It’s been a good year for Reissues and Archival Recordings, although maybe not quite up to the sky-high level of 2017 and 2018. Presented here are my Top 24 albums for 2019. I found it impossible to put them in a straight 24-down-to-1 ranking order, so I’m presenting nos 17 to 24 in alphabetical order, followed by nos 9 to 16 in alphabetical order, and finally nos 1 to 8, also in alphabetical order. So, here we go, then, with the first batch of eight reissues or archival recordings…
Greetings once again, Afterworders. It’s that time of year again. Time for the platters that mattered, the songs that were strong, the tunes that made me swoon, the tracks that weren’t cack, and the CDs that were the bees’ knees. Yes, indeed, the hugely anticipated duco01 60 Favourite New Albums of 2019 list finally makes landfall.
You will remember, I’m sure, that my Favourite New Albums of 2018 chart contained a mere 40 albums. Well, 2019 must have been a bumper year, because I seem to have come up with a 60-album chart this time. Having said that, the ones lurking in the lower reaches of the charts only receive rather lukewarm recommendations.
Like anyone, I suppose, I tend to move chiefly within the safe zones of music that I know I’ll probably go for: low-key jazz, early music, American primitive guitar, 1970s roots reggae, the ambient genres, modern chamber music, English, Scottish & Irish folk, dub, a small dose of Americana, West African acoustic music, solo piano, and judiciously chosen singer/songwriter stuff. It’s more than enough to be getting along with.
In the time-honoured fashion, we count down from number 60, with the first batch of albums ending at » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
Twenty years ago, the Grateful Dead’s ”So Many Roads (1965-1995)” box was released. On disc 5 of that set, an early attempt was made to show what a final GD studio album might’ve looked like, if it had been released in, say, 1994. It presented six tracks premiered by the band in live shows in the early 90s which never made it onto an album before Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995.
In many ways, this new set, “Ready or Not” expands on that remit. It has live versions of the six tracks included on So Many Roads, plus a further three live songs from the Vince Welnick era. Unusually, this is a single CD set. One disc. Just one. In GD world, that’s not at all common. Grateful Dead albums are always at least 3CDs, and of course, a couple of the monster sets have been over seventy CDs each. And the cover art of “Ready or Not” does not bode well, showing a couple of obligatory skeletons in silly clothes and shades. There are scores of GD albums with appalling covers, but I reckon this one just about takes the biscuit.
On the » Continue Reading.
It’s been a corker of a year for Reissues and Archival Recordings. An absolute CORKER – I tell you. And here are my Top 30 titles for 2018. Overall, I’d say it’s a stronger list than my 40 favourite new albums of the year – maybe that’s inevitable. And in no way is it a ‘balanced’ list in terms of genres featured. When it comes to reissued albums and old live recordings, four types of music dominate my acquisitions: 23 out of these 30 albums fall into one of the following categories…
Reggae Jazz African music The Grateful Dead
I found it impossible to put them in a straight 30 down to 1 ranking order, so I’m presenting nos 21 to 30 in alphabetical order, followed by nos 11 to 20 in alphabetical order, followed by the top 10, also in alphabetical order. So, here we go, then:
Well, here we all are again. Another two lists of favourite records for 2018. It’s been a vintage year, I think, for Reissues and Archival Recordings, and that list will be along in a week or so. But we start with my 40 Favourite New Albums of 2018, where it’s been an okay-ish year, all in all. In 2017, I had no problems selecting 50 new gems, but this year I just about scraped together a list of 40 albums.
There were fair number of records that I liked, but few that I considered great. Maybe only one, really. I see that only 8 out of the 40 titles are basically albums of songs in English – when I was a teenager, the whole list would’ve been made up of such records. Instead, now, I find I gravitate towards instrumental music of hard-to-define genres in the border-zones between jazz, ambient, modern chamber music, folk and dub. It’s fertile ground.
In the time-honoured fashion, we count down from number 40, reaching no. 26 today.
Here are my 30 favourite Reissues and Archival Recordings for 2017. It’s a list that bears no resemblance at all to my 50 Favourite New Albums of the year. And in no way is it a ‘balanced’ list in terms of genres featured. When it comes to reissued albums or old live recordings, four types of music dominate my purchases: 26 out of these 30 albums fall into one of the following categories…
Reggae Jazz African music Jerry Garcia / the Grateful Dead
I found it impossible to put them in a straight 30 down to 1 ranking order, so I’m presenting nos 21 to 30 in alphabetical order, followed by nos 11 to 20 in alphabetical order, followed by the top 10, also in alphabetical order.
So, here we go, then:
We’ve all read so many “Albums of the year” lists now, that we’ve hardly got any room for another 50 titles painstakingly selected from the flood of releases that overwhelms us every year. But I hope you can spare some time for at least one more helping. Because here comes the duco01 50 Favourite New Albums of 2017 list, and I like to think that it’s worth at least a quick glance.
