Kiss’s Gene Simmons said that rock n roll is dead, and he couldn’t have been more wrong. Looking back, I came to the realization that rock n roll music got a much needed dose of adrenalin in 2014. For better or for worse we got some great music this year, albeit, the way they were released is still up to debate. So here goes my list of the most controversial and enjoyable releases of 2014.
Billy Idol-‘Kings & Queens of the Underground'
After nine years Billy Idol releases his autobiographical/confessional album Kings & Queens of the Underground. In my opinion the production was a little too crisp and clean in dealing with Idol’s turbulent past. This being said, however his latest release does contain some great sing-a-long , fist pumping rockers that fans come to expect.
John Mellencamp-‘Plain Spoken’
Mellencamp has discovered his inner folk singer on his debut album for Republic Records. Long gone are the stadium rockers like Hurts So Good and Paper In Fire, but the album more than makes up for it, with its heartfelt sincerity.
The Empty Hearts- ‘ The Empty Hearts’
What do you get when four rock stars make an album that is a fun filled tribute to their heroes of the British Invasion, you get the Empty Hearts. Their debut album is a short and sweet, toe- tapping tribute to a by gone era of rock n’ roll. If this album doesn’t leave you with a smile on your face, then there is something wrong with you.
John Hiatt- ‘Terms of My Surrender’
This completely underrated artist releases a stripped down blues record. Another well written and well-played record from Hiatt.
Bob Seger-‘Ride Out’
After eight long years, Detroit’s own, Bob Seger, releases ‘Ride Out’. It’s an eclectic set of songs showcasing Seger’s reflective side. May not be his rockiest, but this latest release maybe one of Seger’s more personal records of his career.
Stevie Nicks-‘ 24 karat Gold: Songs From The Vault’
Who would thought that polishing up leftover tracks could lead to one of Stevie Nick’s most enjoyable releases in ages.
Robert Plant- ‘Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar’
Never one to rest on his laurels, Plant is still searching for new musical avenues on ‘Lullaby’, making it one of the more exciting releases of 2014.
Pink Floyd- ‘The Endless River’
It took twenty years for us to get a new; possibly last release, of one of the greatest bands of all time. ‘The Endless River’ from Pink Floyd without Roger Waters makes its way into our stereos.
California Breed- ‘ California Breed’
Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham release a 70’s sounding rock record that music lovers have been waiting for…rock on!!!
Lenny Kravitz-‘ Strut’
Lenny lets out his inner freak on this album, making for a fun listen. He doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but he sure knows how to make old school rock, sound relevant and fun with Strut.
Slash- ‘World On Fire’
Making sure you get your money’s worth, World On Fire clocks in at 77 minutes. The whole band sounds great and Slash’s’ guitar playing is top notch, the more you hear ‘World On Fire’, the more you love it.
Foo Fighters-‘ Sonic Highways’
To celebrate their 20th year together the Foo Fighters’ undertake an ambitious project in order to make their latest record. The album sounds for the most part like a Foo Fighters record, but kudos to Dave Grohl’s passion and enthusiasm in the way he chose to undertake the recording of the album and learn about the American musical history in of itself.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers- ‘Hypnotic Eye’
Just a great rock album from start to finish. The album sounds loose, but the band is as tight as ever. The album is a heartfelt journey depicting Petty’s disillusionment with the social system in general.
Bruce Springsteen-‘ High Hopes’
The Boss releases an album of leftover and reworked tracks with Tom Morello on guitar from Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave. Who thought Bruce Springsteen could be so unpredictable…it makes ‘High Hopes’ an exciting listen.
Prince-‘ Art Official Age’ & ‘Plectrumelectrum’
Prince returns home to Warner Bros. Records and releases not one but two albums, on the same day! Boys and girls, the master of pop has returned and class is now in session.
AC/DC-‘Rock Or Bust’
What does a band do when one of its founding members is diagnosed with dementia and the other is charged with hiring a hit man and drug possession? Well, if you’re AC/DC you release your best album in two decades…rock on!!!
U2-‘ Songs of Innocence’
There was no bigger surprise or controversy than the release of U2’s ‘Songs of Innocence’. The album is one of U2’s best in a long time, it rocks and has lot of heart. You may not like the way it was released, but one thing for sure, you will never forget it.