The Wildhearts: Earth Vs The Wildhearts - Ginger is one of the most
under rated songwriters of the last twenty years and this debut album combines
great riffs and amazing melodies all joined by beautiful, emotional, aggressive,
Kip Winger: Songs From The Ocean Floor - Forget the hair metal
preconceptions that Winger tried to lose with the great album Pull. SFTOF is an
intelligent and emotional reaction to Kip losing his wife with complex rhythms
and worldwide influences. Close your eyes and let this album wash over you.
Flesh + Blood: Dead White & Blue - Politically and socially aware
lyrics backed with the most mature and saccharine free AOR you could ever hear.
This band deserves to be remembered for more than once being called Dear Mr.
Marillion: Season's End - I could have chosen almost any of
Marillion's albums, however with the debut from Steve Hogarth kicking off with
epic "King Of Sunset Town" it's Marillion at their best.
Fish: Sunsets On Empire - The big man has done some tremendous work
since his departure from the above band and this Steven Wilson produced album
sees him at his intimidating, yet vulnerable peak.
Porcupine Tree: Deadwing - Arguably their most accessible album, songs
like "Halo", and "Lazarus" sum the band up perfectly. A stunning album.
Styx: The Grand Illusion - Containing some of the best group vocals on any
album, The Grand Illusion is Styx at the very height of their considerable
powers. Uplifting and inspiring.
Opeth: Blackwater Park - Not many bands can genuinely be described as
"ground breaking" , Opeth are one of them and Blackwater Park just beats out
Ghost Reveries as their best.
Kiss: Alive II - Kiss were the first band I was truly devoted to and
choosing their best album is like choosing my favourite child. Alive II combines
the best of Destroyer, Rock And Roll Over and Love Gun so along with Ace's
crowning glory "Rocket Ride" from the studio tracks, it just edges out its elder
Uriah Heep: Fallen Angel - The Heep are a recent revelation for me and
from all their amazing back catalogue I keep reaching for the tight riffs,
seductive keyboards and commanding vocals on Fallen Angel. Along with Wake The
Sleeper it's Heep as good as they get.
Y&T: Earthshaker - Why Dave Meniketti isn't a household name I have no
idea. For straight ahead good time rock look no further than Y&T's masterpiece.
"Rescue Me", "I Believe In You", and "Hungry For Rock" set the standard that a
whole decade's worth of bands struggled to match.
Ennio Morricone: The Good The Bad And The Ugly (OST) - I'm a sucker
for a good soundtrack, and with this one Morricone almost manages to tell the
story of the film in music. There's a reason that Metallica hit the stage to
"The Ecstasy Of Gold" and that's its ability to raise the hairs on the back of
your neck as it builds and builds. A master at work.