Once again, as always, there were a ton of great songs released last year. Narrowing it down to the 21 best is a bit ridiculous, but it’s a digestible chunk of music to summarize the year.
My absolute favorite song of the year was also the most surprising: the Oak Ridge Boys’ “Pray to Jesus” blew my mind the first time I heard it and continues to blow we away with each listen. The fact that the Oak Ridge Boys of “Elvira” fame (1981) are not only still together but still sounding this good and recording material of this quality doesn’t make any sense. Or maybe it does! Everything was crazy in 2018.
In addition to “Pray to Jesus” we’ve compiled twenty more great songs from 2018 sequenced for maximum listening pleasure. Please enjoy!
End of year lists are fun. This is better than that. No it’s not. Etc.
We shared almost 200 songs in 2017. Most of those are really good or else we wouldn’t have posted them, right? But these are the 21 that we keep going back to and can’t get enough of.
Why 21? It’s a good amount of music. Less than 80 minutes, which is about how much you could cram onto a CD-R or a little less than what you could fit onto 90 minute tape. It’s digestible.
Our list might not be as diverse and worldly as some you might come across, but these songs all share our point of view. We love guitars, smart lyrics, and bad attitudes. Rock and roll.
These aren’t ranked in order but instead they’re sequenced for listenability. We had to kick it off with the Breeders (good morning!), but after that it pretty much goes from mellow to banging. Of course, feel free to shuffle it up if that’s how you roll. Go nuts. Enjoy.
We hope you like it and we plan on sharing even more songs next year. 5 x 52 = 260, right? That’s the plan anyway.
This is a slightly edited version of a message board reply I made in reponse to a great post about the “Matador at 21” event in Las Vegas this fall. The original poster, Barabajagal, described his feelings about the event as “a way of celebrating, yet leaving behind, this music that meant so much over the last 20 years,” and I got to thinking about my own feelings about this music as GLONO approaches its tenth birthday…
Twenty-one years. Think of that in terms of rock and roll history. Look at a label like at Atlantic Records. They started in 1947 as a jazz/r&b label and twenty-one years later they released Led Zeppelin. I realize that between 1947 and 1968 things were changing radically and quickly, but still.
Twenty-one years ago, no one had cell phones, and personal computers didn’t do much other than games and word processing. The world has changed pretty radically since 1989, too. But Matador albums still sound like Matador albums. Which is great, I guess. Look at this discography. They’re one of the most consistent labels out there (along with Merge), but it’s okay to get bored with it and to stop caring about new releases that sound like warmed up versions of stuff that came out 20 years ago.
But if you think things are bad now, just wait until the full-on 90s revival kicks in…any minute now…
2009 was quite a year. A lot of people died. In this year’s introduction, I’d like to focus on three people who shaped my taste and helped develop my obsession with music.
Mary Travers was the cute blonde in Peter, Paul and Mary. As a toddler, I listened to the Peter, Paul and Mommy album on headphones connected to a reel to reel player. We have Super8 home movies of me in a diaper doing it. In college, I took my mom to see one of their reunion tours. I blubbered with nostalgia and joy through the entire set.
Like every other person alive in 1983, I fell hard for Michael Jackson. I, however, continued to respect and defend him for the next 20 years. My first real concert was the Jacksons Victory tour at the Pontiac Silverdome. I may have stopped buying his records after Bad, but I continued to love his singles and videos. And I dreamed of a Rick Rubin style, stripped down, soul comeback. Imagine if he’d hooked up with the Dap-Kings!
Wilco was my favorite band through most of my twenties, and during that entire time their guitar player was Jay Bennett. He was a perfect sideman and creative foil. And it’s a goddamned shame that he went out the way he did. Would the Democratic healthcare reform have saved him had it been enacted years ago? Who the fuck knows? But it’s a tragedy that a dude who gave the world so much joy went out like that.
Another year, another decade, another bunch of people. Gone. But hey, at least there was a bunch of great music to listen to as we regained our cynicism after a brief, audacious moment of hope…
What a year. The American electorate finally redeemed itself. And how. Barack Obama is such an inspiring figure that people like myself who have spent their entire adult lives being understandably cynical about politicians don’t even really know how to deal with these kinds of emotions. 2009 will undoubtedly bring disappointments, but 2008 really felt like a triumph of hope. And as cheesy as that sounds, it feels pretty fucking great. For now. Call us cautiously optimistic.
In 2008 we saw national average gas prices go up to over $4 a gallon, but now it’s under $2. We saw the economy collapse and hundreds of billions of dollars thrown at it to see what sticks. Glad I’m not an economist, because it all sounds like gibberish to me. All I know is that my condo is no longer worth shit and my brother-in-law lost his job (along with 2.1 million other people).
The music industry isn’t doing any better than any other industry. Record stores folded, music magazines stopped publishing, the RIAA lost some major court cases (1, 2, 3) against filesharers and finally decided to change course.
Even so, there is still great music being recorded and released. For me, this year I listened to my music mostly in playlists on shuffle. Sure, when I get something new, I listen to the album all the way through once or twice, but then it gets put into the mix. I often found myself surprised by songs from albums that I had initially blown off as boring, but when tracks came up on shuffle they sounded great. Still not sure what that’s about, but either artists aren’t making solid albums, or else my ears are losing their attention span. Maybe a little of both…
Below, find out what kept our attentions with the Glorious Noise Top Shelf for 2008.
