banner ad
banner ad
banner ad


| 1 January 2015 | 1 Reply

By Shane Pinnegar

An annual ‘Best Of’ list can tell you a lot about a person.


The first thing I notice from mine is how retro my tastes have been this year: my favourite albums and gigs are decidedly classic in tone.

As to what says about me or my current place in life, I’ll have to leave to someone else to analyse, but to me it says that the music that is touching me deepest is rock n’ roll with spirit and heart and soul. Rock n’ roll without gimmicks or studio trickery – just great players who know exactly how to play on an emotional level.

With much modern music deliberately created for its disposability, it’s comforting to know that legendary performers like Springsteen and The Stones, Dylan and Daltrey, Plant and AC/DC, Frehley and Glenn Hughes – and that includes more cult artists like James Williamson and Wilko Johnson and Veruca Salt – are mixing it up with newer acts like Riot Horse, Hailmary, Black Stone Cherry and Rival Sons, in creating music which challenges, redefines and most importantly stands strong and ready to impart hidden treasures after repeated listens.

There’s undoubtedly a lot of great music out there that I simply didn’t get exposed to or have a chance to discover. Of those that I did, here’s what resonated the most with me. I hope you see a few of your own favourites in there, and maybe even see a couple that you’d like to seek out and give a chance. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

1. Wilko Johnson & Roger Daltrey – Going Back Home

Wilco Johnson-Roger Daltrey - Going Back Home cover

In all honesty any of my top four albums could have taken out the #1 spot, but the sheer raw vitality of Wilko Johnson’s guitar work on this reworking of his old Dr Feelgood tracks puts most of his peers and following generations to shame. Not bad for a guy the doctors said would be dead a year or two ago, without question. Who vocalist Daltrey puts the icing on the cake by revisiting his ‘Maximum R&B’ days with a powerhouse performance, making this an album of beguiling simplicity that evokes the very essence of rock n’ roll.

2. James Williamson – Re-Licked

James Williamson - Re-Licked cover

The Stooges blazed a trail littered with used drug paraphernalia, glass & blood, peanut butter and some of the purest rock n’ roll ever conceived – not that they were respected for it at the time, and they disbanded after they couldn’t get a record deal to record the follow-up to seminal classic Raw Power. The songs Iggy Pop and Williamson wrote for that follow-up are finally here in full ragged studio glory, sung not by Pop but by a cast of luminaries including Bobby Gillespie, Alison Wonderland, Lisa Kekaula, Alison Mossheart, Nicke Andersson, Mark Lanegan and more. Once again, THIS is rock n’ roll.

3. California Breed – California Breed

California Breed - California Breed cover

Glenn Hughes – ex-Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, solo artist, Black County Communion and legendary bacchanalian – bounced back almost instantly after his falling out with BCC’s Joe Bonamassa, and with BCC’s Jason Bonham on drums and young axeman Andrew Watt he delivered an album which cherry-picked the heart of Zeppelin, Cram and Hendrix.

4. Robert Plant – Lullaby And… The Ceaseless Roar

Robert Plant - Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar cover

Bravo Robert Plant – the Led Zeppelin golden god could have taken the soft option (and the money) and toured for a couple of years with his old band, but instead he bravely forged ahead on his own path, boldly blending hard rock, African rhythms and modern beats to create a new future for his art.

5. Rival Sons – Great Western Valkyrie

Rival Sons - Great Western Valkyrie cover
6. Black Stone Cherry – Magic Mountain

Black Stone Cherry - Magic Mountain cover
7. Blues Pills – Blues Pills

Blues Pills - Blues Pills cover
8. Beck – Morning Phase

Beck - Morning Phase cover
9. Riot Horse – This Is Who We Are

Riot Horse - This Is Who We Are cover
10. Ace Frehley – Space Invader

11. Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways
12. Imelda May – Tribal
13. AC/DC – Rock Or Bust
14. Accept – Blind Rage
15. Tesla – Simplicity
16. Various – The Art Of McCartney
17. Slash feat Myles Kennedy – World On Fire
18. Bruce Springsteen – High Hopes
19. Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems
20. Billy Idol – Kings & Queens Of The Underground

Billy Idol - Kings & Queens Of The Underground cover
21. Swanee – One Day At A Time
22. The Tea Party – The Ocean At The End
23. Russell Morris – Van Diemen’s Land
24. Dan Baird & Homemade Sin – Circus Life
25. Pink Floyd – The Endless River
26. The Bluefields – Under High Cotton
27. Birds Of Satan – Birds Of Satan
28. Chris Gibbs – Big Appetite
29. Sugar Louise – Friends In Love Places
30. Julian Angel’s Beautiful Beast – Kick Down The Barricades

Julian Angel's Beautiful Beast - Kick Down The Barricades CD
31. Electric Wizard – Time To Die
32. Bryan Ferry – Avonmore
33. 100 Watt Vipers – Something Wicked Comes This Way
34. Anti-Mortem – New Southern
35. The Trews – The Trews
36. The Empty Hearts – The Empty Hearts
37. Warner E Hodges – Gunslinger
38. Sixx AM – Modern Vintage
39. Hits – Hikikomori
40. The Hard-Ons – Peel Me Like An Egg

Hard-Ons - Peel Me Like An Egg cover
41. David Bowie – Nothing Has Changed
42. Black Veil Brides – Black Veil Brides
43. Edguy – Space Police
44. Sebastian Bach – Give ‘Em Hell
45. Various – Ronnie James Dio, This Is Your Life
46. Leif ‘Snake’ Sixx – It’s All About The Riff
47. Spike – 100% Pure Frankie Miller
48. Ginger St James & The Grinders – Diesel & Peas
49. Mastodon – Once More Round The Sun
50. Tom Petty – Hypnotic Eye

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Hypnotic eye cover

1. Electric Mary – Last Great Hope

Electric Mary - The Last Great Hope EP cover

Australia’s best damn rock n’ roll band, full stop, deliver a five track blast of pure rock that should have cemented their place as the inheritors of the Oz Rock crown, but which has largely been ignored by radio and the powers that be. Electric Mary are the future. Get on it.

