Given everything that happened in 2018 (cancer, more cancer, death), I wasn’t as tuned-in to rock and roll as I normally would be. I missed a lot of new releases, some on purpose, others by accident. Therefore, this year I’m doing something different from my Top Lists of 2018. Before we get to the lists, let’s talk about the past 12 months.
2018: RELEASES IN A NUTSHELL
January saw new CDs by Joe Satriani and Corrosion of Conformity, finally reunited with Pepper Keenan on vocals. There was new Loudness, and a release by Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa. Def Leppard had a low-key EP exclusive to iTunes (The Lost Session). In February we got the return of the mighty Saxon. March was a big month, featuring Judas Priest, Stone Temple Pilots, Jack White and Myles Kennedy. The rock kept rolling in April. The big metal one here was Stryper‘s God Damn Evil, along with new Godsmack and Thirty Seconds to Mars. During this time I was personally only able to get the Stryper and Priest.
As temperatures warmed in May, Bad Wolves came out with their novelty cover of “Zombie” by the Cranberries which became a predictable hit. Frank Turner and Five Finger Death Punch also released new records in May. News in June was unfortunately dominated by Kanye West and Drake, but don’t forget Ghost, The Darkness (with their first live) and Nine Inch Nails! In July, Halestorm came out with the critically acclaimed Vicious. Alice in Chains made their long awaited return in August with Rainier Fog, an album I bought but have not yet fully penetrated.
Autumn began with the biggest name in rock and roll, Sir Paul McCartney himself. Slash, Paul Simon, Lenny Kravitz and Suicidal Tendencies had records out on the same day. VoiVod, Therapy?, Metric and even Rod Stewart returned in September as well. October featured two big soundtracks: Bohemian Rhapsody, and A Star Is Born. Ace Frehley, Greta Van Fleet, and The Struts came out with new music the same month. In November we got Mark Knopfler, the Smashing Pumpkins, Ted Nugent and yet another live Beth Hart. The month closed with the latest Def Leppard best-of. December boasted Metal Church but not a lot of rock. Thank the Metal Gods that Max the Axe swooped in with Status Electric to save the year.
I spent most of 2018 checked out mentally. I missed most of the new releases and have a lot to catch up on. The summer was spent on Highway 401, and a flash drive loaded with music helped me survive it. New releases were not the be-all and end-all for me. Therefore, my Top Albums of 2018 list includes some oldies that just helped me get through it all. It seems right to do it this way, since I can’t really do a well-curated list of new releases without absorbing them properly.
TOP 10 ALBUMS THAT GOT ME THROUGH 2018
- Blotto – Combo Akimbo (1982)
- Max the Axe – Status Electric (2018)
- Ghost – Prequelle (2018)
- The Darkness – Live at Hammersmith (2018)
- Judas Priest – Firepower (2018)
- Blotto – Tonight At Toad’s (1982)
- Ace Frehley – Spaceman (2018)
- Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson & Steve Vai – G3 Live in Concert (1997)
- The Sword – Used Future (2018)
- Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds (1978)
- Fu Manchu – Clone of the Universe (2018)
- Hello Hopeless – Dark Pasts, Brighter Futures (2018)
- Mike Slayen – Dude: A Guitar CD (2018)
TOP MOVIES OF 2018
Can’t do a movie list this year. Not possible. I didn’t see ’em all, but one movie blew away all the rest.
- Avengers: Infinity War
A PEEK AT 2019
What’s hot for 2019?
- Star Wars: Episode IX
- Motley Crue‘s long awaited movie The Dirt, and new songs too.
- Dream Theater – Distance Over Time
- Avengers: Endgame
- Queensryche – The Verdict