Top 8? Yeah, the last few years have been tough on me and 2018 was no exception. I needed a lot of comfort food this year and that came from writing/listening to my favorite band, AC/DC. It did get my mind off things but it meant spending less time with albums from 2018.
The fact that you are reading this all, really, is because of my wife, Sarah. As I talked to her about needing to cut down on time spent creating content in 2019, her one request was a post on my favorite albums from 2018. She is always looking to highlight the positive when things become overwhelming and negative. What she describes as “the light in the shadows”. So this post is dedicated to her.
So, here we go. 8 lights that found a way to shine in 2018:
#8 Corrosion of Conformity – No Cross, No Crown
This was an immediate buy for me with Pepper Keenan back in the band on lead guitar and vocals. Well, by immediate I mean the first moment I found a deal. It was released in January and I believe I grabbed it sometime in March. The album is a bit uneven but most of the tracks are a stoner-rockin’ good time. This is where you belong, Pepper!
#7 Saxon – Thunderbolt
Thunderbolt is my first Saxon album and I was blown away by how much these geezers can rock! Nah, forget rock. This is MET-TAALL! You can read my full review of the album here.
#6 Jimi Hendrix – Both Sides of the Sky
This is an excellent collection of half done/hidden/vaulted tracks from the greatest guitarist of all time. A lot of what is here has been released before on compilations and bootlegs, but with mixing board in the hands of Eddie Kramer (The engineer on all of Jimi’s classic albums), you’ll be hard pressed to find a place where these tunes sound better. You can read my full review here.
#5 Greta Van Fleet – Anthem of the Peaceful Army
Take away all of the comparisons to Led Zeppelin and you have a great rock ‘n roll record. Grip tightly onto all of the comparisons to Led Zeppelin and you have a great rock ‘n roll record. Honestly, I don’t know why GVF’s strong Zeppelin vibe is seen as negative by some. How many times have we put on a classic rock album and said “They don’t make them like this anymore”? Then, someone does it (and does it WELL) and it gets crapped on. *shrugs*
#4 Jann Arden – These Are The Days
These Are The Days opens with the fantastic ‘Everybody’s Pulling on Me‘, and Christ on a cracker did 2018 feel that way at times. The tune has a perfect old school Mo-Town/Doo-Wop rhythm that Jann’s voice cuts through as she delivers the melody. The rest of the album is solid too. Especially ‘All The Little Things‘. It’s the kind of album that you listen to and think, I’ve heard this before. Is this a cover tune? Then you realize it is all new, but the tunes are connecting with you.
Sarah and I thought about skipping on seeing her perform live in Oshawa this past October. Even though we needed a break, we made the effort to move some scheduling around to make it work. I’m so glad we did! That show was not only rockin’ but hilarious too. Would do again.
#3 Judas Priest – Firepower
The Priest is back, baby! The best Priest album in decades. DECADES! I pre-ordered it when ‘Lightening Strikes‘ hit the YouTubes and I don’t do that often. Besides over-staying its welcome a wee bit, the album is otherwise solid. I almost wish they would hang it up here and go out on a high note. Easily my vote for the best MET-TAALL album of 2018.
#2 Sloan – 12
It kills me not to put this at number one. KILLS ME! It is so good. That perfect mix of rock and pop, 12 is a pleasure to listen to from start to finish. Usually, after listening to an album a number of times I get tired of a song or two and find myself skipping to the tracks I love. That hasn’t happened with 12 yet, and I’m not sure if it ever will.
We did see Sloan in May at The KEE to Bala and these guys put on a show! Even though Sarah’s boyfriend, Patrick Pentland, wasn’t there due to a family illness we had a fantastic time. Almost all of 12 was performed, and I was not complaining! You can read my full review of 12 right here!
#1 The Sheepdogs – Changing Colours
As difficult as it was to put Sloan in the #2 spot, Changing Colours was easy to place at #1. No other album got more play by me in 2018. The addition of my BFF Jimmy Bowskill to The Sheepdogs finally had me standing up and acknowledging a band that I have ignored for a while. No matter what my mood, Changing Colours seem appropriate to play. It is late 60’s/70’s rock done to perfection in 2018.
The Sheepdogs also had us visiting The KEE to Bala again in August. Man, these guys rocked it! BFF Jimmy had the half stack of Marshalls singing sweetly all night long. Glad to hear their drummer is doing well with battling the big C! You can read my full review of Changing Colours right here.
So, even though I only have eight albums, I guess you could say 2018 still had a quality over quantity vibe for me. Also like how 3 Canadian artists cracked my top 5! It will be interesting to see how long that record holds. Anyway, here’s hoping more time is spent with the Rock ‘n Roll in 2019!