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SDE’s favourite albums of 2018

While this site is largely concerned with reissues and box sets and the like, of course I still buy new albums and as such here is my review of some of my favourite releases for 2018. Before next week there will also be a look back at some of the best reissues of the last year…

SDE ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Joan As Police Woman / Damned Devotion

I’ll be honest, I loved Joan As Police Woman‘s first album (Real Life from 2006), liked the second one (2008’s To Survive) and then slightly lost track. 2011’s The Deep Field and 2014’s The Classic had their moments but ultimate didn’t really do it for me, while Benjamin Lazar Davis collaboration Let It Be Me was bought, filed but shamefully I ‘forgot’ to listen to it…

Cue the power of a good old fashioned ‘catchy’ song. While a pop chart hit is fairly much out of the question these days, for an artist like Joan As Police Woman, the quality of first single ‘Tell Me’ was more than apparent. Like much of the album, the song concerns communication. It’s a plea for articulation, expression and directness. Literally, ‘tell me what you want and I can try and give it to you.’  There’s something fantastic about the honesty of the sentiment, and the economy and relatively simplicity of the arrangement.

JAPW’s Joan Wasser has an incredible singing voice, but prefers understatement rather than over the top vocal gymnastics. ‘Tell Me’ is slinky delight and memorable enough that my kids were singing along to it when I ‘forced’ my playlists on them on holiday in the summer!

But one song does not a good album make and I think there’s two key things at play here that make the Damned Devotion such a success. Joan’s adventurousness, in terms of experimenting and ‘beat-making’ at her Brooklyn home has really paid off and at the same time she has just hit a rich vein of form and written and produced an incredibly intimate long-player full of moving and memorable songs. It’s a very pure album – it feels like musical and lyrical ideas have flowed straight from Wasser (with the help of trusted collaborators like Kindred Parker) right onto the grooves of the vinyl, unencumbered by a band working out arrangements in a traditional studio environment, where something excellent can inadvertently be shorn of its magic.

Opener ‘Wonderful’ is a delicate rose with electric piano, beats and lots of atmosphere. That song semi-segues into ‘Warning Bell’, where Joan muses about missing the tell-tale signs in a relationship and how she ‘never sees it coming’ into a pillow-soft arrangement.

There’s some exciting rhythms in a more funky middle section with ‘Steed (for Jean Genet)’ and in particular ‘The Silence’ which continues the album’s lyrical themes (“we have so much to say, why don’t we say it?”). One highlight here is the chanting middle eight, which ends with a blistering and satisfying distorted guitar solo.

‘Valid Jagger’ has beautiful melody that sucks you in and a lovely organ denouement, while ‘What Was It Like’ is a moving tribute to Joan’s Dad. ‘Talk About It Later’ is another funky number with an amusing lyric (“later as in 2020…”) and ‘Silly Me’ and ‘I Don’t Mind’ are the ‘come down’ tracks and complete the album.

This is one of those life-changing records. It is that good. Sit back and listen to all 12 tracks from start to finish and you’ll discover that Damned Devotion messes with your body. It gets under your skin, squeezes your heart and perhaps occasionally stirs the loins. It’s Joan As Police Woman’s best album and by a long margin my favourite of 2018.

Read the SDE with Joan As Police Woman • Live Review


Suede / The Blue Hour

Suede / The Blue Hour

Good old Suede. The first two albums were brilliant (particularly 1994’s Dog Man Star), Coming Up was a perfect pop reinvention and then it all went tits up with the what-were-they-thinking Head Music followed by the BORING A New Morning. The latter was so bad the band broke up and disappeared for seven years.

Because they skipped most of the ‘noughties’, when they came back Suede were shocked to see that while their audience still liked shaking their bits, there were no ‘hits’ to speak of anymore. ‘Woolies’ was out of business, Top of the Pops was finished and the UK singles chart was so disfigured it could only be identified by reference to its dental records. Damn! Or maybe not damn, because Suede were suddenly no longer judged by their hit singles any more. Ten years earlier, no hits meant you were dumper-bound, but now everyone else was not having hits too – hooray! Also, you didn’t even need a record label anymore, you could engage with some kind of ‘label services’ company, own your own music and stick it to ‘the man’.

If you believe the narrative, around 2012 Brett Anderson gathered the band together, furrowed his brow and said “let’s record a triptych of albums”. “Alright then…” came the response. The Blue Hour is the third in that ‘triptych’, after 2013’s Bloodsports (don’t mention the awful deluxe) and 2016’s Night Thoughts.

So the idea with the last three albums is to be conceptual, to embrace widescreen grandeur and to reach beyond the confines of the three-minute pop song, and with Night Thoughts – which came with a feature film – even the standard pop promo. So with that in mind, The Blue Hour opener ‘As One’ is all ominous Ave Santani-style chanting mixed with John Barry guitar lines and the anthemic Wastelands ends with a spoken word linking section. This is a good thing, obviously. During the atmospheric Roadkill a conversation ensues about a ‘dead bird’ then lo and behold there is a song called Dead Bird later on! That’s what I’m talking about!

Okay, I’m poking fun a little bit here, but I do really like this album, even if it’s VERY ‘Suede’ in places. During Beyond The Outskirts Brett sings of ‘small town dreaming’ (a recurring Suede theme), but it’s still quite moving and the payoff line at the end about having the “same blank feeling… I wonder where you are tonight” is quite moving. This song also benefits from a great and satisfyingly rocky middle eight section. ‘Flytipping’ gets very close to parody in places, with lines like “I’ll take you to the verges” and “careful as you go”. For a while, I was wondering if there was any metaphor here at all and perhaps this was Brett genuinely singing about a baggy-jeaned white van man with no sense of social responsibility but I think he just about gets there in the end because he sings of ‘shiny things that turn into rust’, so it’s probably about relationships decaying on the hard shoulder of life. Or something.

‘Cold Hands’ is a great rocker, ‘Chalk Circles’ has some more of that chanting and ‘Life Is Golden’ is a mid-paced song with some sunny positivity. Arguably, The Blue Hour lacks a really massive standout track (and probably isn’t home to anything quite as good as Night Thoughts‘ ‘Outsiders’ and ‘No Tomorrow’) but with these thematic concept albums that can easily be flipped into a positive. It’s the sum of the whole and not about individual songs grabbing the spotlight.

Brett sings beautifully throughout and The Blue Hour is largely a triumph. It really suits them. Suede seem to have found their calling with these kinds of albums, so I hope they don’t abandon the idea and try to go all ‘pop’ for their next one.


