Music of 2010

2011, oh my. And to think that a whole tumultuous decade and then some has passed since we were fretting over the Millennium Bug. It seems like only yesterday. Scary. (Can we all now agree, do you think, that when the need arises to say out loud the current year, it’s ‘twenty-eleven’ and not ‘two thousand and eleven’? I’m happy to take a blog vote on this should you care to cast yours…)

Anyway, as is the norm for the beginning of January if not the end of December, which seems a bit silly, I thought we could take a look back at the music of 2010. OK, so it will most likely be a fleeting glance for some, possibly with lips snarling because, stone me, I know that I can’t think of too many – beyond Postcards From a Young Man by Manic Street Preachers and Neil Young’s minimalist effort, Le Noise, that is – that interested me enough to park themselves somewhere near the front of my mind, and this offering from Rolling Stone doesn’t compel me in the least to go looking for much of what they regard the year’s finest (yet did bring The Dead Weather and their Sea of Cowards to my attention, for which I am grateful). But let’s have a look at their list of 30 picks from 2010 anyway, if only at the album covers which, pray tell, intrigue far more than the actual content? Notice how many carry Parental Advisory stickers. WTF?

I wonder if we’ll play any of them in a year’s time, let alone a decade’s. If we do remember the odd track, will we remember the name of those responsible for recording it, or will they go the way of so many a promising band that released a record or two and then, it seems, faded into obscurity? (I don’t know how many records these acts have put out, by the way, or if they’ve not already faded into obscurity. Forgive me, but I don’t care enough to find out and I find that quite sad. Although I’m not completely sure, I think that probably has a smidgen more to do with their apparent flatness than my not-at-all apparent apathy.)

I have to agree with the sentiments of Manic Street Preacher James Dean Bradfield, who grumbled to the Daily Record recently about the lack of guitars in the charts and how the current crop of young bands are merely ‘making gap year music’ rather than embarking on a rewarding career with all the peaks and troughs of progression that its fanbase can loyally follow with varying degrees of enjoyment.

“For a guitar band to be in the Top 40 now is a rare thing. It’s all pop music. It is really depressing.” — James Dean Bradfield, Manic Street Preachers

Your thoughts on this view and your listening recommendations from the past year’s releases, as ever, are keenly encouraged. Here are five that I liked in part, the tunes provided by MySpace. Let me know if you’d have picked out any of them.

Foals, Total Life Forever
Lightspeed Champion, Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You
The Soft Pack, The Soft Pack
Titus Andronicus, The Monitor
Wolf Parade, Expo 86

Perhaps, like me, you try to keep abreast of modern music, but it’s not easy when the charts are so obviously over-run with beats and beeps you feel you have little choice but to give them a wide berth for the sake of your sanity, and radio stations saturated with annoying advertisements and sometimes even more annoying presenters, making the music often seem almost of secondary importance to the pandering to ego and capital. The general repetition, too, is tedious; promotional videos a mix of dehumanising and patronising, gratuitous and obnoxious. If the internet has done record companies no favours commercially (highly debatable still), then it does those of us who would not otherwise find music worth listening to in the more obvious and perhaps convenient places a great service, I feel.

The chatroom is closed today but will open tomorrow at the unusually early and excruciatingly, I confess, off-kilter time of 10.30am (UK). I hope you can pop in to share how many more of your resolutions you’ve broken than I have. (Three.)

Happy New Year, everyone. Let’s hope that 2011 will be a good one. The music it spawns is not all that important, really; we’ll always have the good stuff from decades long gone and I think we all agree that nothing can possibly better it.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour's official blog, The Blog ('Features' previously being its rather naff title), affectionately - or lazily - shortened to 'FEd'.

69 thoughts on “Music of 2010”

  1. Some good sounds from 2010 –

    Joe Bonamassa Live from RAH
    Eric Clapton – Clapton and Crossroads 2010
    Jeff Beck – Emotion and Commotion
    Bryan Ferry – Olympia
    Slash – Slash

  2. In this day and age you have to actively go out and seek good music, it will no longer just come to you. Sad though that may be it makes it all the more enjoyable when you find something you like.

    Meanwhile, here are some things I enjoyed over this past year:

    Of the Blue Colour of the Sky – OK Go
    Contra – Vampire Weekend
    The Sea – Corinne Bailey Rae
    Plastic Beach – Gorillaz
    Scratch My Back – Peter Gabriel
    The Oracle – Godsmack
    Mojo – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
    Something for Everybody – Devo
    The Suburbs – Arcade Fire
    Avalon – Sully Erna
    A Thousand Suns – Linkin Park
    Hands All Over – Maroon 5
    The Lady Killer – Cee Lo Green (my favorite album and in my opinion the best album of the year)

  3. 😀 I grew up listening to you. Actually you are the only music that moves me. I would have given anything to have seen you live. The P.U.L.S.E DVD is the closest
    that I have.

