Dave Ling Online


December 2020
1) The Wildhearts - ‘Thirty Year Itch, ’91-’21’ (Round - Double-live gatefold in-concert experience)
2) Dream Theater - ‘Distant Memories: Live In London’ (Inside Out - Jaw-droppingly expansive CD/DVD package)
3) Manowar - ‘Black Wind, Fire & Steel: The Atlantic Years, 1987-1992’ (Hear No Evil - Three-CD collection… disbelievers, leave the hall)
4) Iron Butterfly - ‘Unconscious Power: An Anthology 1967-1971’ (Esoteric Recordings - Essential seven-disc crash course…)
5) Liar - ‘Set The World On Fire’ (Escape Music - Re-mastered edition of a underrated pomp-rock classic)
6) Blue Öyster Cult - ‘Live At The Rock Of Ages Festival, July 30 2016’ (Frontiers - Another enjoyable CD/DVD package)
7) Mike Tramp - ‘Trampthology’ (Target - Double-disc reprise of the Dane’s solo career, plus four extra tracks)
8) DGM - ‘Tragic Separation’ (Frontiers - Superior melodic progressive metal; this’ll hit you like a freight train!)
9) Dan Reed - ‘Liftoff’ (Zero One - Soothing Sunday morning sounds; ‘Deeper Than Our Fear’ is gorgeous)
10) Magic Dance - ‘Remnants’ (Frontiers - Hard-driving, mega-hummable melodic hard rock)
11) Rhinoceros - ‘The Elektra Albums 1968-1970’ (Esoteric Recordings - Assembled by the Doors’ producer Paul Rothchild, this band never quite lived up to their potential)
12) Vanden Plas - ‘The Ghost Xpermiment: IIIumnation’ (Frontiers - The closing part of the German prog-metallers’ concept piece)
13) Brion James - ‘Heal’ (Zero One - Sun kissed, laid back solo disc from Dan Reed Network guitarist)
14) LA Guns - ‘Renegades’ (Golden Robot - I prefer the Lewis/Guns line-up, obviously, but this was a pleasant surprise)
15) Fraternity - ‘Seasons Of Change, The Complete Recordings 1970-1974’ (Lemon Recording - Bon Scott’s pre-AC/DC hippy years; quaint…)
16) Edenbridge - ‘The Chronicles Of Eden, Part 2’ (SPV - Compilation of the best bits from albums number five to ten)
17) Unruly Child - ‘Our Glass House’ (Frontiers - Starts well but peters our disappointingly…)
18) Neal Morse - ‘Jesus Christ - The Exorcist, Live At Morsefest 2018’ (Frontiers - Exhaustive three-disc set; listen in small bursts and it’s very good)
19) Ward XVI - ‘Metamorphosis’ (Metal Rocka - Appealingly bonkers mix of metal, doom, prog, goth and soundtrack music)
20) Persuader - ‘Necromancy’ (Frontiers - Good ‘n’ powerful, Swedish melodic power-metal)