Paul Weller / True Meanings

I think I’ve been suffering from Paul Weller fatigue in recent times. The ex-Jam and Style Council man has been knocking them out regularly for quite a while and although there’s been nothing really wrong with the likes of Saturns Pattern and A Kind Revolution, it feels like ages since I really loved one of his solo efforts (probably 2008’s 22 Dreams). But True Meanings has reversed that trend. It’s a beautiful record. I’m a sucker for that pastoral, folky vibe, but crucially, the songs are also very good. ‘Gravity’ and ‘Glide’ drip with acoustic regret while ‘Old Castles’ has a wonderful jazzy lilt. Best of all the mood and tone is consistent throughout and therefore this feels like a proper album, to sit back and enjoy.


Elvis Costello & The Imposters / Look Now

With all Elvis Costello‘s various projects and collaborations it’s surprising that Look Now was his first ‘proper’ studio album since 2010’s National Ransom. The new record is a shorter more focussed effort than that eight-year old long-player and benefits from sounding a bit more like a ‘classic’ straight off the bat, thanks to a trio of songs written with Burt Bacharach (‘Photographs Can Lie’ is as good as virtually anything on 1998’s Painted From Memory) and the brilliant ‘Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter’ (written with Carole King). Not that Costello needs ‘helpers’ particularly. Eight of the 12 tracks are solo efforts with ‘Unwanted Numbers’, ‘Under Lime’ and ‘Why Won’t Heaven Help Me’ all from the top drawer. A wonderful album.


Paul McCartney / Egypt Station

I can understand why Paul McCartney continues to tour and reissue his back catalogue, but it’s less clear why he bothers with new albums. He has nothing much to gain, plenty to lose and the ‘new’ songs rarely make it beyond the current tour unable (in Paul’s mind anyway) to compete with the gold standards of the past. He’s also hampered by a voice that’s, frankly, past its best.

But bother he does. He’s chosen a fine collaborator for Egypt Station in producer and multi-instrumentalist Greg Kurstin and that may have made all the difference. There’s a few duffers, inevitably (‘Who Cares’, ‘Confidante’, ‘Fuh You’) but the album is memorable for it’s high quality compositions such as ‘Hand In Hand,’ ‘Dominoes,’ ‘Caesar Rock,’ ‘I Don’t Know,’ ‘Despite Repeated Warnings’ and ‘Hunt You Down/Naked/C-Link’. Short of pulling another ‘Hey Jude’ out of the bag, this is realistically, as good as McCartney can really be in 2018. Incidentally, the super deluxe edition box set version of this album still hasn’t been released.

Read SDE’s full review of Egypt Station


Anna Calvi / Hunter

If the whole gender debate/subject matter puts you off, don’t let it. Like with Christine and the Queens such concepts and subject matter can rather get in the way of some great songs. I was present at two interviews this year for Anna Calvi and Christine and the Queens and on both occasions the interviewer hardly asked them about music at all, so pre-occupied were they about ‘gender journeys’, sexuality etc. (Calvi wasn’t impressed with the female journalist asking her about ‘big dick energy’!). Not that that these discussions aren’t interesting, but hey, I’m here for the songs, and luckily Hunter is full of great ones. ‘As A Man’ is a fine and strident opener and has some lovely guitar playing, while ‘Don’t Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy’ was the hooky number that got me interested in the first place. Calvi is a brilliant performer and the songs on ‘Hunter’ bristle with atmosphere, intimacy and menace, like something you might find on a David Lynch soundtrack. Recommended.


Sting & Shaggy / 44/876

I’m putting on my tin hat for this selection, but I don’t care, I loved 44/876. A mainstream pop album by two relatively old blokes – especially if one is Sting – is never going to be hip, but this is a fine summery blast of reggae-pop that could probably have spawned four top 20 hit singles, had it been released in 1991. So yes, it’s a little bit ‘out of time’ but it’s full of songs that make you smile. I’m aware that Sting and Shaggy together (at last!) is slightly absurd but that’s part of the fun. The ex-Police frontman hasn’t been this relaxed for ages and there’s loads of variety, plenty of hooks and some pretty good songs. Sometimes it’s best not to overthink these things. Put it on the car stereo, hang your elbow out of the window and enjoy.

What were your favourite albums of 2018? Do leave a comment – would love to hear about what you’ve been listening to!

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[…] won BEST REGGAE ALBUM which may or may not be controversial, but I had it down as an SDE favourite of 2018, so I’m […]

DiscoDave2000

My Top 20 Albums of 2018
Top 3
1. Kasey Musgraves – Golden Hour. Played this one like crazy – sharp lyrics, excellent harmonies with nice modern production. Key tracks: Oh What A World and Love Is A Wild Thing.
2. Great Lake Swimmers – The Waves, The Wake. A pastoral offering from this alt-Americana band. Tony Dekker’s beautiful voice is complimented by some very gorgeous arrangements. Key Tracks: The Talking Wind, Falling Apart
3. Sting & Shaggy – 44/876. Everyone I played this for loved it – a great summer album. Key tracks: Gotta Get Back My Baby, To Love And Be Loved, and Love Changes Everything (my fave/on the deluxe version only)
The rest in alphabetical order…
The Alarm – =
Richard Ashcroft – Natural Rebel
Tom Bailey – Science Fiction
Leon Bridges – Good Thing
Paul Carrack – These Days
Culture Club – Life
Death Cab For Cutie – Thank You For Today
English Beat – Here We Go, Love!
Field Music – Open Here
Paul McCartney – Egypt Station
Eddi Reader – Cavalier
Josh Rouse – Love In The Modern Age
Simple Minds – Walk Between Worlds
Snow Patrol – The Wildness
Tracey Thorn – Record
And along with Sir Paul, hats off to two other artists born in the 1940s each having enjoyed tremendous success decades ago with nothing to prove; but both putting out a respectable album in 2018: Rod Stewart (born 1945) with Blood Red Roses and Steve Perry (born 1949) with Traces.

Finally, thanks to other posters, I am checking out 2018 albums from Joan As Police Woman, Suede, David Byrne, The Night Game, and Young Gun Silver Fox. Looking forward to more great music in 2019!

bertielego

My top 11 new recordings in 2018:
1a.Orbital – Monsters Exist, 3xCD edition
1b.Orbital – Monsters Exist, 4xLP edition
2.Tracey Thorn – Record, Japan CD (bonus track)
3.Marsheaux – Our Girls On Films, CDr ltd edition
4.Jean-Michel Jarre – Equinoxe project, 2xLP+2xCD box set
5a.Erasure – World Be Live, 3xColorLP DL edition
5b.Erasure – World Be Live, 2xCD DL edition
6.Blank & Jones – Relax (Eleven), 2xCD edition
7a.Moby – Everything Was Beautiful, And Nothing Hurt, 2xLP edition
7b.Moby – Everything Was Beautiful, And Nothing Hurt, CD edition
8.King Crimson – Meltdown, Japan 3xHQCD+BD edition + Disk Union box
9a.Brücken/Froese – Beginn, 2xLP ltd edition (2 bonus tracks)
9b.Brücken/Froese – Beginn, CD edition
10.Lisa Stansfield – Deeper, Japan 2xCD ltd edition
11a.JB Dunckel [of Air fame] – H+, RedCD Special Edition
11b.JB Dunckel [of Air fame] – H+, RedLP Edition

