2015: Music

This year hasn’t started at all well for music fans. 2016 began much as 2015 ended: with the sad news that David Bowie – and now Glenn Frey from The Eagles and Dale Griffin, Mott the Hoople drummer – have died, when many were still in shock at the suddenness of Lemmy from Motorhead’s passing at Christmas.

Some critics have questioned just how acceptable it is to mourn musicians, or indeed anyone in the public eye, as if they were family members or dear friends. More on this later.

Those who died in 2015 probably leave a far richer and more interesting catalogue of music than the year’s stand-out new releases; I have to confess that the new CDs I find myself playing most from last year are not so new at all: Donovan’s Retrospective anthology, a celebration of 50 years as a recording artist with one new song thrown in for good measure, and a box set called Move On Up: The Best of Northern Soul. Well, these and something called Rattle That Lock, but we might have discussed that once or twice already.

Rattle That Lock aside, there were several notable new releases, however, and I wonder if any of these were waiting to be unwrapped by you on Christmas morning. Do tell, including the format.

Perhaps How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful by Florence & The Machine, who stole the show at Glastonbury? Hand. Cannot. Erase. by Steven Wilson, singer and songwriter of Porcupine Tree? (Check out the exquisite video to the very sad but beautiful ‘Routine’.) Joe Satriani’s Shockwave Supernova, maybe?

Other solo albums from members of rock’s biggest bands might have caught the eye or, better still, ear: Keith Richards’ Crosseyed Heart, Mark Knopfler’s Tracker, Don Henley’s Cass County.

Neil Young was once again very good to us. From his archives, highlights from Farm Aid – Down on the Farm – marked the event’s 30th anniversary, and Bluenote Café gathered various live performances from 1987/8. There was even a new protest album, a collaboration with Willie Nelson’s sons, called The Monsanto Years. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been saying for years that there’s not nearly enough whistling in music any more – or clapping – (and fewer people are whistling these days, I read, in what was probably the best question-in-a-headline of 2015 if not all-time: ‘Has the decline of the delivery boy killed the art of whistling?’), so this was a real treat if only for ‘A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop’. (Are you whistling yet?)

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club put out a live album complete with DVD – Live In Paris. I also very much enjoyed The Story of Sonny Boy Slim by Gary Clark Jr., Songs About Other People by Harry Harris and Keep the Village Alive by Stereophonics.

Jack Savoretti’s breakthrough, Written In Scars, a BBC Radio 2 Album of the Week, was both well-received and -played. Probably more radio-friendly than anything he’s done previously, I happen to prefer his earlier, more folky albums, but absolutely appreciated the chance to discover his 2007 debut Between the Minds.

But back to those who left us in 2015.

As with each passing year, we mourn in our own unique way the passing of so many who helped make the songs that serve as the soundtracks to our lives. As Marc Eliot asked in his ‘Why Glenn Frey’s death shakes us’ piece, ‘are we mourning our lost selves and a time when we all thought we could live hard and stay free and surf and bike and run and jump and love and never lose because we were forever young?’ Probably, almost certainly. But as Suzanne Moore maintains and the title of her Guardian opinion piece plainly states: ‘Don’t deride those who are mourning David Bowie – this grief is serious and rational’.

Feel free to add your thoughts whether you agree with her or not, but here are some of the people who may have played a small but not insignificant part in your life who lost theirs in 2015. I’d like to remember them. Unlike David Bowie, whose death was met with considerable press coverage (Glenn Frey’s much less so in the UK, I imagine there was more reporting in his native USA), you might not be aware that some of these music-makers have died and that would be a shame.

As well as Lemmy, Motorhead drummer Phil Taylor. Chris Squire, Yes co-founder and bassist. Stevie Wright, Easybeats lead singer.

Toto’s Mike Porcaro and REO Speedwagon’s Gary Richrath. Scott Weiland, singer with the Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, and Jeremy Brown, lead guitarist for Scott Weiland’s band the Wildabouts.

