SDE’s favourite albums of 2018

While this site is largely concerned with reissues and box sets and the like, of course I still buy new albums and as such here is my review of some of my favourite releases for 2018. Before next week there will also be a look back at some of the best reissues of the last year…

SDE ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Joan As Police Woman / Damned Devotion

I’ll be honest, I loved Joan As Police Woman‘s first album (Real Life from 2006), liked the second one (2008’s To Survive) and then slightly lost track. 2011’s The Deep Field and 2014’s The Classic had their moments but ultimate didn’t really do it for me, while Benjamin Lazar Davis collaboration Let It Be Me was bought, filed but shamefully I ‘forgot’ to listen to it…

Cue the power of a good old fashioned ‘catchy’ song. While a pop chart hit is fairly much out of the question these days, for an artist like Joan As Police Woman, the quality of first single ‘Tell Me’ was more than apparent. Like much of the album, the song concerns communication. It’s a plea for articulation, expression and directness. Literally, ‘tell me what you want and I can try and give it to you.’  There’s something fantastic about the honesty of the sentiment, and the economy and relatively simplicity of the arrangement.

JAPW’s Joan Wasser has an incredible singing voice, but prefers understatement rather than over the top vocal gymnastics. ‘Tell Me’ is slinky delight and memorable enough that my kids were singing along to it when I ‘forced’ my playlists on them on holiday in the summer!

But one song does not a good album make and I think there’s two key things at play here that make the Damned Devotion such a success. Joan’s adventurousness, in terms of experimenting and ‘beat-making’ at her Brooklyn home has really paid off and at the same time she has just hit a rich vein of form and written and produced an incredibly intimate long-player full of moving and memorable songs. It’s a very pure album – it feels like musical and lyrical ideas have flowed straight from Wasser (with the help of trusted collaborators like Kindred Parker) right onto the grooves of the vinyl, unencumbered by a band working out arrangements in a traditional studio environment, where something excellent can inadvertently be shorn of its magic.

Opener ‘Wonderful’ is a delicate rose with electric piano, beats and lots of atmosphere. That song semi-segues into ‘Warning Bell’, where Joan muses about missing the tell-tale signs in a relationship and how she ‘never sees it coming’ into a pillow-soft arrangement.

There’s some exciting rhythms in a more funky middle section with ‘Steed (for Jean Genet)’ and in particular ‘The Silence’ which continues the album’s lyrical themes (“we have so much to say, why don’t we say it?”). One highlight here is the chanting middle eight, which ends with a blistering and satisfying distorted guitar solo.

‘Valid Jagger’ has beautiful melody that sucks you in and a lovely organ denouement, while ‘What Was It Like’ is a moving tribute to Joan’s Dad. ‘Talk About It Later’ is another funky number with an amusing lyric (“later as in 2020…”) and ‘Silly Me’ and ‘I Don’t Mind’ are the ‘come down’ tracks and complete the album.

This is one of those life-changing records. It is that good. Sit back and listen to all 12 tracks from start to finish and you’ll discover that Damned Devotion messes with your body. It gets under your skin, squeezes your heart and perhaps occasionally stirs the loins. It’s Joan As Police Woman’s best album and by a long margin my favourite of 2018.

Read the SDE with Joan As Police Woman • Live Review

Suede / The Blue Hour

Suede / The Blue Hour

Good old Suede. The first two albums were brilliant (particularly 1994’s Dog Man Star), Coming Up was a perfect pop reinvention and then it all went tits up with the what-were-they-thinking Head Music followed by the BORING A New Morning. The latter was so bad the band broke up and disappeared for seven years.

Because they skipped most of the ‘noughties’, when they came back Suede were shocked to see that while their audience still liked shaking their bits, there were no ‘hits’ to speak of anymore. ‘Woolies’ was out of business, Top of the Pops was finished and the UK singles chart was so disfigured it could only be identified by reference to its dental records. Damn! Or maybe not damn, because Suede were suddenly no longer judged by their hit singles any more. Ten years earlier, no hits meant you were dumper-bound, but now everyone else was not having hits too – hooray! Also, you didn’t even need a record label anymore, you could engage with some kind of ‘label services’ company, own your own music and stick it to ‘the man’.

If you believe the narrative, around 2012 Brett Anderson gathered the band together, furrowed his brow and said “let’s record a triptych of albums”. “Alright then…” came the response. The Blue Hour is the third in that ‘triptych’, after 2013’s Bloodsports (don’t mention the awful deluxe) and 2016’s Night Thoughts.

So the idea with the last three albums is to be conceptual, to embrace widescreen grandeur and to reach beyond the confines of the three-minute pop song, and with Night Thoughts – which came with a feature film – even the standard pop promo. So with that in mind, The Blue Hour opener ‘As One’ is all ominous Ave Santani-style chanting mixed with John Barry guitar lines and the anthemic Wastelands ends with a spoken word linking section. This is a good thing, obviously. During the atmospheric Roadkill a conversation ensues about a ‘dead bird’ then lo and behold there is a song called Dead Bird later on! That’s what I’m talking about!

Okay, I’m poking fun a little bit here, but I do really like this album, even if it’s VERY ‘Suede’ in places. During Beyond The Outskirts Brett sings of ‘small town dreaming’ (a recurring Suede theme), but it’s still quite moving and the payoff line at the end about having the “same blank feeling… I wonder where you are tonight” is quite moving. This song also benefits from a great and satisfyingly rocky middle eight section. ‘Flytipping’ gets very close to parody in places, with lines like “I’ll take you to the verges” and “careful as you go”. For a while, I was wondering if there was any metaphor here at all and perhaps this was Brett genuinely singing about a baggy-jeaned white van man with no sense of social responsibility but I think he just about gets there in the end because he sings of ‘shiny things that turn into rust’, so it’s probably about relationships decaying on the hard shoulder of life. Or something.

‘Cold Hands’ is a great rocker, ‘Chalk Circles’ has some more of that chanting and ‘Life Is Golden’ is a mid-paced song with some sunny positivity. Arguably, The Blue Hour lacks a really massive standout track (and probably isn’t home to anything quite as good as Night Thoughts‘ ‘Outsiders’ and ‘No Tomorrow’) but with these thematic concept albums that can easily be flipped into a positive. It’s the sum of the whole and not about individual songs grabbing the spotlight.

Brett sings beautifully throughout and The Blue Hour is largely a triumph. It really suits them. Suede seem to have found their calling with these kinds of albums, so I hope they don’t abandon the idea and try to go all ‘pop’ for their next one.

Paul Weller / True Meanings

I think I’ve been suffering from Paul Weller fatigue in recent times. The ex-Jam and Style Council man has been knocking them out regularly for quite a while and although there’s been nothing really wrong with the likes of Saturns Pattern and A Kind Revolution, it feels like ages since I really loved one of his solo efforts (probably 2008’s 22 Dreams). But True Meanings has reversed that trend. It’s a beautiful record. I’m a sucker for that pastoral, folky vibe, but crucially, the songs are also very good. ‘Gravity’ and ‘Glide’ drip with acoustic regret while ‘Old Castles’ has a wonderful jazzy lilt. Best of all the mood and tone is consistent throughout and therefore this feels like a proper album, to sit back and enjoy.

Elvis Costello & The Imposters / Look Now

With all Elvis Costello‘s various projects and collaborations it’s surprising that Look Now was his first ‘proper’ studio album since 2010’s National Ransom. The new record is a shorter more focussed effort than that eight-year old long-player and benefits from sounding a bit more like a ‘classic’ straight off the bat, thanks to a trio of songs written with Burt Bacharach (‘Photographs Can Lie’ is as good as virtually anything on 1998’s Painted From Memory) and the brilliant ‘Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter’ (written with Carole King). Not that Costello needs ‘helpers’ particularly. Eight of the 12 tracks are solo efforts with ‘Unwanted Numbers’, ‘Under Lime’ and ‘Why Won’t Heaven Help Me’ all from the top drawer. A wonderful album.

Paul McCartney / Egypt Station

I can understand why Paul McCartney continues to tour and reissue his back catalogue, but it’s less clear why he bothers with new albums. He has nothing much to gain, plenty to lose and the ‘new’ songs rarely make it beyond the current tour unable (in Paul’s mind anyway) to compete with the gold standards of the past. He’s also hampered by a voice that’s, frankly, past its best.

But bother he does. He’s chosen a fine collaborator for Egypt Station in producer and multi-instrumentalist Greg Kurstin and that may have made all the difference. There’s a few duffers, inevitably (‘Who Cares’, ‘Confidante’, ‘Fuh You’) but the album is memorable for it’s high quality compositions such as ‘Hand In Hand,’ ‘Dominoes,’ ‘Caesar Rock,’ ‘I Don’t Know,’ ‘Despite Repeated Warnings’ and ‘Hunt You Down/Naked/C-Link’. Short of pulling another ‘Hey Jude’ out of the bag, this is realistically, as good as McCartney can really be in 2018. Incidentally, the super deluxe edition box set version of this album still hasn’t been released.

Read SDE’s full review of Egypt Station

Anna Calvi / Hunter

If the whole gender debate/subject matter puts you off, don’t let it. Like with Christine and the Queens such concepts and subject matter can rather get in the way of some great songs. I was present at two interviews this year for Anna Calvi and Christine and the Queens and on both occasions the interviewer hardly asked them about music at all, so pre-occupied were they about ‘gender journeys’, sexuality etc. (Calvi wasn’t impressed with the female journalist asking her about ‘big dick energy’!). Not that that these discussions aren’t interesting, but hey, I’m here for the songs, and luckily Hunter is full of great ones. ‘As A Man’ is a fine and strident opener and has some lovely guitar playing, while ‘Don’t Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy’ was the hooky number that got me interested in the first place. Calvi is a brilliant performer and the songs on ‘Hunter’ bristle with atmosphere, intimacy and menace, like something you might find on a David Lynch soundtrack. Recommended.

Sting & Shaggy / 44/876

I’m putting on my tin hat for this selection, but I don’t care, I loved 44/876. A mainstream pop album by two relatively old blokes – especially if one is Sting – is never going to be hip, but this is a fine summery blast of reggae-pop that could probably have spawned four top 20 hit singles, had it been released in 1991. So yes, it’s a little bit ‘out of time’ but it’s full of songs that make you smile. I’m aware that Sting and Shaggy together (at last!) is slightly absurd but that’s part of the fun. The ex-Police frontman hasn’t been this relaxed for ages and there’s loads of variety, plenty of hooks and some pretty good songs. Sometimes it’s best not to overthink these things. Put it on the car stereo, hang your elbow out of the window and enjoy.

What were your favourite albums of 2018? Do leave a comment – would love to hear about what you’ve been listening to!

178 responses to SDE’s favourite albums of 2018

  1. Pingback:GRAMMY Award update for SDE readers | superdeluxeedition

  2. DiscoDave2000 says:

    My Top 20 Albums of 2018
    Top 3
    1. Kasey Musgraves – Golden Hour. Played this one like crazy – sharp lyrics, excellent harmonies with nice modern production. Key tracks: Oh What A World and Love Is A Wild Thing.
    2. Great Lake Swimmers – The Waves, The Wake. A pastoral offering from this alt-Americana band. Tony Dekker’s beautiful voice is complimented by some very gorgeous arrangements. Key Tracks: The Talking Wind, Falling Apart
    3. Sting & Shaggy – 44/876. Everyone I played this for loved it – a great summer album. Key tracks: Gotta Get Back My Baby, To Love And Be Loved, and Love Changes Everything (my fave/on the deluxe version only)
    The rest in alphabetical order…
    The Alarm – =
    Richard Ashcroft – Natural Rebel
    Tom Bailey – Science Fiction
    Leon Bridges – Good Thing
    Paul Carrack – These Days
    Culture Club – Life
    Death Cab For Cutie – Thank You For Today
    English Beat – Here We Go, Love!
    Field Music – Open Here
    Paul McCartney – Egypt Station
    Eddi Reader – Cavalier
    Josh Rouse – Love In The Modern Age
    Simple Minds – Walk Between Worlds
    Snow Patrol – The Wildness
    Tracey Thorn – Record
    And along with Sir Paul, hats off to two other artists born in the 1940s each having enjoyed tremendous success decades ago with nothing to prove; but both putting out a respectable album in 2018: Rod Stewart (born 1945) with Blood Red Roses and Steve Perry (born 1949) with Traces.

