Since starting the blog (and this year-ending post series) in 2006, I have always chosen one favourite album of the year, then listed the rest in no particular order. In all of those years, it’s never an easy task – I love all the records! This makes sense, because I tend to only buy things I know I will like…
This year is no different, except that I haven’t played most of these 2017 albums enough to even review them yet! Some of this is because they need more spins, some is that I was simply listened and didn’t write them up as I went, and some I just plain forgot I should be writing…
As you’ll see below, only a few current releases on my list have been reviewed in these pages to date, as marked by a ^. Still, I have played all of these records in the list, but not written a lot of them up, so maybe perspective is a wee bit lost in it all, this year. Also, the majority of my buying this year has been of older releases, mostly used CDs, a few re-issue LPs of old jazz stuff…
No matter. I strive to provide, here at the KMA, and I cannot break tradition now. So let’s give ‘er!
AARON’S BEST OF 2017:
Once again it was a tough (very tough) choice. So much good music, even with the (relatively) few I actually got to hear. Some are sad because the artists have passed in the last year or two (Gord Downie, David Bowie, Chris Cornell on the Singles OMPS), some are awesome because they involve my hero Robert Pollard (GBV, Circus Devils), one was not really in my wheelhouse (Kendrick Lamar), and many of them rock really hard… and all were truly excellent releases. Of course I’m going to say that – I wouldn’t have gotten them if I didn’t want to hear them! And so I wanted to make them all my Best Of 2017… But a winner I must pick, and so congratulations for Aaron’s Best Of 2017 goes to:
Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter (deluxe edition)^
Not only is this a stellar live set, it is also a time capsule for all of us who were fortunate to have seen the band in concert on this epic tour. This is a band so far into the game, and still playing on all cylinders and totally owning it night after night. It’s also another cool deluxe packaging triumph (like the Book Of Souls was), thus proving this band pretty much can do no wrong at this point.
A nice companion award to go with their 2015 win for Book Of Souls! Congratulations, Iron Maiden!
THE REST (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER) (20):
Gordon Downie – Introduce Yerself
Jack Johnson – All The Light Above It Too
Jake Bugg – Hearts That Strain
Greg Graffin – Millport
Geoff Berner – Canadiana Grotesquica
Mastodon – Emperor Of Sand^
Mastodon – Cold Dark Place^
Deep Purple – Infinite^ (and Time For Bedlam, All I Got Is You)
Guided By Voices – How Do You Spell Heaven
Guided By Voices – August By Cake
Circus Devils – Laughs Last
Circus Devils – Laughs Best (The Kids Eat It Up)
Dead Cross – Dead Cross^
Singles OMPS 25th Anniversary (2CD)
Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
John Mayer – The Search For Everything
David Bowie – No Plan^
Solstafir – Berdreyminn
PLUS – LATE ADDITIONS I HAVEN’T FINISHED YET (3):
Max Webster – The Party 1976-82 (8CD boxed set)
Black Sabbath – The End: Live In Brimingham (2CD)
Motörhead – Under Cöver
AWESOME 2017 INDEPENDENT RELEASES (3):
Manipulant – Eclectro^
Amherst Drive – Amherst Drive^
Cruel Bloom – Relapsing
FREE ALBUM DOWNLOAD (1):
Public Enemy – Nothing Is Quick In The Desert
PREVIOUS YEARS’ WINNERS:
2016 Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker / Metallica – Hardwired… To Self-Destruct (tie)
2015 Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls
2014 Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems / Sloan – Commonwealth (tie)
2013 Black Sabbath – 13
2012 Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
2011 Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton – Play The Blues: Live From Jazz At The Lincoln Center
2010 Jack Johnson – To The Sea
2009 Leonard Cohen – Live In London
2008 Metallica – Death Magnetic
2007 Carolyn Mark – Nothing Is Free / Immaculate Machine – Fables (tie)
2006 Sloan – Never Hear The End Of It
STILL TO GET:
And finally, in this space I usually list all the albums I wish I had/could have/still want to buy every year. However, this year there are simply too many. I’ve seen some year-end lists on other excellent blogs in the community and I haven’t heard a single album in their entire lists! Scrolling through a full list of 2017’s releases, I saw even more I wanted to hear… So, instead, I will be happy with what I have and keep my eyes peeled for anything cool and recent as I go along… Suffice it to say, given unlimited funds, I would buy ALL the records!
2017 had its up and downs, but so it goes. With the hiatus as summer wound down, I missed out on some time, but that was definitely necessary time away for several reasons. Looking back, it’s hard to believe we’ve in our 11th year of this blog, but here we are, still kicking and screaming and blathering, and we have all of you to thank for it. Without you, we’d just be yammering away into the ether, unheard. Absolute thanks from James and myself to all of you, for Reading and Commenting, for sharing great tunes and ideas and opinions, and for being the greatest community in the world.
Happy New Year to you all. See you in 2018!