Another year down. Everybody still hanging in there? Good. Happy New Year.
2007 will be remembered as the year that everybody finally realized George Bush has been really bad for our country. In the past, times like this have created a lot of really great music. Nixon, Reagan, etc. Did the past repeat itself? Not if you’re looking at the pop charts. That doesn’t mean that great albums are not being released of course. They are, and the lists below prove it.
2007 will also be remembered as the year that everybody finally realized that the music industry status quo is doomed. The executives still want you to purchase their expensive pieces of plastic, but music fans have proven that they really just want the music. Lots of it. And if the music industry can’t figure out how to give us what we want, we’ll just find it on our own. The rules have changed; scarcity has been removed from the economical equation. Deal with it.
Speaking of record labels, 2007 was the first year in a while that Glorious Noise Records did not release an album. I’ll admit that we’re all a little unsure of the future of that enterprise. We’ll see how it goes, but the phrase indefinite hiatus has been bandied about… We’ll try to be sure to keep all three of our releases in print and of course they’ll always be available for download. Cheap. And if you happen to find them on a p2p site, go nuts. We love the albums we released and we still want more people to hear them.
While we’re on the subject of indefinite hiatuses, our sports desk, the Out Route, has been pretty quiet lately. People move on. Things change. This is the internet; blogs are ephemeral. Our national affairs desk, POLJUNK, however, is alive and kicking. These are exciting times for politics junkies.
Exciting times for music lovers too. Lots of changes with music creation and distribution. More potential for democracy. Of course, with greater democracy comes greater responsability. And that’s why it’s the duty of all real music fans to seek out the good stuff and tell everybody about it. So with that, we present to you the Glorious Noise Top Shelf for 2007…
Ah, the year-end list… What a cliché. Isn’t there a saying about year-end lists, assholes, and belly buttons? Yet we can’t resist, can we? Over the years, Glorious Noise has been pretty laid-back about our list. We don’t have any strict rules for inclusion. The basic gist is: what stuff blew your mind this year?
2006 was good to GLONO. We celebrated our fifth birthday in February, and 8 months later threw ourselves a birthday party, the Black and Orange Ball. An annual event perhaps? We’ll see…
We also launched a couple of subsidiary sites, POLJUNK and the Out Route, focusing on politics and sports, respectively. But not respectfully, ha ha. Look for more expansion of the Glorious Noise media empire in 2007. But shhh, it’s a secret.
On the record label front, we released Riviera’s sophomore album, Capital, and we’ve been hearing great things about it, especially from those fantastic folks in the Netherlands. Who knows why, but the Dutch love some Riviera. A tour of Holland next year, maybe? Let’s make it happen! Thanks a bunch to everybody who’s bought, downloaded or listened to stuff by Riviera and Quasar Wut-Wut. We sincerely appreciate your support.
And thanks to everybody who’s ever posted a comment to GLONO, either in the articles or on the message boards. This would’ve gotten old a long time ago if it wasn’t for the feedback we keep getting from the members of this community. And that’s how we see it: a community. So all you lurkers out there (and we know you’re out there!), come on and make a New Year’s resolution to post some comments. Why not? You’re no dumber than any of the rest of us!
One more thing: we’ve gotta give some love to all the new babies and the expectant parents out there. Everyone we know seems to either be pregnant or parenting a newborn. We’re raising the next generation of music lovers, and that’s a serious responsibility. Congratulations to everyone! And good luck to us all…
What a year. Jesus, what the hell happened to 2005? Half the world got blown away by hurricanes. The situation in Iraq continues to get more and more fucked up, and more people seem to be recognizing this fact. Gas prices shot up to three bucks a gallon. Hunter S. Thompson killed himself. Seriously, what the fuck was going on?
Never mind all that nonsense for a minute though, because there were a lot of good records released in 2005. And lots of interesting stuff happened in the music industry.
If you’ve been reading Glorious Noise for a while, you’ll remember that we don’t get too uptight about our end of the year lists. This is just stuff that has moved us this year. Just like every other list, it is what it is. Make up your own mind about what sounded good this year and be sure to add a comment if we missed anything!
If you’ve been reading Glorious Noise for a while, you’ll remember that we don’t get too uptight about our top ten lists for the end of the year. We don’t ask our editors and contributors to give us their top 200 releases and assign a point value to each of the releases. We don’t come up with strict criteria for inclusion to disallow compilations, reissues or anything like that. Shit, we don’t even require stuff to be released in 2004—this is just stuff that has moved us this year. As always with these kind of lists, take it with a large piece of salt water taffy. And if everybody forgot your favorite record of the year, be sure to let us know in the comments.
Year-end lists are second only to “Desert Island Discs” in the rockcrit book of clichés. So it goes. What can you do?
Here is the stuff that moved us in 2003. Our rules for inclusion aren’t as strict as some; actually, we don’t have any rules for inclusion. So if you see something that wasn’t actually released in 2003, or that isn’t actually a record, or isn’t actually very good, it’s okay…don’t be such a tight-ass.