    Finally, thanks to other posters, I am checking out 2018 albums from Joan As Police Woman, Suede, David Byrne, The Night Game, and Young Gun Silver Fox. Looking forward to more great music in 2019!

  3. bertielego says:

    My top 11 new recordings in 2018:
    1a.Orbital – Monsters Exist, 3xCD edition
    1b.Orbital – Monsters Exist, 4xLP edition
    2.Tracey Thorn – Record, Japan CD (bonus track)
    3.Marsheaux – Our Girls On Films, CDr ltd edition
    4.Jean-Michel Jarre – Equinoxe project, 2xLP+2xCD box set
    5a.Erasure – World Be Live, 3xColorLP DL edition
    5b.Erasure – World Be Live, 2xCD DL edition
    6.Blank & Jones – Relax (Eleven), 2xCD edition
    7a.Moby – Everything Was Beautiful, And Nothing Hurt, 2xLP edition
    7b.Moby – Everything Was Beautiful, And Nothing Hurt, CD edition
    8.King Crimson – Meltdown, Japan 3xHQCD+BD edition + Disk Union box
    9a.Brücken/Froese – Beginn, 2xLP ltd edition (2 bonus tracks)
    9b.Brücken/Froese – Beginn, CD edition
    10.Lisa Stansfield – Deeper, Japan 2xCD ltd edition
    11a.JB Dunckel [of Air fame] – H+, RedCD Special Edition
    11b.JB Dunckel [of Air fame] – H+, RedLP Edition

    My top 11 singles/Eps in 2018:
    1a.Iggy Pop & Underworld – Teatime Dub Encounters, Japan CD (2 bonus tracks)
    1b.Iggy Pop & Underworld – Teatime Dub Encounters, Clear 12” ltd edition
    2.Yazoo – Situation (François K Remixes), RSD 12”
    3a.Soft Cell – Club Remixes EP 2018, 12” PicDisc
    3b.Soft Cell – 2018 Summer Remix EP, Promo CDr
    4.Soft Cell – Northern Lights / Guilty (Cos I Say You Are), 6trCD single
    5.Soft Cell – Say Hello Wave Goodbye / Youth, RSD 12”
    6.Blank & Jones – Relax (The Sunset Sessions 2), White12” ltd edition
    7a.Tears For Fears – Head Over Heels (Mark Barrott Remixes), RSD 12”
    7b.Tears For Fears – Head Over Heels (Talamanca System Remixes), RSD 12″
    8a.Etienne De Crécy – After EP1, 12”
    8b.Etienne De Crécy – After EP2, 12”
    8c.Etienne De Crécy – After EP3, 12”
    8d.Etienne De Crécy – After EP4, 12”
    9.Charlotte Gainsbourg – Remixes, RSD 12”
    10.(Various) – Sugar Hill 79-86 , RSD 4×12” box set
    11.David Bowie – Let’s Dance, RSD 12”

    My top 11 reissues/compilations in 2018:
    1a.The Cure – Mixed Up, 3xCD DL edition
    1b.The Cure – Mixed Up, RSD 2xLP PicDisc
    1c.The Cure – Torn Down, RSD 2xLP PicDisc
    2.The Art Of Noise – In No Sense? Nonsense!, 2xCD DL edition
    3a.Soft Cell – Keychains And Snowstorm, 9xCD+DVD box set
    3b.Soft Cell – Keychains And Snowstorm, 1xCD compilation
    4.King Crimson – The Elements (2018 Tour Box), 2xCD
    5.Bronski Beat – The Age Of Consent, 1xPinkLP+2xCD edition
    6.Etienne De Crécy – Beats ‘N’ Cubes, RSD 2xLP ltd num’d edition
    7.Bob Marley – Kaya 40, Japan 2xSHM-CD edition
    8.Matt Bianco – Indigo, 3xCD DL edition
    9.Falco – Donauinsel Live 1993, 2xLP
    10.Falco – Falco60, 2xCD+DVD edition
    11.Oleta Adams – Circle Of One, 2xCD DL edition

  4. jason says:

    1) The Good, the Bad, & the Queen–Merrie Land
    2) Suede–The Blue Hour
    3) Low–Double Negative
    4) Father John Misty–God’s Favorite Customer
    5) Gorillaz–The Now Now
    6) Parquet Courts–Wide Awake
    7) Shame–Songs of Praise
    8) The 1975–A Brief History Into Online Relationships
    9) Janelle Monae–Dirty Computer
    10) Lily Allen–No Shame

  5. Matt Riddle says:

    I thought last year wasn’t a great year for new artists if I’m honest although Shame with their album Songs of Praise was really really good,Blinders with Columbia and Greta Van Fleet
    Good shout on Maccas album.
    Personal Favoute was the Primal Scream Memphis recordings plus the Bowie Glastonbury release and then Spiritualised,Baxter Dury,Jack White,Artics and Hookworms

  6. Ian Burgess says:

    My Albums Of The Year 2018
    January: Steve Hackett – Wuthering Nights.
    Live from his latest tour, a mix of classic Hackett & classic Genesis

    February: Cats In Space – Cats Alive.
    A newer band, toured extensively in 2017. Live album recorded in Cardiff.

    March: Procol Harum- Still There’ll Be More.
    Big box with plenty of previously unreleased material to celebrate 50 years of the band, slightly late!

    April: Damned – Evil Spirits.
    A long time waiting, but the band are back, in top form with Paul Grey back in the fold.

    May: Lunatic Soul – Under The Fragmented Sky.
    Brooding Keyboards with acoustic guitars combine to make some interesting tunes.

    June: Wilko Johnson – Blow Your Mind.
    As good as anything he’s ever done. A new lease of life, literally.

    July: Big Big Train – Merchants of Light.
    Double live release from the exceptional proggers.

    August: Pineapple Thief – Dissolution.
    Prog again, but very different. Intense, now with a King Crimson drummer in the band.

    September: Richard Thompson – 13 Rivers.
    RT’s usual song-writing expertise, and searing guitar.

    October: King Crimson – Meltdown.
    Complete show from Mexico on their ongoing tour. 3 drummers, demonstrating precision, as well as power.

    November: Larkin Poe – Venom & Faith.
    The young ladies have grown since their first ep’s. Here they rock, and more

    December: Bruce Springsteen – On Broadway.
    The Boss from his Broadway show.

    Album of the Year – Judy Dyble – Earth is Sleeping
    Original Fairport vocalist with the latest album of her revived career. Wonderful lyrics, gorgeous tunes, individual insight and, sometimes, other worldliness.

    Plenty of beautiful box sets to choose from as well. Archive releases from Jethro Tull and Marillion in particular, but this year there has been plenty of New music to choose from.

    Gig Of The Year: King Crimson at St David’s Hall
    Close, but not quite: Andy Fairweather Low at the Tram Shed. Beth Hart at St David’s Hall. Jools Holland at the Motorpoint Arena (All in Cardiff)

  7. Robert Laversuch says:

    Hi, Paul – here is wishing you and all on this site a good start into the New Year!
    As to your work – sublime!
    My choices this last year: in no order
    Paul Weller
    Elvis Costello
    Paul McCartney
    Good shout on those and interesting re Weller, not been this impressed since 22 Dreams, as well.
    Johnny Marr – Call the Comet
    Manic Street Preachers – Resistence
    Udo Lindenberg – Unplugged 2

    otherwise mostly rereleases/box sets etc
    Kate Bush – though wished that the bonus CD set on vol 2 had been more complete!
    Mott the Hoople, Marillion, Moody Blues – all sets with very attractive packaging and superb content
    Judie Tzuke – Full Moon release of the year – only gripe that CDs are almost impossible to retrieve
    Ärzte – Seitenhirsch expensive but almost complete output
    Uk Subs – both sets – God bless Charlie Harper
    Tanita Tikaram – brilliant rerelease of Ancient Heart
    Joe Strummer 001
    REM at the Beeb box
    Mansun – Great reissue
    Manics This is my Truth
    Beatles – White Album
    PIL – Public Image is Rotten
    Soft Cell

    plus bought a lot of Punk reissues – Cock Sparrer/Blitz/Splodge/Adicts/Toy Dolls etc

    and overdosed on Mike Oldfield – i.e. rediscovered him with Return to Ommadawn and went and bought the few remaining albums I had missed / ignored first time round

  8. Stan says:

    Suede’s “The Blue Hour” was my favorite album 2018.

    But the biggest story of 2018 was the sheer number of amazing SDE releases, with the two excellent Paul McCartney & Wings boxes for “Wild Life” and “Red Rose Speedway” being my favorites. What a year!

  9. Matt Thurston says:

    This Los Angeleno’s Top 15 of 2018:

    1.) Rolling Blackouts C.F. – Hope Downs
    2.) The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships
    3.) Middle Kids – Lost Friends
    4.) Tracey Thorn – Record
    5.) Neko Case – Hell-On
    6.) Beach House – 7
    7.) Robyn – Honey
    8.) MGMT – Little Dark Age
    9.) Let’s Eat Grandma – I’m All Ears
    10.) Cat Power – Wanderer
    11.) Yo La Tengo – There’s a Riot Going On
    12.) The Beths – Future Me Hates Me
    13.) Tracyanne & Danny – S/T
    14.) The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Something Else
    15.) CHVRCHES – Love is Dead

    15 more Honorable Mentions, listed alphabetically, 2018 albums by:

    Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility
    boygenius – S/T
    Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy
    Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
    Elvis Costello – Look Now
    Father John Misty – God’s Favorite Customer
    Interpol – Marauder
    James – Living in Extraordinary Times
    Low – Double Negative
    Metric – Art of Doubt
    Mitski – Be the Cowboy
    Snail Mail – Lush
    Steven Malkmus & the Jicks – Sparkle Hard
    Suede – The Blue Hour
    U.S. Girls – In a Poem Unlimited

  10. Wayne Klein says:

    Just missing the top ten was Elvis Costello’s latest.

  11. Wayne Klein says:

    No love for Richard Thompson (luckily someone here did list him)?

    1. 13 Rivers-Richard Thompson
    2. The Eclipse Sessions-John Hiatt
    3. Bird Sounds-Bird Sounds
    4. God’s Favorite Customer-Father John Misty
    5. Egypt Station-Paul McCartney
    6. American Utopia-David Byrne
    7. Tell Me How You Really Feel-Courtney Barnett
    8. Silver Lake-Pugwash (it came out late 2017 and missed my list last year)
    9. High As Hope-Florence and The Machine
    10.Freedom’s Goblin-Ty Segall

    Sting and Shaggy-awful album.

  12. Iain Lawrie says:

    Bit of a rocker/metal head so enjoyed

    Ghost – Prequelle
    Alice in Chains – Rainier Fog
    Magpie Salute – Highwater 1
    Ian Siegal – All the Rage
    Greta Van Fleet – Anthem of the Peaceful Army

    Looking forward to

    White Lies

  13. SimonP says:

    I’ve given a few suggestions a listen so far and haven’t found anything that’s blown me away yet.

    Idles: interesting enough, but like the Shame album I listened to earlier this year, I can’t help feeling good songs are ruined when the composers can’t sing. Just employ someone who can do the job properly! The latter’s One Rizla was an epic tune let down by the poor singing but gets away with the fact because it’s acknowledged in the lyrics.