P.J. Sloan, session guitarist in LA’s famous Wrecking Crew, who co-wrote one of the best anti-war songs – Barry McGuire’s ‘Eve of Destruction’ (the words could have been written for the present time, no doubt):

‘I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation
Handful of sedatives don’t pass legislation
And marches alone can’t bring integration
When human respect is disintegrating
This whole crazy world is just too frustrating’

Mats Olausson, keyboardist with Yngwie Malmsteen. Guitarist Sam Andrew of Big Brother and The Holding Company. Danny McCullough, bass player with The Animals. Crickets bass player Joe B. Mauldin. Keyboardist Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream. Dallas Taylor, who played drums for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Andy Fraser, bassist with Free, perhaps best known for co-writing the classic ‘All Right Now’.

The brilliant B.B. King. (It’s almost impossible to watch him perform, however sad the song, without a smile breaking out across your face, isn’t it? What a legacy that is to leave: making people smile.)

New York songwriters Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett, who co-wrote for the likes of Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra among others (including this one by Carl Perkins), whose songs were recorded by many artists, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s.

Curtis Lee, best known for his 1961 smash hit ‘Pretty Little Angel Eyes’.

Ben E. King, Percy Sledge, Cilla Black. What powerful voices they had.

Drummer “Fast Eddie” Hoh, who played on Donovan’s ‘Sunshine Superman’. Tim Drummond, bassist for Neil Young and so many others, so in-demand as a session and touring musician was he.

Crank up some of their songs in their memory, whistle along as best you can if you want to, and please let us know what stood out for you last year in terms of new releases and, if you preferred them, re-releases.

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’.

79 thoughts on “2015: Music”

  1. My Christmas CDs which I have been playing non stop are by Rod Stewart, The Corrs and Braden Flowers. All fab.

    Re mourning for those who have died then I don’t understand how anyone can compare the grief of losing a wife of over 30 years to losing a “star” who one hasn’t met. I was upset to hear about David Bowie dying, more shock than anything but in no way was this a grieving process. My wife died in 2005, I remarried 5 years ago yet the grief never goes away. Can’t see myself grieving for anyone else like this. It’s the World we live I suppose. I could say more but less works better and saves my fingers on keyboard.

    Hope all keeping well.

    1. Hope you’re keeping well, Ian.

      I think there’s a lot to be said about the way some of us, in Britain, but it’s the same in many other countries, like to put on a great public show of how terribly upset we are, particularly since the death of Princess Diana. I’m glad that Suzanne Moore wrote of ‘the “Dianafication” of England’ in her article, although how could she not? I don’t remember people lining the streets, sobbing uncontrollably, before she died, do you?

      As you say, it’s the world we live in now – one where we often feel that we have to be outraged and traumatised about everything and document our every changing emotion for someone else’s approval on Facebook. I can’t help but feel that our ancestors, with their stiff upper lips, must be turning in their graves in disappointment and disgust.

      1. Hey Ian and Fed,

        I agree with you both on this one. For me it’s just a reminder that time and tide wait for no one.

        Cheers, Howard

        1. Great to hear from you Howard. Guess what tonight is. Burns Night – and would have been my 41st wedding anniversary. So I celebrate with my new wife (of 5 years – ain’t that old) with hagis and Glenlivet.

          Cheers everyone. x

    2. I feel similar.

      When some artist or other popular person who influenced my life, passes away, I really do not mourn. But nonetheless I think it is sad in a way. Sad for all people. But so is the ever widening gap between the rich and the poor, the violence against people and the injustice in the world. The deaths of Lemmy and David Bowie, whom I always wanted to watch in a concert but were never able to, reminded me to pursue the things that matter much to me, rather sooner than later.

      @FEd: Let those who want to put on a show just do that. It may serve some purpose for themselves after all. I know a couple of people who are really into Facebook and Twitter and stuff like that. Frankly, I don’t care and don’t use it, but would never tell people to stop using it. Sooner or later, they will see how weird it all is.

  2. Hm, we’re definitely getting older; I’m definitely getting older; there will be a lot to mourn for the next years but that’s life…

    What saddens me is that we won’t get a a chance to hear what all those fine musicians still had in them, but at least we have more than some notes scribbled on a paper as the generations before us…

    Re 2015 wasn’t a bad one looking back: Iron Maiden, Phil Manzanera released new albums and I gladly bought them. As CD for my archive… As I did with Neil Young’s Monsanto Years.

