D is for...

D is for… The Dead Daisies Image sourced from Wikipedia Meh, rock supergroups. Amirite? Aside from Flying Colors and Velvet Revolver, what have supergroups ever given us? Well, OK, The Damned Things were pretty awesome but seems like it was just a one-shot project. Oh I suppose Them Crooked Vultures count too. And Chickenfoot. Oh, and KXM are great. No, you can't have Crosby Stills Nash & Young. Or Gorillaz, for fuck's sake. Where do you think you are? So anyway, supergroups. Bad call, all the egos mash together, and you end up with a badly coordinated half-baked (or overbaked)…

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C is for...

C is for… Cloudkicker Image on loan from Cloudkicker's Bandcamp In around 2011 I discovered a number of heavy instrumental acts who rocked my bell, among them Scale the Summit, Chimp Spanner, Sithu Aye, the mighty Plini and Cloudkicker. This last is in fact a one-man act, and that man is Ben Sharp. Like a few of the others I discovered around this time, Ben writes, produces, programs and plays everything you hear, and releases his music on the splendid Bandcamp platform, rendering him truly a one-man-band. Cloudkicker's music is very hard to categorise, though I wouldn't be a proper…

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B is for...

B is for… Sebastian Bach By Jamie - Flickr: Sebastian Bach & Rachel Bolan, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14408377 Hah! Didn't see that coming now, did you? OK, so I'm aware that a number of my listeners will be fully aware of Señor Bach from his time as lead shoutmarshall for that fine old American band, Skid Row, who released two absolutely barnstorming albums (and one mediocre one) right before the coming of The Dark Times. None of that is in question, and is a matter of immutable record. But what you…

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A is for...

A is for… Amorphis By Cecil - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3668860 The year was 2009, I was still working in advertising, and I was in need of new music. I mentioned this to a colleague and he surprised the waste solids out of me with the news that he was quite deeply into something called "Battle Metal". "What the Jeff on earth is that?", quoth I, or similar. It transpired to be a subset of the genre I would then plunge myself into for the following year to the…

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Clive's Album of the Year, 2017

OK, so I think I've sat with the albums of 2017 for long enough now to make the necessary judgement calls. 2017 was the year that came after the one before, and if anyone tries to tell you different, MURDER THEM. People have been banging on about how shit 2017 was… and they're not wrong… but hey, did everyone forget about 2016? This was just more of the same but at least we had some idea of what to expect. Oh, and Prince and Bowie didn't die in 2017, so on that basis alone it must be better than 2016.…

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Clive's Album of the Year, 1974-1976

The final part. The end, or I suppose, the beginning. Back to 1974, the year of my birth. The best release of 1974 was clearly me and frankly I only get better every year, but musically… 1976 Winner Jean-Michel Jarre - Oxygene One of the few artists I got into when I was young (not in 1976, obviously) and before I was gripped by the majesty of rock (and the mystery of roll) was J-MJ. I like pretty much all his stuff and always have. Oxygene was probably my favourite of his, and "Oxygene 4" was used on the TV…

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Clive's Album of the Year, 1977-1980

On we go, come on come on, keep up, I haven't got all day, you know. 1980 Honourable mention Van Halen - Women and Children First When Van Halen burst onto the scene they undeniably took it apart (more on that later), and they were still pretty much at the top of their game by the third album. Punchy. Top track: "Everybody Wants Some!!" Winner AC/DC - Back in Black Well. I know I'm going to get into trouble in some quarters, but for me AC/DC has a Geordie singer with a flat cap. I know, I know,…

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Clive's Album of the Year, 1981-1985

Right, I hadn't developed a real taste in music this far back, and a lot of what I've gotten into from these years is the back catalogues of a handful of bands, so it's going to get samey from here on in. I shall therefore be brief, we'll skip the preambles and births and deaths etc. – I'm sure you can all use Wikipedia. 1985 Winner Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms Possibly the first album I properly enjoyed. My mate next door, Craig, had it on tape and we would play it over and over in the tape decks of…

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Clive's Album of the Year, 1986

1986. I was 12, and had yet to develop any taste in music, so as before this is all retroactive. This is also as far back as I’m going with the whole “1 winner and 5 runners-up” thing. My original idea was to try and go right back to the year of my birth, 1974, but I just can’t find enough music that I like from all of those years. What we’ll have after this is a digest format with the best one of the year, and possible an honourable mention or two. So now you know.…

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Clive's Album of the Year, 2016

Unnnnnngh. Whoo. Ummm… yeah. 2016. OK. Shit. *deep breath* Right. Let’s do this. *girds loins* 2016 was The International Year of Pulses, but despite that it started badly and then went downhill from there. And after that it got worse. We were still reeling from the (not wholly unexpected) passing of Lemmy in December 2015 when the (relatively unexpected) news of David Bowie’s demise reached us, and so began Super Grim Reaper Ultra Party Bonanza Deathfest. (Plenty) more on that shortly. I had spent my Christmas holiday (hah) looking for work, and ended up back at my old…

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