Thursday, December 29, 2016

Top Twenty Five Tracks of 2016

It's that time of the year again, top tracks of the year. I decided to go with 25 this year because there was just so much darn good music.

25 is Nottingham's own Jake Bugg with a super funky number from his latest release, On My One.


24 is Blacksburg, Virginia's own dream pop band, Wild Nothing, with a gorgeous number entitled "Adore" from their LP, Life of Pause. Reminds me of laying in the sun on the beach!

23 is  Llandudno, Wales' Catfish and the Bottlemen with "Soundcheck." This one is from their their second LP, The Ride and is real corker.


22 is a corker of a track from Uckfield's own Rag N Bone Man. "Human" is a great number that hearkens back to those classic days of soul....

21 is "Who Knows" from Jamaican singer Proteje. It's always nice to hear good reggae and this song reminds me of summer...

20 is...I can't believe it's really happening but yes, Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees makes it on my list this year. "In The Now" has that classic Bee Gees sound and even though I have derided them over the years, I can't ignore their contributions to the pop zeitgeist. Gibb's latest effort is a stunner! BTW, those "Negan" looking fellows in his band are his sons!!

19 is Michael Kiwanuka's gorgeous track, "Place I Belong." I've been waiting for a couple of decades for a proper successor to Marvin Gaye and this guy is it! And he's a Brit....North Londoner...

18 is.Sacramento, California's own Deftones, with their crushingly beautiful track, "Prayers/Triangles." It starts off like an air-y U2 type and then suddenly we are into Stone Temple Pilots! Highly recommended for workouts...very triumphant...

17 is North London's own Hunck with the psychedelic pop track, "All Dressed Up."

16 is "Bombay Blue" by the Mystery Jets. I've been a huge fan of this London band going back to 2006. Their latest effort, Curve of the Earth, is a corker and this track is most exemplary of its awesomeness.

15 is"2013" by Sunflower Bean. This melancholy, yet upbeat track from the New York trio is the best on their LP. I like her shimmery voice...

14 is "Hurtin' (On the Bottle)" by Nashville's own Margo Price. I've never been huge into straight up country but Margo does this right. Complete with pedal steel!

13 is "Lazarus" by David Bowie which started off the year quite nicely. Then, he died and it really sucked. I remember watching this video with my wife the day the album came out. We both thought he looked every bit of his 69 years. Little did we know how sick he was...

It's classic Bowie, though, and it reminds of those days so long ago when music videos were all we watched...

12 is "Honeymoon" by East Londoner Thomas Cohen and it is simply magnificent. This ethereal and spaced out track from his LP, Bloom Forever, is most reminiscent of late 70s/early 80s Bowie. Good autumn music as well!

11 is "They Don't Own Me" by his Lordship Richard Ashcroft (aka Fist of god). RA returns with a great solo effort entitled These People. It's been a while since we heard from this giant in Brit Rock but the wait was well worth it!

10 is "Miracle Aligner" by the Last Shadow Puppets. Arctic Monkey Alex Turner and Miles Kane return with a second offering entitled Everything You've Come To Expect. Rooted once again in Burt Bacharach, Italian spy music, psychedelia and Ultra Lounge, Turner and Kane spin more tales of love, lust and intrigue.

8 is "Final Song" by . I caught this Danish singer on Jools Holland a few months back and was completely blown away (that performance is available here). Triumphant...upbeat...anthemic...and just a giant pop song...perfect! Here's their performance of this track at Glasto last summer...

7 is "Charlemagne" by Manchester's own Blossoms. Bursting on the scene last year with their bril mix of pop and synth based beats, Blossoms first full length is yet another example of why all the holiest music comes from the UK

6 is "Beautiful Blue" by Tom Petty's first band, Mudcrutch. When Petty first started in the music business it was with this band. But the record execs wanted him, not the band, thus Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were born. Petty promised his bandmates from Mudcrutch that they would eventually do something and they finally released their first record in 2008. This track is from their second LP released this year and it's simply gorgeous.

5 is "Two" by Heart. I've been a huge fan of this Seattle band since I was a kid. The Wilson sisters have written their fire in the rock and roll sky for the last 40 years. This latest track, from this year's Beautiful Broken, reminds me of a classic power ballad from the 80s. Here's a live performance from earlier in the year...

4 is "Lovers of the Sun" by local Mpls band The Jayhawks. Taken from this year's amazing LP, Paging Mr. Proust, this beautiful and most summery track is honestly the best track I think they have ever done.

3 is "Heathens" by Columbus, Ohio's own Twenty One Pilots. Great thanks to my daughter, Grace Campbell, for getting me into this band. This track is taken from the "Suicide Squad" soundtrack and is most indicative of their unique and addicting sound.

2 is Manchester's own Stone Roses with "Beautiful Thing." If you are a Brit rock obsessive like I am, The Stone Roses are pretty much at the center of the fucking universe. Sure, they only made 2 albums and a handful of singles back in the late 80s and early 90s but their impact on bands like Oasis, Blur, The Verve and even Catfish and the Bottlemen was massive. It's so mega that they are back making new music again!

1 is ....(drum roll please)..."Call You Up" by Viola Beach. The Cheshire band who all lost their lives in a automobile accident last February get my nod for Best Song of 2016. Would I have picked it if they were all alive? Yes, I would have because the song is just that fucking good. Viola Beach was on the cusp of being the next big Brit band before their trajectory was tragically cut short. In so many ways, this track epitomizes everything I love about music. It's a love's's makes me feel nostalgia for a time that never all, a perfect song!

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