Happy holidays/Merry Christmas/Happy Chaunukah/Happy Yule/Happy Kwanzaa/Happy New Year/etc.! By now I imagine you guys know the drill with this. I'm taking the last week that I will be posting this year to list what I feel were the 10 best albums to come out this year. 2016 had some pretty good stuff released, so I'm looking forward to posting two of them a day till the end of the week after which I will be taking the rest of the year off to enjoy the holidays. These albums will not be listed in any particular order because as I've said in the past, it's a pain trying to place all of them. All that aside, let's wrap this up!
2. Blue and Lonesome, by The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones seem to have gotten back to their roots on this newest album of theirs, and by getting back to their roots I mean WAY back to their roots. Blue and Lonesome is an album comprised entirely of covers the Stones did of old blues songs that they all know and love. Songs that gave them their original inspiration as young lads to pick up instruments and make the songs that we know and love from them.
Recorded in a matter of only three days it has tunes from many of the greats, like: Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, Memphis Slim, Buddy Johnson, and so many more. You can definitely tell the guys are having a good time playing these songs and adding their own spin to them. It kind of feels like you're listening to them feeling like kids again in those early days when fame and glory were just a pipe dream and all they really wanted to do was play the blues.
1. Memories in Rock, by Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
Now I know I said I wasn't going to actually rank these albums in any particular order, but for those of you that know me did you really think that there would be a new Rainbow album this year (even though it was just a live one) and I WOULDN'T put it at number one? After almost two decades of playing almost exclusively Renaissance music Ritchie Blackmore for a few shows decided to make a big triumphant return to rock with a brand new band.
Memories in Rock features many great classics from Blackmore's career in Deep Purple, Rainbow, and beyond. I think what I like best about this album aside from hearing Ritchie Blackmore finally playing these songs again is the new vocalist he got, Ronnie Romero. The man is still his own vocalist but there are moments when he is singing the Ronnie James Dio era Rainbow songs and he sounds hauntingly spot on. It's spooky in a good way. He definitely does them justice. Can't recommend this album enough.
That's a wrap for 2016! As I've been saying for the past couple of weeks I will now be taking the rest of the year off to enjoy the holidays and relax. After the way 2016 has treated me (and all of us for that matter), I think it's a well deserved break. I will be returning January 2nd to resume business as usual. I hope you have enjoyed this week's list and everything I have put out this whole year. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued readership and support. It means the world to me, even if my audience is a small one. That said, from Young Ears, Fresh Perspective to you, have a Merry Christmas (or whatever you celebrate if you celebrate) and a Happy New Year!