    Taki

  3. My best for 2015 –

    Warren Haynes and Railroad Earth – Ashes and Dust. Superb recording and well worth a purchase.

    Declan Sinnott – Window On The World. A very laid back album with beautiful guitar playing from Christy Moore’s guitarist.

    James Taylor – Before this World – Classic JT.

    Eric Clapton – Live at the Royal Albert Hall. Good album but I wish he would change his set a bit more.

    A musician death at the end of 2014 worth a mention was Joe Cocker who I could listen to all day.

  4. I have mourned for family members. Yet at the same time I am as shocked and saddened as anyone when I hear of the loss someone from the music world. Not in the same way I have a family member though.

    This, I think, is like losing a friend. Music has played a huge part in my life. I have sung along to the records, danced to them too. The music is there for you when you feel down. It is like a good friend. I grew up with it. I had relationships around it.

    The people whose talents created it quite likely went out on a limb to get it out of their system and onto vinyl, CD etc. I don’t know them but I am very grateful to them for how how they made my life all the brighter. So yes, it is sad when we lose these people.

    Can I also add John Bradbury drummer for The Specials to you list. John passed away early
    January.

    Album of 2015 for me was Hand Cannot Erase by Steven Wilson. Closely followed by Bruce Soord’s solo album and Anekdoten – Until All the Ghosts Are Gone.

    Cheers all and a safe and peaceful 2016.

    1. Can I also add John Bradbury drummer for The Specials to you list. John passed away early January.

      Certainly. I’m sorry that I overlooked him.

  5. Inevitably, with each passing year, the list of lost musicians we relate to, seems to get longer and increasingly closer to our own number of years spent on this mortal coil.

    Scarily, as you say, 2016 has not started well.

    At least Keith Richards was found ‘not dead’. Well, for the time being at least, that is.

    As for new music from last year, I still gravitate to those artists who are older and wiser, who, like David, are still capable of creating and releasing fresh material.

    Jeff Lynne’s ELO – Alone In The Universe is one to savour in particular.

    Ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett’s – Wolflight is probably not to everyone’s taste, but he has been constantly touring and recording through his 60’s and shows no signs of letting up.

    Just like David, who seems to have tapped into a rich vein of material and is still prepared to share it with their grateful audiences, while it’s still possible to do so.

    Long may it continue, before they too, become one of those who leave us for The Great Gig In The Sky.

  6. This article says it all, IMHO.

    “With David Bowie’s final curtain-call, we are witnessing the end of an era, as the original stars of the explosive rock culture that convulsed the world in the second half of the 20th century are slowly extinguished. We are entering the Twilight of the Rock Gods.”

    Very sad and disturbing, especially for us babyboomers, who grew up musically with them, reminding us that our lifetime is limited, that we cannot take it for granted that our music heroes are still performing and releasing new albums. So we can be so thankful for David´s new tour and album.

    But I have to confess, that I am still not over the loss of Richard Wright, even at the last 2 gigs of David I had to think, there is where Richard would have been performing.

    1. David Bowie was rather special, wasn’t he? So different, so bold. Thanks for the link.

      I have to admit, when Lemmy died and I thought Planet Rock radio were still going a bit over-the-top several days later, I remarked to a friend that the death of, for example (and forgive me for this), Paul McCartney or Elton John would quite possibly necessitate a day’s public holiday to allow appropriate national mourning.

      Then, sadly, David Bowie died and it’s been quite interesting to observe how his passing has been reported in comparison (also Glenn Frey’s and to a much lesser extent, Dale Griffin’s).

  7. I remember when Rick died, I was genuinely distraught. It’s not just a musician dying that you never knew, he was a part of your life, in so many ways passing down the years of your life with you. Pink Floyd are a part of me, they were there from the beginning, they are friends who never let you down and always gave you a buzz in life. So no, it’s not weird to love someone you never met. A different grief for the loss compared to losing my brother or dad because of the blood line I suppose and actually knowing them as people. Rick showed good spirit, shone out in music and interviews.

    Then David Bowie, again never knew the man but he and his music has been in your life since the beginning.