2. Destroy She Said – Fat Lizzy

Desroy She Said - Fat Lizzy cover
3. The Dead Daisies – Face I Love

4. Hailmary – Navigate The Sunrise

Hailmary - Navigate The Sunrise EP cover
5. Dan Brodie & The Grieving Widows – Run Yourself Ragged

Dan Brodie & The Grieving Widows - Run Yourself Ragged EP
6. Resonance Project – Tale Goes On
7. Graham Greene – Lord Of Misrule
8. Amberdown – Miss Mediocrity
9. Sonic Circus – singles
10. Veruca Salt – MMXIV
11. Tequila Mockingbyrd – T-birds Are Go
12. Roaming Son – History Of Violence
13. Buckcherry – Fuck
14. Veludo – Veludo
15. Dave Evans – Nothing To Prove



1. Bruce Springsteen – Perth Arena, 7 February

Springsteen & I DVD cover

For sheer unstoppable emotion coupled with old time rock n’ roll power, The Boss delivered the best gig of the year. Bruce Springsteen doesn’t just play rock n’ roll, he sells euphoria, an uplifting personal experience for every single soul in the room, and with a band of 17 including drummer Max Weinberg, guitarist Little Steven, aka Stevie Van Zandt, Rage Against The Machine string-abuser Tom Morello, just to name a few, and a back catalogue that ranks with the best in the world, he didn’t put a step wrong all night.

2. The Rolling Stones – Perth Arena, 29 October
3. Bob Dylan – Riverside Theatre, Perth, 13 August
4. The Dead Daisies – Rosemount Hotel, Perth, 4 December
5. Suzanne Vega – The Astor, Perth, 11 April
6. Veruca Salt – Rosemount Hotel, Perth, 4 October
7. Martha Davis & The Motels – The Astor, Perth, 12 March
8. The Ape – Mojos, Fremantle, 23 August
9. The Tea Party – Crown Theatre, Perth, 9 October
10. Hunters & Collectors – Kings Park, Perth, 29 March

1. Anger Is An Energy by John Lydon

John Lydon - Anger Is An Energy cover

The former Johnny Rotten pulls no punches in his autobiography, revelling in not only in the anger that has driven him his whole life, but also showing himself to be an intelligent, compassionate man with a lot of love for those he holds close. A fascinating and compelling memoir of a true artist.

2. Texas Barbecue: Meat, Smoke & Love by Jonas Cramby
3. The Essential Footrot Flats by Murray Ball
4. Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys by Viv Albertine
5. Bird Box by Josh Malerman
6. Gus & Me by Keith & Theodora Richards
7. Dancing With Myself by Billy Idol
8. The Filthy Truth by Andrew Dice Clay
9. Movida Solera by Frank Camorra & Richard Cornish
10. Dog Eat Dog by Michael Browning

1. Sonic Highways

Foo Fighters Sonic Highways TV

Dave Grohl takes The Foo Fighters on a trip to eight studios in eight US cities, recording a song in each while investigating the musical legacy of that city in each episode. More than just an exploration of rock, alternative and punk history, Sonic Highways becomes a study of the music industry itself and – most importantly – the people in it.

2. Fargo
3. True Detective
4. Utopia
5. Countdown: Do Yourself A Favour
6. Peaky Blinders
7. Anzac Girls
8. INXS: Never Tear Us Apart
9. Doctor Who Series 8
10. Happy Valley

1. Snowpiercer

Dystopic fantasies about class struggle don’t get much bleaker than this, but the truly original Snowpiercer shows that even the darkest of characters in the darkest of situations can redeem themselves and save the weak.

2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
3. Guardians Of the Galaxy
4. Supermensch
5. These Final Hours
6. Sharknado 2
7. The Lego Movie
8. Lucy
9. Super Duper Alice Cooper
10. 22 Jump Street

Thankyou to all of our contributors, who give their time and skills voluntarily. If you’d like to reward them and us, please click the DONATE button on our home page.

Shane Pinnegar
Todd Jolicouer
Steph O’Connell
Maree King
Robert Kitay
Stuart McKay
Kevin Curran
Shayne McGowan
Jeffrey Everett
Mike Hubbard
Trulie Pinnegar
Star Wiggam
Jackie Jet
Melanie Scrafton
Luke Baker
Tia Pinnegar
Aly Locatelli

Thanks to all the PR, management, labels, promoters, bands, publishers and so forth who sent us tickets, books, DVDs, CDs to review, and hooked up great interview subjects. It is always appreciated.

Thanks – most importantly – to you readers for reading, sharing, ‘Like’ing what we do. That’s what makes it all worthwhile.

Be EXCELLENT to each other – and long may you all rock.

Shane Pinnegar – Editor In Chief
New Years Eve 2014

Category: Featured Articles, News

About the Author ()

Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Chris Gibbs says:

    Thanks very much for including ‘Big Appetite’ in your top 50 albums list, honoured!

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad