Monday, December 29, 2014

Albums of the Year 2014 - including three cloudcasts...

I purchased just over 400 CDs in 2014...

I downloaded almost 300 albums in 2014...

I even bought a couple of old LPs in 2014...

Anyway, this year, to keep things simple, I thought I'd just pick one disc in each of a set of categories (twenty in total) split between rock & pop, classical and jazz - which balances things out nicely, since, as regards CDs, I bought around 170 rock & pop discs (i.e. anything that isn't classical or jazz), around 170 classical, with the balance being jazz titles...

Classical
Renaissance :   John Dowland - Lacrimae, Or Seaven Teares
Baroque :   Henry Butler - The Division Violist
Classical :   Franz Xavier Richter - Quatuors Opus 5
Romantic :   Alexander Borodin - String Quartets 1 & 2
20th Century :   Max Richter - Recomposed Vivaldi The Four Seasons
Single Artist :   Kronos Quartet - Winter Was Hard
Collection :   Various Composers - Music from the Golden Age of Rembrandt

Jazz
1950's/1960s :   Sam Rivers - Dimensions & Extensions
1970-2008 :   Herbie Hancock - Thrust
2009-2013 :   Matthew Bourne - Montauk Variations
2014 :   The Bad Plus - Inevitable Western
Compilation :   Bill Frisell - Works
Live :   Cannonball Adderley - Quintet Live at the Lighthouse

Rock & Pop
1950's - 1970's :   Yes - Relayer (Remixed & Remastered)
1980's - 2000's :   Thomas Koner - Zyklop
2009-2013 :   John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts
2014 :   Bidiniband - The Motherland
Compilation :   Klaus Schulze - La Vie Electronique 3
Live :   Alice Cooper - Raise the Dead : Live from Wacken
Collection :   Various - Virgin Front Line Presents Dub 1975-1980

Here are a couple of cloudcasts, each with ten tracks.  Over the course of the two programmes, I've featured a track from each of the above, in chronological order of purchase...





Best Albums of 2014

I didn't buy many albums released in 2014, here's my top ten...

The Bad Plus - Inevitable Western


Bidiniband - The Motherland
Yes - Heaven & Earth
Craig Armstrong - It's Nearly Tomorrow
The Bad Plus - The Rite of Spring
Morrissey - World Peace is None of Your Business
Suzanne Vega - Tales from the realm of the Queen of Pentacles
Ochre Room - Box Bar and Diamond
Taketi Uloomu - The Fifth Season
Skadedyr - Kongekrabbe

...and here's a cheeky wee cloudcast with one track from each...



...honourable mentions to the only other 2014 discs I bought...

Ars Moriendi - La singuliere noirceur d'un astre
Francois & the Atlas Mountains - Piano Ombre
Armand Margjeka - Hummingbird
Roy Moller - One Domino
Nebelung - Palingenesis
Silo - Work
Ymir's Blood - Voluspa
BadBadNotGood/Ghostface Killah - Six Degrees (Single)

Of course then I started thinking about the downloads and it all started to get a wee bit out of hand...

Here's some lists of those 2014 released downloads that impressed - in no particular order...

Eight mainstream artists of whom most people will surely have heard...
Bryan Ferry - Avonmore
Cheryl - Only Human
Pink Floyd - The Endless River
Bryan Adams - Tracks of my Tears
Erasure - The Violet Flame
Motorhead - Aftershock
Lana Del Ray - Ultraviolence
Uriah Heep - Outsider

Thirteen slightly less well known artists...
Peter Hammill - All That Might Have Been
Ginger Baker - Why
Asia - Gravitas
OK Go - Hungry Ghosts
Bill Frisell - Guitar in the Space Age!
Ace Frehley - Space Invader
Opeth - Pale Communion
Caribou - Our Love
FKA Twigs - Love is my Drug
Phish - Fuego
Mogwai - Ravetapes
Brian Eno & Karl Hyde - Someday World
Brian Eno & Karl Hyde - High Life

Eleven artists of whom people may have heard...
Haken - Restoration
Max Richter - Retrospective
Flying Colors - Second Nature
Marco Minnemann - Eeps
The Pineapple Thief - Magnolia
Neal Morse - Songs From November
Tim Bowness - Abandoned Dancehall Dreams
Enchant - The Great Divide
IQ - The Road of Bones
Big Elf - Into the Maelstrom
Transatlantic - Kaleidoscope

Nine artists by whom I already had work but who are not that widely known...
Thomas K├Âner - Tiento de las Nieves
Justin Rutledge - Daredevil
Farin Urlaub Racing Team - Faszination Weltram
Dieter Meier - Out Of Chaos
Boris Blank - Electrified (Box Set)
Neal Smith - Killsmith And The Greenfire Empire
Matthew Shipp Trio - Root of things
The Samuel Jackson Five - Seasons in the Hum
Sleepmakeswaves - Love of Cartography

Nineteen artists of whom I had not heard prior to this year...
Hammock - The Sleepover Series Volume 2
Camera - I Remember I was Carbon Dioxide
Max Jury - Christian Eyes (EP)
Valery Gore - Idols in the Dark Heart
Snow Shards - Blind
This Will Destroy You - Another Language
Priscilla Ahn - Just Know That I Love You
Stanton Moore - Conversations
Glasperlenspiel - Grenzenlos in Diesem Moment
Trioscapes - Digital Dream Seqence
Bend Sinister - Animals
Substaat - Macht
And One - Magnet
Plymouth - Plymouth
Ut Gret - Ancestor's Tale
Badbadnotgood - III
Searchlights - Searchlights
Alpha Male Tea Party - Droids
Krokofant - Krokofant

And then I couldn't let the downloads outweigh the actual CDs purchased and so, since over 40% of my physical purchases this year were classical discs and there's little mention of the genre in the lists above, here are forty single composer discs which were enjoyed, listed by composer birth date...

Classical
1660 -1739
Johannes Schenck - Le Nymph di Rheno Vol 1
Johannes Schenck - Le Nymph di Rheno Vol 2
Jakob Klein - 6 Sonaten fur Violincello und Basso Continuo Op 4
Johann Melchior Molter - Orchestral Works Vol 1
Farinelli - Farinelli The Composer
Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach - C P E Bach Edition
Joseph Haydn - String Trios
Johann Christian Bach - Symphonies
Josef Myslivecek - Six Sonatas for Two Cellos and Bass
Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf - Sinfonias Dm, F, Gm

1739-1874
Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf - Sinfonias Am, D, A
Ludwig van Beethoven - String Quartet No 12 Op 127 (Lindsays)
Ludwig van Beethoven - Wilhelm Backhaus Recital : Piano Sonatas 6, 21, 25 and 32
Franz Schubert - Complete Piano Sonatas
Johannes Brahms - String Sextets
Robert Fuchs - Complete String Quartets Vol 1
Erik Satie - Cubist Works 1913-1924
Alexander Zemlinsky - String Quartets 1 & 2
Alexander Scriabin - Piano Sonatas Nos 1, 4, 5, 7, 9
Charles Ives - The String Quartets

1895-1936
Paul Hindemith - Piano Pieces
Edmund Rubbra - The Four String Quartets
Karl Amadeus Hartmann - Sting Quartets 1 & 2
Giacinto Scelsi - Natura Renovatur
Michael Tippett - Piano Sonatas 1-3
Dimitri Shostakovich - The Two Piano Sonatas and Other Works
George Rochberg - Symphony No 5
Gunnar Berg - Eclatements
Morton Feldman - Music for Cello
Friedhelm Dohl - Music fur Klavier

1936-1974
Aribert Reimann - Complete Piano Works
Gunnar Moller  Pedersen - A Sound Year
Siegfried Thiele - Ubungen in Verwandeln
Karl Aage Rasmussen - The Ballad of game and dream
Harald Weiss - The Rest is Silence
Wim Mertens - Integer Valor Integrale
James MacMillan - Last Words from the Cross
John Metcalfe - Scorching Bay
Sven Helbig - Pocket Symphonies
Jefferson Friedman - Quartets

Oh ok then, absolutely finally, here're thirty jazz discs too...

