That time of year again where I share with you guys some of my favorite albums of 2014. These lists are always tough because you no doubt forget something and to make the order is so tough. But any list is done to inspire discussion and debate so have at it! Also I will discuss these albums in detail and more top releases of 2014 in my Year in Review podcast posting 1/1. Also music from all of these albums and many many more will be featured in my annual Year in Review radio special debuting the weekend of 1/2 on all syndicated FM outlets. So important that new music is supported if we want artists to keep making it. Especially in this day and age where it is so hard for it to be exposed and played and get any real attention and sales. Feel free to post your own lists as comments to this post. Happy Holidays to all!
1: California Breed
Sucks that Jason Bonham only lasted 2 live shows with this band (one I hosted in NYC), but Glenn Hughes and Andrew Watt continue on. Just a monster of an in your face heavy rock album, great songs, grooves and the amazing vocals of Glenn who is ageless and sings circles around those half his age. Just a beast of an album that should have gotten so much more support and love. I hope the band lasts. All Falls Down, Sweet Tea, The Way, Spit You Out among my favorites.
2: Ace Frehley – Space Invader
Way better album than anyone could have ever expected from the original spaceman. It even ranked #7 in Classic Rocks top 50 in the UK. If you love Ace’s sound and character this album is just killer. Great hooks and Ace is singing (by Ace standards) better than he has in a long time. A great return from Ace that captures the classic Kiss sound and has a loose concept that takes you into his very spacey world! A few songs on this album that should be all over the radio, but we know how that works these days sadly. Can say that about so many albums! So many songs that stick in your head for days on this album.
3: Judas Priest- Redeemer Of Souls
This album really came alive for me after seeing the band live. Sword Of Damocles, Halls Of Valhalla, Dragonaut, Crossfire, all classic Priest! Good to have one of the genres most important bands making new music and playing live still!
4: Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators- World On Fire
Slash and the boys on a roll with the second full length album to feature his current band. As good as straight up hard rock gets. Well played, produced and it is still anyone’s guess how Myles can effortlessly juggle two major bands this well. And props to Brent Fitz and Todd Kerns, two unsung heroes of this band but great assets. It’s a very long album so takes some time to absorb but worth the time.
5: Accept- Blind Rage
Album number 3 of the Tornillo era Accept rebirth. Wolf Hoffman has to be one of metals most underrated players. Killer riffs, tone, production and massive songs. More classic modern Accept! Hope for more US dates in 2015.
6: Overkill- White Devil Armory
30 years into their recorded history and this band is doing some of their best work live and on album. Relentless new classic thrash from one of the genres most underrated bands. They make albums and are as good live as any of the thrash bands out there. PIG is my favorite on this one.
7: Red Dragon Cartel
This came out at the start of 2014 and I almost forgot about it. The long awaited return of Jake E Lee. Eclectic guest singers like Robin Zander, Paul DiAnno, Maria Brink and more, plus lead singer Darren Smith who had a rough first live show but has settled in nicely and has the pipes to cover all of Jake’s career. There is something on here for everyone who loves Jake and hard rock music. Was good to hear him playing again. Props to former band member Ron Mancuso who had a big role in this band coming together and the making of this album. Great first step back for Jake that hopefully he continues to run with.
One of the MANY “supergroup” bands but this one was really good! Dug Pnnick, George Lynch, Ray Luzier. Massive grooves and great playing and vocals. Sadly the story of so many of these bands seems to be the case here; no real promotion behind this and no live shows to date because of the artists schedules, which sucks because this music begs to be heard live. Let’s hope they find some time to focus on this in 2015 because it deserves it. Faith Is A Room my favorite track.
9: Kyng- Burn The Serum
Great young trio from LA with their second album. Everything I love about hard rock. Great riffs and vocals. Saw them live at Rocklahoma and they just killed it. A favorite new band to watch for sure. Electric Halo favorite track.
10: Tesla- Simplicity
One of my favorite bands from the 80’s, still making great hard rock music. Would have loved a few more heavy songs on this but Tesla always had many sides and all are on display here. More great no nonsense hard rock from one of the best to make it from the 80’s.
Other cool stuff: Exodus- Blood In Blood Out (Zetro back!), Rival Sons- Great Western Valkyrie (love these guys but the distortion on the sound and vox a little much which kept it out of my top 10), Kix- Rock Your Face Off (first new album in 20 years plus), Skid Row- Rise Of The Damnation Army (best new Skids tunes in a while, but just an EP), Dio- This is Your Life (GREAT tribute album for a great cause, only not in my Top 10 because I don’t usually include tributes), Farmikos- LOVE this new music from Joe Holmes and can’t wait for the proper release. Only reason not in my top 10 is because it doesn’t really come out until 2015.
Best reissues: Zeppelin titles and anything on Rock Candy, check them out at www.rockcandyrecords.com . Also the Kiss Love Gun special edition was cool. as was Bon Jovi New Jersey special edition.
Best book: Joe Perry- Rocks, My Life In And Out Of Aerosmith.
I’m sure there are TONS of things I am forgetting but hope you like my list. Much more on my radio show and podcast! Happy Holidays to all.