In a year of great classic, hard rock and heavy metal, it was tough to eliminate many worthy releases from the Marshall of Rock Top 30 albums of 2012, but after much deliberation, we have come up with what we think is a representation of quality rock for the year. See what you think:
30. Testament - Dark Roots of Earth
A fine return by the San Francisco bay area thrash giants. With guitar interaction between Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson, definitive vocals from Chuck Billy, bass from Greg Christian, and a reunion with Gene Hoglan, who last played drums for the band on their 1997 album 'Demonic,' Testament have delivered an album that stands up to all of their past releases. "Dark Roots of Earth' debuted at #12 on the Billboard 200, which was the band's highest debut in their history.
29. ZZ Top - La Futura
The band's first new album in 9 years brings back some true Texas blues rock ZZ Top style. Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard were itching to get this album out after production delays with Rick Rubin, so they four new tracks: 'I Gotsta Get Paid,' 'Chartreuse,' 'Consumption,' and 'Over You' in June of 2012 as an iTunes-only collection titled 'Texicali.' The band's 15th studio album is truly "the future" for ZZ Top. Good to have the boys back.
28. Aranda - Stop The World
The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma band's second album 'Stop The World' yielded three charting tracks, 'One More Lie', 'Undone' and 'Satisfied.' Dameon Aranda, Gabe Aranda, Mike Walker and B Webb have created a sound that is original and lasting. I expect more from this band in the future, and look for them to become a mainstay on the rock charts.
27. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Last Of A Dyin' Breed
Lynyrd Skynyrd is on top of their game once again with their latest release, which is full of solid tracks. The 12th studio album from the band and first with bassist Johnny Colt (Black Crowes), also features additional guitar from the great John 5. Great songs like 'Homegrown,' 'Good Teacher, 'Ready To Fly,' and the title track, make this release a must for fans of southern rock and all rock fans in general.
26. Jack White - Blunderbuss
The always innovative and original Jack White has delivered an album that may very be his best work yet. His debut solo album was written, recorded and produced entirely by White in 2011. I appreciate everything White stands for, as he is a true music historian, has a plan for not only his Third Man Records, but everything he does musically. When promo copies of the album were distributed to reviewers and radio stations, they were sent as vinyl records to prevent leaks. A leader in today's world of music.
25. Overkill - The Electric Age
Band leaders and original members Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth (vocals) and D.D. Verni (bass) have crafted an epic return to glory with The 16th studio album from the New Jersey thrash legends. 'The Electric Age' lives up to the epic releases in the 80's from the band and has brought them back to prominence in the metal world. Overkill will be touring in early 2013 with Testament and Flotsam and Jetsam, bringing more exposure to this release that really deserves it.
24. Europe - Bag Of Bones
A great album from a band that sounds better than in their 80's heyday. Vocalist Joey Tempest has described Europe's 9th studio album as "a hardcore classic rock record with the blues knocking on the door," and I'd have to agree. The album debuted at #2 in their native Sweden, where they were recently named the #3 all time favorite band. 'Bag Of Bones' has not yet garnered the attention it deserves in the U.S., but hopefully that will change in 2013. Kevin Shirley produced, mixed and engineered this great album, and he must be my producer of the year, as he has at least two other albums on my Top 30.
23. KISS - Monster
The 20th and latest KISS studio album delivers musically, with the production from Paul Stanley and guitar work from Tommy Thayer as standouts. The band used old analog equipment instead of digital recording gear while recording 'Monster.' Gene Simmons said about the recording of 'Monster': "Technology is a seductive bitch, she will seduce you. You press this button, you don't have to do anything. But analog is the love of your life. You can push real hard and it always gives back. For the new album, the actual recording process was 24-track tape and an old Trident board. And as many tubes as possible. You need tubes, electricity and thick wood to make that thick sound." We are glad they did, as this is the best KISS album in years.
22. Stone Sour - House of Gold & Bones Part 1
Corey Taylor delivers with Part 1 of the two part House of Gold & Bones. Stone Sour can ride the line of serious hard rock to lyrically touching mid tempo tracks and pull it off like no other band can. Part II will be out in 2013, and I'm sure that one of rock's men of the year will keep his band innovative, original and relevant.
21. Dead Sara - Dead Sara
A compelling and engaging debut from the Los Angeles based band. Vocalist Emily Armstrong and her bandmates show on this album that they are a force that will be recognized in the world of rock and won't be ignored.
20. The Treatment - This Might Hurt
The U.K. boys remind me of a young Def Leppard, with some AC/DC and UFO thrown in. With great tracks like 'The Doctor,' 'Nothing To Lose But Our Mind', 'Shake The Mountain' and more, this album rocks from start to finish. Coming off some U.S. exposure as the openers on 'The Tour' with KISS and Motley Crue, these guys are ready and willing to take their career to the next level, and I think they will.
19. Soundgarden - King Animal
One of the seminal bands in the creation of grunge, Soundgarden broke up back in 1997, but reunited in 2010, making concert festival and some TV appearances, as well as releasing a special 7" on Black Friday Record Store Day. 2011 brought the live album 'Live On I-5', and that all let up to the recording and release of their 6th studio album in 2012. The album is heavy, the album is fast, the album is true Soundgarden music.
18. Gary Clark Jr. - Blak and Blu
Guitar great Gary Clark Jr. has released independent albums and E.P.'s before, but 2012 brought Clark's major label album debut, and a stunning piece of work it is. Clark's music has elements of blues, rock, funk, soul and country, and he says he is even influenced by jazz and hip hop. Already playing clubs in his hometown of Austin, Texas as a kid, he met promoter Clifford Antone, proprietor of the Austin music club Antone's. Antone's was the launching pad for fellow Texans Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan. That propelled him to eventually sharing the stage with music greats B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger Buddy Guy, Steve Winwood, John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Jeff Beck, ZZ Top, Doyle Bramhall II, Sheryl Crow and more. He has performed at the White House, and just last month was a part of the Rolling Stones New Jersey shows. The album is a true showcase of his talent and includes a version of the Jimi Hendrix classic 'Third Stone From The Sun'. Gary Clark Jr. is just starting his amazing ride to greatness.