    My mum always said losing my brother won’t hit me until a couple of years down the line, you’ll think of him one day and realise he’s not coming round that corner in time for dinner. Wow, she was right. Same when I went to see David in Italy, no Rick coming on stage. We all felt that.

    It’s that knowing we will never see them again, a person who has been in our lives for so long, gone.

    Damian

    1. When Syd died, I left work immediately to go home and mourn and listen to some early Floyd.

      When Rick died I did the same thing – and made a “Rick songs from Floyd” mix.

      It was because music, including this band has meant so much to me for so much of my life.

    2. I feel the same way as you Damian. Pink Floyd has been my favorite since I was a child, and in the later years, when I was a teenager, I lost my father to cancer. Pink Floyd’s music helped me a lot through those years and many other ups and downs in my life that you can’t help but grow a love for the members of the band, no matter who or what their quirks might have been, I think of them as family, because family can bring you joy (at least some of them). Obviously, I can’t compare the loss of people that I haven’t met to that of my father. I am sad when I hear of peoples passing that I liked or admired, eg. David Bowie, Glenn Frey, George Carlin, etc., but when Rick passed (from that F**king cancer), I was very sad. More than any other musician or artist before. I actually took the day off from work the next day as a day of mourning. Some of you might think I’m weird, I don’t really care, it hit me very hard. So unexpected.

      When David and Nick released The Endless River, I was so grateful to be able to hear him play again, that words just can’t describe. So, when we hear of someone seeming overly dramatic of an artists passing, though that particular artist might not mean too much to us, but may have made a significant contribution to that persons life, I definitely feel for them. I get it, and I understand.

  8. My album for last year was Rattle That Lock. Brilliant piece of work, a lot of hard work putting it together. Sorry, can’t praise it enough.

    And I like Florence and the Machine.

    Damian

  9. Bowie’s death came as a total surprise, I think this is part of an explanation for the strong reaction. And his total silence, except the both albums The Next Day and Blackstar, made him a living legend. Sad to say, but in Bowie and Frey we loose again protagonists of the generation of musicians, who make so much new and beautiful in the 60s and 70s. Music we still bank on today.

    I like Alone in the Universe by Jeff Lynne very much. Don Henley’s album is strong and I like The Magic Whip by Blur.

    Hanno

    1. I think my favourite on Cass County is ‘Where I Am Now’, although I often find ‘She Sang Hymns Out of Tune’ stuck inside my head.

      1. Oh yes, “Where I Am Now” is one of my favourite tunes too. “Take A Picture Of This” is also a nice one.

        And I forget to add the reissues of the McCartney albums “Tug Of War” and “Pipes Of Peace”. When I listen to “Here Today” I hear the grief of McCartney that John Lennon has gone forever.

  10. Hi Fed, so sad all these music legends passing recently.

    Regarding new albums I’ve got into, Alabama Shakes- Sound and Colour and The Waterboys – Modern Blues are well worth a listen.

  11. Everyone has to die but their music remains and therefore the deads are getting immortal somehow….

  12. This past year I lost my mom, my best friend in a road bicycle crash, and my dad to cancer on September 11th. The day we buried him was the same day David’s new album was released and it has given me much comfort and I’m so looking forward to seeing him in NYC.

    Jeff Lynn’s ELO was a real treat for me this year.

    I’ve been a David Bowie fan forever and when he passed and knowing how Blackstar was written while he was battling cancer I can’t listen to it now as cancer took my dad and it’s too close to home although I think it’s a great work of art.

    Here’s to a great new year. If you get the chance to tell someone in your life that you love them do it and enjoy all the little things.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been through, Tom. Your advice about telling people that you love them and enjoying the little things life has to offer, is most welcome. I hear that.

  13. “I’ve been saying for years that there’s not nearly enough whistling in music any more”

    Oh, David must have heard you. 😉 I was pleasantly surprised (the new album came out the day after the concert) to see/hear him whistle on stage in Orange. Very unexpected (and very nice).