    Anyway just wanted to let you know that.

    Hollie

    1. Hollie,

      It’s a New Year. You should be full of hope, not regret.

      There’s every chance that David still has a tour left in him and the odd new album now and again.

      The early part of May should see him treading the boards again… Even if it is just for one performance of Comfortbaly Numb. 😉

      1. If there ever is another tour, all the details will be here (and you’ll know about it before any tickets go on sale, I guarantee).

  4. Neither ‘twenty-eleven’ nor ‘two thousand and eleven’, but ‘deux mille onze’ – Definitely. 😉

    So, my best wishes for Deux mille onze to all of you!

    My 2010 list:

    ‘Olympia’, Bryan Ferry (and not only because David plays on it.)
    – ‘Metallic Spheres’, The Orb (but only the first half; after, it’s becoming a bit boring – Sorry, David. :! )
    – ‘The Suburbs’, Arcade Fire
    – ‘Interpol’, Interpol
    – ‘Bleu Noir’, Mylène Farmer

    Perhaps, like me, you try to keep abreast of modern music.

    So a little quiz for you:

    Who released these albums in 2010?

    – ‘Teenage Dream’
    – ‘My World 2.0’
    – ‘Speak Now’
    – ‘Loud’

    I wonder if you will cheat… 😉

    1. Um…

      Having absolutely no idea whatsoever, I cheated, saw Justin Bieber and (still) don’t know who he is or what he sounds like (and truly don’t care to know), but I do know that I’m sick of seeing his name all over the YouTube comments. What’s that all about?

      As for the other three (Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry) then what I know about them could fit on the back of a postage stamp. Or the front, if it means I’d be able to more clearly mark Her Majesty’s features with “Rihanna: First female solo artist to have… P.T.O. …five No.1 singles in consecutive years” (and I only know that because Sky News told me when I was trapped in a dentist’s waiting room the day before yesterday with no means of escape. Not from the dentist, you understand, but from Rupert Murdoch’s brand of brainwashing bullying bullshit news reporting. The preceding news piece about an invention which cancels out the sound of a dentist’s drill was just very cruelly timed, I thought.)

      😮 Is it really 11 years since Wheatus released ‘Teenage Dirtbag’? (This kind of sudden realisation troubles me, as I hope the wide-mouthed emoticon suitably demonstrates.)

      We’ll have to do a word association blog one of these days. Will you play?

    2. FEd, if you were American, you would (unfortunately) know who Justin Bieber is. He’s a popular figure among pre-adolescent girls. He sickens the rest of us.

  5. Good to have you back FEd, Happy New Year to you.

    My random selections four 2010 :-

    A Curious Thing – Amy Macdonald
    Metallic Spheres – The Orb (featuring one David Gilmour)
    Olympia – Bryan Ferry
    Live Rails – Steve Hackett

    As for the “when the need arises to say out loud the current year” vote, I’m firmly in the ‘two thousand and eleven’ camp.

    P.S. Is David planning any more photo-shoots for alternative book covers?

  6. And a happy new year to you too. 🙂

    Agree… it’s getting harder to keep up with modern music – and if it weren’t for the young teenagers in the house, I’d probably be living in a time-pocket.

    However, sometimes you do pick up on something that grabs you. This woman surprised me deeply in late 2010… most unusual… emotional… don’t you think?

    L

  7. First a confession … I don’t buy as much new music as I should so my comments are based on snippets and chance encounters and also courtesy of what I consider a reasonably reliable source – Q magazine. I also really mean to watch Jools Holland’s show more than I do as I tend to like what I see there ….

    I think good work was done by:-

    * The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards (Jack White is usually worth the ticket price)
    * Grinderman (2) – ditto my brothers’ name sake
    * Band of Horses – Infinite Arms

    For reasons lost on me, Arcade Fire continue to get almost universal rave reviews – they seems a bit bland to me though, and our friends at Q rate the top 5 as :-

    1) Arcade Fire ~ see above
    2) Robert Plant – Band of Joy ~ I would say ‘respect’ more than ‘enjoy’
    3) Plan B – The Defamation of Strickland Banks ~ snippets have grown on me
    4) Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can ~ escaped me 🙁
    5) Vampire Weekend ~ weren’t vampires a bit 2009?