    Kamasi Washington: not bad but too busy for my liking. I like a bit of jazz now and then but there was too much going on all the time. There was a 2017 album by a band called Ill Considered that was shorter, tighter and blows Kamasi and his gang into the weeds. If you like jazz and haven’t heard this give it a try.

    Nine Inch Nails: not too bad. Not their best and more of an EP than a proper album.

    Snow Patrol: gave this a couple of listens when it came out and revisited it to confirm that I wasn’t mistaken when I thought it was crap back then.

    Still got EC and David Byrne on the list to go.

  14. Thomas Schnur says:

    I have got four of the albums and totally agree with you. Paul McCartney (saw him in Vienna in December last year) , Paul Weller (saw him in Vienna in 2017 at the Museums Center) , Elvis Costello (he cancelled his concert in Graz because of his illness and I had to give my ticket back) and Sting (I´m going to see him in Graz this year). Good decision and the other artists are okay, too.

    Best wisher for 2019 again
    Thomas Schnur

  15. Gary Smith says:

    Best album of 2018.

    Trench-Twenty One Pilots

    Once again a great variety of musical styles and some killer tunes.
    Tyler Joseph is some talent.

    • SimonP says:

      If you like Twenty One Pilots give the 2018 album by Welshly Arms a go. I haven’t heard Trench but No Place Is Home reminds me of TOP. Not as good as their first album though…

  16. Simon says:

    2018: Equinoxe Infinity by Jean-Michel Jarre.

    2019: Nocturne – The Piano Album by Vangelis. Released 25th January.
    Tubular Bells IV by Mike Oldfield, Hopefully!

  17. Alexey says:

    For the 2018 Paul McCartney impressed me with Egypt Station, it’s really enjoyable record.

    The one that was also great for me is new live Wings Over Europe, simply fantastic and a great kind of follow up to my favorite Wings Over America.

    Another great one was Franz Ferdinand’s Always Ascending. Despite the changes in the lineup the band created a couple of true to their style hits, particularly the title track and Feel the Love Go. The album itself moved to a new direction with ballad’y content which I loved.

  18. Mikey-D says:

    Happy New Year Paul and fellow SDE readers!

    My 2018 album list:

    Blue October – I Hope Your Happy
    Breaking Benjamin – Ember
    Coheed & Cambria – Unheavenly Creatures
    Death Cab For Cutie – Thank You For Today
    Editors – Violence
    Greta Van Fleet – Anthem Of The Peaceful Army
    Interpol – Marauders
    Judas Priest – Firepower
    Pale Waves – My Mind Makes Noises
    Prodigy – No Tourists
    Joe Satriani – What Happens Next
    Twenty One Pilots – Trench

    New stuff I’m looking forward to in 2019:

    Chemical Brothers
    The Cure
    Maggie Rogers
    Vampire Weekend
    My Morning Jacket

  19. Eric says:

    Damn, you’ve made me buy the Sting & Shaggy CD now.

    You will have that on your conscience for the rest of your life! Ha.

  20. Quante says:

    Hi Paul,

    Happy New Year – congratulations on having the best website in the world.

    My favourite albums / music in 2018 include the following North East bands:

    Field Music – Open Here

    What a band – their albums get better on each release, and the Brewis brothers are prolific with various side projects.

    You Tell Me – Peter Brewis and Sarah Hayes have a new album out this January. I saw them perform recently in Cluny 2, Newcastle, and the music is as great as a Field Music project always is. Peter Brewis also produced his wife’s band The Cornshead Sisters album Honey & Tar at the back end of 2017 – have a listen to The Message for a brilliant pop song.

    I was fortunate enough to see Field Music six times in concert in the last year, including when they were the house band playing an evening of ‘great northern songs’.

    Paul Smith – Diagrams

    Paul Smith had an amazing year including a Maximo Park live performance with the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra (Field Music were on the same bill) at The Sage, Gateshead.

    He also performed his folk songs with Rachel Unthank at Hall 2, The Sage.

    Diagrams was Paul’s latest solo album and the sound reminds me of the days of 1980’s indie rock. Excellent songs backed up with a great SDE package from his website. It’s easy to support artists who put so much effort and enthusiasm into their music.

    The Unthanks – Lines

    Sent out in December when bought directly from their shop, it gets a mainstream release in February. The three ‘medium players’ feature music from different projects. The design and packaging for the CD and vinyl set is lovely.

    The Unthanks have the best blend of voices going. Having spent my life until 2014 wondering whether Kate Bush would ever play live, it’s a joy to be able to see an excellent act live on a regular basis. The live highlight of seeing The Unthanks this year was seeing Rachel and Becky Unthank accompanied on piano by Adrian McNally at Matfen Hall the week before Christmas. Watch out for the unaccompanied concerts they are playing in small (tiny) venues in April and May.

    Tidal Drive – EP featuring Metal Detector

    This is an unashamed plug for my son’s friend – Will Kerr band’s Tidal Drive who have an EP out on streaming services. For a group of sixteen year olds, they made a great catchy song in Metal Detector. If John Peel was around he’d be giving it a spin. For young bands, the technology that allows anyone around the world to hear them instantly without physical product is incredible, but it’s sad that there is no money to be made. I guess if you’re young and starting out you can worry about the money later.

    Mark Knopfler – Down The Road Wherever

    Just class music from a superstar who makes music because he loves to do so. Roll on May when he’s playing live in Newcastle – Howay bonny lad – Local Hero!

    Favourite albums not from the North East:

    Joan Armatrading – Not Too Far Away

    Like Mark Knopfler, Joan Armatrading makes class music because that’s what she’s good at. You can still get on her website the LP, CD and three signed music and lyric sheets for £25: https://joanarmatrading.tmstor.es/?lf=ec4828f1c585f676106ea3dfad951dd8
    I saw Joan twice live this year and she played the album in full for the first part of the concert and then played a selection of superb songs.

    Gretchen Peters – Dancing With The Beast
    Beth Nielsen Chapman – Hearts of Glass

    Gretchen Peters and Beth Nielsen Chapman are must sees whenever they tour and their records are reliably brilliant. There is no better way to listen to a new record than hear it played live – especially in small venues with great acoustics. Beth Nielsen Chapman has written American number ones throughout her career for other artists. Listen to the Judy Tzuke track Safe from the recent Woman To Woman album and it’s got Beth’s quality stamped all over it.

    Laura Viers – The Lookout

    Laura always makes great records and this is a special one. It sounded brilliant in The Cluny.

    Jenn Bostic – Revival

    I’ve a soft spot in nudging people in Jenn Bostic’s direction. This isn’t the ‘best’ album of the year in the fashion that Field Music’s is, but I play it a lot, so it qualifies as a favourite. Jenn caught my ear by chance one evening two years ago in a coffee shop in Portadown when she played to a crowd of thirty people with Sarah Darling and Kyshona Armstrong. For £8 it was a great concert and gave me more pleasure than I’d got the previous week when seeing David Gilmour at the Royal Albert Hall (he was also great!). I thought how can these ladies make any money and make this a viable existence? I often think about that when I go to various concerts and calculate how many people attend and what this raises!

    Jenn Bostic has spent her young adult life grafting, making records and playing live – she’s written a great piece about the knock backs of the industry and the positivity required to keep going:

    Revival has got a bit of everything in style, pop, blues, soul and gospel. Jenn is clearly talented and with her hard work and determination she deserves a wider audience. I’ve urged The Sage, Gateshed to include Jenn in the Americana weekend they run so well, so hopefully she gets included in 2019.

    Live Event:

    Roger Waters live this year was immense. I saw him in Glasgow and Manchester and he puts on an amazing spectacle. The music, the sound, the show – it really is something special. There is nothing like live music to feel the emotion of the moment of listening to top class performers.

    Steven Wilson also put on a great show, but hey, wake up and smell the roses and all hail Roger Waters as the king of the stadium event.

    Looking forward to in 2019

    Some Prefab Sprout activity is happening. Have a listen to a great interview with Paddy MacAloon:

  21. Tracey Spivey says:

    Favorite new albums/e.p.’s of 2018 (that I’ve had a chance to listen to):

    Now, Now “Saved”
    Geographer “Alone Time”
    Beach House “7”
    The Decemberists “I’ll Be Your Girl”
    Wild Nothing “Indigo”
    Johnny Marr “Call the Comet”
    Still Corners “Slow Air”
    Tracey Thorn “Record”

    Favorite gigs attended in 2018:

    TV on the Radio (Stubb’s BBQ in Austin, TX)
    Wolf Parade (HoB in Dallas, TX)
    The National (Southside Ballroom in Dallas, TX)
    Beach House (The Bomb Factory in Dallas, TX)
    Belle & Sebastian (The Bomb Factory in Dallas, TX)
    Wild Nothing (White Oak Music Hall in Houston, TX)
    Johnny Marr (Granada Theatre in Dallas, TX)
    Still Corners (Barracuda in Austin, TX)
    Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (The Majestic Theatre in Dallas, TX)
    Destroyer (Club DaDa in Dallas, TX)

  22. Kevin Wollenweber says:

    My favorite box set of the year has to be the full remastered IN SEARCH OF THE LOST CHORD by the Moody Blues, sounding better than ever to my ears. I’m hoping this campaign continues as 50th anniversaries approach, with the next one being ON THE THRESHOLD OF A DREAM…unless the best masterings have already been squeezed out of those albums…I also liked the super delux Paul McCartney & Wings box set 1972-1973; the bonus concert recording added specially for that package made it worth my while (despite it being so heavy to lift).

    I wish I’d had a chance to snag the King Crimson box, SAILOR’S TALES, despite the fact that I already have the full albums included in the package, but the bonus live performances had me hoping I can still get myself a copy before this year is out…I also liked the Mott early years box, MENTAL TRAIN, but was mightily disappointed that I didn’t snag Ian Hunter’s box before it went out of print; grrrrr! The hardest thing about collecting is that so much good product comes as limited (very limited) edition and someone like myself with limited funds cannot possibly keep up with it all, nor can I afford over-priced ebay sales.

    Paul, I look forward to your extensive list of wishful thinking forthcoming super deluxe editions for 2019. I was so hoping for a SDE on the Who’s A QUICK ONE or SELL OUT, similar to the fantastic job that was done on the debut, MY GENERATION. Both those subsequent albums have many versions, as well as a proposed follow-up to SELL OUT that just never happened, along with monophonic versions! These need to be done!!

  23. Guy says:

    I’ve spent far too much on music this year (again!) and looking back, much of it has been on reissues or my own discoveries of previously released material. But I also came across some great new music! So, in no particular order, the 10 LPs I’ve enjoyed mostly this year:

    1. Idles – Joy As An Act Of Resistance
    2. Let’s Eat Grandma – I’m All Ears
    3. The Damned – Evil Spirits
    4. Blondie – Pollinator
    5. Elton John – Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy
    6. Warpaint – eponymous
    7. Bauhaus – In A Flat Field
    8. Velvet Underground & Nico – eponymous
    9. Soft Cell – Keychains & Snowstorms (box set)
    10. David Bowie – Glastonbury 2000

  24. Andrew Aston says:

    The one I have kept coming back to in 2018 is David Byrne “American Utopia”. There have been a lot of other quality new releases mentioned below but this seems to have been overlooked..

  25. Devils Advocate says:

    Macca is a spent force – lets be honest he doesn’t need the money.

    I anticipate he has nothing left in the tank.


  26. Taffy says:

    My top ten faves of the year!