17. Tremonti - All I Was
The first solo album from the Alter Bridge/Creed guitarist, it is what he wanted it to be - a pure metal album! Crunchy tracks, awesome riffs, and outstanding vocals from Tremonti himself. A must for all metal fans.
16. Pop Evil - War Of Angels
These Michigan rockers were a touring machine in 2012, playing many of the cuts from their fantastic album 'War Of Angels'. With four singles released from the record: 'Last Man Standing,' 'Monster You Made,' 'Bosses Daughter,' and 'Purple,' the band maximized the album's potential after delays caused by record company issues with Universal had kept it from it from it's initial release date. The guys moved onto a new label (eOne Music), who have backed the band and album to the fullest and the band is now primed to move into the future with even more success.
15. The Black Keys - El Camino
Akron, Ohio's Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney released their 7th studio album'El Camino' in December of 2011, and 2012 brought the brought massive sales and success for the release. They have etched out a dedicated and loyal following not only by their fans, but by critics, and it looks as though the Black Keys are going to be one of those bands that will be around in 10 to 15 years, as long as their material holds up. With #1 rock tracks 'Lonely Boy' and Gold On The Ceiling', as well as the top 5 cut 'Little Black Submarines,' it was hard to escape the band. 'El Camino' and 'Lonely Boy' were nominated in five categories for the 2013 Grammy Awards, where they are sure to win a few, if not all five they are nominated for.
14. Kill Devil Hill
Hard rock at it's best on the debut album from the band named after the small town of Kill Devil Hill, North Carolina. Drummer Vinny Appice, bassist Rex Brown, guitarist Mark Zavon and lead vocalist Dewey Bragg, bring the rock heavy and modern on a release that deserved more acclaim and recognition in the world of hard rock and metal. The band are planning their second release and I'm sure we'll see growth and more exposure for this great new hard rock band!
13. Heart - Fanatic
Ann & Nancy Wilson returned in 2012 with not only a box set 'Strange Euphoria,' but a fantastic album on new material called 'Fanatic.' Great songs, great hooks, and above all great guitar and vocals from the first ladies of rock. They are now Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, and are still putting out quality new music that will stand the test of time.
12. Halestorm - The Strange Case Of...
Halestorm put out an awesome album in 2012 that continued the growth and respect that the band have garnered from just about everyone in the hard rock world. Lzzy Hale is a dynamic frontwoman and musician, and will continue to lead Halestorm into the future as one of the great rock acts to be reckoned with.
11. Charm City Devils - SINS
Baltimore Maryland's own Charm City Devils released their 'SINS' album in January of 2012, and lead by singer/songwriter John Allen, the band crisscrossed the country, gaining new fans at every stop. Two singles have been released from the album so far, 'Man Of Constant Sorrow,' and the anthemic 'Unstoppable,' which is now a go to track at sports events nationwide. Hopefully Charm City Devils will release at least one more track from the album, as it is full of great tracks. I really like their brand of rock, and the fact that they are all about their fans. Congrats on a great 2012 to Charm City Devils!
10. Rush - Clockwork Angels
Rush returned with their highly anticipated album 'Clockwork Angels' in 2012, and it lived up to the expectations. Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart are the epitomy of rock musicianship and year after year. After initially releasing the album tracks 'Caravan' and 'BU2B' were to radio and for online digital purchase in June of 2010, and playing those tracks on the 'Time Machine' tour, the band finished up the album and have since released 'Headlong Flight' and 'The Wreckers' and subsequent singles. The album debuted at #1 in their home country of canada and at #2 in the U.S.
9. Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball
Springsteen released his 17th studio album in March of 2012, and it came at a time we needed it most. An idealistic and angry album, it addresses enonomic injustice, the lack of accountability he sees in government, the 'American Dream' and includes the late E Street band member Clarence Clemons with saxophone solos on 'Land of Hope and Dreams' and backing saxophone rhythms on the title track, which was originally written about the then-pending demolition of Giants Stadium in New Jersey from the stadium's point of view. Bruce is still bringing the protest message that is sorely needed from more musicians and artists.
8. Joe Bonamassa - Driving Toward The Daylight
An epic release from one of our generation's guitar virtuosos, it bleeds emotion and takes the listener on a fantastic musical journey. I really like Kevin Shirley's production work, who Bonamassa also worked with on the Black Country Communion album. A guitar masterpiece, that will be hard to top, but I know Joe will figure out how to do that.
7. Shinedown - Amaryllis
Shinedown had a lot to live up to after the success of their last album 'The Sound Of Madness' spawned 5 singles and spent an amazing 120 consecutive weeks on the Billboard 200, but it looks like they are doing it. 'Amaryllis' was released in March of 2012 and to date has yielded the hit tracks 'Bully,' 'Unity,' and 'Enemies.' The band may go five deep on the album, and if so, look for the title track and/or 'Miracle' to be the next singles. In November of 2012 vocalist Brent Smith announced that the band had already completed their next album, so we may get to hear that before the end of 2013. In February, Shinedown will get back on the road with Three days Grace and P.O.D. for one dynamic triple bill. It looks like 2013 is going to be just as successful as 2012 was for Jacksonville, Florida's Shinedown!
6. Aerosmith - Music From Another Dimension!
After some delay in the release date (originally in May) for 'Music From Another Dimension!', it was released this past November and peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts. While I am not a fan of all the tunes on the band's 15th studio album, there is enough of the old-school feel of early Aerosmith with production by Jack Douglas to satisfy. Expect more touring and tracks to be released in 2013.
5. Black Country Communion - Afterglow
Black Country Communion continue to crank out great rock in minimal time. When Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian come together in the studio with producer Kevin Shirley, there is a magic that is undeniable. Already the band's third studio album since their inception in 2009, we can hope it isn't their last. Glenn Hughes has continually talked of touring behind the releases, but with Joe Bonamassa's extensive spring/summer solo touring schedule every year and his reluctance to sacrifice that for BCC. Let's hope that all works itself out, and we get more great material and some touring from this fantastic rock band!
4. Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day
Led Zeppelin releases a live album of their 2007 reunion show at the O2 Arena in London as part of the Ahmed Ertegun tribute, you know it has to be on my list. I just wish Robert Plant would re-consider never playing more shows as Led Zeppelin. I know he can't hit all the high notes like he once could, but I don't care, I want to see him share the stage with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones again. I guess this release will have to do.
3. Rival Sons - Head Down
The Long Beach, California based rockers return with their second album 'Head Down,' which continues the modern retro rocking vibe of their 'Pressure and Time' album. Already two singles in, the band continually sells out shows in Europe and hopefully 2013 will bring the band the level of success they deserve in their own country. One of my favorites, I just can't get enough of their music or their vibe.
2. Slash - Apocalyptic Love
Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators have firmy etched out their place in the world of rock. I knew by the collaborations on Slash's previous solo album that featured Myles on two cuts, that when it was announced that the 'Apocalyptic Love' album would feature Kennedy and the band, that it would kick ass. Upon first listen of my #1 track of the year 'You're A Lie,' it was obvious that this release would be special. I'm looking forward to more releases from Slash and his great bandmates!
1. Van Halen - A Different Kind Of Truth
A triumphant return to glory for most of the original lineup of Van Halen, with David Lee Roth's animated vocals, the Van Halen brothers contributing blistering guitar and drum work, and Wolfgang Van Halen more than holding his own on bass. I was like many others who wasn't completely feeling the first single 'Tattoo', but ironically it is probably the weakest track on the album, but it did go to #1 on the mainstream and classic rock charts. Standout tracks like 'Stay Frosty,' You and Your Blues,' 'China Town,' 'Bullethead,' and more, the album is worthy of #1 for 2012 on the Marshall of Rock Top 30 albums!!
Some albums that just missed my Top 30:
Joe Walsh - Analog Man
Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You
Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Psychedelic Pill
Linkin Park - Living Things
Lita Ford - Living Like a Runaway
Theory Of A Deadman - The Truth Is
L.A. Guns - Hollywood Forever
The Cult - Choice Of Weapon
Chevelle - Hats Off To The Bull
Adler - Back From The Dead
Papa Roach - Time For Annihilation
Happy New Year! Here's to a kick ass 2013 to all of you! I continue with my countdown of my Top 50 tracks of 2012 with numbers 25 to 1. Thanks to all these great artists for all the music in 2012, and thanks to YOU for finding your way to Marshall of Rock in 2012. We all appreciate it!
25. Halestorm - Love Bites (So Do I) - Lzzy Hale and Halestorm have firmly established themselves as a major force in American rock. Lzzy is in my opinion, one of the most dynamic and relatable vocalists in rock! The band's latest album 'The Strange Case Of...' is full of kick ass potential radio tracks, and the band is really a tight unit, hitting their full stride. 2012 kicked ass for the band, and 2013 looks to be even bigger for them!
24. Gary Clark Jr. - Ain't Messin' Around - This Austin, Texas guitarist is primed to take his cult following mainstream and become known as the next guitar legend. Playing shows with the Rolling Stones this year, being featured on 'Austin City Limits', and being part of the upcoming 'Crossroads Guitar Festival' again in 2013 with Eric Clapton and every other guitar legend imaginable will only add to his legend. Funky, bluesy and rocking, Gary Clark Jr. will be a name that has the potential to go down in history!
23. Adelitas Way - Criticize - These Las Vegas rockers had hit track after hit track from thier 'Homeschool Valedictorian' album, but this one had to be my favorite. Adelitas Way are a band who have done it right, with quality musicianship and songwriting, and the emotion delivering a track that grabbed me from the first listen. This band will continue on an upward arc!
22. Chevelle - Hats Off To The Bull - The second track on my Top 50 for 2012, 'Hats Off To The Bull' pulls no punches as it smacks you hard all the way through and never lets up. Chevelle had one hell of a 2012, and are primed to elevate their success in the future. What a kick ass track!
21. Rival Sons - Until The Sun Comes - The first entry into my Top 50 from Rival Sons, the Los Angeles based band that not many people realize are from L.A. 'Until The Sun Comes' is the second single from their second album 'Head Down' and continues the passionate retro rock vibe the band is already known for. 'Head Down' has already been released in Europe, and will soon be out in the U.S. Rival Sons have layed a solid base in the U.K. and Europe, and I know they are poised to duplicate that success in 2013 in the U.S., blowing away audiences and hopefully getting some radio airplay with their brand of rock.
20. Shinedown - Unity - The second Shinedown track on the Top 50, the vocals from Brent Smith on 'Unity' convey hope with an uplifing spirit. A great track from a great band!
19. The Black Keys - Gold On The Ceiling - Another band with their second track on my Top 50, this to me is the definitive Black Keys track of 2012. As much acclaim as Black Keys received in 2012, if they can continue on this level, they potentially could one day be one of the few current bands worthy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame consideration.
18. Heart - Fanatic - Speaking of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, here is one of the latest inductees: Heart! Their latest album 'Fanatic' is quality from start to finish and leads off with this rocking title track. Ann & Nancy Wilson haven't lost anything vocally or musically over the years and this is proof. Looking forward to a 2013 of recognition for the great leaders of female rock! Heart rules!
17. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators - Standing In The Sun - The second single from the 'Apocalyptic Love' album from Slash and his band, it is probably my second favorite song from the album as well! Slash has always done it right and delivered musically in his post Guns N' Roses career, but with Myles Kennedy on vocals and the other superior musicians in his latest band, he really has outdone himself. It's good to know that this current band will be all getting together to do another album in the future!
16. Aerosmith - Lover Alot - The second Aero track from 'Music From Another Dimension', 'Lover Alot' harks back to the early days of Aerosmith. I really like the production on the track from Jack Douglas, it's raw and gritty and I dig it!
15. Joe Bonamassa - Driving Toward The Daylight - My favorite Bonamassa track from his fantastic album with the same title. Joe continues to gain more and more fans every day, and for those that haven't been exposed to the emotion and feeling that Joe brings in his guitar playing and vocals, once you hear it, you will be hooked. Kevin Shirley's production work with Joe is a perfect combination.
14. Black Stone Cherry - Like I Roll - BSC have their second track in the Top 50 with 'Like I Roll.' Black Stone Cherry are true American Rock and Roll! Can't wait to see what's next for the band - they will be writing and getting ideas together for their next project in 2013.
13. Europe - Not Supposed To Sing The Blues - This isn't the 'Final Countdown' Europe you may remember. When I mentioned to others how great the new Europe is, they always mention 'Countown', but after hearing this fantastic track, their image of the band has changed. This was another of the tracks in 2012 that when I first heard it, it blew me away. I had to listen to it over and over. Joey Tempest is one of the most appreciative and humblest frontmen in rock, and the band deserves all the success it has received. Europe was recently named the #3 all time band in their native Sweden. The band played some shows in Europe in 2012, but hopefully 2013 will bring Europe to America for a tour. I want to see this track played live!
12. Black Country Communion - Confessor - BCC do it old-school, cranking out albums in succession in minimal time and delivering every time. Their was some discord between band members this year, as Glenn Hughes really wanted to tour behind BCC's latest album 'Afterglow,' even mentioning that if that didn't happen, this could be the last release from the band. I hope not. Guitarist Joe Bonamassa is committed to his solo career, which I understand, but time must be made to play live with what in my opinion is one of the best band's in the last 10 years. This is Rock!
11. Kill Devil Hill - Strange - The supergroup featuring drummer Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven & Hell), bassist Rex Brown (Pantera, Down), guitarist Mark Zavon and lead vocalist Dewey Bragg (former Pissing Razors), bring hard rock back in a big way. Named after the town of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, a location renowned from pirating days, they sound like hard rock pirates, attacking their music in a way few new band's can. Kill Devil Hill's self-titled debut album was released this past May, and I really felt they didn't get the acclaim or recognition they deserved with it. It will happen with their second album, which hopefully we will hear in 2013.
10. The Rolling Stones - Doom and Gloom - One of the two new tracks from The Rolling Stones 'Grrr!' greatest hits release, 'Doom and Gloom' impacts immediately. It is completely relevant in both message and musically. I wish the Stones would put out an entire new album of material, as by all indications from this track it would be the right time for it. Great track from the musical legends!
9. Pop Evil - Bosses Daughter - The West Michigan rockers have had many ups and downs in their musical career, but they are definitely ending 2012 on a high note, rocking at a gig in Las Vegas where they are sure to play this track from the 'War Of Angels' album. Co-written with Mick Mars of Motley Crue, 'Bosses Daughter' is a high energy kick ass rocker with a video to go along with it. Not only is Mars featured prominently in the clip, so is Playboy Playmate Jessa Hinton and other amazing beauties. This is the kind of video we really don't see anymore. It reminded me of the old MTV Headbanger's Ball days, where eye candy was a prerequisite for every clip. Thanks for bringing it back Pop Evil!
8. Chickenfoot - Different Devil - A cut from the Chickenfoot III album that garned a majority of its airplay in 2012, 'Different Devil' has feeling and emotion lyrically and musically. If you think there's someone better: RUN AWAY...Into the arms of something new...YOU CAN STAY...If you think he'll treat you better than I do...Turn around babe...I'll be right here waiting for you. Chickenfoot will be on hiatis for 2013, with Chad Smith fully committed to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Joe Satriani to solo gigs, but Sammy Hagar will be playing shows with the Wabos, and has talked of another possible project with bandmate and buddy Michael Anthony.
7. Foxy Shazam - I Like It - I went to 'The Church of Rock and Roll' and it was all good! This was another one of those 'first listen' cuts that you initially knew would do really well. These white boys obviously love big black asses, sing about it, and invite everyone else along for the party.
6. Redlight King - Comeback - An inspiring track with a message of redemption. Originally on the 'Avengers' soundtrack, this track is uplifting and gives hope, at least it did to me. I "Felt" this track this year. If you have had a bad 2012, don't worry in 2013 you too will make a 'Comeback.' Thanks Redlight King
5. Rival Sons - Face Of Light - The second Rival Sons track in my Top 50. 'Face Of Light' is from the Rival Sons album "Pressure In Time'. With a multitude of emotion, Jay Buchanan (vocals), Scott Holiday (guitar), Michael Miley (drums) and Robin Everhart (bass), bring music that takes you to a different place. Listen to the track with eyes closed first, then watch the video second. I can't say how glad I am that Rival Sons are making music in 2012 and beyond.