November 2020
1) Uriah Heep - ‘50 Years In Rock’ (BMG - Lavish 25-disc boxed set celebrates a remarkable legacy… and it ain’t over yet!)
2) Cats In Space - ‘Atlantis’ (Harmony Factory - More bombastic, more technicolour and even more melodic than ever before)
3) Iron Maiden - ‘Nights Of The Dead: Legacy Of The Beast, Live In Mexico City’ (Parlophone - Audio-only documentation of the greatest heavy metal show on earth)
4) Big Big Train - ‘Empire’ (English Electric - I *still* can’t believe I missed this gig, but here’s the DVD to rub salt into the wound)
5) Vambo - ‘Vambo Deluxe’ (Goliath - Their red-hot debut now comes with five bonus tracks)
6) Jump - ‘Breaking Point’ (Festival Music - Great, incisive words and striking, extravagant melodies)
7) Heavy Pettin - ‘Best Of’ (Burnt Out Wreckords - 14 songs from the band’s three albums… a decent beginner’s guide)
8) Ian Dury - ‘Hit Me! The Best Of’ (BMG - A triple-disc career anthology; it’s largely patchy but often brilliant!)
9) Hawkwind - ‘50th Anniversary Live’ (Cherry Red - Double-disc set portrays a birthday party to remember)
10) Palace - ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio’ (Frontiers - More AOR technoflash from the brilliantly named Michael Palace)
11) Jeff Scott Soto - ‘Wide Awake (In My Dreamland’ (Frontiers - Super-classy, melodic hard rock)
12) Eclipse - ‘Viva La VicTOURia’ (Frontiers – The increasingly popular Swedish hard rockers offer a debut live album)
13) American Tears - ‘Free Angel Express’ (Deko Entertainment - Mark Mangold presents more guitar-free, proggy hard rock)
14) Heartwind - ‘Strangers’ (Escape Music - Crunchy, slick, air-punching radio-rock)
15) Procol Harum - ‘Something Magic’ (Esoteric Recordings - Their 1977 set gets the full revamp treatment)
16) Death Angel - ‘The Enigma Years (1987-1990)’ (Hear No Evil - Four-disc set, including collection of rarities)
17) Heather Findlay - ‘Live White Horses’ (Black Sand - Beautiful document of her most recent tour, but hurry… only 500 copies exist)
18) Jon Anderson - ‘Song Of Seven’ (Esoteric Recordings - Re-mastered, expanded edition of The Cosmic Pixie’s 1980 solo album)
19) Billion Dollar Babies - ‘Battle Axe’ (Hear No Evil - Triple-disc, bells and whistles version of their album from 1977)
20) Kevin Burt - ‘Stone Crazy’ (Gulf Coast - Smooth yet electrifying blues-rock)

October 2020

1) Blue Öyster Cult - ‘The Symbol Remains’ (Frontiers - As good a comeback disc from BÖC as anybody could have hoped)

2) White Lion - ‘All You Need Is Rock ‘N’ Roll - The Complete Albums 1985-1991’ (Hear No Evil - Five-disc set, including the quintessential ‘Pride’)

3) Pride Of Lions - ‘Lion Heart’ (Frontiers - Another set of colossal singalong chewns from Jim Peterik)

4) Stardust - ‘Highway To Heartbreak’ (Frontiers - A massively promising debut from these Hungarians)

5) Stray - ‘Roll Up!’ (Monstrous Child - Electrifying single-disc live album of their 100 Club show in November 2019)

6) Them - ‘Return To Hemmersmoor’ (SPV - The concluding part of a cheesily theatrical horror-thrash-power metal trilogy)

7) Gotthard - ‘Steve Lee: The Eyes Of A Tiger’ (Nuclear Blast - Unplugged tribute to one of melodic rock’s all-time great singers)

8) Dyble Longdon - ‘Between A Breath And A Breath’ (English Electric - Enchanting stuff… RIP Judy)

9) Signal Red - ‘Alien Nation’ (Escape Music - Forceful song structures, deep-tread melodies and the exquisite voice of Lee Small)

10) Mike Tramp - ‘Second Time Around’ (Target - Mr Tramp re-boots his ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Circuz’-era tunes) 

11) The Sword - ‘Conquest Of Kingdoms’ (Craft Recordings - Awesome triple-vinyl collection of career-spanning rarities)

12) Spell - ‘Opulent Decay’ (Bad Omen - An ear-catching mish-mash of influences from the 1970s)

13) Voodoo Six - ‘Simulation Game’ (Explorer 1 - New album, new singer, new lease of life… I like it!)