    Oh and Gorillaz seem to be able to do no wrong (except wow Glastonbury obviously).

    Rumours are that 2011 will see a new Radiohead album F’ed and I expect we can also look forward to a live Wall album (hopefully featuring THAT version of Comfy).

    1. Give this mixtape a try, Tim – courtesy of SPIN magazine. It’s made up of 10 songs, which you can download free of charge, from their ‘Best Albums You Might Have Missed in 2010’ list.

      I’m enjoying Quest for Fire as I type this.

      (I love you, Twitter. You keep giving me all this great stuff that I would otherwise have missed. Say you’ll never leave me.)

    2. Thanks for the link F’ed. On balance I enjoyed them … some more than others, but to be honest I’m very rarely knocked out on a first listening, nor do I dismiss out of hand anything that’s been put together with any degree of thought or individuality, which I think these have.

      Is it more or is there a whiff of our own Mr G in the vocal of Quest for Fire? And in a funny way, it’s nice that Black Milki can “re-possess” “nigger” without it feeling offensive as it would in almost any other genre / context.

      Personal favourite probably Sharon Von Etten and Tracey Thorn … hinting at a preference for simplicity, I suppose.

  8. From CUBA, we are so glad to be listening your music at home – all the family. I think David is a very good human being too, he inspired me to do my job every day.

    Sorry for my bad English please.

    Aquiles Jorge, classic guitarist and composer, Santiago de Cuba.

  9. Happy New Year FeD, hope it brings you plenty of contentment and no techno glitches.

    Santa gave me Ray Davies’s efforts with his pals singing along. What I did get which was great was the DVD of Les Mis at 02, such passion and made me cry with joy.

    Ahhhh, that reminds me of Robert Plant’s band and his latest efforts. Very, very good.

    Ian

  10. Happy new year to all.

    Personally I think that the last decade has produced some of the best music I have ever heard.

    I would not attempt to single out tracks because albums by these bands are so strong.

    From the UK we have: The Pineapple Thief, Porcupine Tree, Anathema

    From Poland: Riverside

    From France: The Black Noodle Project

    From Norway: Gazpacho

    From Sweden: Anekdoten

    I could really go on here. So, as some one has already mentioned, go out and look for these bands. You might get a pleasant surprise.

    1. Great name isn’t it?

      I meant to say that the latest Anathema ‘We’re Here Because Were Here’ was voted No.1 album by Classic Rock magazine for 2010… a brilliant award.

  11. All I can say is 2010 was boring, the young folks probably disagree. Must be getting old or I don’t care really.

    It was nice to hear that EMI patched things up with Floyd. Maybe a new recording in the works? That’ll put 2011 in perspective again.

    Hi everyone! 😀

    1. Hi Frank,

      2010 – boring? Nah, never. I got married and had gas central heating installed in my home. Both actions keep me sooooooo warm.

      Hope 2011 is good for you,

      Ian

  12. Although I purchased many CDs/Albums in 2010, I think I bought only one 2010 release… Hawkwind – Blood of the Earth.

    It’s very good. Lots of guitar in that one.

  13. This was my all time favourite from 2010: The Alarm Clock Song by The Sundancer.

    Somehow I don’t listen to “commercial” songs any more. Thanks to the internet, I can listen to the good new stuff that does not necessarily fit the record companies’ standards.

  14. Hi FEd,

    a happy twenty-eleven!

    I’ve every day my wonderful rock, prog rock, and pure rock – unfortunately never more created in the last 25 years. So sorry!

    Some pearls… as “On an Island”, the last Floyd, a Plant-Page CD, something by Eric Clapton, but nothing really exciting!

    I spent since 2 to 8 January in London BUT I found a lot of globalization, in Spitalfield or Borough Market too! King’s Road is like an Italian or French or Spanish supermaket… no genius, few news, too much nothing.

    Have a nice year mates, full of love, peace and health; we need just a little bit of these three gifts.

    diana

  15. Just heard on Classic 21 radio station about an album from 2010 that sounds interesting:

    ‘Band of Joy’ by Robert Plant.

    Here, ‘Silver Rider’. Beautiful. I think it’s a cover.

    1. Classic 21 played ‘Fearless’ yesterday and commented on “YNWA”.

      Good radio station, eh? 😉

    2. Classic 21 played ‘Fearless’ yesterday and commented on “YNWA”.

      Could they figure out if the crowd are singing “Liverpool”, “Everton” or something else at the end?