    1. Tracey Thorn – Record
    2. MGMT – Little Dark Age
    3. Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
    4. Johnny Marr – Call The Comet
    5. Robyn – Honey
    6. Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending
    7. Simple Minds – Walk Between Worlds
    8. Kim Wilde – Here Come The Aliens
    9. Tom Bailey – Science Fiction
    10. Blancmange – Wanderlust

  27. Rodolfo Martin says:

    Hello Paul,
    I asked you on Instagram and I repeat the question here. Will you prepare a list of SDEs that we could expect for 2019? You did it in previous years. If I am not wrong, you did it as your first post of the year. Maybe, there is not much to expect for 2019. I hope we have an Abbey Road 50th Anniversary edition and a couple of McCartney’s SDE (some Wing’s albums did not have the special treatment and Press to Play is also one that I would like to see in extended version too). What about TFF’s Seeds of Love? Could it happen in 2019?
    Opening SDE first thing in the morning has become a healthy habit. Considering that you in England post normally during the mornings, when I open SDE in Florida, USA, I know that I will find something interesting to read. Even when your articles are about music that is away from my taste, I enjoy reading as it is always enriching. Because of some of your articles, I have given second opportunities to several artists, helping me knocking down prejudices and increasing my already broad taste in rock and pop music. I am an Argentinian who became a US citizen but I was a teenager in the 70’s back in my country and for me and my friends it was all about British music and, honestly, I know very little about the American rock from those years. I have learned a lot of American music but British rock is still my first choice when I have to relax and choose a record at home or in the car. It is part of my DNA. Thanks a lot for all you work. Keep doing it. Have a good one!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Hi Rodolfo – thanks for your comment. YES I will be doing a 2019 preview – hopefully to be published on Sunday!

  28. deceased says:

    The Breeders & Idles are joint best albums of 2018 for me…

  29. Neil Kelly says:

    Not heard enough compared to many to make a list but i really enjoyed (Thompson Twins) Tom Bailey’s comeback pop offering. Maybe only me. Didn’t even make the UK top 100

  30. Kauwgompie says:

    With all those deal alerts and 3 for 2 deals I have not had time to listen to much new. I still have unpacked box sets sitting around now that all the dust has settled from the crazy November & December deals. So I’m posting my reissue top 10:

    1. Soft Cell – Keychains & Snowstorms
    2. The Complete Jan Akkerman
    3. Pet Shop Boys – Fundamental (with the incredible B-side “The Resurrectionist. Shouda been an A side)
    4. Thelonious Monk – Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Not a reissue but a newly discovered treasure)
    5. John Lennon – Imagine
    6. Chic – The Chic Organization ’77-’79
    7. Miles Davis – Ascenseur Pour L’echafaud
    8. Beatles – White Album
    9. Guns n Roses – Appetite For Destruction
    10. David Bowie – Loving The Alien (Would have been my nr 1 if the “Dance” album with the 12″es had been a double CD. Such a shame to leave those awesome remixes off this box set and probably lost on CD forever. A crime really, still upset about that).

    Bubbling under: Johnny Hates jazz 3xcd, Howard Shore Complete Recordings of Lord Of The Rings

    Wishes for 2019:
    -Climie Fisher both albums “Everything” and “Coming In For The Kill”. No brainer for Cherry Pop
    -China Crisis – “What Price Paradise”. The first 3 and the 5th album have been reissued but not the 4th.
    -Chic – “The Chic Organization 1980-1983”
    -Duran Duran – We need box sets of their albums with 5.1 and the Wedding Album needs to be reissued badly!!!
    -Jean Michel Jarre Albums in 5.1. Ridiculous that hasn’t been done yet.
    -Ramones – “End Of The Century”. That’s the one next in line.
    -George Michael – “Older”
    -Nik Kershaw – “Radio Musicola” & “The Works”. Shoe in for Cherry Pop
    -a-Ha – “Minor Earth Major Sky”
    -Tears For Fears – “Seeds Of Love” at some point in my lifetime!!
    -The Beloved – “Happiness”
    -Break Machine – “Break Dance Party”
    -Bruce Springsteen – “Born In The USA”. USA is no fun now but that album rocks. He still hasn’t released “Protection” on CD (Donna Summer sang it on the “Donna Summer” album.
    -Dan Hartman – “I Can Dream About You”
    -Eurythmics – Box sets of their albums including 5.1
    -Frankie Goes To Hollywood in 5.1
    -Grace Jones – “Living My Life”
    -Japan – All albums in 2xcd and 5.1
    -Lenny Kravitz – “5”. The first 3 have been done and “Circus” sucks so lets move on to “5”
    -Malcolm McLaren -“Waltz Darling”
    -RAH Band – First 4 albums
    -OMD – “Sugar Tax” 2xcd with all remixes
    -Prince – “Sign Of The Times” Best album ever
    -Rolling Stones – “Undercover” including the Arthur Baker remix of “Too Much Blood”. Never gonna happen but one can dream
    -Roxy Music – “Stranded” should be next in line
    -Scritti Politti – “Cupid & Psyche” and “Provision”
    -Simple Minds – “Street Fighting Years”, not as good as New Gold Dream or the other previous ones but still good enough for a reissue like the previous albums
    -The Smiths – “Strangeways Here We Come” My favorite Smiths album
    -Space Monkey – “On The Beam” shoe in for Cherry Pop
    -Spandau Ballet – “Heart Like A Sky”
    -Terence Trent D’Arby – “The Hardline According To…”
    -Thompson Twins – CD Singles box w ALL remixes
    -Tina Turner – “Break Every Rule”

  31. Jeff G. says:

    New albums:
    Mike Viola – American Egypt
    Elvis Costello – Look Now [ALBUM OF THE YEAR]
    Field Music – Open Here
    Hot Snakes – Jericho Sirens
    Bob Pollard – Guided by Voices/Cash Rivers
    Astral Drive – s/t
    Bird Streets – s/t
    David Crosby – Here If You Listen
    Lemon Twigs – Go To School
    Johann Johannsson – Mandy OST

    King Crimson – Meltdown in Mexico City
    Beatles – White Album Super Deluxe Edition
    Bob Dylan – More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series, vol. 14
    Woody Shaw Quartet – Live in Bremen 1983
    Gene Clark – Gene Clark Sings for You
    Kinks – The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society 50th Anniversary Edition
    Miles Davis & John Coltrane – The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, vol. 6
    David Sylvian – Dead Bees on a Cake
    Dave Davies – Decade
    Doc Watson – Live at Club 47

  32. Aaron says:

    Talking of album covers… the picture you put together at the top of the page would make a good sleeve… not sure what the album would be called mind you!

    Some of my Best 2019 albums
    1. Macca – Egypt Station
    2. Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel
    3. Bowie – Glastonbury 2000
    4. David Crosby – Here If You Listen
    5. Fairport Convention – What We Did On Our Saturday’s
    6. Good Bad & The Queen – Merrie Land
    7. Gorillaz – The Now Now
    8. Neil Young – Songs For Judy
    9. Paul Simon – In The Blue Light
    10. Steve Hackett – Wuthering Nights
    11. Rick Wakeman – Piano Odyssey

  33. The Golden Age Of Lists says:

    Here`s my Top 10 albums of 2018,

    • SimonP says:

      Forgot about Wooden Shjips, great album.

      Eels was another I missed. A good return to form after the previous one which was a bit of a dullfest.

  34. AlanB says:

    Listened to lots of music in 2018
    Lots of it sourced from Superdeluxe edition.com so thanks Paul it must be very rewarding listening to all this music and making a living?

    Here’s my Choice for 2018 New and Reissues:
    David Byrne – American Utopia
    Springsteen on Broadway
    Elvis Costell0 – Don’t Look Now
    Bowie – Loving The Alien
    Eno – Music for Installations
    Roxy Music – Roxy Music
    Joe Strummer 001
    Cranberries – First Album

    Looking forward to this year, possible For Your Pleasure Roxy Music? New Springsteen? Neil Young further archives?



  35. seikotsi says:

    From 2018
    1. Good love, bad love by Salad Undressed
    2. Pop 2 by Charli XCX
    3. Dear Annie by Rejie snow
    Earlier ones often listened to in 2018
    1. Let me fly by Mike and the Mechanics
    2. Spirit by Depeche Mode
    3. everything by The The (in preparation for the gig)

  36. Jozek says:

    Just thought I would share my favourite albums of 2018:

    10 – Cabbage: Nihilistic Glamour Shots”
    09 – David Bowie: “Welcome to the Blackout”
    08 – Hugh Cornwell: “Monster”
    07 – Brand New Friend: “Seatbelts For Aeroplanes”
    06 – Johann Johannsson: “Mandy (Soundtrack)”
    05 – Richard Reed Parry: “Quite River of Dust Vol 1”
    04 – The Residents: “WB Album”
    03 – The Orb: “No Sounds are Out of Bounds”
    02 – Half Man Half Biscuit: “No-One Cares About Your Creative Hub, So Get you Fuckin’ Hedge Cut”
    01 – Laibach: “The Sound of Music”

    Also enjoyed getting the Beta Band remasters, one of my favourite bands.

    All the best for 2019!

  37. chris s says:

    Favorites (from what I purchased this year)

    Egypt Station, was only the third McCartney album that I’ve bought since London Town.
    Very few new albums by folks under 50. The number of re-issues and deluxe editions would have taken a few pages to list, but the most listened to, are here.

    1 White Album (50th Anniversary) – The Beatles
    2 Paul McCartney – Egypt Station
    3 Bettye Lavette – Things Have Changed
    4 Ray Davies – Our Country: Americana Part II
    5 Strawbs – Ferrymans Curse
    6 Scarlett Johansson & Pete Yorn – Apart
    7 Greta Van Fleet – From the Fires
    8 Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas – Telephone
    9 Greta Van Fleet – Anthem of the Peaceful Army
    10 Paul Weller – True Meanings

    Honorable Mention
    Ace of Cups – Ace of Cups
    Bob Seger – Heavy Music: The Complete Cameo Recordings 1966-1967
    Bob Seger – I Knew You When
    Charles Lloyd/Lucinda Williams – Vanished Gardens
    David Bowie – Welcome to the Blackout
    David Byrne – American Utopia
    Dennis Coffey – One Night at Morleys 1968
    Fanny – Fanny (Walked the Earth)
    Fanny – Fanny (Walked the Earth)
    Funkadelic – Reworked by Detroiters
    Glen Hansard – Between Two Shores
    Hans Zimmer – Live in Prague
    Jack White – Boarding House Reach
    Jeff Lynnes ELO – Wembley or Bust
    LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
    Margo Price – All American Made
    Mavis Staples – If All I Was Was Black
    Mott the Hoople – Mental Train: The Island Years 1969-1971
    Richard Thompson – 13 Rivers
    Sharron Jones & The Dap Kings – Soul of a Woman
    Shemekia Copeland – America’s Child
    The Who – Maximum As & Bs
    Van Morrison – Versatile
    Van Morrison – You’re Driving Me Crazy
    Zappa/Mothers – The Roxy Performances

    • SimonP says:

      ELO definitely came out in 2017 coz I bought it for my wife for Christmas. (don’t tell her it was because I wanted it!)

  38. Daniel says:

    Glad to see Suede’s The Blue Hour getting mentions. I found it their most anthemic and atmospheric record since Dog Man Star. That, and Chris by Christine and the Queens are the 2 albums I can’t stop listening to from beginning to end. Also, cudos to Low on a brilliant record and Tom Bailey on a triumphant return.

  39. Peasey says:

    My top 5 of 2018:

    1. Dubstar – One
    2. Orbital – Monsters Exist
    3. Erasure – World Be Live
    4. Tracey Thorn – Record
    5. Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

  40. Ollie Carlisle says:

    A couple that haven’t already been mentioned:

    Sink Ya Teeth – Sink Ya Teeth (would have been signed to Factory if this was the early eighties, like a Grace Jones fronted New Order).

