Back in the 90s, a series of compilation albums called ‘Indie Top 20’ provided exciting listening for a generation of NME readers. The series of cassettes (and latterly CDs) brought together 20 indie hits and underground bangers of the day, providing what would become an important time capsule for future generations.
The compilers were unafraid to pitch the era’s heavyweights Pop Will Eat Itself and Carter USM against the then up and coming Sleeper and Salad; it also gave a huge platform to bands that now seem too often forgotten, like Tiny Monroe and 18 Wheeler. Whatever appeared, fans absorbed like sponges. Those compilations were often responsible for creating cast iron favourites.
The words innovative and iconic are muchly overused when describing bands in the twenty first century. Both are very much words that apply to New York Dolls. A band that championed excess and trashiness in every sense, they ushered in a sleazy style that joined The Stooges in laying the groundwork for punk, but also providing a core influence for the likes of Motley Crue and the LA glam metal scene that dominated MTV during a decade long after the Dolls first burst of stardom had burnt out.
In the summer of 2019, Dave Grohl hinted at the possibility of a second Them Crooked Vultures album. At that point, it had been a whole decade since the supergroup’s debut release, but fans had never quite given up hope of a return. Grohl’s comments only served to fuel the rumour mill and in many ways it’s a pity nothing more materialised, as a brand new work involving John Paul Jones at that time would have outshone all of Jimmy Page’s non-existent efforts to mark Led Zeppelin’s 50th anniversary.
Back in 2019, singer songwriter Steve Hewitt released his debut album ‘Bigger Than Words’. With its blend of folk, pop and country influences, the album had a timeless feel, often reminiscent of the more stripped down Lowen & Navarro recordings. It was one of Real Gone’s top albums of 2019.
It’s that time of year again when Real Gone takes stock of all of the great music that’s been sent our way over the last twelve months. Changes in how people consume their music has meant shifting from providing a free download to offering an album length stream, but the variety and quality of the new music remains very high.