4. Charm City Devils - Man Of Constant Sorrow - Baltimore, Maryland's own Charm City Devils get the #4 spot on my Top 50 with their remake of the American folk song originally recorded by Dick Burnett. The song's popularity was rekindled with the Soggy Bottom Boys version of it from the 'O' Brother Where Art Thou' motion picture. Charm City Devils decided to record a rocked up version of the song, made it the first single from their 'Sins' album, and let the ass kicking begin! I can't wait for the next album from these talented guys.
3. Van Halen - Stay Frosty - My favorite track from the 'A Different Kind Of Truth' album, 'Stay Frosty' sounds to me like it should have been blasting out of radios this summer. It's a fun jam with awesome guitar licks from Eddie and the party filled vocals from David Lee Roth. There are many great tracks on 'A Different Kind Of Truth', but this one lands at #3 for me.
2. Rival Sons - Keep On Swinging - The first single from the 'Head Down' album, and the third track from Rival Sons in my Top 50. Labeled a Los Angeles band, they actual originate from Long Beach, California. Rival Sons bring a dynamic retro rock vibe without sounding dated or nostalgic! This nearly made it to #1, but three cuts in my Top 50 shows how legitimate Rival Sons are to me. They should be to you too!
1. Slash - You're A Lie - My #1 track of the year goes to Rock and Roll and Hollywood Walk of Famer Slash. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators are primed to take on the rest of this decade with fury and authority. When I first heard Myles Kennedy would be recording an entire album with Slash, I knew it would be great because of their previous collaborations. That continued with 'You're A Lie', one kick ass track from a legend of rock and his great band! Congrats Slash!!
Happy New Year everyone! 2012 was a really good year for ROCK, with comeback albums and tracks from the likes of Van Halen, KISS, Aerosmith, Joe Walsh, ZZ Top, Soundgarden, L.A. Guns and so many more. Here's my Top 50 tracks for 2012, kicking off with numbers 50 to 26. Thanks for checking out MarshallofRock.com, and all the best to everyone for an even more rockin' 2013!!
50. Joe Walsh - Analog Man - Joe Walsh released his first solo album in 20 years in 2012, and the title track checks in at number 50. A solid solo return from Joe!
49. ZZ Top - Gotsta Get Paid - After delays due to producer Rick Rubin, ZZ Top released their latest album 'La Futura' in 2012. It featured this track at number 49.
48. The Offspring - Days Go By - Vocalist Dexter Holland just celebrated his 47th birthday on December 29th and sounds as relevant as ever on the title track from the Offspring's latest album that was released this past June.
47. Volbeat - Still Counting - The Copenhagen, Denmark rockers had a mega successful 2012, with this cut at #47, one of my favorites from the 'Beyond Hell/Above Heaven' album. The band will take their fusion of rock and roll, heavy metal, punk and rockabilly back out on the road in early 2013 with openers Danko Jones
46. Chevelle - Face To the Floor - The Illinois rockers really broke out big time in 2012, with massive success with multiple tracks from their 'Hats Off To The Bull' album.
45. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Last of A Dyin' Breed - Title track from the latest Lynyrd Skynyrd album, which is great from start to finish.
44. Linkin Park - Burn It Down - It was hard to escape this track form the 'Living Things' album as Linkin Park continued their many years of massive success with this track.
43. L.A. Guns - You Better Not Love Me - A quality return to the sleazy, hard rocking sound that made the band famous. The band released their first new studio album in 7 years, 'Hollywood Forever', and it lives up to some of the best work the band has ever done. L.A. Guns recently amicably replaced guitarist Stacey Blades with ex-Sea Hags/Arcade guitarist Frankie Wilsey. Look for the band to be back on the road for extensive touring in 2013.
42. Lynch Mob - Slow Drag - A great track from the Lynch Mob E.P. 'Sound Mountain Sessions'. The status of the band is in limbo as of now however, with guitarist George Lynch committed to the T&N project with Jeff Pilson, Mick Brown and Brian Tichy, as well as another power trio project with Dug Pinnick of King's X and Ray Luzier (Korn, Army of Anyone). Vocalist Oni Logan is currently part of the Dio Disciples and bassist Robbie Crane has left the band, so time will tell if we'll get any more new music from these guys in the future, but this track kicks ass!
41. Theory Of A Deadman - Hurricane - Tyler Connolly and Theory Of a Deadman continued their years of success into 2012 with mutiple tracks released from their 'The Truth Is...' album. This is my favorite from the album.
40. Fozzy - Sandpaper - Chris Jericho and Fozzy upped the ante in 2012, getting what is probably the most airplay and recognition in the band's history with this track from their 'Sin And Bones' album. The track features guest vocal from M Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold and rightfully has a place on my Top 50!
39. Van Halen - She's The Woman - Van Halen triumphantly returned in 2012, and while this is not my favorite track on their 'A Different Kind of Truth' album, it warrants the #39 spot on my top tracks of 2012.
38. Bruce Springsteen - Rocky Ground - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band delivered with their 'Wrecking Ball' album, and this track conveyed the message that rock musicians idealism can still and should still have a place in music. I know it does on my list of top tracks.
37. Shinedown - Bully - Shinedown's 'Amaryllis' album is another awesome collection of songs from the band, and this anti-bullying message rocker shows that this band cares about people in a sincere way, while thoroughly rocking!
36. Black Stone Cherry - In My Blood - One of my favorite bands of late, BSC continues to make inroads in rock by not only playing anywhere at anytime to gain new fans, but with great tracks garnering significant airplay. The decision to collaborate with a few outside writers on their last album 'Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea' payed off big time. The band's album was released in 2011, but this track garnered the majority of its airplay in 2012.
35. Adler - The One That You Hated - Steven Adler and his new band have brought an album that is one of the most surprising releases of 2012. 'Back From The Dead' is top to bottom a fantastic album that will carry well into 2013 with other tracks released from the offering. "The One That You Hated' just plain rocks, as does Steven's new bandmates: vocalist Jacob Bunton, guitarist Lonny Paul and bassist Johnny Martin!