    3. 😮 Everton? Mais non…

      They said it was surprising that Pink Floyd used the Liverpool FC anthem seeing as both David Gilmour and Roger Waters were Arsenal fans.

    4. FEd, if you check out my entry in The Gallery — (#46/66- Some of John’s prized possessions) — the record and sleeve I’m holding up is the 45 rpm 1978 single release of ‘There’s No Way Out Of Here’. ‘Deafinitely’ is on the flip side.

    5. Hi FEd,

      I was wondering if my Gallery entry (as described above) could be used as my avatar. I don’t know anything about setup for those. What would I have to do to configure that?

      …Thanks.

      1. It’s very easy. Simply sign up to Gravatar, which is completely free and doesn’t take long. Once signed in, you will find, under My Account, the option to Add an Image of your choosing.

  16. David,

    Need you play the Sunday concert with RW at O2 – sure you’ll oblige!

    Failing that, you can do a solo in my back garden, your choice!

    Martin

  17. … twenty hundred eleven for us Germans, FEd. 8)

    As for music from the last year (although I bought more CDs):

    Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier (great songs there!!)

    I find myself looking rather in the past for good music, so you may have to ask that question in a couple of years, when 2010’s music will be old enough. 😉

    Best regards

    Taki

  18. Cheers and Happy New Year, Fed and all Bloggers!

    The 2010 releases I bought were:

    Robert Plant – “Band of Joy”
    Tom Jones – “Praise and Blame”
    Eric Clapton – “Clapton”
    “An Introduction to Syd Barrett”

    …and also one from a young musician:

    Amy McDonald – “A Curious Thing”

    Surprisingly the most successful song in Germany in 2010 was also an old song – this. I don´t know if he had the same success in the UK.

  19. Wow! The only really good album I heard was Arcade Fire “The Suburbs” for 2010. It was really sad.

    But anyway I hope everyone is having a good New Year and let’s hope that it will be better than last year…

    Take Care, Thomas

  20. eiiiiiii really happy new year…!

    for me is same as a lot of years.

    syd barrett: baby lemonade

    the new compilation of syd, thanks absolutely to a beautiful vid, remember his friend and this put on me something extraordinary.

    cheers. 😉

  21. Just stumbled on this blog trying to find out if David has any concert dates arranged. Assuming not as none mentioned.

    I too cast my vote for Comfy on the Sunday at the O2!

    BTW, who/what is FEd!???

    1. Just a fan, employed by David to babble.

      Unfortunately there are no concert appearances planned beyond a single surprise guest appearance with Roger Waters. I hope you’ll be lucky and find that it’s the O2 on the Sunday. 🙂

  22. Since it’s too late to wish everybody a Happy New Year on here, I’ll just wish all a Happy Year!

    Morpheus Rising will be the next big thing to hit the airwaves from what I’ve heard from them. They are a quintessential British band in that the deep lyrics and outstanding vocals is accompanied by primo arrangements. I’ve been comparing them to a “Metal” Pink Floyd, a “Metal” Alan Parsons’ Project and a “Metal” Queen all rolled into one band. Some serious talent.

    On top of that, Grae should have some great material returning with him. Although I hate war, I’m sure there are some good lyrics to come out this experience.

  23. Though it came out in 2009, David Byrne and Brian Eno’s “Everything That Happens Will Happen Today” is quite the gem from the decade.

  24. The only 2010 releases I bought are The Orb “Metallic Spheres” (interesting experiment, in my opinion) and Massive Attack “Heligoland” (nice, but I wouldn’t say it sounds actually new).

    Of course, I agree with the point of view of James Dean Bradfield, also where he says “I was looking at the Top 40 and it’s like the indie wars never happened”.

    Sorry to say so, but I think a big part of modern music (what usually features in the charts, at least) could be easily sold among pre-cooked foods at the supermarket, since it has just the same “taste”, logic and destination of this kind of products.

    As for my country, I just think good music died at the end of the ’90s.

    I know I should search better to find something new which could be worth listening to (because it surely exists), but there is so much great music from the past decades I still have to discover, that I almost always prefer to spend my money on it, instead of buying something unknown that I would probably like less.

  25. HNY to you all, and I have to admit that I didn’t buy any music last year at all, as even no DVD of David was released.

    I have to agree with Michèle, the album of Brian Ferry is sounding like a must buy.

    My hymn of the year though is The Flood from Take That, I think it is a great song and great video.