14) The Georgia Thunderbolts - ‘The Georgia Thunderbolts EP’ (Mascot - Five-song intro to a fine Southern band from Rome, Georgia)

15) Mike Ross - ‘The Clovis Limit, Pt 2’ (Taller Records - Dark, fuzzed-up, full-throttle blues-rock)

16) Samurai - ‘Samurai’ (Esoteric Recordings - Newly expanded and re-mastered version of this proggy obscurity from 1971)

17) Linda Hoyle - ‘Pieces Of Me’/‘The Fetch’ (Esoteric Recordings - Jazzy, laid-back singer/songwriter fare)

18) Kat Riggins - ‘Cry Out’ (Gulf Coast - Sultry, often funky blues-rock, produced by Mike Zito)

19) Hell In The Club - ‘Hell Of Fame’ (Frontiers - Curiously compulsive melodic metal from Italy)

20) Landfall - ‘The Turning Point’ (Frontiers - Formulaic yet cheerful melodic hard rock, Brazilian-style)

September 2020
1) Fish - ‘Weltschmerz’ (Chocolate Frog - The big Scotsman wraps his solo career with a moment of true career-defining greatness)
2) Trapeze - ‘Trapeze’/‘Medusa’/ ‘You Are The Music We’re Just The Band’ (Purple - Newly expanded, re-mastered editions)
3) Slade - ‘Cum On Feel The Noize - The Best Of’ (BMG - 43 mainly hooliganistic tracks from 1971 to 1991)
4) Louisiana’s Le Roux - ‘One Of Those Days’ (Blue Coast - Their first in 20 years; soothing melodic rock marinated Cajurn-style)
5) Perfect Plan - ‘Time For A Miracle’ (Frontiers - For fans of Survivor, Foreigner, Giant, Europe and The Storm)
6) Brother Firetribe - ‘Feel The Burn’ (Odyssey Music - The classy Finns survive the exit of guitarist Emppu Vuorinen with ease)
7) Fierce Heart - ‘War For The World’ (Dark Star - Fiery guitar and cool, super-memorable hooks. Dokken fans will drool)
8) Jim Kirkpatrick - ‘Ballad Of A Prodigal Son’ (US One - FM guitarist steps out of the shadows in tremendous style)
9) Raven - ‘Metal City’ (SPV - It should’ve been called 'Meta-a-a-a-a-a-a-al Ci-i-i-i-i-i-i-ity'. They missed a trick)
10) Overland - ‘Scandalous’ (Escape Music - A pleasing, sunny, mid-Atlantic vibe that’s occasionally reminiscent of the Doobie Brothers)
11) Ayreon - ‘Transitus’ (Music Theories Recordings - A gothic ghost story narrated by none other than Tom Baker)
12) Jefferson Starship - ‘Mother Of The Sun’ (Golden Robot - Six-track mini-album… their first collection of new songs in 12 years)
13) Louise Patricia Crane - ‘Deep Blue’ (Bad Omen - Haunting, Celtic-tinged prog-lite)
14) Glenn Hughes - ‘The Official Bootleg Box Set - Volume Three: 1995-2010’ (Purple - Does what it says on the tin…)
15) Various Artists - ‘Jobcentre Rejects, Volume 3: Ultra Rare NWOBHM 1978-1983’ (On The Dole - More exhumed gems… rough ‘n’ ready, but worth prospecting!)
16) Various Artists - ‘Jobcentre Rejects, Volume 4: Ultra Rare FWOSHM 1978-1983’ (On The Dole - An investigation of obscure Swedish hard rock and metal)
17) Stryper - ‘Even The Devil Believes’ (Frontiers - Utterly ridiculous title… pretty decent album)
18) Mike Zito - ‘Quarantine Blues’ (Gulf Coast - Made largely in solitude and often you’d have guessed the fact)
19) Roy Wood & Wizzard - ‘Main Street’ (Esoteric Recordings - New version of Roy’s long-lost album from 1976)
20) Simon Collins - ‘Becoming Too Human’ (Frontiers - Enjoyed it briefly before a descent into realm of the wishy-washy)