34. The Treatment - Nothing To Lose But Our Minds - Another of my personal favorite new bands, these young lads from the U.K. made major inroads in 2012 with great exposure as the opening act on the 'The Tour' with Motley Crue and KISS in the U.S. I expect big things from The Treatment and really think with their musical ability, attitude and charisma, they are going to continue on an upward rise in the U.S.! Check out their album 'This Might Hurt'!
33. Aerosmith - Legendary Child - This was the first track released from the highly anticipated Aerosmith album 'Music From Another Dimension!' The track showcases the unity and sound that only these guys can get when all together. Great track from a great American legendary rock band!
32. Tremonti - You Waste Your Time - Mark Tremonti of Alter Bridge and Creed brought a solo album full of serious metal in 2012. This was the lead track. Tremonti will be continuing to tour in early 2013 with Mark's buddy Wolfgang Van Halen on bass.
31. Dead Sara - Weatherman - The Los Angeles rockers featuring Emily Armstrong (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Sean Friday (drums, backing vocals), Siouxsie Medley (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Chris Null (bass guitar, backing vocals) are one of the most exciting not only new female fronted band, but any band of 2012. I only mention the female part, because vocalist Emily Armstrong is compelling, powerful and is poised to lead this band to the next level and influence a new generation of female rockers. Exciting new band, I can't wait to see their progression in the years to come.
30. Foo Fighters - These Days - A track that got most of it's airplay in 2012, I had to get some Foo Fighters on my Top 50! 'Wasting Light' was one of my top albums of 2011, and it was so good it placed tracks on my year end cuts this year. I'm gonna miss no new Foo in 2013, but they'll be back in 2014!
29. Stone Sour - Gone Soverign/Absolute Zero - Band leader Corey Taylor of Stone Sour continues to be a respected leader in the rock world, seemingly doing no wrong at the moment. 'Absolute Zero' recently went to #1 on the rock tracks charts, but these two tracks are meant to be played together. Stone Sour will be touring with Papa Roach in the U.S. in early 2013.
28. Aranda - Satisfied - The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma rockers bring solid rock chops with feeling in my #28 track. Dameon Aranda, Gabe Aranda, and Mike Walker have delivered 'Stop The World', an album of great music, with this track leading the way.
27. Black Keys - Lonely Boy - The Black Keys were seemingly the golden boys of 2012, with doors opening for their talent, and airplay for their killer tracks. Black Keys are going to be around for a long time and look to be not only the critic's favorites, but also favorites of the masses.
26. Soundgarden - Been Away Too Long - Soundgarden returned in 2012 with the new album 'King Animal', and this track went to number one concurrently on both the active and mainstream rock charts. The band will continue to tour in 2013 and hopefully they will be around for more than one new album and tour.
Rock Picks of the Week: Black Stone Cherry, Redlight King, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Papa Roach, Heart, Soulicit
Kentucky rockers Black Stone Cherry have released another great single from the 'Beyond The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea.' 'Like I Roll' is the fourth single from the album, following 'White Trash Millionaire,' 'Blame It on the Boom Boom,' and 'In My Blood.' The road warriors recently wrapped up a successful tour with Chickenfoot in the U.S. and more dates in Europe, and are back on the road this summer starting July 28th in Dubuque, Iowa. Chris Robertson (vocals/guitar), Ben Wells (rhythm guitar), Jon Lawhon (bass) and John Fred Young (drums) will be starting work on their next album this fall, and by all indications, considering all the amazing groundwork the band has behind them, it promises to be their most successful yet. Until then, enjoy the great new video for 'Like I Roll,' which documents the band's time on the road. Go and see a great american ROCK band in concert if you get a chance, Black Stone Cherry!
Black Stone Cherry tour dates:
Jul. 28 - Dubuque County Fair - Dubuque, IA
Aug. 8 - Mojoes - Joliet, IL
Aug. 9 - District - Rockford, IL
Aug. 10 - Tyson IBP Events Center - Sioux City, IA
Aug. 11 - Will Rock Fest - Twin Lakes, WI (w/Saving Abel, Fear Factory, Shadows Fall, Deuce, Static X, Janus, Seven Day Sonnet, Red Line Chemistry and more)
Aug. 13 - Headliner's - Toledo, OH
Aug. 14 - The Intersection - Grand Rapids, MI
Aug. 16 - Madison Theatre - Covington, KY
Aug. 17 - Busters Billiards and Backroom - Lexington, KY
Aug. 18 - Rally On The River - Ironton, OH (w/My Darkest Days)
Aug. 25 - Rock Jam - Grand Junction, CO (w/3 Doors Down, Theory of a Deadman, Quiet Riot, Jackyl & Slaughter)
Aug. 26 - Club Sound - Salt Lake City, UT
Aug. 27 - Martini Ranch - Scottsdale, AZ
Aug. 29 - The Beaumont - Kansas City, MO
Aug. 30 - The Blue Note - Columbia, MO
Sep. 1 - Hersheypark Stadium - Hershey, PA - Rock Allegiance (w/Stone Temple Pilots, Seether, Three Days Grace, Buckcherry, Daughtry, Puddle of Mudd, Redlight King, Fuel, Charm City Angels, Foxy Shazam, Otherwise & more)
Sep. 2 - Erie Canal Harbor Central Wharf - Buffalo, NY
Sep. 3 - Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion - Gilford, NH
Sep. 28 - Arkansas Oklahoma State Fair - Fort Smith, AR
Nov. 27 - Shiprocked - Ft. Lauderdale, FL (w/Godsmack, Korn, Five Finger Death Punch, P.O.D., Sevendust, Filter, Fuel, Pop Evil, Lit, Helmet, In This Moment, Geoff Tate, Gilby Clarke, Dead Sara & more)
Redlight King and singer/songwriter Mark Kasprzyk are up next with the track 'Comeback.' Kasprzyk used to be known as Kazzer. That was about a decade ago. Although he got some traction with the song 'Pedal to the Medal,' Kazzer was only a brief flash in the pan in mainstream music. Now years later, Mark Kasprzyk is no longer Kazzer. He’s just Kaz and he’s front and center in a new project he started called Redlight King.
