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
zz_top_la_futura_
 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

 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
 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
 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…

20

 Tame Impala
 Lonerism

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
 Afterglow

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
 Blunderbuss

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
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 250 rock albums : Number 2 – Led Zeppelin IV

Led Zeppelin IV by Led Zeppelin

2.  Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin

I’m sure not many of you will argue (actually, you probably will) that Led Zep IV is their best album to date, yes?  Well it is.  End of.  The album is pure genius.

It is probably one of the most talked about albums also.  Not only because of the music, but the name of the album!  Is it called IV, the fourth album, four symbols or the Four Symbols logo ?  With Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham and Jon-Paul Jones all coming up with a symbol of their own.

IV is the 3rd best-selling album in the US ever, and has sold over 32 million worldwide.  Wow!  Every single rock album chart will have IV near the top of the pile, and I am no different.

Black Dog kicks off the album in ferocious style, with the speed not letting up with the enigmatic Rock and Roll (one of the greatest rock and roll songs ever written).  Fellow classics When the Levee Breaks, The Battle of Evermore and of course Stairway to Heaven confirms Led Zep IV as one of the greatest, just missing out on the top spot…..

Top 250 rock albums : Number 3 – Machine Head

Machine Head by Deep Purple

We are down to the final 3.  The 3 best rock albums of all time – can you handle it?

3.  Machine Head – Deep Purple

The original only had 7 tracks on the album, but every track is pure genius.  The 6th album by the biggest rock band in the world (at the time) was released in 1972 and made no.1 in the UK charts, staying there for 20 weeks.  That should tell you something.

Highway Star opens the album at a blistering pace, followed by Maybe I’m a Leo and the stunning Pictures of Home.  Never Before is probably the weakest track on the album, but then comes the simple but brilliant (or is that simply brilliant), Smoke on the Water.  Lazy is quite simply breathtaking (although the live version actually knocks socks off it) and the finale Space Truckin leaves you wanting more, much more.  This is what makes this album so good – it’s the Fawlty Towers of albums.  There were only ever 12 episodes of FT and yet you still watch them over and over again.  It’s the same with Machine Head.

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!

Foreigner are to release an acoustic album

Foreigner "Acoustique"

Eighties rockers Foreigner, are releasing an acoustic album of some of their biggest and most popular hits.

It will be released on September 26 under the title ‘Acoustique’.  The track list looks like this…

1.  Long, Long Way From Home
2.  Cold As Ice
3.  The Flame Still Burns (new song)
4.  Double Vision
5.  Fool For You Anyway
6.  Say You Will
7.  Starrider
8.  Waiting For A Girl Like You
9.  Feels Like The First Time
10. Juke Box Hero
11. That’s All Right
12. Save Me (new song, and an electric version)
13. I Want To Know What Love Is (electric version)
14. When It Comes To Love (electric version)

There will also be an extra cd in the digi pack and a DVD.  Bring back 80’s rock….

Top 250 rock albums : Number 6 – Willy and the Poor Boys

Willy and the Poor Boys by CCR

6.  Willy and the Poor Boys – Creedence Clearwater Revival

As you may have already gathered, CCR are one of my favourite bands and Willy and the Poor Boys epitomises everything that CCR are about.

There is everything on this album from pure swamp rock like ‘Cotton Fields’ to rock ‘n’ roll classics like ‘Fortunate Son’ and ‘It came out of the sky’ plus a couple of weird and wonderful tracks in which you are not too sure what genre they come under (the closing track ‘Effigy’ comes to mind).

Willy and the Poor Boys is up there with the greatest, and if you are not a CCR fan, then this would be the album to get you hooked.

Track list:
1.    Down on the Corner
2.    It Came out of the Sky
3.    Cotton Fields
4.    Poorboy Shuffle
5.    Feelin’ Blue
6.    Fortunate Son
7.    Don’t Look Now
8.    The Midnight Special
9.    Side o’ the Road
10.    Effigy

What is the best track on the album?  Well, the obvious choice would be ‘Fortunate Son’ but for me ‘It Came out of the Sky’ really gets me rockin’….