back in Black and Givin’ the Dog a Bone that this would right up Scott’s street.  Now, his replacement Brian Johnson will never quite live up to the former Aussie front man, but he is a more than capable replacement and his very first album with DC is by far his best vocals.

All in all, a quite magnificent album and a well worthy winner of the title ‘greatest rock album of all time’.  Respect.

The New Issue Of Classic Rock Is On Sale Now

Watch out for AC/DC’s Angus Young riding shotgun on the cover.

The September edition of Classic Rock has just hit the streets – with not one but TWO sensational free gifts.

Classic Rock Magazine

* A special 24-page Pink Floyd supplement dedicated to The Dark Side Of The Moon and Wish You Were Here: two stories in one great mag.

* A free CD featuring The Best Of The Year So Far. That means great new tracks from The Answer, Rival Sons, Graveyard, Ghost and many more.

Inside the regular issue:

AC/DCBack In Black turned AC/DC into the biggest rock band in the world. The problem now was how to follow it up.
Cue bust-ups with their producer, run-ins with their record label, and at least one genius rock anthem. We salute For Those About To Rock

Continue reading

Top 250 rock albums : Number 5 – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap by AC/DC

5.  Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – AC/DC

The first DC album I bought, and boy did I pick a good one to get me started.  Dirty Deeds is downright dirrrrty, with absolute genius lyrics by Bon Scott (r.i.p), riffs by Angus that will blow your mind and a tempo that will keep you rocking for a long, long time.

From the very first slash of Angus’ SR, you know what to expect and it keeps the high voltage pace up until track 8, in typical DC style and sends you into a false sense of security with the low tempo ‘Ride On’.  Just as you think the rockin’ is coming to a pleasant end, the boys knock your socks of with ‘Squealer’ (I won’t go into what the track is about but I am sure you can use your imagination), which includes a mind boggling solo from Angus.  And it’s over….only 9 tracks but who cares?  It’s pure quality.  Every track.  Serious.

Track list:

  1. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
  2. Love at First Feel
  3. Big Balls
  4. Rocker
  5. Problem Child
  6. There’s Gonna be Some Rockin’
  7. Ain’t No Fun )Waiting ‘Round to be a Millionaire)
  8. Ride On
  9. Squealer

Please don’t ask me to pick a best track……..ok………ummmmm…………Dirty Deeds.

  for only £4.89!

My ac/dc cake for my birthday…

Well, I am now 30 😦 and it got me thinking about my party for my 29th…..

My other half decided to throw me a party, just a small affair with about 30 of my closest friends with a few drinks in Charlies bat in Swansea.

A good friend of ours is a genius cake maker, and this is the outcome….

My AC/DC cake for my birthday