'Comeback' conveys a message of hope, a message of not giving up no matter how far down you are. You can make a 'Comeback' with this inspirational track. It delivers a message of hope in these troubled times. The song is featured on the 'Avengers Assembled' soundtrack as well as the band's album 'Something For the Pain.' The band has had success with the Neil Young cover 'Old Man' and the previous rock pick of the week 'Bullet In My Hand.'
Redlight King is on the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival along with Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind, Papa Roach, In This Moment and Fozzy. The tour kicks off on August 17th in Bonner Springs, Kansas. Before that the band will be part of the K-Rockathon in Syracuse, NY on July 29th with The Offspring, Korn, Public Enemy, AWOLNATION, P.O.D., The Gaslight Anthem, Eve 6, Civil Twilight, Walk the Moon, Evans Blue and Kill The Noise.
Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival tour dates:
Aug. 17 - Capitol Federal Park at Sandstone - Bonner Springs, KS
Aug. 18 - Arkansas State Fair Complex - Little Rock, AR
Aug. 19 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - Maryland Heights, MO
Aug. 21 - Rock the Rapids at Festival Village - Grand Rapids, MI
Aug. 24 - PNC Bank Arts Center - Holmdel, NJ
Aug. 26 - Comcast Center - Mansfield, MA
Aug. 28 - Toyota Pavilion At Montage Mountain - Scranton, PA
Aug. 29 - Darien Lake Performing Arts Center - Darien Center, NY
Aug. 31 - First Niagara Pavilion - Burgettstown, PA
Sep. 1 - Hersheypark Stadium - Hershey, PA
Sep. 2 - Jiffy Lube Live - Bristow, VA
Sep. 5 - Charter Amphitheatre at Heritage Park - Simpsonville, SC
Sep. 7 - DTE Energy Music Theatre - Clarkston, MI
Sep. 8 - Klipsch Music Center - Noblesville, IN
Sep. 9 - Blossom Music Center - Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Sep. 11 - Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek - Raleigh, NC
Sep. 12 - Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood - Atlanta, GA
Sep. 13 - 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre At the Florida State Fairgrounds - Tampa, FL
Sep. 15 - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion - The Woodlands, TX
Sep. 16 - Gexa Energy Pavilion - Dallas, TX
Sep. 18 - Comfort Dental Amphitheatre - Englewood, CO
Sep. 19 - USANA Amphitheatre - West Valley City, UT
Sep. 21 - Greyhound Park and Event Center - Post Falls, ID
Sep. 22 - White River Amphitheatre - Auburn, WA
Sep. 23 - Sleep Country Amphitheater - Ridgefield, WA
Sep. 25 - The Idaho Center - Nampa, ID
Sep. 28 - Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino - Las Vegas, NV
Sep. 29 - Ashley Furniture Homestore Pavilion - Phoenix, AZ
Sep. 30 - Hard Rock Pavilion - Albuquerque, NM
Red Hot Chili Peppers have released the latest track and video from the 'I'm With You' album. 'Brendan's Death Song,' is a ballad the band wrote in honor of Brendan Mullen, founder of late Seventies Hollywood punk club the Masque. After it was shut down in 1978, Mullen booked shows on the Sunset Strip's Club Lingerie. One day in 1983, Anthony Kiedis and Flea showed up at the club with a boom box and asked Mullen to listen to their demo. He did, and offered them an opening gig for Bad Brains.
"It was a huge step for us to get that gig," Flea said in an interview in 2009. "But in a much more important way, I felt profoundly validated to be accepted and acknowledged by Brendan Mullen, who was a crucial part – a hub – of a scene that for me had mythological status." Mullen suffered a massive stroke and died on the first day that the Chili Peppers were to rehearse with their new guitarist, Josh Klinghoffer.
"When I got to rehearsal I delivered the news to my band that we just lost this beautiful person," said Kiedis, "and then we started playing without really talking. The second thing that came out of that jam was the basis for 'Brendan’s Death Song.'" Keidis also revealed that Mullen was working on a coffee-table book about the band, called 'The Red Hot Chili Peppers: An Oral/Visual History,' when he died.
Check out the jazz funeral-themed video for "Brendan's Death Song," which was shot in one day in New Orleans and directed by Marc Klasfeld.
Papa Roach are back with the new single 'Still Swingin' from the upcoming album 'The Connection.' The band recorded in their home studio in Sacramento and also worked in Tommy Lee's Atrium Studio.
Bassist Tobin Esperance said the band basically lived out of the recording area 24/7 while completing the disc. He laughed about how the band laid down 20 tracks, cut it down to 12, and then decided to write five more.
Some of the album tracks include 'Before I Die,' with electronic-programmed verses and a big rock chorus, 'Where Did the Angels Go,' 'Wish You Never Met Me,' produced by Sixx: A.M.‘s James Michael; 'Not That Beautiful' featuring guest vocalist Shanaz; and 'Leader of the Broken Hearts,' a track Shaddix says was initially influenced by their past favorite, 'Forever.'
Shaddix says that he got sober during the making of the record and also dealt with his wife leaving him, stating: “We wanted to make a dynamic and explosive record that captures the raw emotions of life. We also wanted to incorporate the biological sounds of rock with a digital edge to have a fresh sound. This is our own version of what we think the radio should sound like. This is the soundtrack to my life and once again I went through some dark shit and came through thanks to the music."