    Ray LaMontagne – Part Of The Light (what Pink Floyd might have sounded like if they’d recruited John Martyn instead of David Gilmour).

  41. Tom says:

    Happy New Year, everyone!
    What a brilliant way to avoid doing any work for the past two days.
    Here’s my two-penneth (although looking at the lists below, I spent significantly more than that in 2018…):

    Top 20 Albums from 2018
    1. Fröst | Matters
    2. Suede | The Blue Hour
    3. Tracyanne & Danny | Tracyanne & Danny
    4. Gwenno | Le Kov
    5. Cavern Of Anti-Matter |Hormone Lemonade
    6. Tracey Thorn | Record
    7. Maribou State | Kingdoms In Colour
    8. Teleman | Family Of Aliens
    9. Lump | Lump
    10. Anne Dudley | Plays The Art Of Noise
    11. Johnny Marr | Call The Comet
    12. The Orb | No Sounds Are Out Of Bounds
    13. First Aid Kit | Ruins
    14. Dream Wife | Dream Wife
    15. Let’s Eat Grandma | I’m All Ears
    16. Amber Arcades | European Heartbreak
    17. Kero Kero Bonito | Time ‘n’ Place
    18. Echo Ladies | Pink Noise
    19. Pinkshinyultrablast | Miserable Miracles
    20. Dove | Belly

    Top 10 Reissues
    1. Kero Kero Bonito | Bonito Generation
    2. This Mortal Coil | It’ll End In Tears, Filigree & Shadow, Blood
    3. Aphex Twin | Selected Ambient Works 85-92
    4. Primal Scream | Give Out But Don’t Give Up – Original Memphis Recordings
    5. Stereolab |Switched On, Refried Electroplasm, Peng!, Aluminium Tunes
    6. David Sylvian | Dead Bees On A Cake
    7. Human League | Secrets
    8. The Art Of Noise |In Visible Silence
    9. Pixies | Come On Pilgrim…It’s Surfer Rosa
    10. Japan | Tin Drum, Gentlemen Take Polaroids

    Top 5 Compilations
    1. Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs Present Paris In The Springtime
    2. Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs Present State Of The Union
    3. A Certain Ratio | acr:set
    4. Lulu |Best Of 1967-75
    5. Cocteau Twins | Treasure Hiding – The Fontana Years

    Top 5 Books
    1. Vaughan Oliver Archive (Unit Editions)
    2. David Stubbs | Mars By 1980 – The Story Of Electronic Music
    3. Brett Anderson | Coal Black Mornings
    4. OMD | Pretending To See The Future
    5. Anthony Reynolds | Cries & Whispers 1983-1991

    Top 10 Gigs
    1. Johnny Marr @ Islington Town Hall
    2. Suede @ Hammersmith
    3. The Rifles acoustic Christmas show @ Boogaloo
    4. Heaven 17 & xPropaganda @ Shepherd’s Bush
    5. Saint Etienne @ British Library
    6. Pet Shop Boys @ Royal Opera House
    7. Placebo @ Royal Festival Hall
    8. Public Service Broadcasting @ Royal Albert Hall
    9. A Certain Ratio @ The Garage
    10. My Bloody Valentine @ Royal Festival Hall

    Let’s hope 2019 brings a similar amount of musical riches for all of us.

  42. Eamonn says:

    Can’t believe no one mentioned MGMT, Little Dark Age. Some great pop songs and experimentation, a real return to form.

  43. Shabba says:

    Juliana Hatfield sings Olivia Newton-John which came out in April 18, turned out to be better than it had any right to be. I don’t why it caught my eye since I’m not into either artist, nevertheless I decided to give it a go. I particularly like the rework of Totally Hot which is considerably better than the original. The record hangs together very well, and it’s generally a lot of fun.

    I’m not sure that physical wax made it to the UK, so I ended up ordering an Orange vinyl edition from the label in the USA which came with a bonus 7”.

  44. mad earwig says:

    A mixed year for me:
    Some good, some indifferent, mostly playing back catalogue of guitars and late night instrumental music but I discovered Nada Surf. and Wolf Alice both enjoyable.

    Still Being Played:

    Steve Roach ‘Molecules Of Motion’,
    Joe Satriani ‘What Happens Next’
    Buckethead ‘Fourneau Cosmique’
    Brian Eno ‘ Installations’
    Dave Matthews Band ‘Come Tomorrow’
    Bob Dylan ‘More Blood….’
    Robert Rich ‘Flood Expeditions’
    Neil Young ‘Paradox’
    REM ‘At The BBC’

    Reality didn’t meet expectation:
    Steven Wilson ‘ Home Invasion’
    Guided By Voices ‘Space Gun’

    Might Not Play Again:
    Julia Holter ‘Aviary’
    New John Mellencamp covers album

    Happy New Year to all.

  45. Sven Maertens says:

    Great list, and Suede is also my favorite. As you write, they are almost as strong now as in the very early phase, and the last three albums alone would allow them to fill a great setlist.

    Some more great albums:

    Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility base hotel and casino
    Let’s eat grandma – I’m all ears
    Savoy – See the beauty in your drab home town
    Chvrches – Love is dead
    Manics – Resistance is futile (albeit touches me less than most of their previous work)
    Hinds – I don’t run
    Tocotronic – Die Unendlichkeit
    Goat girl – Goat girl

  46. Randy Metro says:

    Paul Weller sounds (a lot) like America’s Dewey Bunnell.

  47. Mike Pendlebury says:

    My top 5 albums of 2018 –

    1 The Night Game – The Night Game
    2 Paul McCartney – Egypt Station
    3 Johnny Marr – Call The Comet
    4 Tracey Thorn – Record
    5 David Byrne – American Utopia

    I only discovered The Night Game in October but I have not been able to stop playing their album (bit of a Police/Outfield/80’s vibe). A great listen from start to finish with a lot of well crafted songs. They are a really tight band live and put on an amazing show. Thoroughly recommended!

    In the case of Paul McCartney’s “Egypt Station” – what a nice surprise! I don’t own many of his albums as I only really like the odd single but this got me excited! Was this what it was like in the 60’s when a new Beatles album came out?

  48. Bevan James says:

    The songs were very good on Suede’s last album but the music had no room to breathe. At least on the CD. I’m not sure if it was the production or the mastering or both? Hope this latest one is better.

  49. Aubrey says:

    Nice list Paul. Anna Calvi, Paul Weller and Suede are all hovering *just* outside my top 10. But JaPW? That completely passed me by. Must check it out. Not *entirely* convinced by the Sting and Shaggy album… but, given that “Daphne and Celeste Save The World” nearly made my list, I have no credibility to question others’ choices. Here are mine:

    01. The Horizon Just Laughed – Damien Jurado
    02. Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves
    03. God’s Favorite Customer – Father John Misty
    04. Dirty Computer – Janelle Monáe
    05. Open Here – Field Music
    06. Be The Cowboy – Mitski
    07. Egypt Station – Paul McCartney
    08. Room 25 – Noname
    09. Merrie Land – The Good, The Bad and the Queen
    =10. American Utopia – David Byrne
    =10. I Sometimes Dream of Glue – Luke Haines

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Hi Aubrey… I basically forgot about Field Music, otherwise that would have been in my list because that is a brilliant album. They’re great live too. I found the Luke Haines album quite hard going – and I say that as a Luke Haines fan – but maybe I need to give it another chance. Lots in your list I don’t really know, so will investigate. Happy New Year!

      • Aubrey says:

        Happy New Year! Agree about Field Music – love that album. I know what you mean about Luke Haines. I persevered on a couple of long car trips and it eventually wormed its way into my affections. It reminds me a little of Matt Berry’s “Kill The Wolf” – both albums feel kind of like The Wicker Man: The Musical (now there’s an idea…)…
        Enjoy investigating (and keep up the great work on SDE – it’s such a pleasure to read)!

    • Neil Kelly says:

      Daphne and Celeste? Wasn’t sure if you were joking there so checked. Yes an album in 2018 wow. And 5/5 (100%) 5 star reviews on Amazon. Who knew?

  50. Glenn says:

    Favorite 2018 albums:
    Tom Bailey – Science Fiction
    David Byrne – American Utopia
    Elvis Costello – Look Now
    Bryan Ferry – Bitter-Sweet
    James – Living in Extraordinary Times
    Mighty Mighty Bosstones – While We Are At It
    Nine Inch Nails – Bad Witch
    Paul Simon – In the Blue Light
    Sting/Shaggy – 44/876
    They Might Be Giants – I Like Fun
    Tracey Thorn – Record

    Some compilations I enjoyed:
    The Very Best of the Colourfield
    Billy Idol – Vital Idol Revitalized
    Joe Strummer 001
    Yazoo – Three Pieces (was great this came out on CD vs just vinyl)

    Look forward to the best 2018 reissues and expected 2019 reissues posts.

  51. Jim says:

    I loved Suede The Blue Hour and thought it would be my favorite of the year (a place the 2016 Night Thoughts held that year)…

    but the album I returned to most and loved most in 2018 hasn’t been mentioned by anyone yet!

    A Perfect Circle – Eat The Elephant

    definitely a grower – it takes multi repeats for it to click but my god once it does… brilliant!

  52. Jim says:

    Robyn – Honey
    Macy Gray – Ruby
    U.S. Girls – In A Poem Unlimited
    Father John Misty – God’s Favourite Customer
    Leon Bridges – Good Thing
    The Carters – Everything is Love
    Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics

  53. Peter says:

    New albums, not reissues, then my favourites for 2018:

    VRi – Ty Ein Tadau (Welsh Chamber Folk) Awesome!
    Dossche -Trost
    David Crosby – Here If You Listen
    Wilko Johnson – Blow Your Mind

  54. christian says:

    In no order other than alphabetical.

    Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
    Bvdub – Drowning In Daylight
    Etherwood – In Stillness
    Ginla – Codex
    Hirotaka Shirotsubaki – A Seasons Past
    J Mascis – Elastic Days
    Janelle Monáe — Dirty Computer
    Laraaji – Arrive Without Leaving
    Mitski – Be the Cowboy.
    Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics
    Odesza – A Moment Apart
    Rhye – Blood
    Robyn – Honey
    Suede – The Blue Hour
    The Breeders – All Nerve
    The Field – Infinite Moment
    Travis Scott – Astroworld
    VBND – Daughter Of The Sun
    William Fitzsimmons – Mission Bell

    Song of 2018 – Etherwood – You’re Missing Life. Play that one very loud with the windows open and know true joy.

  55. Gary Clutterbuck says:

    The one album that really surprised me this year (in a good way) was “Over and Out” by Rick Parfitt. I’ve probably played it more than any other album.

    The song I’ve played most has been “The Way It Used To Be” by Pet SHop Boys from the re-issue of the ‘Yes’ album. A song that I never tire of listening to.

  56. Meadowmeal says:

    Thanks for the overview of things I mostly missed! I’m surely going to do some caching up.

    One great album which hasn’t been mentionned yet and which I consider one of the highlights of 2018 is Gruff Rhys’ Babelsberg.