    Let´s hope that David will release some new stuff this year, or at least tour again. It is 5 years ago that his On an Island tour kicked off!

  26. Hi David,

    The love of my life is a massive fan and has recently introduced me to your music which I also think is absolutely hypnotic and mindblowing. Although he has seen you in concert, he is devastated that he missed your concert in the Royal Albert Hall and plays the DVD at least once a week. Do you have any more concerts planned for this venue?

    Tks and take care,
    Mag x 🙂

    1. My wife and I just watched this concert this evening on TV (HDNET on AT&T UVERSE has great concerts on the weekends), which is what prompted me to find this website and contribute, such as it is.

      I think the inclusion of David Bowie, and the choice of song given him somehow was eerily appropriate, LOL.

  27. 😀

    Roy Harper – Have a Cigar

    The ITV Legends concert from Roy Harper.

    ITV Studios & Metropolis Studios Presents: ITV LEGENDS: ROY HARPER Live Concert Recording (Saturday 2nd April, 2011)

    David, it would be great if you could support your old friend… xxxxx

  28. I still think this year is ‘Two Thousand Eleven’, and next year is ‘Two Thousand Twelve’.

    But when we get to 2013, it will sound better as “Twenty-Thirteen”, because “Two Thousand Thirteen”, sounds like a mouthful.

  29. I tend not to listen to ‘main stream’ radio for music that can hit me right to my very soul, rather, I surf through new artists on MySpace or go to music festivals that promote new talent.

    It was at one of these festivals that I was introduced to a young female Canadian artist, Serena Ryder. Finally someone that can play a guitar and not rely on sampled music or phat rhymes.

    Check her out on MySpace.

    Cheers.

    PS; I just have to say that the Division Bell Tour in ’94 is my all time favourite concert that I have ever had the privilege of attending and hope that David, Nick and Roger can all collaborate once more and to bring it to Canada.

  30. In the 70s and early 80s I was a truck/bus driver for many U.S. bands. It wasn’t until 1998 that my son turned me onto David Gilmour. Great music!

    How about for 2010 a new release?

    Foghat, “Last Train Home” – I love it!

  31. I liked the selections that Classic Rock and Classic Rock Presents Prog did in December 2010, certainly not to be found in the charts, but worth a listen for our taste and vision.

  32. All I can say about the music from the past decade, and even back into the ’90s – Thank God I subscribe to XM/Sirrius Radio. Thank God I have a smartphone. And, Thank God I have the common sense to know when I’m being bug….. ahhhh… bul….. ummm…. snowed (yeah, that’s it). :v

    Looking forward to any tour information – hoping for the opportunity to take in a show in the midwest of the USA.

  33. I just found your blog. Forgive me if I go off subject a little.

    Hi David – Love your work!

    1. Will you ever publish a compilation of your other works? Like the tracks Pink Floyd did on Colours Of Infinity? I love your instrumental works!

    2. Have you experimented with the Moog Guitar? I truly believe you could achieve new sounds with it. I would love to buy your experimental album so if you decide to explore infinite sustain and infinite mute please record it.

    3. Are you teaching your children everything you know about music? Not to would be a crime against the future.

    4. Be healthy and share your soul some more!

    Thanx.

  34. Dear Sir David Gilmour,

    My name is Jason, I live in Chicago, IL.

    I am 25 y.o. and I grew up listening to you and Pink Floyd, thanks in part to my father. I too am a musician and have been involved with music since I was 7.

    I can’t tell you how much the music you and your friends have created and produced in the past 4+ decades has impacted my life. It has turned me into what I am today and has been there in the good times and helped me out through the worst of times.

    I wish I could’ve seen you in 2006 when you were here, unfortunately I couldn’t make it those two dates. 🙁

    I actually taught myself guitar just so I could play and sing your music. It’s so full of emotion and meanings.

    I could only hope that 2011 is the year that I can actually see you live in person and in concert, and maybe shake the hand of the man that has helped mould me into the man I am today. To see you live in concert would be the grandest event of my life (other than my kids being born, which hasn’t happened yet, not married).

    Will there be any shows this year like you did in 2006? Please? 🙂

    I would travel anywhere to see that show, even Pompeii.

    Thanks for all you the music, and all the charity work you and your colleagues have done also. Amazing stuff.

    Jason – Chicago

    1. No shows planned for this year, sadly (other than an appearance during ‘Comfortably Numb’ with Roger Waters at an as yet unconfirmed location). I hope you get the chance to see him in the not-too-distant future… and won’t have to travel all the way to Pompeii.

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