The year end “sampler” has long been one of our year end traditions at Real Gone. Although in recent years, the sampler has taken the form of an online stream as opposed to a traditional download, we’ve continued to receive good feedback about the annual project, and still managed to introduce people to things they missed throughout the previous twelve months.
We seem to say it every December, but this year has gone so quickly. We’ve fit a lot into twelve months, of course. Over the last twelve months, Real Gone has picked up a truckload of new followers and regular visitors; we’ve discovered new bands, reconnected with a couple of familiar faces, and given more column inches to old favourites.
It’s unbelievable to think that ‘Turquoise’ is Electric Six’s nineteenth studio album [or twentieth, if you count the ‘Streets of Gold’ covers collection, which the band don’t seem to, since it wasn’t even mentioned at the gigs played in the month of release, and nothing played from it], but Dick Valentine and his revolving cast of disco-rock oddballs have been cranking out albums year after year. Not that the record buying public or the press have always noticed. What’s more, the bulk of ‘Turquoise’ is great. It isn’t the sound of a veteran band phoning in their musical spoils. It isn’t hacked out product from a band all too readily dismissed as a cheap novelty. Yes, it’s trashy, but always in the best possible way.
2022 has gone extremely quickly. With most people back at work in their offices and gigs being a regular occurrence, everything has felt far more like those old pre-2020 days. Almost as if to celebrate a shift back towards “normality” (though we’re no means out of the woods with regard to viruses) lots of our favourite bands went into overdrive, and a few of them even produced albums that are up their with their finest work.
Below, you’ll find Real Gone’s ten favourite releases of 2022, along with a few others that really stood out. It really has been a great year for music; some of the stuff we’ve not included was also of a very high standard, and it really felt like there was something new to explore every week.
It’s barely seven months since Electric Six last visited the Kent coast. In November 2021, the Detroit legends packed out the tiny Music Hall in Ramsgate, and tonight it’s the turn of its slightly larger cousin, the Booking Hall in Dover, to play host to the ever quirky Dick Valentine and his assorted friends. Unsurprisingly, the show is a sell out. Unbelievably, the band have attracted a few people in the audience who are seeing the Electric Six bonanza for the very first time. Using the Ramsgate show as a benchmark, whether a casual observer or died in the wool fan, everyone is in for a genuine treat.