It was odd that Prince gave away his new album with the Daily Mail, odd that Madonna inked a lucrative contract with the Live Nation corporation, odd that Paul McCartney signed to Starbucks and odd that Radiohead passed around the digital busking hat. Oddest of all, though, is how the band of the year is Zeppelin.
Big reunion gig, the back catalogue all polished up, all the songs available on iTunes etc. The Led Zep for Slane rumour officially starts here.
Zep also provided one of the musical highlights of the year, albeit in the form of Robert Plant’s album with Krauss – the superlative Raising Sand. Gene Clark songs never sounded better.
Elsewhere, things took on a decidedly Scandinavian feel. Finnish duo Adjagas released the most criminally neglected record of the year. “Planxty meet Sigur Rós” ran the review – and yes, it really was that good.
From Sweden, Victoria Bergsman released Open Fields. Bergsman is the best female vocalist since Beth Gibbons. And from Iceland, the magnificent string quartet Amiina got all classically post-rock on Kurr.
Elsewhere, the people behind Live Earth probably put back the cause of saving the world a good few decades with their atrocious line-up and sanctimonious eco hand-wringing earlier in July.
And can I be the first to say that I’m already so over the ibloodyPhone.
Alison CDs of the year 1. Raising Sand – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Bluegrass meets Brummie Blues. 2. Lady’s Bridge – Richard Hawley. The indie Dean Martin. 3. Adjagas – Adjagas. Folk music, but not as we know it. 4. Kurr – Amiina. The antidote to new-age music. 5. Open Fields – Taken By Trees. The Nordic Nick Drake. Gig of the year John Fogerty at Wembley Arena. High of the year Mushrooms at Glastonbury. Low of the year Mushrooms at Glastonbury.