My top 11 singles/Eps in 2018:
1a.Iggy Pop & Underworld – Teatime Dub Encounters, Japan CD (2 bonus tracks)
1b.Iggy Pop & Underworld – Teatime Dub Encounters, Clear 12” ltd edition
2.Yazoo – Situation (François K Remixes), RSD 12”
3a.Soft Cell – Club Remixes EP 2018, 12” PicDisc
3b.Soft Cell – 2018 Summer Remix EP, Promo CDr
4.Soft Cell – Northern Lights / Guilty (Cos I Say You Are), 6trCD single
5.Soft Cell – Say Hello Wave Goodbye / Youth, RSD 12”
6.Blank & Jones – Relax (The Sunset Sessions 2), White12” ltd edition
7a.Tears For Fears – Head Over Heels (Mark Barrott Remixes), RSD 12”
7b.Tears For Fears – Head Over Heels (Talamanca System Remixes), RSD 12″
8a.Etienne De Crécy – After EP1, 12”
8b.Etienne De Crécy – After EP2, 12”
8c.Etienne De Crécy – After EP3, 12”
8d.Etienne De Crécy – After EP4, 12”
9.Charlotte Gainsbourg – Remixes, RSD 12”
10.(Various) – Sugar Hill 79-86 , RSD 4×12” box set
11.David Bowie – Let’s Dance, RSD 12”

My top 11 reissues/compilations in 2018:
1a.The Cure – Mixed Up, 3xCD DL edition
1b.The Cure – Mixed Up, RSD 2xLP PicDisc
1c.The Cure – Torn Down, RSD 2xLP PicDisc
2.The Art Of Noise – In No Sense? Nonsense!, 2xCD DL edition
3a.Soft Cell – Keychains And Snowstorm, 9xCD+DVD box set
3b.Soft Cell – Keychains And Snowstorm, 1xCD compilation
4.King Crimson – The Elements (2018 Tour Box), 2xCD
5.Bronski Beat – The Age Of Consent, 1xPinkLP+2xCD edition
6.Etienne De Crécy – Beats ‘N’ Cubes, RSD 2xLP ltd num’d edition
7.Bob Marley – Kaya 40, Japan 2xSHM-CD edition
8.Matt Bianco – Indigo, 3xCD DL edition
9.Falco – Donauinsel Live 1993, 2xLP
10.Falco – Falco60, 2xCD+DVD edition
11.Oleta Adams – Circle Of One, 2xCD DL edition

jason

1) The Good, the Bad, & the Queen–Merrie Land
2) Suede–The Blue Hour
3) Low–Double Negative
4) Father John Misty–God’s Favorite Customer
5) Gorillaz–The Now Now
6) Parquet Courts–Wide Awake
7) Shame–Songs of Praise
8) The 1975–A Brief History Into Online Relationships
9) Janelle Monae–Dirty Computer
10) Lily Allen–No Shame

Matt Riddle

I thought last year wasn’t a great year for new artists if I’m honest although Shame with their album Songs of Praise was really really good,Blinders with Columbia and Greta Van Fleet
Good shout on Maccas album.
Personal Favoute was the Primal Scream Memphis recordings plus the Bowie Glastonbury release and then Spiritualised,Baxter Dury,Jack White,Artics and Hookworms

Matthew North

Best album of 2017 for me Tom Bailey – Science Fiction

Ian Burgess

My Albums Of The Year 2018
January: Steve Hackett – Wuthering Nights.
Live from his latest tour, a mix of classic Hackett & classic Genesis

February: Cats In Space – Cats Alive.
A newer band, toured extensively in 2017. Live album recorded in Cardiff.

March: Procol Harum- Still There’ll Be More.
Big box with plenty of previously unreleased material to celebrate 50 years of the band, slightly late!

April: Damned – Evil Spirits.
A long time waiting, but the band are back, in top form with Paul Grey back in the fold.

May: Lunatic Soul – Under The Fragmented Sky.
Brooding Keyboards with acoustic guitars combine to make some interesting tunes.

June: Wilko Johnson – Blow Your Mind.
As good as anything he’s ever done. A new lease of life, literally.

July: Big Big Train – Merchants of Light.
Double live release from the exceptional proggers.

August: Pineapple Thief – Dissolution.
Prog again, but very different. Intense, now with a King Crimson drummer in the band.

September: Richard Thompson – 13 Rivers.
RT’s usual song-writing expertise, and searing guitar.

October: King Crimson – Meltdown.
Complete show from Mexico on their ongoing tour. 3 drummers, demonstrating precision, as well as power.

November: Larkin Poe – Venom & Faith.
The young ladies have grown since their first ep’s. Here they rock, and more

December: Bruce Springsteen – On Broadway.
The Boss from his Broadway show.

Album of the Year – Judy Dyble – Earth is Sleeping
Original Fairport vocalist with the latest album of her revived career. Wonderful lyrics, gorgeous tunes, individual insight and, sometimes, other worldliness.

Plenty of beautiful box sets to choose from as well. Archive releases from Jethro Tull and Marillion in particular, but this year there has been plenty of New music to choose from.

Gig Of The Year: King Crimson at St David’s Hall
Close, but not quite: Andy Fairweather Low at the Tram Shed. Beth Hart at St David’s Hall. Jools Holland at the Motorpoint Arena (All in Cardiff)

Robert Laversuch

Hi, Paul – here is wishing you and all on this site a good start into the New Year!
As to your work – sublime!
My choices this last year: in no order
Paul Weller
Elvis Costello
Paul McCartney
Good shout on those and interesting re Weller, not been this impressed since 22 Dreams, as well.
Johnny Marr – Call the Comet
Manic Street Preachers – Resistence
Udo Lindenberg – Unplugged 2

otherwise mostly rereleases/box sets etc
Kate Bush – though wished that the bonus CD set on vol 2 had been more complete!
Mott the Hoople, Marillion, Moody Blues – all sets with very attractive packaging and superb content
Judie Tzuke – Full Moon release of the year – only gripe that CDs are almost impossible to retrieve
Ärzte – Seitenhirsch expensive but almost complete output
Uk Subs – both sets – God bless Charlie Harper
Tanita Tikaram – brilliant rerelease of Ancient Heart
Joe Strummer 001
REM at the Beeb box
Mansun – Great reissue
Manics This is my Truth
Beatles – White Album
PIL – Public Image is Rotten
Soft Cell
Nazareth

plus bought a lot of Punk reissues – Cock Sparrer/Blitz/Splodge/Adicts/Toy Dolls etc

and overdosed on Mike Oldfield – i.e. rediscovered him with Return to Ommadawn and went and bought the few remaining albums I had missed / ignored first time round

Stan

Suede’s “The Blue Hour” was my favorite album 2018.