    Albums of 2015? Of course you deliberately omitted Muse’s ‘Drones’, 😉 Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, One Direction…, but Bob Dylan’s ‘Shadows In The Night’? (yes, you have to be a Sinatra fan to try to appreciate it), Richard Thompson’s ‘Still’?, Scorpions’ ‘Return To Forever’?

    My son is a Pete Doherty fan, he bought and enjoyed very much The Libertines’ ‘Anthems For Doomed Youth’ (what a title!)

    If I may, a special mention to Eagles of Death Metal’s ‘Zipper Down’, you probably know why.

    If anyone is interested, here is the top 68 (why 68? I wonder…) best new releases and re-releases of 2015, voted by Classic 21 radio listeners.

    Now, I’m going to listen to ‘I Dreamed There Was No War’, in honour of Glenn Frey (I think he composed the music), it’s probably my favourite song/instrumental by The Eagles.

    1. What a terrible Dylan fan I am. I completely missed it. I must look for that.

      I didn’t miss Ol’ Blue Eyes, though. Ultimate Sinatra: The Centennial Collection is a terrific compilation and Alex Gibney’s four-hour documentary, Sinatra: All or Nothing at All, was really good, too.

      Thanks for the link and for reminding me that I wanted to hear more of Tom Jones’ ‘Long Lost Suitcase’. (‘Rattle That Clock’?)

      1. ‘Rattle That Clock’… The Belgian who compiled the list must have drunk too many Duvels… 😀

  14. Last year lots of my favourites released albums, and delighted they were all really great:

    Noel Gallagher ‘Chasing Yesterday’
    Faith No More ‘Sol Invictus’
    New Order ‘Music Complete’
    Blur ‘The Magic Whip’
    David Gilmour ‘Rattle That Lock’

    And CDs too!

  15. Great post…encourage you to meditation! I was thinking about the announcement of Rick Wright’s death, or other significant musician idols (at least for me), first it reminds you of death, second it tells you “you’re getting older” and third, unconsciously, it means “even people like them day, what do you expect?”

    And from a more realistic point of view, at the end of they year we are all keep to reflection, introspection, we have more time, more “mood” to cry deaths, beginning of the year, everybody is on high speed, trying to recuperate what went wrong the year before…nobody has time to cry deaths, except if you are David Bowie, love that man, guess you cannot be great if you are not crazy!

    About 2015 albums: Björk, Mark Knopfler, Motorhead.

    Peace, and buona notte. 🙂

  16. You said it well FEd. Music keeps everyone alive. I was sad for B.B.King, never saw him live.

    David Bowie was a heartbreaker, what an artist who painted his last painting to the bitter end. Class, I saw the Serious Moonlight Tour in Toronto.

    There is a new release as we speak for Jeff Healey’s upcoming 50th birthday in March with everything in the mix. Check it out folks. R.I.P. Jeff.

    As far as whistling, I am constantly doing that, it keeps my ear in check. While singing, it takes a bit of practice to get it right.

    Take Care All.

  17. To imagine our lives without music and song is frightening. All people are different and I suppose some folks are just not connected to music the way others are. To those that don’t understand the importance of the brilliant musicians that have recently passed, I feel for you!

    To all those who have been moved and actually heard the music of the legends it is a tremendous loss. David Bowie was a true pioneer. The Frey and Henley songwriting team was unbelievable (sidenote-Glenn Frey was covered tremendously in the Detroit metro area, but he was also from the area so I have no idea of the coverage around the rest of the country). Scott Wieland was a tremendous part of the soundtrack of my high school years.

    Sadly I was not looking forward to any new music under my tree. I already owned Rattle That Lock and The Endless River. Which were the only 2 albums I have looked forward to since Led Zeppelin at the o2 Arena. Although I wanted to thank you FED for the mention of Keith Richards’ solo album as I will most definitely check that out.

    I pray the deaths to the music industry ends for a time now as we have lost many legends recently.

  18. My life is so enriched on the simple fact that this one time I heard David Gilmour’s guitar and voice and I knew what it sounds like when angels sing. I have or will never meet a member of Pink Floyd! I was born in 1976 and I got a Dark Side of the Moon tattoo when I was 18, the same year they played it at Pontiac Silverdome (which is 20 minutes from where I live) for the first time in forever. Sadly I was not there! Biggest regret of my life but I had no idea as I was raised by my parents on Country and Western.