August 2020
1) Lionheart - The Reality Of Miracles’ (Metaville - 55 minutes of startling depth, accomplishment and finesse)
2) Mitch Perry Group - ‘Music Box’ (Mitchperry.com - A masterclass in melodic, funky rock ‘n’ roll)
3) The Allman Betts Band - ‘Bless Your Heart’ (BMG - More inspiring, sizzling, soulful Southern rock from Gregg and Dickey’s sons)
4) Lionville - ‘Magic Is Alive’ (Frontiers - A smorgasbord of heart-rending ballads and pulsating rockers)
5) Kansas - ‘The Absence Of Presence’ (Inside Out - Their unlikely post-Livgren renaissance continues…)
6) Deep Purple - ‘Whoosh!’ (Ear Music - Still defying retirement in the most emphatic way possible)
7) Dukes Of The Orient - ‘Freakshow’ (Frontiers - A fantastic, overblown fusion of summery AOR and pomp-laden prog)
8) Lynne Jackaman - ‘One Shot’ (lynnejackamanmusic.com - Light on guitar but what an incredible voice and those grooves are super-slinky!)
9) Lonely Robot - ‘Feelings Are Good’ (Inside Out - The Astronaut reveals a human soul beneath the space suit)
10) Mad Max - ‘Stormchild Rising’ (SPV - Its tunes seduce the ears with the skill of a much practised lothario)
11) Back Street Crawler - ‘Atlantic Years 1975-1976’ (Hear No Evil - Four discs of studio and live material, including Kossoff’s last gig)
12) Various Artists - ‘NWOBHM Thunder: 1978-1986’ (Hear No Evil - Three discs of established names and worthy minnows)
13) Barclay James Harvest - ‘Barclay James Harvest And Other Short Stories’ (Esoteric Recordings - Re-mastered three-disc clamshell edition)
14) Blue Öyster Cult - ‘45th Anniversary - Live In London’ (Frontiers - Revisiting their self-titled debut… I was there!)
15) Unicorn - ‘The Recordings’ (Esoteric Recordings - Re-mastered versions of their three LPs from the ’70s, plus bonus rarities disc)
16) Fortune - ‘The Gun’s Still Smokin’ - Live’ (Frontiers - The obscure US melodic rockers captured onstage in April 2019)
17) Vicious Rumors - ‘Celebration Decay’ (SPV - These enduring US power-metallers have still got what it takes)
18) Ramos - ‘My Many Sides’ (Frontiers - Special guest-laden return for Josh Ramos of The Storm, Hardline and Two Fires fame)
19) Black Rose Maze - ‘Black Rose Maze’ (Frontiers - Female-fronted melodic rock with a strong contemporary flavour)
20) Prins Svart - ‘Under Jord’ (Musica Ex Machina - Gnarly, hard hitting, Swedish-language classic rock)

July 2020
1) Primal Fear - ‘Metal Commando’ (Nuclear Blast - German metalheads strike a rich seam of gold… again!)
2) Tokyo Motor Fist - ‘Lions’ (Frontiers - Absolutely terrible name, but a bloody great melodic rock band)
3) Hustler - ‘Reloaded’ (Black Cat - Long-lost UK hard rockers reunite 44 years later with a right l’il belter)
4) Enuff Z’Nuff - ‘Brainwashed Generation’ (Frontiers - Album number 15; you know what to expect, and they deliver)
5) Pinnacle Point - ‘Symphony Of Mind’ (Escape Music - For fans of Kansas… a bit of a rip-off, in truth, but I still love it)
6) Massive Wagons - ‘House Of Noise’ (Earache - A winning mix of riffs, hooks and laughs)
7) Tony Mitchell - ‘Church Of A Restless Soul’ (AOR Heaven - A welcome return for the former Kiss Of The Gypsy frontman)
8) Shining Black (Featuring Mark Boals & Olaf Thorsen) - ‘Shining Black’ (Surging, glimmering melodic metal)
9) Bloody Heels - ‘Ignite The Sky’ (Frontiers - They call it ‘dark AOR’ but it’s melodic metal with a dash of guy-liner)
10) Michael Grant & The Assassins - Always The Villain’ (Frontiers - The label dips its toes into alternative rock and metal… and it works pretty well!)

June 2020

1) Vega - ‘Grit Your Teeth’ (Frontiers - One in the eye for those that say rock music can’t change without keeping its edge)

2) Tesla - ‘Five Man London Jam’ (Universal Music - Unplugged at Abbey Road… I was there!)