But the biggest story of 2018 was the sheer number of amazing SDE releases, with the two excellent Paul McCartney & Wings boxes for “Wild Life” and “Red Rose Speedway” being my favorites. What a year!

Matt Thurston

This Los Angeleno’s Top 15 of 2018:

1.) Rolling Blackouts C.F. – Hope Downs
2.) The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships
3.) Middle Kids – Lost Friends
4.) Tracey Thorn – Record
5.) Neko Case – Hell-On
6.) Beach House – 7
7.) Robyn – Honey
8.) MGMT – Little Dark Age
9.) Let’s Eat Grandma – I’m All Ears
10.) Cat Power – Wanderer
11.) Yo La Tengo – There’s a Riot Going On
12.) The Beths – Future Me Hates Me
13.) Tracyanne & Danny – S/T
14.) The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Something Else
15.) CHVRCHES – Love is Dead

15 more Honorable Mentions, listed alphabetically, 2018 albums by:

Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility
boygenius – S/T
Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy
Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
Elvis Costello – Look Now
Father John Misty – God’s Favorite Customer
Interpol – Marauder
James – Living in Extraordinary Times
Low – Double Negative
Metric – Art of Doubt
Mitski – Be the Cowboy
Snail Mail – Lush
Steven Malkmus & the Jicks – Sparkle Hard
Suede – The Blue Hour
U.S. Girls – In a Poem Unlimited

Wayne Klein

Just missing the top ten was Elvis Costello’s latest.

Wayne Klein

No love for Richard Thompson (luckily someone here did list him)?

1. 13 Rivers-Richard Thompson
2. The Eclipse Sessions-John Hiatt
3. Bird Sounds-Bird Sounds
4. God’s Favorite Customer-Father John Misty
5. Egypt Station-Paul McCartney
6. American Utopia-David Byrne
7. Tell Me How You Really Feel-Courtney Barnett
8. Silver Lake-Pugwash (it came out late 2017 and missed my list last year)
9. High As Hope-Florence and The Machine
10.Freedom’s Goblin-Ty Segall

Sting and Shaggy-awful album.

Iain Lawrie

Bit of a rocker/metal head so enjoyed

Ghost – Prequelle
Alice in Chains – Rainier Fog
Magpie Salute – Highwater 1
Ian Siegal – All the Rage
Greta Van Fleet – Anthem of the Peaceful Army

Looking forward to

White Lies
Megadeath
Tool

SimonP

I’ve given a few suggestions a listen so far and haven’t found anything that’s blown me away yet.

Idles: interesting enough, but like the Shame album I listened to earlier this year, I can’t help feeling good songs are ruined when the composers can’t sing. Just employ someone who can do the job properly! The latter’s One Rizla was an epic tune let down by the poor singing but gets away with the fact because it’s acknowledged in the lyrics.

Kamasi Washington: not bad but too busy for my liking. I like a bit of jazz now and then but there was too much going on all the time. There was a 2017 album by a band called Ill Considered that was shorter, tighter and blows Kamasi and his gang into the weeds. If you like jazz and haven’t heard this give it a try.

Nine Inch Nails: not too bad. Not their best and more of an EP than a proper album.

Snow Patrol: gave this a couple of listens when it came out and revisited it to confirm that I wasn’t mistaken when I thought it was crap back then.

Still got EC and David Byrne on the list to go.

Thomas Schnur

I have got four of the albums and totally agree with you. Paul McCartney (saw him in Vienna in December last year) , Paul Weller (saw him in Vienna in 2017 at the Museums Center) , Elvis Costello (he cancelled his concert in Graz because of his illness and I had to give my ticket back) and Sting (I´m going to see him in Graz this year). Good decision and the other artists are okay, too.

Best wisher for 2019 again
Thomas Schnur

Gary Smith

Best album of 2018.

Trench-Twenty One Pilots

Once again a great variety of musical styles and some killer tunes.
Tyler Joseph is some talent.

SimonP

If you like Twenty One Pilots give the 2018 album by Welshly Arms a go. I haven’t heard Trench but No Place Is Home reminds me of TOP. Not as good as their first album though…

Simon

2018: Equinoxe Infinity by Jean-Michel Jarre.

2019: Nocturne – The Piano Album by Vangelis. Released 25th January.
Tubular Bells IV by Mike Oldfield, Hopefully!

Alexey

For the 2018 Paul McCartney impressed me with Egypt Station, it’s really enjoyable record.

The one that was also great for me is new live Wings Over Europe, simply fantastic and a great kind of follow up to my favorite Wings Over America.

Another great one was Franz Ferdinand’s Always Ascending. Despite the changes in the lineup the band created a couple of true to their style hits, particularly the title track and Feel the Love Go. The album itself moved to a new direction with ballad’y content which I loved.

Mikey-D

Happy New Year Paul and fellow SDE readers!

My 2018 album list:

Blue October – I Hope Your Happy
Breaking Benjamin – Ember
Coheed & Cambria – Unheavenly Creatures
Death Cab For Cutie – Thank You For Today
Editors – Violence
Greta Van Fleet – Anthem Of The Peaceful Army
Interpol – Marauders
Judas Priest – Firepower
Pale Waves – My Mind Makes Noises
Prodigy – No Tourists
Joe Satriani – What Happens Next
Twenty One Pilots – Trench

New stuff I’m looking forward to in 2019:

Chemical Brothers
Broods
The Cure
Sigrid
Dido
Maggie Rogers
Vampire Weekend
My Morning Jacket
Tool??

Eric

Damn, you’ve made me buy the Sting & Shaggy CD now.

You will have that on your conscience for the rest of your life! Ha.

Quante

Hi Paul,

Happy New Year – congratulations on having the best website in the world.

My favourite albums / music in 2018 include the following North East bands:

Field Music – Open Here

What a band – their albums get better on each release, and the Brewis brothers are prolific with various side projects.

You Tell Me – Peter Brewis and Sarah Hayes have a new album out this January. I saw them perform recently in Cluny 2, Newcastle, and the music is as great as a Field Music project always is. Peter Brewis also produced his wife’s band The Cornshead Sisters album Honey & Tar at the back end of 2017 – have a listen to The Message for a brilliant pop song.

I was fortunate enough to see Field Music six times in concert in the last year, including when they were the house band playing an evening of ‘great northern songs’.

Paul Smith – Diagrams

Paul Smith had an amazing year including a Maximo Park live performance with the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra (Field Music were on the same bill) at The Sage, Gateshead.

He also performed his folk songs with Rachel Unthank at Hall 2, The Sage.

Diagrams was Paul’s latest solo album and the sound reminds me of the days of 1980’s indie rock. Excellent songs backed up with a great SDE package from his website. It’s easy to support artists who put so much effort and enthusiasm into their music.

The Unthanks – Lines

Sent out in December when bought directly from their shop, it gets a mainstream release in February. The three ‘medium players’ feature music from different projects. The design and packaging for the CD and vinyl set is lovely.