    I discovered the Floyd later in my life, but the fact that the first time you heard a certain band or certain song or at a concert and the hair on the back of your neck stands up I think it is absolutely OK to mourn the death of a musician you have never met just as they were a part of your family. They have had just as much an effect on your life if not more than family.

  19. Quite off-topic, but I have 2 questions:

    One for you FEd: do you know if there will be a Rattle That Lock songbook?

    And one for the fellow bloggers: has anyone of you bought tickets for the Milan Pink Floyd exhibition and got her/his money back?

    Cheers

    Taki

    1. I still don’t know the answer to my question, I’m sorry (I have asked, I’ll ask again), but I look forward to any answers to your second question.

    2. Hi Taki, I am Italian and I live in south Italy, I read about this event in Milan and I wanted to go but I couldn’t. So, fortunately I didn’t buy the ticket, one of my friends did it and I am sorry to tell you no money back (40,00 Eur??) for him too and I guess is not just you two. He said to have a look to this Facebook links and to join them: Facebook group.

      I hope I was helpful. 🙂

      1. Thanks Ore. I was already convinced that my money was gone, along with the packaging fees for sending back the day one packages for my wife and me. 224.50 EUR + 15.- EUR, boy that was an expensive lesson learnt 🙁

        I’ll have a look at the provided link, but I won’t join the group simply because I don’t use Facebook.

        No medal has only one side: we still visited Milano in 2014 and enjoyed the city and people. 🙂

  20. Just had a listen to Graham Nash new single This Path Tonight which has inspired me to go out and get the album. Also while listening I was given the chance to test the new D1 microphone system and maybe get to keep it for free. Well, if I do get one you can put it on here as a prize or something Fed.

    Damian

  21. I’m guilty (yet again) of discovering far too little new music – but I’m fairly sure there is a lot of interesting, artistically driven, passionate work out there by artists I haven’t even heard of. As has always been the case, however, you have to work a bit harder than listening to mainstream radio, MTV or, heaven preserve us, ‘talent’ shows to find it.

    The jury may be out on whether Spotify and other music streaming media are a good or bad thing but what it does do is bring new and old artists right into your home at the click or two of a mouse. You don’t have to search long to find a constant stream of new music and then it’s a case of suck it and see ….

    There are always lists of course to guide you and the internet is a great way of instantly checking something out – for example I just clicked on this link, scrolled a bit, found a review citing a very promising genre (“Cavewave” 🙂 ) and now I’m listening to a rather dreamy and thoughtful “Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper” – by Panda Bear, naturally … I’m not blown away by it but it’s more than OK and it really was an easy thing to do.

    We who nail our colours to the Gilmour mast will always find plenty to amuse us from back catalogues and established artists, but I’m going to at least make a concerted effort to check out an album a week from somebody I’ve never heard of … how else is the next David Bowie going to emerge?

  22. It is great to have so many suggestions regarding music. Makes it easier to get to the worthwhile and not trip over the not so worthwhile. So I always enjoy the beginning of the year recommendations from you, FEd and fellow bloggers as you all are a group of people with great taste.

    It would be a nice touch if there were more whistling in music as it is an earthy sound. Whistling can be so happy, uplifting or sorrowful, soulful. Just as music is.

    The only band that comes to mind is Guns & Roses has used it in a song or two. I am sure there are many songs from previous generations as it seems to be from an earlier era. The opening song of an old 1950’s television show “The Andy Griffith” show was whistled.

    It is interesting the public’s display of mourning.

    To mourn the passing of a famous artist (that one has never met) to that of a family member, would be extreme, at least for me. But artists are a part of people’s life. So naturally, there is a lost felt.

    Take care, Suzy

    1. Thanks, Suzy. I should look back at last year’s books, TV and film, as I usually do. I always look forward to the reaction and finding something new. Let’s do that next week.

      1. I will look forward to next weeks’ blog. I anxiously await all the blogs as it is a wonderful place to get information and it is great seeing what others think and suggest.

        Can never say it enough FEd, you are making many happy with the blog forum. Thank you.