3) Stephen Dale Petit - ‘2020 Visions’ (333 Records - If this is blues music, it’s pretty damned thunderous…)

4) Corky Laing - ‘Toledo Sessions’ (Prudential Records - The ex-Mountain drummer goes back to his roots)

5) Nick D’Virgilio - ‘Invisible’ (English Electric - Big Big Train drummer tells a conceptual tale with the help of some familiar faces)

6) Dion - ‘Blues With Friends’ (Keeping The Blues Live - …And what a set of friends; Jeff Beck, Billy Gibbons, Bonamassa, Springsteen and more)

7) Electric Mob - ‘Discharge’ (Frontiers - A debut filled with plenty of promise from these Brazilian hard rockers)

8) Smackbound - ‘20/20’ (Frontiers - Versatile female-fronted metal from Finland)

9) Dave Cousins & The Blue Angel Orchestra - ‘The Boy In The Sailor Suit’ (Esoteric Recordings - 2007 solo album from Strawbs frontman given the overhaul treatment)

10) Paralydium - ‘Worlds Beyond’ (Frontiers - Swedish progressive-metal with a delicious melodic vibe)

May 2020
1) Robert Jon & The Wreck - ‘Last Light On The Highway’ (This beaut will be in my Top 20 of the year!)
2) Genesis - ‘Nursery Cryme’/‘Selling England By The Pound’ (Virgin - Lockdown-fuelled purchases, on CD for me for the first time)
3) Def Leppard - ‘Hysteria At The O2’ (Eagle Rock - 2 x CD and DVD of in-its-entirety performance)
4) Captain Black Beard - ‘Sonic Forces’ (AOR Heaven - Mirrorball-tastic groovy AOR, for fans of Night Flight Orchestra)
5) Champlin-Williams-Friestedt - ‘CWF II’ (Black Lodge - Heavenly West Coast AOR)
6) Triumph - ‘Classics’ (Round Hill - A collection from 1989 pressed on double-silver vinyl, with bonus tracks)
7) Saga - ‘The Collection’ (Universal - Three CD-anthology of this wonderful Canadian band)
8) Hawklords - ‘Alive In Concert’ (Shellshock - Single-disc recording of an excellent 2019 live show in Chester)
9) Hawkwind - ‘Roadhawks’ (Atomhenge - Their 1976 ‘best-of’ returns on CD and vinyl)
10) Be-Bop Deluxe - ‘Axe Victim’ (Esoteric Recordings - Double-disc overhaul of their album from 1974)
11) These Wicked Rivers - ‘Eden’ (Rock People - Heavy blues meets Southern rock… niiiice!)
12) House Of Lords - ‘New World - New Eyes’ (Frontiers - The latest in a long line of extremely listenable records)
13) Ken Hensley - ‘Tales Of Live Fire & Other Mysteries’ (Hear No Evil - Five-CD round-up of material from 2012 to ’13)
14) Blue Öyster Cult - ‘iHeart Radio Theater NYC 2012’ (Frontiers - CD/DVD of gig to mark the band’s 40th anniversary)
15) Cryptex - ‘Once Upon A Time’ (SPV - Colourful, delightfully bonkers prog-rock from Germany)
16) Room Experience - ‘Another Time And Place’ (Art Of Melody Music - An international array of performers serves up platter of 1980s AOR)
17) Magnus Karlsson’s Freefall - ‘We Are The Night’ (Frontiers - Stirringly melodic power meta-a-a-al!)
18) Strawbs - ‘Burning For You’/‘Heartbreak Hill’ (Esoteric Recordings - Expanded and re-mastered versions of LPs from 1977 and ’78)
19) Pretty Maids - ‘Maid In Japan: Future World 30th Anniversary’ (Frontiers - Live in Tokyo in 2018)
20) John Blues Boyd - ‘What My Eyes Have Seen…’ (Gulf Coast - Firm, fruity and massively enjoyable blues)
21) Alan Merrill - ‘It’s Always Rock ‘N’ Roll’ (Merrill Entertainment - Worthy posthumous album from the late Arrows frontman)
22) Ronan Furling - ‘Diotima’s Ascent’ (Thoroughbred Music - A hugely appealing hotchpotch of musical ideas)
23) The Proven Ones - ‘You Ain’t Done’ (Gulf Coast - Highly melodic blues-rock, produced by Mike Zito)
24) Her Chariot Awaits - ‘Her Chariot Awaits’ (Frontiers - Punchy, melodic female-fronted metal)
25) Snowy White - ‘Lucky Star - An Anthology 1983-1994’ (Esoteric Recordings - A hit and miss six-CD trawl through the guitarist’s post-Lizzy years)