The Unthanks have the best blend of voices going. Having spent my life until 2014 wondering whether Kate Bush would ever play live, it’s a joy to be able to see an excellent act live on a regular basis. The live highlight of seeing The Unthanks this year was seeing Rachel and Becky Unthank accompanied on piano by Adrian McNally at Matfen Hall the week before Christmas. Watch out for the unaccompanied concerts they are playing in small (tiny) venues in April and May.

Tidal Drive – EP featuring Metal Detector

This is an unashamed plug for my son’s friend – Will Kerr band’s Tidal Drive who have an EP out on streaming services. For a group of sixteen year olds, they made a great catchy song in Metal Detector. If John Peel was around he’d be giving it a spin. For young bands, the technology that allows anyone around the world to hear them instantly without physical product is incredible, but it’s sad that there is no money to be made. I guess if you’re young and starting out you can worry about the money later.

Mark Knopfler – Down The Road Wherever

Just class music from a superstar who makes music because he loves to do so. Roll on May when he’s playing live in Newcastle – Howay bonny lad – Local Hero!

Favourite albums not from the North East:

Joan Armatrading – Not Too Far Away

Like Mark Knopfler, Joan Armatrading makes class music because that’s what she’s good at. You can still get on her website the LP, CD and three signed music and lyric sheets for £25: https://joanarmatrading.tmstor.es/?lf=ec4828f1c585f676106ea3dfad951dd8
I saw Joan twice live this year and she played the album in full for the first part of the concert and then played a selection of superb songs.

Gretchen Peters – Dancing With The Beast
Beth Nielsen Chapman – Hearts of Glass

Gretchen Peters and Beth Nielsen Chapman are must sees whenever they tour and their records are reliably brilliant. There is no better way to listen to a new record than hear it played live – especially in small venues with great acoustics. Beth Nielsen Chapman has written American number ones throughout her career for other artists. Listen to the Judy Tzuke track Safe from the recent Woman To Woman album and it’s got Beth’s quality stamped all over it.

Laura Viers – The Lookout

Laura always makes great records and this is a special one. It sounded brilliant in The Cluny.

Jenn Bostic – Revival

I’ve a soft spot in nudging people in Jenn Bostic’s direction. This isn’t the ‘best’ album of the year in the fashion that Field Music’s is, but I play it a lot, so it qualifies as a favourite. Jenn caught my ear by chance one evening two years ago in a coffee shop in Portadown when she played to a crowd of thirty people with Sarah Darling and Kyshona Armstrong. For £8 it was a great concert and gave me more pleasure than I’d got the previous week when seeing David Gilmour at the Royal Albert Hall (he was also great!). I thought how can these ladies make any money and make this a viable existence? I often think about that when I go to various concerts and calculate how many people attend and what this raises!

Jenn Bostic has spent her young adult life grafting, making records and playing live – she’s written a great piece about the knock backs of the industry and the positivity required to keep going:
http://jennbostic.com/news_archive?page=news_item&NewsID=3765647637260&last_page=news_archive

Revival has got a bit of everything in style, pop, blues, soul and gospel. Jenn is clearly talented and with her hard work and determination she deserves a wider audience. I’ve urged The Sage, Gateshed to include Jenn in the Americana weekend they run so well, so hopefully she gets included in 2019.

Live Event:

Roger Waters live this year was immense. I saw him in Glasgow and Manchester and he puts on an amazing spectacle. The music, the sound, the show – it really is something special. There is nothing like live music to feel the emotion of the moment of listening to top class performers.

Steven Wilson also put on a great show, but hey, wake up and smell the roses and all hail Roger Waters as the king of the stadium event.

Looking forward to in 2019

Some Prefab Sprout activity is happening. Have a listen to a great interview with Paddy MacAloon:
https://www.sproutology.co.uk/interviews/extended-r4-interview-and-media-scan/

Tracey Spivey

Favorite new albums/e.p.’s of 2018 (that I’ve had a chance to listen to):

Now, Now “Saved”
Geographer “Alone Time”
Beach House “7”
The Decemberists “I’ll Be Your Girl”
Wild Nothing “Indigo”
Johnny Marr “Call the Comet”
Still Corners “Slow Air”
Tracey Thorn “Record”

Favorite gigs attended in 2018:

TV on the Radio (Stubb’s BBQ in Austin, TX)
Wolf Parade (HoB in Dallas, TX)
The National (Southside Ballroom in Dallas, TX)
Beach House (The Bomb Factory in Dallas, TX)
Belle & Sebastian (The Bomb Factory in Dallas, TX)
Wild Nothing (White Oak Music Hall in Houston, TX)
Johnny Marr (Granada Theatre in Dallas, TX)
Still Corners (Barracuda in Austin, TX)
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (The Majestic Theatre in Dallas, TX)
Destroyer (Club DaDa in Dallas, TX)

Kevin Wollenweber

My favorite box set of the year has to be the full remastered IN SEARCH OF THE LOST CHORD by the Moody Blues, sounding better than ever to my ears. I’m hoping this campaign continues as 50th anniversaries approach, with the next one being ON THE THRESHOLD OF A DREAM…unless the best masterings have already been squeezed out of those albums…I also liked the super delux Paul McCartney & Wings box set 1972-1973; the bonus concert recording added specially for that package made it worth my while (despite it being so heavy to lift).

I wish I’d had a chance to snag the King Crimson box, SAILOR’S TALES, despite the fact that I already have the full albums included in the package, but the bonus live performances had me hoping I can still get myself a copy before this year is out…I also liked the Mott early years box, MENTAL TRAIN, but was mightily disappointed that I didn’t snag Ian Hunter’s box before it went out of print; grrrrr! The hardest thing about collecting is that so much good product comes as limited (very limited) edition and someone like myself with limited funds cannot possibly keep up with it all, nor can I afford over-priced ebay sales.

Paul, I look forward to your extensive list of wishful thinking forthcoming super deluxe editions for 2019. I was so hoping for a SDE on the Who’s A QUICK ONE or SELL OUT, similar to the fantastic job that was done on the debut, MY GENERATION. Both those subsequent albums have many versions, as well as a proposed follow-up to SELL OUT that just never happened, along with monophonic versions! These need to be done!!

Guy

I’ve spent far too much on music this year (again!) and looking back, much of it has been on reissues or my own discoveries of previously released material. But I also came across some great new music! So, in no particular order, the 10 LPs I’ve enjoyed mostly this year:

1. Idles – Joy As An Act Of Resistance
2. Let’s Eat Grandma – I’m All Ears
3. The Damned – Evil Spirits
4. Blondie – Pollinator
5. Elton John – Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy
6. Warpaint – eponymous
7. Bauhaus – In A Flat Field
8. Velvet Underground & Nico – eponymous
9. Soft Cell – Keychains & Snowstorms (box set)
10. David Bowie – Glastonbury 2000

Andrew Aston

The one I have kept coming back to in 2018 is David Byrne “American Utopia”. There have been a lot of other quality new releases mentioned below but this seems to have been overlooked..