Here's a three-and-a-half-minute video clip capturing the creative process that went into the making of the cover artwork for 'The Connection':
Ann and Nancy Wilson will release the new Heart album 'Fanatic' on October 2nd. 'Fanatic' was recorded in hotel rooms and studios up and down the West Coast, with Grammy-winning producer Ben Mink back at the helm with the Wilson sisters drawing from their own lives and personal experiences as inspiration for their music. "Rock Deep (Vancouver)" harkens back to the city where Dreamboat Annie was written; and "Walkin' Good" (a duet with Vancouver resident Sarah McLachlan) captures the joy of finding new life in a new love.
The title song is a celebration of the Wilson's life spirit: Ann and Nancy are fanatics about love, art, truth, and the belief that they can do anything together they set their minds to.
Heart will be touring throughout the summer and fall (June 29-November 17). Alejandro Escovedo and Shawn Colvin will be supporting in October and November. This fall, Ann and Nancy Wilson will be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (followed by a live concert webcast).
The hardcover edition of 'Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock and Roll,' will be released by HarperCollins on Sept. 18th. The memoir was penned by Ann & Nancy Wilson with noted Seattle-based author Charles R. Cross ("Room Full of Mirrors - A Biography of Jimi Hendrix"; "Heavier Than Heaven" - a biography of Kurt Cobain).
Here's a podcast on the release of the Heart 'Strange Euphoria,' box set with the title track from 'Fanatic'
Soulicit is comprised of lead vocalist Darick Parson, guitarist Roll, bassist Kevin Parrow & drummer Trent Boehner. The band delivers a straight ahead, energetic, classic hard rocking sound with a sense of humor to boot. Check out the band's hilarious video below and you'll see what I'm talking about.
In September of 2011 Soulicit inked a deal with Thermal Entertainment based out of Greenville, SC. The work began immediately as the band wrapped up recording their ﬁrst full length label release titled 'Parking Lot Rockstar' which is now being distributed by Megaforce. Check out entire album on the band's official website: www.soulicitrock.com
Rock On the Talks Recap: Linkin Park, the Offspring, Shinedown, Pat Benatar, Tenacious D, Charlie Watts and the A, B, C & D of Boogie Woogie, Neil Young, Ringo Starr, Everclear, Joe Walsh
Linkin Park rocked Jimmy Kimmel Live last Wednesday and Thursday nights (June 27 & 28) to perform 'Burn it Down' and 'Faint' on Wednesday, and returning to rock Jimmy Kimmel’s outdoor stage on Thursday with the new tune 'Lies Greed Misery' and 'New Divide,' the theme from the 'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ movie.' Linkin Park are projected to debut atop the charts next week with 'Living Things,' with Billboard .com projecting sales of about 220,000 copies.
2012 Honda Civic Tour Dates:
Aug. 11 — Bristow, VA — Jiffy Lube Live*
Aug. 12 — Uncasville, CT — Mohegan Sun Arena*
Aug. 14 — Boston, MA — Comcast Center
Aug. 17 — Camden, NJ — Susquehanna Bank Center
Aug. 19 — Atlanta, GA — Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Aug. 21 — Detroit, MI — The Palace of Auburn Hills
Aug. 22 — Cincinnati, OH — Riverbend Music Center
Aug. 24 — Chicago, IL — First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre
Aug. 25 — Indianapolis, IN — Klipsch Music Center
Aug. 27 — Dallas, TX — Gexa Energy Pavilion
Aug. 28 — Houston, TX — Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Aug. 30 — Denver, CO — Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
Sep. 4 — Vancouver — Rogers Arena
Sep. 5 — Tacoma, WA — Tacoma Dome
Sep. 7 — Mountain View, CA — Shoreline Amphitheatre
Sep. 10 — San Diego, CA — Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
*Linkin Park and Mutemath only
The Offspring rocked 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' on June 25th, the day before the official release of their new 'Days Go By' album. Check out their performances of the title track and new single, as well as their classic 'Self Esteem'
Shinedown performed an acoustic version of their latest single 'Unity' from their album 'Amaryllis' on 'Conan' (June 20). Great performance from a great band:
Pat Benatar and Neil Geraldo brought 'Love Is A Battlefield' live to CBS' 'The Talk' a couple of weeks ago:
Pat, Neil and their band also performed on 'Fox & Friends' (June 29) Check out the clips below:
Tenacious D's Jack Black and Kyle Gass explained on 'The Daily Show With Jon Stewart' what it feels like to rock so hard, and performed 'Deth Star' and 'Throw Down,' off their album, 'Rize of the Fenix.'
Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts and his side project The A,B,C & D of Boogie Woogie stoped by 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last Friday night, as they were in New York to kick off a four-night stand at the New York City jazz club The Iridium. Check out the performance in the last segment of this full episode:
Neil Young and director Jonathan Demme stopped by 'CBS This Morning' last week to promote 'Neil Young Journeys.' Young and Demme have filmed three concert films together. In this one, Young returns to his hometown of Omemee, Ontario to rediscover his roots before taking the stage at Toronto's Massey Hall last year.
Ringo Starr made a stop June 22nd on The Today Show and reveals why he continues to tour into his 70s and discusses the long-lasting legacy of the Beatles.
Everclear rocked 'The Tonight Show With Jay Leno' on July 22nd to perform and promote their 'Summerland' summer tour with Gin Blossoms, Sugar Ray, Lit and Marcy Playground. Check it out in the last segment of this full episode:
Joe Walsh made a stop on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' to discuss his new album 'Analog Man' and talk about what he's been doing in the past 20 years since his last solo album, including touring with the Eagles four times.