April 2020
1) Dennis DeYoung - ‘26 East: Vol 1’ (Frontiers - Co-founder of Styx unveils a prime slab of melodic pomp, with Vol 2 to follow)
2) Testament - ‘Titans Of Creation’ (Nuclear Blast - A freight train of thrash-metal awesomeness)
3) Marillion - ‘Script For A Jester’s Tear’ (Parlophone - Deluxe 4-CD/Blu-ray edition of their debut from 1983)
4) FM - ‘Synchronised’ (Frontiers - Will this band’s purple patch of form never end?!)
5) Sir Lord Baltimore - ‘The Complete Recordings 1970-2006’ (Hear No Evil - Their self-titled debut is just outta this world!!!)
6) Nightwish - ‘Human. :II: Nature.’ (Nuclear Blast - Another expected turn from the Finnish symphonic-metallers)
7) One Desire - ‘Midnight Empire’ (Frontiers - A little more adventurous than their debut, but still bloody great)
8) The Dowling Poole - ‘See You See Me’ (369 Music - Magnificently moreish and intelligent pop-pop)
9) Fish On Friday - ‘Black Rain’ (Esoteric Recordings - Adorable, mellifluous, largely widdle-free prog)
10) Axel Rudi Pell - ‘Sign Of The Times’ (SPV - Very little to complain about with this slickly executed melodic hard rock record)
11) Dio - ‘Magica’ (BMG - The newly re-mastered mediabook edition, one of four from RJD’s latterday catalogue)
12) Bonfire - ‘Fistful Of Fire’ (AFM - The German band’s heaviest album to date)
13) Compass - ‘Our Time On Earth’ (Escape Music - Fans of It Bites, Saga, Rush and Dream Theatre might dig this)
14) Paul Kantner, Grace Slick & David Freiberg - ‘Baron Von Tollbooth And The Chrome Nun’ (Esoteric Recordings - Re-mastered version of Jefferson Starship-era precursor)
15) Jefferson Airplane - ‘Long John Silver’/‘Thirty Seconds Over Winterland’ (Esoteric Recordings - Double-pack comprising early-1970s-sourced studio disc and live album)
16) Clientelle - ‘Destination Unknown’ (On The Dole - Entertaining revision of the hard-to-find NWOBHM album from 1981)
17) Atkins May Project - ‘The Final Cut’ (Dog Ruff - Hard riffing Black Country blues from original Judas Priest singer Atkins)
18) Albert Castiglia - ‘Wild And Free’ (Gulf Coast - The guitar-slinger from Miami spits out a fiery, spirited live set)
19) Spirit - ‘Tent Of Miracles’ (Esoteric Records - Expanded, re-mastered edition of the album from 1990)
20) Eamonn McCormack - ‘Storyteller’ (BEM - Hard rocking blues, largely patchy though rescued by more enjoyable moments)