Looking at the list, my taste as regards new releases seems to be drifting ever further towards instrumental music, rather than songs. An alarming number of my favourites are rather discreet, low-key affairs, with influences from the chamber jazz and ambient genres. If this sort of stuff isn’t really your cup of tea, then fair enough. I invite you return between Christmas and New Year, when I’ll be presenting my Top 25 Reissues and Archival Recordings of 2017. That list will be crammed with indubitable funkiness, in the form of vintage reggae and African music. Oh, and … erm … old Grateful Dead shows, as well.
So here we are. I’ll start the New Albums list with the also-rans, numbers 31 to 50. But 2017 has been » Continue Reading.
I know I’m not the only Hüsker Dü fan on this board.
I was sad to read to day that drummer/songwriter/vocalist Grant Hart has died of cancer aged only 56. Grim news indeed.
Greetings once again, Afterworders.
Thanks for your comments on my Favourite New Albums list of 2016 a few days ago.
And now, logically, it’s time for my Favourite 35 Reissues and Historical recordings of 2016.
I found these much harder to put in a strict ranking (pun probably intended) order.
So let’s start off with Nos 16 to 35 in Alphabetical order…
Greetings, Afterword brothers and sisters,
We’ve all read so many “Albums of the year” lists now, that we’re full to bursting. But I hope you have room for at least one more helping. Because here comes the duco01 Favourite New Albums of 2016 list, and I like to think that it’s worth at least a quick glance. When I’ve done lists of previous years, I’ve restricted myself to 40 albums, but 2016 has been such an outstanding 12 months full of fine records that I’ve been compelled to expand the chart to an unprecedented 60 titles. And I still found there wasn’t room for albums by perennial favourites like Paul Simon and Lucinda Williams in the sixty. Looking at the list, I see that 40 out of the albums are wholly or almost wholly instrumental, while only 20 are basically albums of songs. I don’t know why this is. I’ve certainly never made a conscious decision to seek out more music without the human voice on it; it’s just happened that way. One’s tastes mutate and evolve. So here we are. I’ll start with the also-rans, numbers 41 to 60. But 2016 has been such a gem of a musical » Continue Reading.
Dear Afterword brothers and sisters,
Here we go with my favourite 15 reissues and historical recordings so far in 2016. The list is rather reggae-heavy, because … well, because I like vintage 1970s reggae and dub, basically.
In the traditional style(e), we start with the lower ten…
Dear Afterword brothers and sisters,
Well, the first half of the year is just over, and I reckon I can put together a decent list of 25 Favourite albums with a 2016 release date that may be of interest to the Afterword community. I haven’t listed the albums in a strict 1 to 25 order, because many of them I haven’t really heard enough to judge fully yet. So often, a record’s qualities manifest themselves gradually, over a longer period.
I’ve just divided the albums into two groups: 10 favourites so far, in alphabetical order, with a few comments about each, and an additional 15 good‘uns, also in alphabetical order.
I’ll keep the compilations, reissues and historical recordings for another list.
To make things very exciting, we’ll start with the lower fifteen…
Here’s the list of my favourite Reissues and Archival Recordings for 2015.
I can say right away that this is in no way a ‘balanced’ list in terms of genres featured. When it comes to reissued albums or old live recordings, two types of music dominate my purchases: this list of 20 albums includes 8 reggae/dub releases and 6 live albums by Jerry Garcia or the Grateful Dead. Then there are two jazz albums, two West African albums and two ‘others’.
I found it impossible to put them in a straight 20 down to 1 ranking order, so I’m presenting nos 6 to 20 in alphabetical order, followed by the top 5, also in alphabetical order. I hope Afterworders will find something that’s of interest …
The duco01 top 40 Favourite New Albums of 2015 – Nos 40-21
Here are my 40 favourite new albums of 2015. Some of them I only received recently, and I haven’t really had time to digest them, so placing them in a 1 to 40 ranking list was pretty tricky. Back in my teens, 20s and 30s, almost all my favourite new albums of any year had vocals on them. They were basically albums of songs – pop, rock, folk, reggae, blues, country, world music. All with singing on them. Looking at this list now, I see that only about 12 or 13 of the 40 records have vocals on them. The rest are basically instrumental music, mainly in the ambient / modern classical / chamber jazz genres. I like these albums – of course I do – but I could sort of understand it if someone declared this list to be rather polite, sedate and overly cautious. There’s nothing here that’s going to rock your house to its foundations, if I can put it that way. Finally, I spend quite a bit of my time listening to classic 70s roots reggae and dub, and the music of Jerry Garcia » Continue Reading.
You probably know this anyway, but it looks as if Prince will very soon be playing some European dates completely solo – just him and a piano/guitar.
As far as I can see from the two sites I’ve consulted, the information is rather conflicting as to which dates have been confirmed, but it looks as though there will be dates in 3 UK cities, plus another 12 or so dates in other parts of Europe.
I imagine that ticket prices will be on the high side … but I also imagine that he’ll be pretty good!