  57. John says:

    Not already mentioned but enjoyed by me-

    New – Mark Knopfler-Down The Road Wherever and Eric Clapton-Happy Xmas

    Old – The Who-Live At Fillmore East 1968 and Pete Townshend Who Came First

  58. Dan says:

    Robyn – Honey
    The 1975 – Brief Inquiry
    AFI – The Missing Man
    Christine & the Queens – Chris
    Chvrches – Love Is Dead
    Death Cab for Cutie – Thank You for Today
    Interpol – Marauder
    Kim Wilde – Here Comes the Aliens
    Kylie Minogue – Golden
    Muse – Simulation Theory
    Nine Inch Nails – Bad Witch

  59. Friso says:

    I’m very surprised no one mentions the brilliant 2nd album of Young Gun Silver Fox, AM Waves. Best Album of 2018!
    Anyone in the UK ever heard from them?
    Andy Platts (of Mama’s Gun) joined forces with US-born, UK-relocated musician Shawn Lee and made 2 of the most brilliant pop albums of the last 5 years. They play almost all the instruments on the album, apart from the horns, and it contains beautiful vocal melodies and arrangements, and the production is gorgeous. Every person I tipped this record to has given me the same enthusiastic response.
    Fans of Steely Dan/Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald, Hall & Oates and the like, should have this in their collection.
    Look it up, straight away. Go on then…

    • SimonP says:

      Gave this a listen and found it so much of a pastiche of Steely Dan that I turned it off half way through…

  60. Michael Fowler says:

    I’m so pleased I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed Sting and Shaggy – yes there are better albums, more cerebral albums, longer lasting ones etc but it’s not often there’s a really good fun record to enjoy and that’s exactly what they delivered. Put the tin hat away, you don’t need it!

    As for me and my list, I think this year has been one of the worst ever for new music so I am so grateful to this website for your constant prompts of what reissues to buy – it’s the best site on the inter web and my year has been dedicated to catching up on the best reissues on offer (never owned a Kate Bush CD….now a convert as one example!) – the only othe new album I liked was Richard Ashcroft’s Natural Rebel, not someone I’m a big fan of normally but again an unpretentious album like Sting and Shaggy and full of tunes.

    Keep up the epic work in 2019 and you’ll continue to appropriately dent my bank account!

  61. HowardC says:

    Paul thanks for discussing your favorites. Also everyone else’s, I love best ofs in the age of Spotify as it makes good music accessible.
    I’m afraid Joan didn’t hit me but Elvis’ CD had loads of well written songs. I agree that Burnt Sugar is terrific. I guess Carole King can justcplain write and Elvis is one of our best lyricists.
    I had never given much thought to Paul Well or Suede but really enjoyed both of these. Weller has a bunch of really classy, artful songs. Suede was a revelation to me, not what I thought they were but as you say the have evolved. Powerful, moving songs well produced and sung. I’ll be investigating them.
    Thanks and happy 2019 to all.

  62. Paul English says:

    Great list Paul

    Here’s my best of the year

    TOP 10 ALBUMS 2018
    01 Suede – The Blue Hour
    02 Manic Street Preachers – Resistance Is Futile
    03 Paul Weller – True Meanings
    04 Go Kart Mozart – Mozart’s Mini Mart
    05 Lykke Li – So Sad So Sexy
    06 Janelle Monáe – Dirty Computer
    07 Blancmange – Wanderlust
    08 Neko Case – Hell-On
    09 Near Future – Ideal Home
    10 The Advisory Circle – Ways Of Seeing

    TOP 10 SINGLES 2018
    01 Robyn – Missing U
    02 St Vincent – Fast Slow Disco
    03 Sophie – Immaterial
    04 Lana Del Rey – Venice Bitch
    05 Thom Yorke – Suspirium
    06 Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – Shallow
    07 Paul McCartney – Fuh You
    08 Ariana Grande – No Tears Left To Cry
    09 Morrissey – Back On The Chain Gang
    10 Kali Uchis featuring Tyler, The Creator, Bootsy Collins – After The Storm

    TOP 10 REISSUES 2018
    01 Bobbie Gentry – The Girl From Chickasaw County: The Complete Capitol Masters
    02 The Kinks – The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society
    03 Soft Cell – Keychains And Snowstorms
    04 Paul McCartney & Wings – Red Rose Speedway
    05 Howard Jones – Human’s Lib
    06 The Cure – Mixed Up
    07 David Bowie – Loving The Alien 1983-1988
    08 Black Box Recorder – Life Is Unfair
    09 The Beatles – The Beatles
    10 Five Star – Luxury: The Definitive Anthology 1984-1991

    01 Revolutionary Spirit: The Sound Of Liverpool 1976-1988
    02 Paris In The Spring
    03 When The Day Is Done: The Orchestrations Of Robert Kirby
    04 State Of The Union – The American Dream In Crisis 1967-1973
    05 All Soundtracks Great And Small
    06 C89
    07 Harmony In My Head: UK Power Pop And New Wave 1977-1981
    08 Jon Savage’s 1968: The Year The World Turned
    09 Come Join My Orchestra: The British Baroque Pop Sound 1967-1973
    10 Burning Britain: The Story Of UK Independent Punk 1980-1984

  63. Alan Blevin says:

    Combining new and archival releases of previously unreleased material
    1 Gods Favourite Customer – Father John Misty
    2 More Blood More Tracks single disc – Bob Dylan
    3 Home Invasion In Concert From Royal Albert Hall – Steven Wilson
    4 High As Hope – Florence And The Machine
    5 Warm – Jeff Tweedy
    6 Roxy Tonights The Night Live – Neil Young
    7 Look Now – Elvis Costello
    8 Ruins – First Aid Kit
    9 – Live 1962-66 – Bob Dylan
    10 – Songs For Judy – Neil Young

  64. Steve Benson says:

    Surely some mistake! Did nobody else buy Ry Cooder’s Prodigal Son? Contains astonishing version of Nobody’s Fault But Mine. That’s it! (Well I did buy Richard Thompson’s 13 Rivers but..)

  65. Chris says:

    My album of the year would be the Idles album, but an honorable mention goes to The Fernweh’s self titled debut album.

  66. Andreas says:

    Another great year, but certainly not if you confine yourself to the top 40! My favorites are (in no order) –
    Half Waif – Lavender (who needs Kate Bush then)
    Paul Weller – True Meanings (‘Aspects’ best track of 2018)
    Villagers – The Art of . . .
    Gaz Coombs – World’s Strongest Man (‘Walk the Walk’ second best song of 2018)
    Caroline Rose – Loner
    Joan as Policewoman – Damned Devotion (not as good as her Sylvian duets album though)
    Cat Power – Wanderer
    Marissa Nadler – For My Crimes
    US Girls – In a Poem Unlimited (‘Velvet for Sale’ – wow!)
    No Mono – Islands (‘Butterflies’ 3rd best song of 2018)
    Serpentwithfeet – Soil
    Loma – Loma
    Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics
    Hearts Hearts – Goods/Gods (a user friendly Radiohead – not a bad thing though :-)
    GoGo penguins – Humdrum Star.

    • Trash says:

      “Joan as Policewoman – Damned Devotion (not as good as her Sylvian duets album though)”

      Does this album (the Sylvian duets album) actually exist. I heard that it had been put on ice due to Sylvian’s health problems at the time. A quick search on the internet doesn’t bring up any information…

  67. yves vandezande says:

    Bobbie Gentry box set. Re-issue of the century.

  68. Uncle Meat says:

    At least there were some great box sets.

    Zappa / Mothers: The Roxy Performances (monster),
    The Beatles: White Album (0103721, still underrated),
    Bobbie Gentry: The Girl From Chickasaw County (essential).

    Decent new albums from Joe Satriani, Billy Gibbons and The Magpie Salute.

    2019? Let’s hope for a couple of bootleg series type of live sets from Led Zeppelin.

  69. alan hansen says:

    what also might be interesting is a list of releases that appeared hopeful but ultimately proved otherwise.

  70. Kevin Galliford says:

    For me, I loved the Suede album, a band at the top of their game & I love the opening track. Best reissue was INXS “Kick” & I also enjoyed a lot PSB “Behaviour” re reissue as I never bought it the first time it was reissued. Most disappointing album was Manic Street Preachers “ Resistance is futile”. Could’nt get along with it & not a patch on “Futurology”.

  71. Andrew Roberts says:

    Paul, also struggled to find a standout “hit” track from The Blue Hour, then I saw Suede live and with Brett singing Life Is Golden it all dawned on me and now I can’t stop playing that song!

  72. Wax Monster X says:

    A couple more I forgot:
    Swing Out Sister – Almost Persuaded
    Dubstar One
    Kamasi Washington- Heaven and Earth
    Cavern Of The Anti Matter

  73. Charles K says:

    The Damned released a damned fine album this year. Evil Spirits was surprisingly introspective but it worked in spades.

  74. BritinDetroit says:

    You asked Paul so here goes

    The 1975 : A Brief inquiry into Online Relationships
    Arctic Monkeys : Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino
    Spiritualized : And Nothing Hurt
    The Good, The Bad and The Queen : Merrie Land
    The Eels : The Deconstruction

    Show of the Year : Springsteen on Broadway

    Concert :
    Steven Wilson : To the Bone Tour (Danforth, Toronto)
    David Byrne : American Utopia (Fox Theater, Detroit)

  75. Wax Monster X says:

    In no order:
    Gorillaz – Now Now
    The Last Detail- The Last Detail (Only the Erin Moran tracks!)
    Thievery Corporation – Treasures From The Temple
    Tracey Thorn- Record
    Belle and Sebastian – How To Solve Our Human Problem
    Suede – The Blue Your
    Low – Double Negative
    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club- Wrong Creatures
    Echo Ladies – Pink Noise
    Gaz Coombes – World’s Strongest Man
    Insta George – Dearest Everybody

    Best single:
    Billie Eilish- Bellyache

    Best Discovery:
    Hollie Cook
    Loads of indie / modern shoegaze ish stuff:
    Venera 4
    Black Needle Noise
    Day Wave
    Beach Bunny
    Hunter As A Horse
    Lung Dart
    White Hex
    Star Horse
    Young Magic. And loads more…

  76. Jules says:

    City Calm Down – Echoes In Blue (#1 2018 fav)
    Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Hope Downs
    Morrissey – Low In High School (Deluxe)
    The Good, the Bad, & the Queen – Merrie Land
    Paul Weller – True Meanings
    Interpol -Marauder
    Gorillaz – The Now Now
    Johnny Marr – Call the Comet
    Gaz Coombes – World’s Strongest Man( #2 2018 fav)
    DMA’s – For Now (#3 2018 fav)

  77. Dan T. says:

    According to my scrobbling activity in 2018, apparently the most rotated new albums for me were Joe Satriani’s “What Happens Now” and The Pineapple Thief’s “Dissolution.” The new Riverside “Wasteland” also got a lot of spins, but that’s because I was trying to figure out if I like it (I do not; their two previous are much better, RIP Piotr – we miss you…). In terms of packaging, Jethro Tull’s “This Was” was the highlight for me – still more of these wonderful book-bound multi-disc sets, and while JT’s debut isn’t as popular as their middle era works in terms of the music, fans must pick this up just to read the liner notes: I think there’s close to 100 pages of how the band came together, picked up traction, and with excellent artwork. The narrative is well-written and breathes life into the band, and gave me a lot of tidbits I did not know about their formation (I discovered them as a burgeoning teen in the late 1980s…). So even if any JT fans don’t see “This Was” as great as their other albums, I recommend picking it up for the book content if for no other reason. And I snagged mine off amazon US for $27 USD… Feels like robbery!

    Great stuff, Paul.

    • SimonP says:

      The Pineapple Thief album wasn’t as immediate as Your Wilderness, but a bit of a grower that took time to appreciate. I’m glad I bought the SDE, though, as the alternative versions were better in many case. Shame there were one too many discs in the set, as the repeated Blu-ray and DVD content was unnecessary in my opinion.