March 2020
1) Ratt - ‘The Atlantic Years 1984-1990’ (Hear No Evil - From ‘Out Of The Cellar’ to ‘Detonator’ with bonus tracks)
2) Harem Scarem - ‘Change The World’ (Frontiers - No surprises here; supremely well-crafted melodic rock)
3) Newman - ‘Ignition’ (AOR Heaven - Another collection of slick, engaging AOR earworms)
4) Liar - ‘Sunset Plaza Drive’ (Escape Music - Their long lost third album arrives 24 years later!)
5) Khymera - ‘Master Of Illusions’ (Frontiers - Back after five years away and not a moment too soon)
6) Collateral – ‘Collateral’ (Roulette Media - Encouraging debut from the UK’s great new hard rock hopes)
7) Son Of Man - ‘State Of Dystopia’ (Esoteric Antenna - The legacy of Man lives on in this splendid second generation act)
8) Status Quo - ‘Rock ’Til You Drop’ (Universal - Their last decent album from the Vertigo years, now expanded and re-mastered)
9) Blue Öyster Cult - ‘Heaven Forbid’ (Frontiers - Re-issue of their underrated 13th studio album, first issued in 1998)
10) Those Damn Crows - ‘Point Of No Return’ (Earache - Gutsy, robust if sometimes slightly samey hard rock)
11) Metal Church - ‘The Elektra Years 1984-1989’ (Hear No Evil - Three disc set; includes the masterful ‘The Dark’ from 1986)
12) The Alan Parsons Project - ‘Ammonia Avenue - Deluxe Edition’ (Esoteric Recordings - Beautifully compiled bells ‘n’ whistles revision of the band’s seventh album)
13) Heavy Pettin - ‘4 Play EP’ (BDP - The Scot-rockers return with a fistful of new material, their first in more than 30 years)
14) Redd Kross - ‘Beyond The Door’ (Merge - Better late than never!)
15) Bill Bruford’s Earthworks - ‘Heavenly Bodies: The Expanded Collection’ (Summerfold - A beginner’s guide to Bruford’s jazz-rock years)
16) Jim Capaldi - ‘Open Your Heart - The Island Recordings 1972-1976’ (Esoteric Recordings - Four discs of solo material from the ex-Traffic man)
17) Shakra - ‘Mad World’ (AFM - More quality work from this persistent Swiss combo)
18) Novena - ‘Eleventh Hour’ (Frontiers - Enjoyable, soothingly melodic prog-metal)
19) Renaissance - ‘Turn Of The Cards’ (Esoteric Recordings America - Four-disc overhaul of their album from 1974)
20) Seven Spires - ‘Emerald Seas’ (Frontiers - Female-fronted, melancholic metal from the USA)

February 2020
1) Snake Oil & Harmony - ‘Hurricane Riders’ (Zero One - Fiendishly moreish fare from The Tow Dannys, Vaughn and Reed)
2) Wishbone Ash - ‘Coat Of Arms’ (SPV - A mighty fine introduction for newcomer Mark Abrahams)
3) Marcus King - ‘El Dorado’ (Snakefarm - Though King’s guitar is supposedly the focus here, just about everything is special)
4) The Outlaws - ‘Dixie Highway’ (SPV - Maybe the best Sothern rock album you’ll hear this year)
5) Black Swan - ‘Sake The World’ (Frontiers - Reb Beach and Robin McAuley in a band together… whaddya waiting for?!)
6) Gotthard - ‘#13’ (Nuclear Blast - To these ears their best work with Nic Meader)
7) Peter Green - ‘The End Of The Game’ (Esoteric Recordings - A re-mastered, expanded 50th anniversary re-issue of his slightly bonkers solo debut)
8) Robert Hart - ‘Pure’ (Escape Music - Classy, enchanting music in the Robert Palmer vein)
9) District 97 - ‘Screens’ (MindScan - Awesome female fronted, muso-friendly prog)
10) Silverthorne - ‘Tear The Sky Wide Open EP’ (Golden Robot - Dark, brooding heavy sounds from Peter Shoulder, formerly of The Union)
11) Bandolier Kings - ‘Welcome To The Zoom Club’ (Grooveyard - Affectionate Budgie tribute, with contributions from Tony Bourge and Steve Williams)
12) Girl - ‘Wasted Youth’ (Hear No Evil - Six-disc set, including the long-lost third album and various live shows)
13) Grace Potter - ‘Daylight’ (Fantasy - Pop-rock of the most bewitching type!)
14) Anvil - ‘Legal At Last’ (AFM - Album number 18… some extremely good songs but also one or two clunkers)
15) Dave Kerzner - ‘Breakdown: A Compilation 1995-2019’ (RecPlay - A two-disc revision of his best bits so far)
16) Jesse Damon - ‘Damon’s Rage’ (AOR Heaven - Sun-kissed motoring music from the Silent Rage frontman)
17) Novatines - ‘Wasted Youth EP’ (Say Something - Four fizzy, hooky tunes produced by the great Andy Scott)
18) Archon Angel - ‘Fallen’ (Frontiers - The return of ex-Savatage singer Zak Stevens)
19) JJ Chardeau - ‘In Terra Incognita?’ (L Records - Lavish, extremely bonkers, star-strewn rock opera)
20) Waiting For Monday - ‘Waiting For Monday’ (Frontiers - A big, punchy and immediate sound that’s packed with drama)

