We appear to be smack-gob in the middle of another golden age of music, at least for the music I like.
So when I launched this blog, 3 years ago this month, it was mainly because I had discovered the wonder of the Raspberry Pi and wanted an excuse to buy one (that wasn't bitcoin mining) so a blog server seemed like a good idea.
But also, I used to blog a lot. In retrospect I suppose I was never that prolific, but I have been at this a long time. Long in web years, anyway. My first "online journal" (as we called them before the word weblog had even been coined) started in 1998 or so, and was manually written in HTML, with manually updated archive pages, and the whole thing uploaded manually via FTP. This is before even Blogger, remember.
Anyway, I used to do it a lot. Then I got a job on the web, so I did it even more. Then I got a much more busy life (and a girlfriend) and I did it less. Then along came things like Twitter and Facebook, and the urge to self-publish became a mainstream thing, and I went with the flow. Blogging dwindled.
When I launched this blog in November 2013, I knew it would wax and wane according to various tides in my life, and so it has. So I decided to have an ongoing little theme that I could come back to when I wanted to publish something but wasn't up for full-scale discourse, and that was the Clive's Album of the Year series. I decided I would make a shortlist of albums from my collection for every year, then pick a winner (and a handful of runners-up) from each year and publish a little post about them. I started from 2012 and worked backwards, pausing briefly to fill in 2013 once I'd spent a little more time with the albums of that year.
I intend to carry on doing this for a bit longer (my collection peters out pretty dramatically pre-1984 or so), and also to catch up with the years that have elapsed since I started the list.
All of which is a huge preamble to this – here are the winners thus far:
- 2013: Jon Gomm - Secrets Nobody Keeps
- 2012: Flying Colors - Flying Colors
- 2011: You Me At Six - Sinners Never Sleep
- 2010: Furyon - Gravitas
- 2009: Amorphis - Skyforger
- 2008: You Me At Six - Take Off Your Colours
- 2007: Turisas - The Varangian Way
- 2006: My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade
- 2005: Coheed and Cambria - Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness
- 2004 (tie): William Shatner - Has Been
- 2004 (tie): Max Richter - The Blue Notebooks
- 2003: The Darkness - Permission to Land
- 2002: Damien Rice - O
- 2001: Buckcherry - Time Bomb
- 2000: Paul Gilbert - Alligator Farm
- 1999: Underworld - Beaucoup Fish
- 1998: Barenaked Ladies - Stunt
- 1997: Dream Theater - Falling Into Infinity
- 1996: The Presidents of the USA - The Presidents of the USA II
- 1995 (tie): Radiohead - The Bends
- 1995 (tie): Pulp - Different Class
- 1994: Jeff Buckley - Grace
- 1993: Sting - Ten Summoner's Tales
And that's as far as I've got so far. I've covered present day (from when I started, anyway) right back to the start of the oft-mentioned Dark Times, and I shall carry on back as far as my music collection will let me.
And let me tell you, 1992 is the most difficult of the whole lot. I've been workshopping it with a friend for a week, and it's still a 4-way tie with no sign of the deadlock breaking. Bet you're on the edge of your seat.
Tell you one thing – I'm not looking forward to writing the intro piece for 2016.