Daft Punk sweep the Grammys
Let’s be honest, who else would you expect to sweep the Grammys? Random Access Memories deservedly owned every single category it was nominated for: Record of the Year, Best Dance/Electronica Album and Best Engineered Album. Man, did this album deserve it. One of the best albums of last year was recognised at the start of this one by, if not necessarily the most esteemed music awards, certainly the most popular.
Christine McVie rejoins Fleetwood Mac
What better way to celebrate, urm, 37 years since the release of Rumours than to get the classic line up back together. FINALLY, it was announced than Christine McVie would be joining Lindsay Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Stevie Nicks to tour once again with Fleetwood Mac. With Glastonbury rumours floating around, many Mac fans have paid through the nose to see them perform next year. Let’s hope it’s money well spent.
Kate Bush plays her first ‘tour’ since 1979
Talking of touring, a familiar voice made her first (proper) live appearance since 1979 this year. Yes, Kate Bush finally gave her fans what they had been dreaming of for decades. Tickets sold out in 15 minutes and 22 nights at the Hammersmith Apollo passed in a theatrical display. Hits like ‘Hounds of Love’ and ‘Running up that Hill’ were played to packed audiences, with reviews being extremely positive.
Outkast and The Libertines reform
2014 was a good year for reunions. Influential rap duo Outkast and post-punk rockers The Libertines were just two of the big names this year. Of course, not all went as planned. Headlining Coachella Festival produced some mixed reviews, and the duo’s usual over-the-top performance was stripped down to the bare minimum. The Libertines by comparison did fantastically well. Their Ally Pally and Hyde Park shows lead to the band being signed to Virgin Records, with a new album rumoured for a 2015 release.
Aphex Twin releases his first album since 2001
Speaking of new albums, British Electronic God Aphex Twin released his first full-length album since 2001 this year. Syro lived up to Richard D James’ standard, with the DJ claiming it to be the poppiest he will ever go. With unpronounceable names and distorted vocals aplenty, it was exactly what you’d expect. With the closing track (catchily called ‘aisatsana ’), however, something new felt like it had been brought to Aphex Twin’s pallet. After listening to it, you wouldn’t think this was the same man who wrote ‘Come to Daddy’.
Metallica becomes the first Metal band to headline Glastonbury
Worthy Farm was rocked to its core in June when Metallica became the first Metal band to headline Glastonbury Festival. Critics ranged from Alex Turner, to Judas Priest, to Mogwai, but like it or not Metallica were there to play. And my God, what a set they pulled off. For a festival that once had Beyonce headline, the words to ‘Enter Sandman’ sure rang loud. Could this be the first of many Metal appearances?
Nirvana are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Having released their first album way back in 1989, Seattle Grunge pioneers Nirvana were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear played alongside replacement vocalists Lorde, St. Vincent, Kim Gordon and Joan Jett to recreate some of the band’s best loved hits. Inducted alongside Nirvana were Glam-Rockers KISS, Prog-Rock master Peter Gabriel and all-round legend Cat Stevens.
Taylor Swift pulls her music from Spotify
2014 was also the year it was cool to hate Spotify. While Thom Yorke, David Byrne and Foals had already strongly voiced their opposition to the music streaming service, it was Taylor Swift who drew the eyes of the crowd when she removed her discography from the site. While some saw the move as a revival of Feminism (???) Swift insisted her art should be paid for, as opposed to listened to for free. Despite Spotify attempting to sweet talk Taylor back on to the site, for now Taylor is moving Swiftly away from streaming her music (you’re welcome).
Some famous faces leave us
Music in 2014 wasn’t all sunshine and smiles though. We said goodbye to some familiar faces this year. Country legend Phil Everly passed away at the grand old age of 74 in January. Everly had been one half of the duo who influenced the likes of The Beatles. Bobby Womack sadly passed in June this year. Complications with diabetes lead to the passing of Dance-meister Frankie Knuckles in March. Tributes poured in in waves, including an unusual cover by The Horrors. The Soul legend had been suffering from numerous illnesses, including pancreatic cancer. And the final original member of the Ramones sadly left us in July. Tommy Ramone had been largely responsible for ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’, one of the band’s most recognisable hits.
Pink Floyd release The Endless River
Finally, Pink Floyd rose from the ashes like a phoenix to produce The Endless River. Consisting of largely instrumental material from the band’s The Division Bell sessions, it was a commercial success, however received mixed reviews. With another album under their belt, it seems unlikely that Pink Floyd will return to the studio, especially with Rick Wright’s passing in 2008, making The Endless River the final goodbye.
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