BEST OF 2013
BEST ALBUMS 2013
These are 2013 releases, though my listening has been dominated by earlier releases from Fay Hield and Jon Boden and Bellowhead, and Peter Bellamy. Two different male / female duo efforts on The Everly Brothers back catalogue.
All of theatre, film, and concerts are reviewed … see right hand sidebar.
1) The Full English: The Full English
2) The Beautiful Old
LINK to review here A fascinating project carried off with assured and stylish arrangements, and stellar guest artists.
3) Won’t Be Long Now: Linda Thompson
I love all Linda Thompson’s solo albums. See Toppermost on Linda Thomson. I chose three tracks from this album for her ten best.
4) Live At The Great American Music Hall: Ry Cooder & Corridos Famosos
Ry live with a great and large band. Mainly revived covers, but all done with vibrancy. A lot of fun. Link to Toppermost on Ry Cooder.
5) Old Sock: Eric Clapton
I’m not always a Clapton fan, and frankly find some of his duos dull, but this is an album which has the air of 461 Ocean Boulevard for me. Angel is a superb song.
6) Big Inner: Matthew E. White
The Big Inner might have placed higher musically, but drops a few places for lyrics on the religious stuff!
7 =) Foreverly: Billie Joe (Armstrong) & Norah (Jones)
A late entry, so partly guesswork on a few plays through, but the concept of redoing Songs Our Daddy Taught Us is so good.
7 =) What The Brothers Sang: Dawn McCarthy & Bonnie Prince Billy
This is as good as the one above, going for lesser known tracks from a longer period.
8) Time: Rod Stewart
A surprise to me. People told me it was up to the standard of his early 70s best and I didn’t believe them. Then someone said, ‘Trust me. Just buy it.’ They were right. It would be churlish to call it a ‘return to form’ because so many like his Songbook stuff. Let’s just say ‘A return to the Rod I remember and like best.’ His autobiography was good in-car listening this year too.
10) There are a whole slew of albums that I like but don’t think worthy of a Top Ten, maybe because I haven’t listened enough. Among them:
Electric – Richard Thompson
New – Paul McCartney
Crimson / Red – Prefab Sprout
Three Chords Good- Graham Parker & The Rumour
The Benevolence of Sister Ignatius – The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra
Once – US stage soundtrack (but I really want the UK one)
1 =) Live At The Academy: The Band
1 =) Another Self Portrait: Bob Dylan (full edition)
First equals. The two best archive releases of this year (and possibly any other year). Both require the full box, not the 2 CD edit. The full box of Another Self Portrait gives us the Dylan / Band Isle of Wight concert from 1969. I was always a defender of the original Self Portrait but the outtakes are even better.
The Live At The Academy gives us a straight soundboard mix of the last night of the Rock of Ages series of concerts, and is The Band live at their absolute peak.
3 Moondance DeLuxe edition Van Morrison
I bought the 2 CD version, then bought the full 4 CD / blu ray version. It says it’s Van’s best album on the cover. I think they’re right.
4 Made in America: The Beach Boys
5 On Air- Live At The BBC Volume 2: The Beatles
1) Linden Lea: The Full English
2) Portrait of My Wife: The Full English
3) Salford Sunday: Richard Thompson
4) If I Were A Bluebird: Linda Thompson
5) Dust to Dust: The Civil Wars
6) Billy: Prefab Sprout
7) Live The Life: Rod Stewart
8) Lifetime: Noah & The Whale
9) Angel: Eric Clapton
10) Minute by Minute: The James Hunter Six
Big School, BBC (LINKED) with (L to R)Philip Glenister, Catherine Tate, David Walliams, Frances de la Tour (seated).
Under-rated. Because I wanted to show it to other people, I’ve seen Episode 1 four times. It gets better as you realize the subtleties going on in there. The four lead characters are the Deputy Head of Science, David Walliams; the games teacher, Philip Glenister and their love interest, new French teacher Catherine Tate. All is presided over by Frances de la Tour as head teacher. The format is “gang show” thus allowing a number of repeated weekly cameos from the other staff members. Critics said “It’s 60s / 70s sitcom” but that’s exactly what TV needs nowadays.
Peaky Blinders BBC 2 (6 part serial)
The outstanding TV of the year for us (we don’t have Sky, so Game of Thrones 3 which I’m told is the best of the year will have to wait for 2014 and the DVD).
Phew! Some great ones. Leonard Cohen and Simone Felice are opposite ends of the spectrum, vying for first place, but Van Morrison was at his best in years, and The Full English and Bellowhead both gave memorable shows. But in a more intimate setting, so did Fay Hield & The Hurricane Party and Spiers & Boden.
Spiers & Boden (New Milton & Poole)
THEATRE – CLASSICAL
THEATRE – MODERN
I’ve seen less this year … the last couple of years were good because I just saw everything that was on every second Monday at a local cinema while Karen had another meeting.