2021

#964.5: The Lists – 2021 Year in Review – Part Two

Here We Go Again:  End of Year Lists 2021

2021:  the year of the hamster wheel.  It sure felt like we were spinning our tires all year!  Sometimes inching a little forward in the mud, only to slide right back.  What a year.  But we did get some great music out of it.

Here at LeBrain HQ, if you go strictly by the numbers, there were two bands that dominated the year, both oldies acts from the 1980s:  Coney Hatch and Iron Maiden!  They (or members thereof) appear numerous times in the lists you’re about to read.  Not so “oldies” after all eh?  Five appearances for Iron Maiden, and a whopping seven for Coney and its members!

Even I was surprised by the lists this year!  All my favourite things, and the stats of 2021, are curated below.


Top 11 Albums of 2021

11. PolychuckShadows Exposed EP
10. Suicide StarIsolation
9. Max the AxeOktoberfest Cheer EP
8. Mammoth WVHMammoth WVH
7. Danko JonesPower Trio
6. AcceptToo Mean to Die
5. Smith/KotzenSmith/Kotzen
4. Iron MaidenSenjutsu
3. Lee AaronRadio On
2. Coney HatchLive at the El Mocambo
1. StyxCrash of the Crown

Top Five Box Sets of 2021

5. KissDestroyer
4. WhitsnakeRestless Heart
3. Def LeppardCD Collection Vol 3
2. TriumphAllied Forces
1. MetallicaMetallica 

My Favourite Movies of 2021

5. Black Widow
4. Eternals
3. Free Guy
2. The Suicide Squad
1. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

(placeholder) Spider-Man: No Way Home – you have to assume it’ll be my new #1 when I see it!


Top 11 Interviews / Unboxings of 2021 (by YouTube views)

11. Robert Lawson interview
10. Sean Kelly interview
9. Suicide Star interview
8. Coney Hatch live LP unboxing
7. Andy Curran round three
6. Andy Curran part one
5. Paul Laine interview
4. Mike Fraser interview
3. Martin Popoff interview
2. Andy Curran + Mike Fraser interview
1. Iron Maiden Super7 figure blind box unboxing

Top Five List Shows / Deep Dives 2021 (by YouTube Views)

5. Top Concept Albums
4. 5150 Deep Dive with Tee Bone
3. Desert Island Discs
2. Top Maiden Art
1. Top Five King’s X with Martin Popoff

Top Reviews of 2021 by Hits

5. GUNS N’ ROSES“ABSUЯD”
4. STYXCrash of the Crown
3. PAUL STANLEY’S SOUL STATION – Now and Then
2. IRON MAIDEN – Senjutsu 
1.  – Off the Soundboard – Tokyo 2001


What’s in store for 2022?

  • The Book of Boba Fett
  • Jethro Tull – The Zealot Gene
  • Marillion – An Hour Before Its Dark
  • Guns N’ Roses – Hard Skool EP
  • new Sven Gali
  • Scorpions – Rock Believer
  • new Coney Hatch live with two new studio cuts
  • new Journey?
  • new Def Leppard?
  • Bryan Adams – So Happy it Hurts
  • Liam Gallgher – C’Mon You Know
  • Thor: Love and Thunder
  • Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Disney+: Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, She-Hulk, What…If? season 2, Secret Invasion, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
  • The Mandalorian season 3
  • New albums from Ghost, Rammstein, Ozzy Osbourne, King Diamond, Weezer and more

 


TONIGHT.

Friday December 31, 9:00 PM E.S.T. on YouTubeFacebook and also Facebook!

#964.0: The Year in Review – Part One

RECORD STORE TALES #964.0: The Year in Review – Part One

Today, some reflection.  Tomorrow, the lists!

While certainly not the worst year of my life so far (2018 takes the crown there), the latter half of 2021 was pretty poopy here at LeBrain HQ.  There was plenty of new music, which we will discuss in greater detail tomorrow when we run down the Top 11 Albums of the Year.  Great music in fact; some deeply impactful albums and important reissues.  I also didn’t think that 2021 would be the year for new Guns N’ Roses music, or for me to get a 42 CD Judas Priest box set.  But here they are!

2021 started off strong.  We have Superdekes to thank for a series of great interviews on the LeBrain Train.  More on those for tomorrow’s list.  Not to be outdone, John T. Snow hooked us up with one of the best interviews I’ve ever been involved with, which was Paul Laine.  But for me, by summertime burnout had set in.  I’d been doing the LeBrain Train without missing a single week since lockdown began in March 2020.  Sometimes doing two interviews in a single weekend.  Sometimes I got stood up by a rock star, sometimes I got stood up by the same rock star twice.  By the end of the summer, I needed a break.  Badly.  It was harder and harder coming up with guests, as we slowly emerged from our Covid cocoons and resumed life.  I had to pull the brakes.

Then I had a flood in the house.  I had to cancel an interview with with Jack Frost and take a more extensive break from everything.  Trying not to snap, I bought a Metallica box set to cheer myself up.  Great way to boost myself while crippling my bank account at the same time, but I won’t complain.

Personal highlights of the year:

  • A fantastic summer at the lake
  • Meeting and interviewing some true rock greats
  • Collaborating with creative friends like Meat, Harrison, Deke, Tee-Bone, Rob, Kevin and John Snow
  • Getting back into the movie theater
  • Record-high hits and views

Personal lowlights of the year:

  • Then the hits and views took a nosedive
  • Burned out
  • Grandma in the hospital, flood, mental breakdowns
  • Lost people
  • Moved offices, twice
  • Omicron

Other interesting happenings included making an enemy out of John “J.D.” Roberts, an aborted attempt at doing re-runs on the LeBrain Train, and Harrison’s baffling stance on Queensryche.

This isn’t much of a “year in review” post.  Nothing commemorating the many musicians and celebrities we lost this year.  Nothing talking about all the great tunes we discovered.  This is not the way the year was supposed to end!  It remains to be seen how this plays out next year, but at least we still have our Friday nights together.  The LeBrain Train will roll into January, because it looks like we need the LeBrain Train once again!  When I “pulled the plug” back in August, I did it with the George W. Bush “Mission Accomplished” meme.  Because I knew Covid wasn’t really over.  I knew the mission wasn’t really accomplished.  What I didn’t know was just how badly things would get by the end of the year!  I really didn’t think we’d be isolating again this New Year, but that’s exactly what many of us are doing.  For the second time.

Big day tomorrow:  The end of year lists, and the LeBrain Train New Year’s Eve special.  Because Covid needs its ass kicked once and for all, and since we’re all doing the best we can under difficult circumstances, we deserve a night to party.  See you tomorrow.