January 2020
1) H.e.a.t - ‘H.e.a.t II’ (Gain - The kings of Scandi-AOR on tip-top form)
2) Sons Of Apollo - ‘MMXX’ (Inside Out Music - Not just a supergroup, they’re a group that’s super)
3) Magnum - ‘The Serpent King’s (SPV - Clarkin just keeps on writing those killer records…)
4) Night Flight Orchestra - ‘Aeromantic’ (Nuclear Blast - A glossy, multi-coloured fusion of classic hard rock, AOR and kitsch US disco)
5) Marko Hietala - ‘Pyre Of The Black Heart’ (Nuclear Blast - A satisfying dose of “hard prog” from the Nightwish bassist)
6) Jeff Lynne’s ELO - ‘From Out Of Nowhere’ (Big Trilby/Columbia - Often sublime… though possibly a notch down from ‘Alone In The Universe’)
7) Nektar - ‘The Other Side’ (Esoteric Antenna - You thought life after Roye impossible? Me too, but we were wrong…)
8) Biff Byford - ‘School Of Hard Knocks’ (Silver Lining Music - Saxon’s singer goes solo with fascinating results)
9) British Lion - ‘The Burning’ (Parlophone - I was underwhelmed by their debut; this is a big improvement)
10) Blue Öyster Cult - ‘Hard Rock Live Cleveland 2014’ (Frontiers Three-disc audio-visual set previews the latest catalogue overhaul)
11) Bernie Shaw & Dale Collins - ‘Too Much Information’ (LT Productions - The voice of Uriah Heep dishes up nourishing hard rock with guitarist Collins)
12) Charlie - ‘Kitchens Of Distinction’ (Floating World - Re-mastered double-disc edition of album from 2009, now with more satirical bite and hummable songs)
13) Michael Thompson Band - ‘High Times - Live In Italy’ (Frontiers - Smooooooooth!)
14) Revolution Saints - ‘Rise’ (Frontiers - Journey-esque melodic hard rock; good tunes but a wee but samey…)
15) Scarlet Rebels - ‘Show Your Colours’ (Rock Of Angels - Classic hard rock from a very promising bunch of youngsters)
16) Steeleye Span - ‘Est’d 1969’ (Park - 50th anniversary set, a mixed bag but I really like some of it!)
17) DeCarlo - ‘Lightning Strikes Twice’ (Frontiers - Keyboard-swamped AOR from current Boston singer Tommy DeCarlo)
18) Storm Force - ‘Age Of Fear’ (Escape Music - Brighton Rock guitarist Greg Fraser delivers rousing, melodious sounds)
19) Dukes Of The Stratosfear - ‘Psurroundabout Ride’ (Ape House - XTC in psychedelic tomfoolery mode)
20) Rage - ‘Wings Of Rage’ (SPV - Chunky, rambunctious Teutonic meta-a-a-a-a-a-al!)

Playlist 2019
Playlist 2018
Playlist 2017
Playlist 2016

Playlist Archive

The discs on the MIGHTY WURLINGTZER will be changed every month. If there are any albums you think should be included on next month's playlist, please let us know!

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