Devils Advocate

Macca is a spent force – lets be honest he doesn’t need the money.

I anticipate he has nothing left in the tank.

Thoughts?

Wayne Klein

Absolutely wrong.

Taffy

My top ten faves of the year!

1. Tracey Thorn – Record
2. MGMT – Little Dark Age
3. Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
4. Johnny Marr – Call The Comet
5. Robyn – Honey
6. Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending
7. Simple Minds – Walk Between Worlds
8. Kim Wilde – Here Come The Aliens
9. Tom Bailey – Science Fiction
10. Blancmange – Wanderlust

Rodolfo Martin

Hello Paul,
I asked you on Instagram and I repeat the question here. Will you prepare a list of SDEs that we could expect for 2019? You did it in previous years. If I am not wrong, you did it as your first post of the year. Maybe, there is not much to expect for 2019. I hope we have an Abbey Road 50th Anniversary edition and a couple of McCartney’s SDE (some Wing’s albums did not have the special treatment and Press to Play is also one that I would like to see in extended version too). What about TFF’s Seeds of Love? Could it happen in 2019?
Opening SDE first thing in the morning has become a healthy habit. Considering that you in England post normally during the mornings, when I open SDE in Florida, USA, I know that I will find something interesting to read. Even when your articles are about music that is away from my taste, I enjoy reading as it is always enriching. Because of some of your articles, I have given second opportunities to several artists, helping me knocking down prejudices and increasing my already broad taste in rock and pop music. I am an Argentinian who became a US citizen but I was a teenager in the 70’s back in my country and for me and my friends it was all about British music and, honestly, I know very little about the American rock from those years. I have learned a lot of American music but British rock is still my first choice when I have to relax and choose a record at home or in the car. It is part of my DNA. Thanks a lot for all you work. Keep doing it. Have a good one!

deceased

The Breeders & Idles are joint best albums of 2018 for me…

Neil Kelly

Not heard enough compared to many to make a list but i really enjoyed (Thompson Twins) Tom Bailey’s comeback pop offering. Maybe only me. Didn’t even make the UK top 100

Kauwgompie

With all those deal alerts and 3 for 2 deals I have not had time to listen to much new. I still have unpacked box sets sitting around now that all the dust has settled from the crazy November & December deals. So I’m posting my reissue top 10:

1. Soft Cell – Keychains & Snowstorms
2. The Complete Jan Akkerman
3. Pet Shop Boys – Fundamental (with the incredible B-side “The Resurrectionist. Shouda been an A side)
4. Thelonious Monk – Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Not a reissue but a newly discovered treasure)
5. John Lennon – Imagine
6. Chic – The Chic Organization ’77-’79
7. Miles Davis – Ascenseur Pour L’echafaud
8. Beatles – White Album
9. Guns n Roses – Appetite For Destruction
10. David Bowie – Loving The Alien (Would have been my nr 1 if the “Dance” album with the 12″es had been a double CD. Such a shame to leave those awesome remixes off this box set and probably lost on CD forever. A crime really, still upset about that).

Bubbling under: Johnny Hates jazz 3xcd, Howard Shore Complete Recordings of Lord Of The Rings

Wishes for 2019:
-Climie Fisher both albums “Everything” and “Coming In For The Kill”. No brainer for Cherry Pop
-China Crisis – “What Price Paradise”. The first 3 and the 5th album have been reissued but not the 4th.
-Chic – “The Chic Organization 1980-1983”
-Duran Duran – We need box sets of their albums with 5.1 and the Wedding Album needs to be reissued badly!!!
-Jean Michel Jarre Albums in 5.1. Ridiculous that hasn’t been done yet.
-Ramones – “End Of The Century”. That’s the one next in line.
-George Michael – “Older”
-Nik Kershaw – “Radio Musicola” & “The Works”. Shoe in for Cherry Pop
-a-Ha – “Minor Earth Major Sky”
-Tears For Fears – “Seeds Of Love” at some point in my lifetime!!
-The Beloved – “Happiness”
-Break Machine – “Break Dance Party”
-Bruce Springsteen – “Born In The USA”. USA is no fun now but that album rocks. He still hasn’t released “Protection” on CD (Donna Summer sang it on the “Donna Summer” album.
-Dan Hartman – “I Can Dream About You”
-Eurythmics – Box sets of their albums including 5.1
-Frankie Goes To Hollywood in 5.1
-Grace Jones – “Living My Life”
-Japan – All albums in 2xcd and 5.1
-Lenny Kravitz – “5”. The first 3 have been done and “Circus” sucks so lets move on to “5”
-Malcolm McLaren -“Waltz Darling”
-RAH Band – First 4 albums
-OMD – “Sugar Tax” 2xcd with all remixes
-Prince – “Sign Of The Times” Best album ever
-Rolling Stones – “Undercover” including the Arthur Baker remix of “Too Much Blood”. Never gonna happen but one can dream
-Roxy Music – “Stranded” should be next in line
-Scritti Politti – “Cupid & Psyche” and “Provision”
-Simple Minds – “Street Fighting Years”, not as good as New Gold Dream or the other previous ones but still good enough for a reissue like the previous albums
-The Smiths – “Strangeways Here We Come” My favorite Smiths album
-Space Monkey – “On The Beam” shoe in for Cherry Pop
-Spandau Ballet – “Heart Like A Sky”
-Terence Trent D’Arby – “The Hardline According To…”
-Thompson Twins – CD Singles box w ALL remixes
-Tina Turner – “Break Every Rule”

Michael Ettengruber

That would be my wish list too :)

Jeff G.

New albums:
Mike Viola – American Egypt
Elvis Costello – Look Now [ALBUM OF THE YEAR]
Field Music – Open Here
Hot Snakes – Jericho Sirens
Bob Pollard – Guided by Voices/Cash Rivers
Astral Drive – s/t
Bird Streets – s/t
David Crosby – Here If You Listen
Lemon Twigs – Go To School
Johann Johannsson – Mandy OST

Live/Archival/Reissue:
King Crimson – Meltdown in Mexico City
Beatles – White Album Super Deluxe Edition
Bob Dylan – More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series, vol. 14
Woody Shaw Quartet – Live in Bremen 1983
Gene Clark – Gene Clark Sings for You
Kinks – The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society 50th Anniversary Edition
Miles Davis & John Coltrane – The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, vol. 6
David Sylvian – Dead Bees on a Cake
Dave Davies – Decade
Doc Watson – Live at Club 47

Aaron

Talking of album covers… the picture you put together at the top of the page would make a good sleeve… not sure what the album would be called mind you!