        Take care, Suzy

  23. Yes, a very sad start to the New Year FEd, regarding the untimely passing of so many influential musical greats!

    Stand out CD of 2015 without reservation “Rattle That Lock”. Sadly stand out loss for me is David Bowie. Should I mourn his death? Without question I should, growing up he was a massive part of my musically life. He was part of my trilogy…..Freddie Mercury, Philip Lynott and now David Bowie….all gone too young! Of course loss of family members and close friends are a different kettle of fish, but I can’t help this sense of feeling, that there is a great musical void in my life. Is that so wrong? As one of these greats said “The Show Must Go On” and so it shall! I cranked up the volume with Freddie on Bohemian Rhapsody, with Philip on Still In Love With You and with David on Space Oddity. For an encore with David Gilmour on Comfortably Numb……I sincerely hope they all are!

    Shine On……
    John

    1. I expect many of the people I mentioned who died in 2015 will mostly be remembered for their contribution to one hit song, maybe for writing it rather than recording it – and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. But David Bowie changed so dramatically so many times during the decades, everyone knew about him and had an opinion on his latest look or sound. He truly was one-of-a-kind and for many, like B.B. King, it seemed he was always there.

      I’ve not followed his career with any great interest, I’ve liked the odd song but no more than that, yet what a huge loss to music. I can absolutely see why so many people were left stunned by his death and then upset further by mean-spirited sneering about how they had no right to feel so sad.

      I guess too many people lack empathy.

      1. That last sentence FEd nails it. We’re going to be remembered as a society of egotists producing packaging waste…

  24. The top favorite 2015 was Rattle That Lock, but Courting The Squall from Guy Garvey is also very nice.

  25. I think hearing of the death of rock stars is a shock for a few reasons. David Bowie and Glenn Frey have been in my life for 40 plus years. The only other people I’ve known for that long is my family. Friends, work colleagues, neighbours all come and go, we have intense relationships with them and nice memories. We never knew our Rock Stars and never loved them in the same way we love our family or our friends but they have been a constant in our lives.

    I think the loss of Bowie and Frey have been quite a shock because they were so young. My parents were 83 and 85 when I lost them, my 85 year old Mum, less than a year ago. Bowie and Frey were my generation and I fully expect to live as long as my parents did! So, it’s a shock when people still so young die because it wasn’t expected (if you can expect death!) they succumbed to illness not old age but it really makes you think of your own mortality.

    As for what kind of love we feel for them, well, there are many kinds of love I think. There is the totally unconditional and intense love you feel for your children, when you feel that, you realise that’s how you love your Mum and Dad, brothers and sisters. It might just be me, but I never loved my husband that way. Nor anyone else for that matter but I have felt really strong feelings of loving and caring for other people in my life.

    I think when we watch someone as closely and for forty odd years, you can call that a kind of love too. Given that so many people also knew and loved these stars, I think there will be mass and public grieving and I don’t see anything wrong in celebrating their lives with tribute concerts or the playing of their music.

    I have to say, I think there was a kind of mass hysteria when Princess Diana died but she was well loved by the people because she was so like one of us (and didn’t her boys turn out well? 🙂 ).

    ash

  26. I bought three copies of Rattle That Lock, the lovely box set with T shirts. 🙂 I play this copy in the house.

    Another plain copy to play in the car.

    Another copy to give as a Christmas present.

    I can’t remember if I bought any other albums, I must have because I have memories of being in a music shop! I think I bought old albums, nothing new comes to mind!

    ash

  27. I’d go for Dylan too (David’s album apart…what a sound!).

    What can I say on these legends? Well it’s a bit sad because all music I love come from these old guys. Really, the 60s/70s are all we have if we want to listen to real music and albums.

    Now it’s only TV and commercial rules, no art (apart, still, the old guys).

    Look forward: who could replace Bowie or Lemmy today? Nobody.

    May them, and the others gone, sleep in peace.

  28. I found the death of Lemmy bad and upsetting especially when I was a huge Hawkwind fan and Motorhead…but when I learned that David Bowie had died, it hit me hard for a week. Since the year dot, David was always there, I was fascinated by him even when I was a tiny child….everywhere I looked, there was David Bowie somewhere be it on the radio, on the TV, in the record shop. And on the day I found out about his death, that early morning, I instantly wrote a song for him.