  78. Paul Fitzgerald says:

    Album of the year: Here If You Listen, David Crosby
    Gig of the Year: King Crimson, Amsterdam & Manchester
    Box Set of the Year: Music From Big Pink, The Band

  79. Kenny says:

    Album Of The Year : Paul Simon “In The Blue Light”
    Gig Of The Year : Van Morrison at Llangollen Eistedfford (Astral Weeks 50th Anniversary Gig)

  80. Paul Taylor says:

    1. Manic Street Preachers – Resistance Is Futile
    2. King Tuff – The Other
    3. Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
    4. Suede – The Blue Hour
    5. Culture Club – Life
    6. First Aid Kit – Ruins
    7. Morrissey – Low In High School Deluxe
    8. Snow Patrol – Wildness
    9. Roger Daltrey – As Long As I Have You
    10. Christine & The Queens – Chris

    Late 2017 albums I discovered in 2018:

    Gary Numan – Savage
    Sparks – Hippopotamus

    Favourite box sets;

    Nazareth – Loud & Proud
    Simple Minds – Rejuvenation
    David Bowie – Loving The Alien
    Gorillaz – The Now Now
    The Police – Every Move You Make

    Favourite single reissues (some via Vinyl Me Please!);

    Queen – A Night At The Opera
    Mavis Staples – Mavis Staples
    Townes Van Zandt – For The Sake Of The Song
    John Lennon – Imagine

    There’s probably loads I’ve missed but this is a reasonable summary!

  81. Dubsideofthemoon says:

    The album i listened to the most this year is SHAME Songs of praise released in january 2018.
    They came for a gig to Paris in december and they were HUGE !
    By far, my favourite 2018 album.

  82. Graham says:

    Happy New Year to everyone and Paul, thanks for all of the great information that you put out all year.
    I was really happy to see you include True Meanings in your list, as it seems very few sites have included it. I agree a really great collection of songs. The gig at the Festival Hall was excellent too.
    For the same reason the Villagers album is one of the best of the year in my opinion. Great songs.
    Also discovered Solan Goose by Erland Cooper at the end of the year, beautiful. And if anyone knows where I can get hold of a vinyl copy I’d really appreciate it.

  83. stevieb says:

    Fave albums of 2018, in no particular order:

    Suede – The Blue Hour
    David Byrne – American Utopia
    David Bowie – Welcome To The Blackout
    David Bowie – Live at Glastonbury
    Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel
    Sons of Kemet – Your Queen Is A Reptile
    Paul McCartney – Egypt Station
    Donny McCaslin – Blow
    Idles – Joy As An Act of Resistance
    Father John Misty – God’s Favourite Customer
    Jack White – Boarding House Reach

    Lennon/Ono – Imagine De Luxe Box
    Beatles – White Album De Luxe Box

  84. Graham says:

    The best-selling albums of 2018 are:
    1. ‘The Greatest Showman Motion Picture Cast Recording’
    2. George Ezra, ‘Staying at Tamara’s‘
    3. Ed Sheeran, ‘÷‘
    4. ‘Mamma Mia – Here We Go Again Motion Picture Cast Recording’
    5. Drake, ‘Scorpion‘
    6. Post Malone, ‘Beerbongs & Bentleys‘
    7. ‘A Star Is Born Motion Picture Cast Recording’
    8. Michael Buble, ‘Love’
    9. Dua Lipa, ‘Dua Lipa‘
    10. Eminem, ‘Kamikaze‘

    Probably my age but I find that very depressing.

  85. CraigH says:

    A few more to ponder, and maybe some different styles of music than most post or listen to here, but pretty good. In no particular order:

    Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite – No Mercy In This Land
    The Magpie Salute – High Water I
    Billy F Gibbons – The Big Bad Blues
    Joe Bonamassa – Redemption
    Neil Young – Songs For Judy

  86. SimonP says:

    Some good tips here for stuff I missed in 2018, so I’ll be checking some out later.

    Some that I’ve liked:

    Gaz Coombes
    St Paul and the Broken Bones
    Suede (not as good as the last one, though)
    Josh Rouse
    Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats
    Jack White

    Probably others, but I’m not at home to look through what I’ve bought this year…

  87. Darren Briscoe says:

    Yes!!!! I am not alone!!! The Sting & Shaggy album was a summer delight!! Unfortunately Sting attracts a lot of negativity so themusic is overlooked.

  88. Carl D says:

    These are the ones I bought and would recommend

    Parcels – Parcels
    Shame – Songs of Praise
    Boy Azooga – 1,2 Kung Fu
    Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Hope Downs
    Field Music – Open Here (good to see Paul at Barbican)
    Idles – Joy As An Act of Resistance
    Mass Gothic – I’ve Tortured You Long Enough
    Menace Beach – Black Rainbow Sound
    John Grant – Love Is Magic
    Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
    Interpol – Marauder
    City Calm Down – Echos in Blue
    Our Girl – Stranger Today

    • Trash says:

      Ah yes indeed – I should have added the Field Music album to my list (for some reason I had it in my head that it was released in 2017). Definitely up there with their best.

  89. MüllerMüller says:

    List 2018
    Lenny Kravitz- Raise Vibration
    Billy F Gibbons – The big bad blues (Japan Version)
    Jack White – Boarding House Reach
    Janelle Monàe – Dirty Computer
    Underworld & Iggy Pop – Teatime Dub Encounters
    Paul McCartney – Egypt Station
    Sting & Shaggy – 44/876
    PRINCE – Piano & A Microphone (is it realy a new album?)
    Blade Runner 2049 Soundtrack
    Willie Nelson – Last Man Standing
    Top reissues :
    Tom Petty – An American Treasure
    David Bowie – Loving The Alien
    Howard Jones – DIA 2CD/1DVD (again)
    The Beatles – No. 0081937
    Hopes for 2019
    Tears For Fears, PRINCE, ZZ Top, Bruce Springsteen, a good one by Neil Young (new), Bob Dylan back in old times – come on suprise me, i am an 80´s one….. Phil Collins?? George Michael???
    Have a great music year Paul!

  90. Gert says:

    Albums of 2018 I like a lot

    US Girls – In a poem unlimited
    Oh Mercy – Cafe oblivion
    Caroline Rose – Loner
    Ron Gallo – Stardust birthday party
    Dominique A – Toute latitude
    Dominique A – La fragilité
    Boudewijn De Groot – Even weg
    Damien Jurado – The horizon just laughed
    Beach house – 7
    Go Kart Mozart – Mozart’s mini mart
    Arthur H – Amour chien fou
    Calexico – The thread that keeps us
    Liminanas – Shadow people
    Tamino – Amir
    Dean Wareham vs. Cheval Sombre
    John Grant – Love is magic
    Sarah Nixey – Night walks
    Calpurnia – Scout
    The Chills – Snow bound
    Elvis Costello – Look now
    Rhye – Blood
    Stephen Malkmus – Sparkle hard
    Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility base hotel & casino
    Courtney Barnett – Tell me how you really feel
    Coeur de pirate – en cas de tempête ce jardin sera fermé
    Luke Haines – I sometimes dream of glue
    Eels – The deconstruction
    Bashung – En amont
    Elisa Point et Alain Klingler – Ce soir la nuit rentrera tard

    • Bill Sykes says:

      Didn’t realise Coeur De Pirate had released a new album. Thanks for alerting me, not sure how I missed this.

  91. Adam says:

    Ty Segall | Freedom’s Goblin
    Idles | Joy As An Act Of Resistance
    BC Camplight | Deportation Blues
    Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever | Hope Downs
    Our Girl | Stranger Today
    Ty Segall & White Fence | Joy
    Janelle Monae | Dirty Computer
    Louis Cole | Time
    Parquet Courts | Wide Awake
    Unknown Mortal Orchestra | Sex & Food

    The Beatles [50th Anniversary]
    Various Artists | Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs Present Paris In The Spring
    Primal Scream | Give Out But Don’t Give Up: The Original Memphis Recordings
    Various Artists | Brainfeeder X
    Super Furry Animals | SFA At The BBC
    Bob Dylan | More Blood, More Tracks
    Chic | The Chic Organization 1977-1979
    Bobby Darin | Go Ahead & Back Up: The Lost Motown Masters
    Serge Gainsbourg & Michel Colombier | Le Pacha OST
    Various Artists | When The Day Is Done: The Orchestrations Of Robert Kirby

  92. Domenico says:

    The Blue Hour (Suede), best album 2018

  93. Eric Weinraub says:

    I thought David Byrne’s American Utopia left everything else behind.

  94. Michael says:

    2018. Albums I like.
    1. Gorillaz: The Now Now.
    2. Tom Bailey: Science Fiction.
    3. Zaz: Effet Miroir.
    4. Mueller/Roedelius: Imagori II
    5. The Good the Bad and the Queen: Merrie Land

  95. Giuseppe Pastorelli says:

    Strictly in alphabetical order:

    Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
    Richard Ashcroft – Natural Rebel
    Calibro 35 – Decade
    Editors – Violence
    Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending
    Interpol – Marauder
    Johnny Marr – Call The Comet
    Muse – Simulation Theory
    Orbital – Monsters Exist
    The Prodigy – No Tourists
    Subsonica – 8
    Suede – The Blue Hour

  96. David M says:

    Shamefully I think I am only really familiar with 2 albums from 2018 (and I haven’t bought my no. 1 choice yet).

    1. Warm – Jeff Tweedy
    2. Egypt Station – Paul McCartney

  97. Jeff says:

    My favorite album of the year was

    Gretta Van Fleet – Anthem of the Peaceful Army

    I see not 1 rock album anyone has even mentioned.

    I’m ashamed with what people are listening to in general these days

    • AdamW says:

      Say what you want about other people’s taste if you like, but surely Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, The Darkness, Andrew WK, Courtney Barnett, Jack White, The Breeders and Smashing Pumpkins (all mentioned below) qualify as rock.

    • Paul Kent says:

      In my list: Andrew WK, Manic Street Preachers, Lenny Kravitz, Coheed & Cambria, Muse, The Darkness

      …personally, I’m ashamed that people are listening to Greta Van Fleet, who are about as rock as Elaine bloody Paige.

      How about standing by your own dubious choice and not calling out others for theirs?

      • Jeff says:

        Yes I missed some of those listings or they haddent been posted at the time I made my statement,,,,I stand corrected :-)

        • Nick Love says:

          This website is pretty inclusive of all genres so I’d say if you are going to complain about the lack of “rock” you’ve probably stumbled onto the wrong site. That being said there’s plenty of all Foghat and Savoy Brown records you can throw on should the mood strike.
          On a side note the only thing I know about Greta Van Fleet other than they are horribly derivative is that they are from Frankenmuth Michigan, a village that is a favorite destination of my grandmother because of their year round Christmas stores.

          • Jeff says:

            I love all types of music :-). It’s just that nobody mentioned GVF is an understatement to say the least. I know that there is way too much of them on YouTube, but hey aren’t they worth an honorable mention :-)

    • Steve says:

      Therapy, Suede, Dead Cross, Sleep (one I forgot to mention), Courtney Barnet, Breeders, Pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs….all very much rock dude….as are The Beatles and Bowie.

  98. frattonlad says:

    I didn’t buy as much new music as you this year Paul I think!

    My favourites were (roughly in order):
    Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
    Kamasi Washington – Heavan & Earth
    Richard Thompson – 13 Rivers
    Ty Segall – Freedom’s Goblin
    Belly – Dove
    Manic Street Preachers – Resistance is Futile
    of Montreal – White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood

    Reissue of the year? This Was by Jethro Tull

    Best ‘new-to-me’ album? Strange Times by The Chameleons (no idea how I missed this lot in the 80s, sublime!)

    Best compilation? C89

  99. Graham says:

    Ian McNabb – Our Future In Space.

    Cracking album.

  100. Daniel Wylie says:

    Top reissues, Bobbie Gentry Box Set and Bowie’s Loving The Alien Box.