Some of my Best 2019 albums
1. Macca – Egypt Station
2. Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel
3. Bowie – Glastonbury 2000
4. David Crosby – Here If You Listen
5. Fairport Convention – What We Did On Our Saturday’s
6. Good Bad & The Queen – Merrie Land
7. Gorillaz – The Now Now
8. Neil Young – Songs For Judy
9. Paul Simon – In The Blue Light
10. Steve Hackett – Wuthering Nights
11. Rick Wakeman – Piano Odyssey

The Golden Age Of Lists

Here`s my Top 10 albums of 2018,
WILLIE NILE – CHILDREN OF PARADISE
ISRAEL NASH – LIFTED
NEIL YOUNG – SONGS FOR JUDY
BIG BIG TRAIN – MERCHANTS OF LIGHT
WOODEN SHJIPS – V
SIMONE FELICE: THE PROJECTOR
SHEMEKIA COPELAND – AMERICA`S CHILD
CALEXICO – THE THREAD THAT KEEPS US
THE CORAL – MOVE THROUGH THE DAWN
RY COODER – THE PRODIGAL SON

SimonP

Forgot about Wooden Shjips, great album.

Eels was another I missed. A good return to form after the previous one which was a bit of a dullfest.

AlanB

Listened to lots of music in 2018
Lots of it sourced from Superdeluxe edition.com so thanks Paul it must be very rewarding listening to all this music and making a living?

Here’s my Choice for 2018 New and Reissues:
David Byrne – American Utopia
Springsteen on Broadway
Elvis Costell0 – Don’t Look Now
Bowie – Loving The Alien
Eno – Music for Installations
Roxy Music – Roxy Music
Joe Strummer 001
Cranberries – First Album

Looking forward to this year, possible For Your Pleasure Roxy Music? New Springsteen? Neil Young further archives?

Cheers

Alan

seikotsi

From 2018
1. Good love, bad love by Salad Undressed
2. Pop 2 by Charli XCX
3. Dear Annie by Rejie snow
Earlier ones often listened to in 2018
1. Let me fly by Mike and the Mechanics
2. Spirit by Depeche Mode
3. everything by The The (in preparation for the gig)

Jozek

Just thought I would share my favourite albums of 2018:

10 – Cabbage: Nihilistic Glamour Shots”
09 – David Bowie: “Welcome to the Blackout”
08 – Hugh Cornwell: “Monster”
07 – Brand New Friend: “Seatbelts For Aeroplanes”
06 – Johann Johannsson: “Mandy (Soundtrack)”
05 – Richard Reed Parry: “Quite River of Dust Vol 1”
04 – The Residents: “WB Album”
03 – The Orb: “No Sounds are Out of Bounds”
02 – Half Man Half Biscuit: “No-One Cares About Your Creative Hub, So Get you Fuckin’ Hedge Cut”
01 – Laibach: “The Sound of Music”

Also enjoyed getting the Beta Band remasters, one of my favourite bands.

All the best for 2019!

chris s

Favorites (from what I purchased this year)

Egypt Station, was only the third McCartney album that I’ve bought since London Town.
Very few new albums by folks under 50. The number of re-issues and deluxe editions would have taken a few pages to list, but the most listened to, are here.

1 White Album (50th Anniversary) – The Beatles
2 Paul McCartney – Egypt Station
3 Bettye Lavette – Things Have Changed
4 Ray Davies – Our Country: Americana Part II
5 Strawbs – Ferrymans Curse
6 Scarlett Johansson & Pete Yorn – Apart
7 Greta Van Fleet – From the Fires
8 Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas – Telephone
9 Greta Van Fleet – Anthem of the Peaceful Army
10 Paul Weller – True Meanings

Honorable Mention
Ace of Cups – Ace of Cups
Bob Seger – Heavy Music: The Complete Cameo Recordings 1966-1967
Bob Seger – I Knew You When
Charles Lloyd/Lucinda Williams – Vanished Gardens
David Bowie – Welcome to the Blackout
David Byrne – American Utopia
Dennis Coffey – One Night at Morleys 1968
Fanny – Fanny (Walked the Earth)
Fanny – Fanny (Walked the Earth)
Funkadelic – Reworked by Detroiters
Glen Hansard – Between Two Shores
Hans Zimmer – Live in Prague
Jack White – Boarding House Reach
Jeff Lynnes ELO – Wembley or Bust
LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
Margo Price – All American Made
Mavis Staples – If All I Was Was Black
Mott the Hoople – Mental Train: The Island Years 1969-1971
Richard Thompson – 13 Rivers
Sharron Jones & The Dap Kings – Soul of a Woman
Shemekia Copeland – America’s Child
The Who – Maximum As & Bs
Van Morrison – Versatile
Van Morrison – You’re Driving Me Crazy
Zappa/Mothers – The Roxy Performances

SimonP

ELO definitely came out in 2017 coz I bought it for my wife for Christmas. (don’t tell her it was because I wanted it!)

Daniel

Glad to see Suede’s The Blue Hour getting mentions. I found it their most anthemic and atmospheric record since Dog Man Star. That, and Chris by Christine and the Queens are the 2 albums I can’t stop listening to from beginning to end. Also, cudos to Low on a brilliant record and Tom Bailey on a triumphant return.

Peasey

My top 5 of 2018:

1. Dubstar – One
2. Orbital – Monsters Exist
3. Erasure – World Be Live
4. Tracey Thorn – Record
5. Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

Ollie Carlisle

A couple that haven’t already been mentioned:

Sink Ya Teeth – Sink Ya Teeth (would have been signed to Factory if this was the early eighties, like a Grace Jones fronted New Order).

Ray LaMontagne – Part Of The Light (what Pink Floyd might have sounded like if they’d recruited John Martyn instead of David Gilmour).

Tom

Happy New Year, everyone!
What a brilliant way to avoid doing any work for the past two days.
Here’s my two-penneth (although looking at the lists below, I spent significantly more than that in 2018…):

Top 20 Albums from 2018
1. Fröst | Matters
2. Suede | The Blue Hour
3. Tracyanne & Danny | Tracyanne & Danny
4. Gwenno | Le Kov
5. Cavern Of Anti-Matter |Hormone Lemonade
6. Tracey Thorn | Record
7. Maribou State | Kingdoms In Colour
8. Teleman | Family Of Aliens
9. Lump | Lump
10. Anne Dudley | Plays The Art Of Noise
11. Johnny Marr | Call The Comet
12. The Orb | No Sounds Are Out Of Bounds
13. First Aid Kit | Ruins
14. Dream Wife | Dream Wife
15. Let’s Eat Grandma | I’m All Ears
16. Amber Arcades | European Heartbreak
17. Kero Kero Bonito | Time ‘n’ Place
18. Echo Ladies | Pink Noise
19. Pinkshinyultrablast | Miserable Miracles
20. Dove | Belly