    My mom had his ‘Pin Ups’ album, and when I was 7 I remember staring at the album cover for hours on end. He marked my return to Britain with his Scary Monsters Super Creeps and Ashes to Ashes….he got better with age. And I love the backstage banter with DG and DB where DB clearly does not do the aging bit….understood.

    The shock of his death and reaction by the public reminds me of 1977 when Elvis died. Grown women were standing in shops just crying, (I was living in Germany at the time and I could not understand why everyone was crying)….now that I am grown, I understand….and now I am finding this painful just typing this.

    David’s passing shook the world….

  29. It’s good to see mention of Joe Satriani’s album from last year. That guy just keeps bringin’ it. It’s a great album…

  30. I think Steven Wilson’s Hand. Cannot. Erase. is the best album that has been released last year (besides David’s RTL)… and Routine is the most powerful song… very emotional and sounds so real, you can almost feel that sorrow… and along with the music video very easily brings tears to your eyes…

  31. It is sad to hear that the legends pass away for good, but it can’t be helped. David Bowie died very unexpectedly, he was very active in his last months, releasing his best album in the decade or even more, and there’s a dramatic feeling about it.

    I think that nobody could predict the death of BB King as well, despite he was almost 90 when he died. Watching him playing, you would start to believe that there is someone in this world who can live forever. Unfortunately, this is not true.

    As for new releases, I was charmed by Patrick Watson’s album, ‘Love Songs for Robots’. It sounds very touching in some places and reminds me of the pre-Dark Side Floyd a bit.

    I would also like to mention Benjamin Clementine’s ‘At Least for Now’ which was quite good, even though, having seen his performances at Jools Holland’s late show, I expected a little better result.

    At last, I enjoyed the new album of Alabama Shakes, ‘Sound and Color’. I like the way of their bassist playing (but, still, nothing can be compared to Guy Pratt’s fantastic bass lines in ‘Today’ and ‘Rattle That Lock’. 😉

  32. ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ ░H░A░P░P░Y░
    ♫•*¨*•.¸¸♫♪░B░I░R░T░H░D░A░Y░ ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♫♪
    ♫♫♫♫ HAPPY BIRTHDAY NICK MASON ♫♫♫♫

  33. Hi FEd,

    in the blog we discussed if we can expect some good new music in 2016, and now I’ve just read a list of 21 albums “to get excited about” by NME and now I have to agree with you that probably there is not much to expect. 🙁 But the hope lives…

    Hope you have a great sunny weekend
    Hanno

    1. Oh, oh, oh! I found one: Victorious by Wolfmother. Quite possibly the only new release I’ll consider buying in 2016, but there it is.

      Having had a look at the NME list, I agree with you, but do like what I’ve heard so far from Sunflower Beam. Thank goodness for the psych-rock revival.

      (And doesn’t Nick Kivlen look like a young Bob Dylan?)

      1. I am relieved that 2016 has something to offer. 😉 Maybe we will talk again if PMcC and Tom Petty release new music… 😉

        I confess that I am not that familiar with Wolfmother but I trust your judgement and will give them a chance. And then – who knows – maybe there will be a musical surprise by someone (of course I don’t expect another DG album).

      2. Hi FEd,

        I am really slow in hearing and judging new music. So I just started to hear the single “Victorious” by Wolfmother. Its a really strong guitar… And I hear the debut album by Budgie; I really like them. So thanks for your recommendations.

        Have a nice second half of the week, Hanno

          1. Hi FEd, I don’t know if you like them, but maybe you will enjoy the new Nada Surf album You Know Who You Are; it will be released tomorrow.

            Stay healthy and have a nice weekend.

      3. Some nice news for the music year 2016:

        Tom Petty’s pre-fame band Mudcrutch will release their album “2” at May 20th (FEd, its a great cover, take a look) and Travis – in my opinion the better Coldplay because they just stayed what they are, a very British guitar band – will release their eighth album at April 29th.

        That will help me when I wait for another DG album… 🙂

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