    My top 10 new albums;

    Leon Bridges – “Good Thing”
    The Vryll Society – “Course of the Satellite”
    Buffalo Tom – “Quiet and Peace”
    Elvis Costello & The Imposters – “Look Now”
    Astronauts, etc. – “Living In Symbol”
    Laura Marling & Mike Lindsay – “Lump”
    Neil Sturgeon & The Infomaniacs – “Geography And Luck”
    Robin Bennett, Danny Wilson, Tony Poole – “Bennett Wilson Poole”
    Dawes – “Passwords”
    Laura Veirs – “The Lookout”

  101. Deano says:

    Definitely interesting reading from me around peoples favoured albums for last year. And I certainly look forward to your favourite reissues.

    Paul – are you planning a list of planned and hoped reissues for 2019? Always love reading through that.

    I’ve blabbed on about hoping to see a The Beloved Happiness superdeluxe several times before in posts. Interestingly, they appear to have recently reissued all the early Warners 12” and remixes on iTunes and Spotify, but nothing from Sweet Harmony onwards. So, maybe there is a physical reissue campaign planned and this is the start of it for Happiness.

    I wonder whether there is scope on this site to identify such reissues on digital formats? – both The Beloved and FGTH have done this which may have gone under the radar to lots of people.

    I know we all love our physical product, but there are people gagging to get alternative versions (whatever the means). Keep up the good work for 2019

    • Steve says:

      Yeah one of the things I love about Spotify is that most things end up on there, be it the Beatles White Album super deluxe straight away, or the FGTH 12″ mixes.

  102. David Carter says:

    My favourites of the year

    Anna Calvi – Hunter
    BC Camplight – Deportation Blues
    Parquet Courts – Wide Awake
    TVAM – Psychic Data
    Jon Hopkins – Singularity
    Bodega – Endless Scroll
    Muse – Simulation Theory
    Interpol – Marauder
    Thom Yorke – Suspiria
    Beach House – 7
    Editors – Violence
    Confidence Man – Confident Music for Confident People
    Nils Frahm – All Melody

  103. Peter Yarrow says:

    Best album of 2018 for me was “Hot Yoga Emoji” by Speed For Lovers.

    Worth checking out

  104. Jan Tore says:

    Things I liked:

    Laurie Anderson/Kronos Quartet – Landfall
    Stefan Pasborg – Morricone
    Eberson – Empathy
    They Might Be Giants – I Like Fun
    They Might Be Giants – My Murdered Remains
    Kristin Asbjørnsen – Traces of you
    Skydive Trio – Sun Sparkle
    Jaan Wessman – None for the money, two for the show
    Anne Dudley – Plays The Art Of Noise
    Rabbit Rabbit Radio – Black Inscription
    Meshell Ndegeocello – Ventriloquism
    Gurls – Run boy, run
    Neneh Cherry – Broken politics
    Ceramic Dog – YRU Still Here?
    Marc Ribot – Songs of Resistance: 1942–2018

  105. Peter says:

    Here are my 2018 favorites (not in any order):

    Roxanne – Radio Silence
    Elvis Costello – Look now
    T.G. Copperfield – Sweet Honey
    Jeff Goldblum – The Capitol Studios Sessions
    Steven Wilson – Home Invasion
    Fantastic Negrito – Please don’t be dead
    Last Bandoleros – San Antonio
    Nils Wülker – Decade
    Robben Ford – Purple House

  106. AdamW says:

    Mostly in order:

    Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
    The Breeders – All Nerve
    Cavern Of Anti-Matter – Hormone Lemonade
    Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending
    Orbital – Monsters Exist
    Angelique Kidjo – Remain In Light
    Aphex Twin – Collapse EP
    Nine Inch Nails – Bad Witch
    ShadowParty – ShadowParty
    Spiritualized – And Nothing Hurt

  107. Marcel Rijs says:

    For the first time I didn’t get to ten new albums this year….

    1. Here come the aliens – Kim Wilde
    2. Désobéissance – Mylene Farmer
    3. Ectotropia – Happy Rhodes
    4. Wildness – Snow Patrol
    5. Violence – Editors
    6. No shame – Lily Allen

  108. Tim-Meh says:

    In no particular order:

    – Wendy Rae Fowler: Warped
    – Suede: The Blue Hour
    – Starcrawler: S/T
    – Queen Kwong: Love Me To Death
    – Maggot Heart: Dusk to Dusk
    – Belly: Dove
    – Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe: S/T
    – She Makes War: Brace for Impact
    – Stonefield: Far From Earth
    – Estrons: You Say I’m Too Much

  109. EW99 says:

    Tracey Thorn’s “Record”
    Goat Girl’s “Goat Girl”

    There are plenty more I liked but those are the two I will remember this year for.

  110. Caroline says:

    Agree with Anna Calvi, an absolute cracker.


    Kelly Moran – Ultraviolet
    SOPHIE – Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides
    Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics
    She Makes War – Brace For Impact
    rook – shed blood
    Sons Of Kemet – Your Queen Is A Reptile
    Let’s Eat Grandma – I’m All Ears
    Mitski – Be The Cowboy
    Heather Leigh – Throne
    Black Dresses – WASTEISOLATION

    …and a whole bunch of others with no physical format so I won’t annoy the SDE readership with them :D

  111. Dave Westbury says:

    No Johnny Marr or Tracey Thorn? Come on Paul! Must do better!!!

  112. Andrea says:

    well it IS a bit confusing actually…. you ask why he bothers with new albums, and then you praise the new album for its memorable, quality compositions?

  113. Paul Kent says:

    In absolutely no order, at all, whatsoever…

    Andrew WK – You’re Not Alone
    Manic Street Preachers – Resistance Is Futile
    Paul McCartney – Egypt Station
    Lenny Kravitz – Raise Vibration
    Elvis Costello & The Imposters – Look Now
    Coheed & Cambria – Vaxis Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures
    Paul Weller – True Meanings
    Muse – Simulation Theory
    Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
    The Darkness – Live At Hammersmith

  114. Andy B in the place 2 b which is 1973 says:

    Elvis Costello – This Year’s Model
    The Jam – All Mod Cons
    Blondie – Parallel Lines
    The Cars – The Cars
    Kate Bush – Kick Inside
    Jeff Wayne – Musical Version of War of the Worlds
    Bruce Springsteen – Darkness on the Edge of Town
    Chic – C’est Chic

    Oh 2018?, sorry I gave you best LP’s of 1978.

  115. Lenny says:

    Can’t believe nobody has mentioned Kacey Musgraves so far. Should be on everybody’s best of 2018

    • Caroline says:

      I gave it a listen but it just didn’t quite land with me. Same with the Suede album: loved them since I first saw them in ’92 and own all the albums and all those classic early singles but “The Blue Hour” just didn’t catch my ear.

    • Stan Butler says:

      I’ll give Kacey Musgraves’ “Golden” a mention too.
      Album of the year was Suede – The Blue Hour.
      Other favourites: The Go! Team – Semicircle
      Anvil – Pounding The Pavement
      Judas Priest – Firepower
      Paul McCartney – Egypt Station
      Box set had to be Nazareth – Loud & Proud.

  116. Paul Fraser says:

    Happy New Year to all the SDErs.
    My choices are all albums that should be listened to as albums.

    Suede – The Blue Hour
    Idles – Joy as an act of resistance
    Courtney Barnett – Tell me how you really feel
    Black Honey – Black Honey
    Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
    Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Sex & Food

    But happiest surprise of the year goes to:

    David Bowie – Never Let Me Down 2018

  117. DaveM says:

    My list
    Paul McCartney – Egypt Station
    Ryley Walker – The Lillywhite Sessions
    Breeders – All Nerve
    Neil Young – Paradox
    Okkervil River – In the Rainbow Rain
    Low – Double Negative
    Jonathan Wilson – Rare Birds
    Iron & Wine – Weed Garden (EP)
    J Mascis – Elastic Days
    Yo La Tengo – There’s a Riot Goin On

  118. Steve says:

    Favourite albums 2018

    The Breeders All Nerve
    Suede The Blue Hour
    Boygenius EP
    Courtney Marie Andrews May Your Kindness Remain
    Brandi Carlisle By the Way I Forgive You
    Therapy Cleave
    Belly Dove
    Pale Waves My Mind Makes Noises
    Let’s Eat Grandma I’m all ears
    Natalie Prass The future and the Past
    Dead Cross
    Pige pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs King of Cowards

    Beatles White Album
    Cure Mixed Up
    Bowie Loving the Alien
    Marillion Clutching at straws
    Soft Cell box set

  119. johnnyv says:

    My point is that you dare to claim something about bothering with new albums.

  120. Alan Fenwick says:

    In no particular order some New albums I have enjoyed throughout 2018:

    The Good The Bad and the Queen – Merrie Land
    Paul Smith (Maximo Park Front-man) – Diagrams
    Young Fathers – Cocoa Sugar
    Bodega – Endless Scroll
    Suede – The Blue Hour
    Johnny Marr – Call the Comet
    Jack White – Boarding House Reach
    Father John Misty – God’s Favourite Customer
    Anna Calvi – Hunter
    Field Music – Open Here
    Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending
    Tim Burgess – As I Was Now
    Arctic Monkeys – Tranquillity Base Hotel and Casino
    Sunflower Bean – Twenty two in Blue
    Gaz Coombes – World’s Strongest Man

  121. Branny says:

    I have bought the sum total of five “new” albums this year.

    Visions of life – Wolf Alice
    Semicircle – The Go! Team
    American Utopia – David Byrne
    Resistance is futile – The Manics
    You say I’m too much – Estrons

    The rest have been a variety from the 70s onwards. I just don’t have the same exposure to current music that I used to so tend to buy stuff that I missed first time around. A recent viewing of Quadrophenia has got me interested in The Who so last week I bought Who’s Next which was originally released when I was three years old.

    The majority of albums that I buy are from my favourite decade, the 80s. Again, re-issues or stuff I missed and I don’t see that changing to be honest.

  122. Daryl says:

    Since you asked;

    The Smashing Pumpkins – Shiny & Oh, So Bright (I’m one of the rare few that have loved all the latter-years SP albums)
    Steven Page – Heal Thyself: Discipline, Part 2 (Steven can do no wrong in my eyes. It constantly amazes me that you can put any one of his albums – or his albums with Barenaked Ladies – select any track at random, and find yourself listening to a well crafted, perfect pop song with clever lyrics)
    Slash – Living The Dream (More of the same, but perfect for the car)
    Fall Out Boy – Mania (They know how to write a catchy tune)
    The Beach Boys – With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Far better than I was expecting, if you can get past poor Brian’s airbrushed face on the cover!)

    Special mentions must also go to Queen – The Bohemian Rhapsody Soundtrack and The Rolling Stones – Voodoo Lounge Uncut.

    Happy New Year by the way Paul. Thanks for all you do!
    I agree with you on the Sting/Shaggy album by the way – surprisingly catchy and as you said – perfect for the car stereo on a Summer’s day!

  123. Trash says:

    Favourite albums this year for me would be (in no particular order):
    – Beginn : Claudia Brücken & Jerome Froese
    – Here We Go Love : Dave Wakeling/The Beat
    – 44/876 : Sting and Shaggy
    – True Meanings : Paul Weller
    – Science Fiction : Tom Bailey

    Thanks for your list Paul. I really should check out the Costello album as I have heard good things about it. Similarly the Suede album as I have all the others (however my favourite album by them is A New Morning so that probably doesn’t bode well…).
    I’m glad I am not the only one that really enjoys the Sting/Shaggy collaboration for what it is.

  124. Phil says:

    Got to mention the amazing ‘Chris’ by Christine and the Queens. Equally good in both English and French versions

  125. Howard says:

    Check out Halo Maud – Je suis une ile – brilliant.

  126. Nigel says:

    Snow Patrol The Wildness has to be right up there. An amazing personal album that deserves recognition.

  127. johnnyv says:

    “I can understand why Paul McCartney continues to tour and reissue his back catalogue, but it’s less clear why he bothers with new albums. He has nothing much to gain”.

    I guess it was just sarcasm, isn’t it?

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