Top 10 Reissues
1. Kero Kero Bonito | Bonito Generation
2. This Mortal Coil | It’ll End In Tears, Filigree & Shadow, Blood
3. Aphex Twin | Selected Ambient Works 85-92
4. Primal Scream | Give Out But Don’t Give Up – Original Memphis Recordings
5. Stereolab |Switched On, Refried Electroplasm, Peng!, Aluminium Tunes
6. David Sylvian | Dead Bees On A Cake
7. Human League | Secrets
8. The Art Of Noise |In Visible Silence
9. Pixies | Come On Pilgrim…It’s Surfer Rosa
10. Japan | Tin Drum, Gentlemen Take Polaroids

Top 5 Compilations
1. Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs Present Paris In The Springtime
2. Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs Present State Of The Union
3. A Certain Ratio | acr:set
4. Lulu |Best Of 1967-75
5. Cocteau Twins | Treasure Hiding – The Fontana Years

Top 5 Books
1. Vaughan Oliver Archive (Unit Editions)
2. David Stubbs | Mars By 1980 – The Story Of Electronic Music
3. Brett Anderson | Coal Black Mornings
4. OMD | Pretending To See The Future
5. Anthony Reynolds | Cries & Whispers 1983-1991

Top 10 Gigs
1. Johnny Marr @ Islington Town Hall
2. Suede @ Hammersmith
3. The Rifles acoustic Christmas show @ Boogaloo
4. Heaven 17 & xPropaganda @ Shepherd’s Bush
5. Saint Etienne @ British Library
6. Pet Shop Boys @ Royal Opera House
7. Placebo @ Royal Festival Hall
8. Public Service Broadcasting @ Royal Albert Hall
9. A Certain Ratio @ The Garage
10. My Bloody Valentine @ Royal Festival Hall

Let’s hope 2019 brings a similar amount of musical riches for all of us.

Eamonn

Can’t believe no one mentioned MGMT, Little Dark Age. Some great pop songs and experimentation, a real return to form.

Paul Kent

Damn! I knew I’d miss one out!!

Shabba

Juliana Hatfield sings Olivia Newton-John which came out in April 18, turned out to be better than it had any right to be. I don’t why it caught my eye since I’m not into either artist, nevertheless I decided to give it a go. I particularly like the rework of Totally Hot which is considerably better than the original. The record hangs together very well, and it’s generally a lot of fun.

I’m not sure that physical wax made it to the UK, so I ended up ordering an Orange vinyl edition from the label in the USA which came with a bonus 7”.

mad earwig

A mixed year for me:
Some good, some indifferent, mostly playing back catalogue of guitars and late night instrumental music but I discovered Nada Surf. and Wolf Alice both enjoyable.

Still Being Played:

Steve Roach ‘Molecules Of Motion’,
Joe Satriani ‘What Happens Next’
Buckethead ‘Fourneau Cosmique’
Brian Eno ‘ Installations’
Dave Matthews Band ‘Come Tomorrow’
Bob Dylan ‘More Blood….’
Robert Rich ‘Flood Expeditions’
Neil Young ‘Paradox’
REM ‘At The BBC’

Reality didn’t meet expectation:
Steven Wilson ‘ Home Invasion’
Guided By Voices ‘Space Gun’

Might Not Play Again:
Julia Holter ‘Aviary’
New John Mellencamp covers album

Happy New Year to all.

Sven Maertens

Great list, and Suede is also my favorite. As you write, they are almost as strong now as in the very early phase, and the last three albums alone would allow them to fill a great setlist.

Some more great albums:

Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility base hotel and casino
Let’s eat grandma – I’m all ears
Savoy – See the beauty in your drab home town
Chvrches – Love is dead
Manics – Resistance is futile (albeit touches me less than most of their previous work)
Hinds – I don’t run
Tocotronic – Die Unendlichkeit
Goat girl – Goat girl

Randy Metro

Paul Weller sounds (a lot) like America’s Dewey Bunnell.

Mike Pendlebury

My top 5 albums of 2018 –

1 The Night Game – The Night Game
2 Paul McCartney – Egypt Station
3 Johnny Marr – Call The Comet
4 Tracey Thorn – Record
5 David Byrne – American Utopia

I only discovered The Night Game in October but I have not been able to stop playing their album (bit of a Police/Outfield/80’s vibe). A great listen from start to finish with a lot of well crafted songs. They are a really tight band live and put on an amazing show. Thoroughly recommended!

In the case of Paul McCartney’s “Egypt Station” – what a nice surprise! I don’t own many of his albums as I only really like the odd single but this got me excited! Was this what it was like in the 60’s when a new Beatles album came out?

Bevan James

The songs were very good on Suede’s last album but the music had no room to breathe. At least on the CD. I’m not sure if it was the production or the mastering or both? Hope this latest one is better.

Aubrey

Nice list Paul. Anna Calvi, Paul Weller and Suede are all hovering *just* outside my top 10. But JaPW? That completely passed me by. Must check it out. Not *entirely* convinced by the Sting and Shaggy album… but, given that “Daphne and Celeste Save The World” nearly made my list, I have no credibility to question others’ choices. Here are mine:

01. The Horizon Just Laughed – Damien Jurado
02. Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves
03. God’s Favorite Customer – Father John Misty
04. Dirty Computer – Janelle Monáe
05. Open Here – Field Music
06. Be The Cowboy – Mitski
07. Egypt Station – Paul McCartney
08. Room 25 – Noname
09. Merrie Land – The Good, The Bad and the Queen
=10. American Utopia – David Byrne
=10. I Sometimes Dream of Glue – Luke Haines

Aubrey

Happy New Year! Agree about Field Music – love that album. I know what you mean about Luke Haines. I persevered on a couple of long car trips and it eventually wormed its way into my affections. It reminds me a little of Matt Berry’s “Kill The Wolf” – both albums feel kind of like The Wicker Man: The Musical (now there’s an idea…)…
Enjoy investigating (and keep up the great work on SDE – it’s such a pleasure to read)!

Neil Kelly

Daphne and Celeste? Wasn’t sure if you were joking there so checked. Yes an album in 2018 wow. And 5/5 (100%) 5 star reviews on Amazon. Who knew?

Aubrey

I know! And it really is pretty good!

Glenn

Favorite 2018 albums:
Tom Bailey – Science Fiction
David Byrne – American Utopia
Elvis Costello – Look Now
Bryan Ferry – Bitter-Sweet
James – Living in Extraordinary Times
Mighty Mighty Bosstones – While We Are At It
Nine Inch Nails – Bad Witch
Paul Simon – In the Blue Light
Sting/Shaggy – 44/876
They Might Be Giants – I Like Fun
Tracey Thorn – Record

Some compilations I enjoyed:
The Very Best of the Colourfield
Billy Idol – Vital Idol Revitalized
Joe Strummer 001
Yazoo – Three Pieces (was great this came out on CD vs just vinyl)

Look forward to the best 2018 reissues and expected 2019 reissues posts.