A quick and light review of the past decade’s contribution to Rock and Roll
So that’s it over then, another decade consigned to the record books and not a bad one from a musical perspective. In ten whole years that have seen the ascendancy of celebrity status, famous for five minute pop songs and the untimely deaths of some of music’s great contributors, this article seeks to offer a pick from each of the past ten years jewels in rock music. All your favourites are in there and a few unexpected gems that are well worth a listen.
The decade kicked off with two old time favourites offering up brand new material for our listening pleasure. AC/DC released Stiff Upper Lip, an album aimed more at established fans than those who were merely casual listeners. This does not detract from the good material found across the album’s twelve tracks and definitely worth a listen. Metal legends Iron Maiden also treated listeners to Brave New World, an album more noted for the return of lead singer and overall good egg Bruce “I rescue people in my plane” Dickinson than credible numbers to a Maiden set list.
In 2001 the world was shocked by the tragedy of the terrorist attacks in New York, nothing would ever truly be the same ever again. These events somewhat overshadowed most of the year’s contributions to music across the spectrum of variety. Aerosmith’s early March effort Just Push Play and Judas Priest’s Demolition provide ample listening for a year where things took on a little wider perspective.
The year of 2002 was sparsely populated by music from the classic rock and roll genre, possibly from the fall out of the previous year’s atrocities. Aging rockers UFO provided some light in the form of Sharks, a nice little album that more than deserves a listen. The year would also mark the demise of The Who’s bassist John Entwistle, the rock world mourned and Waylon Jennings, both very sorely missed by fans and music lovers alike.
2003 provided another opportunity for Iron Maiden to dust off their studded cod pieces and tour once more on the back of their album Dance of Death a typically over caricatured album that is now seemingly expected from the aging group, the eponymous track however is worth a listen. Classic British rockers Thunder also provided fans and new listeners alike with their album Shooting at the Sun which is remarkably refreshing from a band who enjoyed most of their success in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Thunder are an interestingly perplexing band, the song “Loser” from this album is a classic example of their roots being solidly in classic and hard rock with just the slightest pinch of metal thrown in for good measure. Anybody who enjoys this style of music should definitely give these Londoners more than a quick check out, you will not be disappointed. It should also be noted that this was the year of Snow Patrol releasing Final Straw that went multi platinum and arguably the age of new pop “rock” was born.
2004 was a huge year for music in general terms. The Killers jumped on the band wagon of the popularised yet not too heavy harder popular rock with their album Hot Fuss and the singles “Mr Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me” filling nightclub dance floors the world over. On the classic rock front Aerosmith offered Honking’ on Bobo an eleven track album form the American outfit that perfectly tides listeners over for their fill of sweaty, sleazy rock and roll harmonics, the (Formerly) Toxic Twins on form.
Judas Priest, those leather clad, motorcycle riding fiends from Birmingham, offered Angel of Retribution in 2005, an album notable for featuring the bands longest song to date “Lochness.” A descent enough hard offering from the band who continue to sell out tours the world over, masters of knowing their market and aiming directly at them with a gauntleted fist.
The year of 2006 was again a sparsely populated scene for rock music. This, however, never keeps a good rocker down for very long. Musical pleasures of this year included the return of the ever enjoyable Richard Ashcroft with Keys to the World and also heralded the popular arrival of the Arctic Monkeys with Whatever people say I am, That’s what I’m not, a classic case of a band seeing an overcrowded market and screaming at the top of their forced hoarse voices “Me Too!”
With the unpleasantness of the better part of seven years of distinctly average if not sub par classic rock being forced down fans throats it was a pleasure in 2007 to hear from Australia’s latest contribution to a scene they are famous for loving. Airbourne’s debut album Runnin Wild was just the medicine for all the placid outputs from previously thought immortals of the genre with its hard edges, bluesy riffs and more than one cheeky nod to godfathers AC/DC with their lurid love of all things nasty. 2007 Also contributed the first full album from The Eagles with Long Road out of Eden, an imaginative and brilliantly complex double disc set that keeps the aging country group at the top of many download play lists. Who could forget the reunion show of Led Zeppelin, also taking place the later days of this year.
By 2008, appetites had been more than wetted for the highly anticipated Black Ice from AC/DC. Offering a much more classic feel and return to the bands roots and heyday of the late 70s and 80s, the album sees the Young brothers on usual form with more than brilliant percussion from Cliff Williams on Bass and Phil Rudd returning on Drums. Brian Johnson is at his gargling best, the eight year lay off from touring and heavy singing showing benefit in his screeching voice across the whole track list.
Which brings us nicely to 2009, the year that was and, at the time of this writing, currently is. The return of the mighty KISS with Sonic Boom merely reiterated the fact that classic rock is here to stay. With the upcoming decade on the horizon and the sweet scent of beer soaked clothing and buzzing in your ears from the static, the future decade promises a whole lot more of rock music and beyond. Have a happy New Year Everyone
Do check out itunes or amazon for any of the albums/artists/tracks listed in this article.: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/0.-21?node=136,