Let’s be honest – 2016 was a bona fide annus horribilis, but there were still some pretty kickass records released in the year that shall be forever forgotten. We had the RPM contributors compile a list of their favorite albums of the year.
December 8th has been cemented forever in the history of popular culture as a BAD DAY. On that date in 1980, John Lennon was senselessly murdered by some loser whose name I don’t remember. Twenty-four years later – to the day – another nameless loser climbed onstage at the Alrosa nightclub in Columbus, Ohio and shot Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott to death. What the hell is wrong with people?
It’s that time of year again, kids! Gather round while we celebrate the commercial achievements of the usual suspects (many of whom are genuinely talented) and give token nominations to “arty” projects in order to preserve a veneer of credibility. It’s the 2016 Grammy® Awards!
New York City has its fair share of landmarks – the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Yankee Stadium, the Brooklyn Bridge… it’s overwhelming at times. But the streets of New York have also been the backdrop for some of the most memorable and iconic album covers of all time. RPM’s Earl Douglas – a native New Yorker – took a walk through the city to find these legendary spots. Fortunately for us, he brought his camera along.
Recorded on November 27, 1987, Cowboy Junkies’ groundbreaking sophomore album The Trinity Session has lost none of its mystery or beauty in the three decades that have passed since the band dropped around $250 on a day of recording at a downtown Toronto church.
In addition to wacky cat videos, pictures of food and annoying political posts, the internet is chock-full of amazing isolated tracks from some truly iconic music. The wealth of isolated Led Zeppelin material online is fairly staggering – especially since so much of it is focused on the genius of John Henry Bonham.
You found the vibrations that made a generation of women too smart for their own good want to raise their boys to be gentle souls. Like so many wayward fathers, when we found you years later on our own, you told us the dark truth hidden in the folds of those verses.
Adjusting to the California desert is a process for a swamp-dweller such as myself. It’s a bit like transforming into a vampire. You expel all life-giving moisture and replace it with the primordial dust from Gram Parsons’s funeral pyre that has blown over from Joshua Tree. So many Desert Trip (‘Oldchella’, if you prefer) attendees were sporting bandannas over their faces to combat the dust, it appeared that most of the festival was preparing to rob a stagecoach.
If you followed online reports from Desert Trip, you’ve almost certainly seen a million cell phone photos of the gigantic harvest moon rising over the mountains behind the stage during the second weekend. This was one of those singular moments that was so freakin’ perfect that it seemed surreal.
And it couldn’t have happened at a better time.
By day three, the Desert Trip crowd were seasoned veterans. Those who overindulged early on in the festival were now pacing themselves a bit better – or switching from alcohol to other inebriants in anticipation of the lysergic immersion of Roger Waters. But first up – The Who.