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2016 – Hardwired

July 4th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music · No Comments · Music

It continues to pleasantly surprise me how as we get further from the golden age of the 70’s and I continue to get more decrepit, there seems to be more new music I like rather than less. Admittedly, little of what is in the singles charts does much for me, but long-established artists continued to push out decent music to keep me going.

On the heritage side of things, Elton John’s album Wonderful Crazy Night was a joyous thing, continuing his streak of great albums – and good to see the old gang back together, Graham Nash’s This Path Tonight made me think I might have been missing out by not listening to any of his earlier records, the Rolling Stones released an album I actively enjoyed by going back to their roots on Blue & Lonesome, but the year started with Bowie’s Blackstar, closely followed by his surprise death, which cast a bit of a shadow over the rest of the year.

Actually death was a bit of a theme and obsession in 2016. There were so many celebrity deaths that the papers were writing articles about it. Just amongst musicians there was Bowie, George Michael, Prince, Keith Emerson, Leonard Cohen, Greg Lake, George Martin, Rick Parfitt, Leon Russell, Maurice White, and Glen Frey amogst others. We had only just got over the idea of Lemmy dying right at the end of 2015 – hands up who thought he was indestructible!

Talking of death, Megadeth churned out another album, sounding suspiciously similar to the last half dozen. Meanwhile Madness released Can’t Touch Us Now, which was nearly as good as the Liberty Folgate album and Jean-Michel released Oxygene 3, which literally continued where Oxygene 2 left off, the first track being “Oxygene pt 14”.

Amongst all the oldies releasing new albums, the one that stood out for me was probably Joachim Witt’s Thron, full of bombast and very, very German. I reckon it is the best thing he has done since the 1980’s.

I’ll admit that not too much that was from newer artists got through to me in this year, apart from Swet Shop Boys and Michael Kiwanuka. I probably should like bands like The 1975, Bastille and Clean Bandit but though I don’t dislike them I can’t really get into them. It may be that the problem is not a shortage of new artists but just a lack of me getting to hear them.

Its a scary thought, but Metallica surely count as a heritage act now; they have been going more than 30 years! Even the ‘new boy’, Robert Trujillo, has been in the band for about 15 years. In 2015 they released Hardwired… To Self-Destruct and it was worth the 8-year wait. Not only that but it was a double album – or triple if you went for the deluxe one that had an extra disc full of covers and live tracks.

I could hardly let my playlist not have a Metallica track on it, so for 2016 I included the (nearly) title track from the album, Hardwired.

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