Jazz
1957-1966
Clifford Jordan - Blowing in from Chicago
Cannonball Adderley - Something Else
Tina Brooks - Minor Move
Sonny Clark - Cool Struttin'
Lee Morgan - Expoobident
Leo Parker - Rollin' With Leo
Joe Henderson - Our Thing
Andrew Hill - Point of Departure
Stanley Turrentine - Hustlin'
Gabor Szabo - Jazz Raga

1967-2009
Jackie McLean - New and Old Gospel
Weather Report - Sweetnighter
John Surman - Adventure Playground
Esbjorn Svensson Trio - When Everyone Has Gone
John Scofield - A Go Go
John Abercrombie - Class Trip
Polar Bear - Held on the Tips of Fingers
Stefan Pasborg - Triplepoint
David Torn - Prezens
Tim Friese-Greene - 10 Sketches for Piano Trio

2009-2013
Piano Circus feat Bill Bruford - Skin and Wire
Carsten Dahl - Effata
Sebastiano Meloni/Adriano Orru/Tony Oxley - Improvised Pieces for Trio
Machine Mass Trio - As Real As Thinking
Neneh Cherry & The Thing - The Cherry thing Remixes
Carsten Dahl - Papillon
Carsten Dahl - Dreamchild
Bruno Heinen Sextet - Stockhausen Tierkreis
Dave King Trucking Company - Adopted Highway
Splashgirl - Field Day Rituals

I started by offering you twenty albums to sum up 2014 and I've ended up listing a total of 166...

No, wait, what the hell, here're another sixty "rock and pop" CDs which I also enjoyed...

Hey, everyone likes a list...

Rock & Pop
1965-1979
Paul Simon - Paul Simon Songbook
The Velvet Underground - White Light White Heat (Deluxe Edition)
The Doors - Morrison Hotel
Scott Walker - Scott 3
Isaac Hayes - To Be Continued
Wishbone Ash - Pilgrimage
Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick (Remaster)
The Upsetters - Super Ape
The Upsetters - The Return of Super Ape
Ry Cooder - Bop Til You Drop

1982-2001
The Revillos - Attack of the Giant Revillos
The The - Soul Mining
David Sylvian - Gone to Earth (2CD Remaster)
William S Burroughs - Dead City Radio
Cluster - Apropos Cluster
The Divine Comedy - A Short Album About Love
Moebius Neumeier Engler - Other Places
Francoise Hardy - Clair Obscur
Jean-Michel Jarre - Metamorphoses
Ulrich Schnauss - Far Away Trains Passing By

2002-2010
Keith Emerson - Emerson Plays Emerson
Justin Rutledge - No Never Alone
To Rococo Rot - Hotel Morgen
Justin Rutledge - The Devil on a Bench in Stanley park
Ich + Ich - Vom selben Stern
Rodrigo Leao - A Mae
Arcade Fire -  The Suburbs
Trey Gunn & Marco Minnemann - Modulator
Isa and the Filthy Tongues - Dark Passenger
Zola Jesus - Stridulum II

2010-2012
Jonsi - Go
Ben Frost & Daniel Bjarnason - Solaris
Pyrolator - Neuland
Mark Wingfield / Kevin Kastning - I Walked Into The Silver Darkness
Steve Adey - The Tower of Silence
Band of Horses - Mirage Rock
John Cale - Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood
Paul Corley -  Disquiet
Cuff the Duke - Union
DJ Hell - Teufelswerk House Remixes Pt 2

2012
Ellie Goulding - Halcyon
Ladyhawke -  Anxiety
Malojian - The Deer'sCry
Pet Shop Boys - Elysium (2CD Box)
The Presets -  Pacifica
The Samuel Jackson Five - The Samuel Jackson Five
Sandra -  Stay in Touch
Valgeir Sigurdsson - Architecture of Loss
Trapist - The Golden Years
Wintersleep -  Hello Hum

2013
2Raumwohnung -  Achtung Fertig
Cut Copy - Free Your Mind
Dido - Girl Who Got Away
Dyse - Das Nation
Sophie Hunger - The Danger of Light
Christian Kjellvander - The Pitcher
Paul McCartney -  New
The Pack A.D. - Do Not Engage
Piano Interrupted - The Unified Field
The Stooges -  Ready to Die

Ok that'll do...

Except, here are a couple of box sets not included anywhere above...

Box Sets
King Crimson - Starless
Various Composers - Vivarte 60CD Box
Alfred Brendel - The Alfred Brendel Collection
Walter Herwig - Music for Lute
Gabriel Faure - Chamber Music

And, absolutely definitely finally, a couple of live albums...
Live
Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - Birmingham
Paul McCartney & Wings - Wings Over America
Elvis Presley - On Stage
The Velvet Underground - Live in Columbus 1966
UK - Reunion Live in Tokyo

OK so just 236 albums of the year 2014...

This is how I waste my time...

Happy New Year!!

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