2018 RPMer's Top 5s


Top 5 new/re-issue albums:

1. Planet Mod - Various Planet label acts

2. Yardbirds - Live 1968 (Unreleased live concert)

3. Mourning After - The 10th Century

4. Iron and Wine - Weed Garden

5. Giant Sand - Return to the valley of rain (re-issue)

Top 5 new/re-issue singles:

1. Jimmy Page - She just satisfies*

2. Clique - We didn't kiss, we didn't love, now we do*

3. Nathaniel Mayer - I don't want no bald-headed woman (unreleased 1968 single)

4. Maxine Brown - Baby cakes (unreleased 1967 Otis Redding song/production)

5. Wimple Winch - Rumble on Mersey Square South*

(*'Semi-legit' re-release)

Top 5 car boot/charidee shoppe singles:

1. Rolling Stones - Come On

2. Ruby and the Romantics - Our day will come

3. Ronettes - Be my baby

4. Pretty Things - Don't bring me down

= 5 Dee Clarke - At my front door

Spencer Davis Group - When I come home

Top 5 car boot/charidee shoppe albums:

1. Hollies - Stay (original mono pressing)

2. The Lords - '...Shakin all over.... '2' (German import)

3. Laura Nyro - Season of lights

4. Lesley Gore - Boys, boys, boys

5. Helen Shapiro - Tops with me (original mono pressing)

Top Two 78 rpm'ers

1. Gene Vincent-Be Bop A Lula

2. Gene Vincent-Race with the devil

Top 5 'shiny silver thingies': (well, 4 anyway!!)

1. The UK Sue label story Vol 3

2. The UK Sue label story Vol 4

3. Great Society-Live at the Matrix

4. The Ultimate Mod Anthems-Various artists

Top 'letter' in my collection:


No 5 M (78)

No 4 R (79)

No 3 H (85)

No 2 S (136)

No 1 B (139)


No 5 M (98)

No 4 C (100)

No 3 R (103)

No 2 B (130)

No 1 S (177)


Top 5 Albums of the Year

1. Redemption - Joe Bonamassa

2. The Architect - Paloma Faith

3. A Star is Born - Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper (Soundtrack)

4. Black Coffee - Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa

5. The Greatest Showman - Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron (Soundtrack)


John says, “Here's my review of 2018 in the form of a few lists. As you can see, a great year for gigs but new releases that interested me were few and far between. Anyway, there's still so much 'old' music out there yet to be discovered; finding music from all eras and different genres makes it exciting being a music fan!”

Album Of The Year

The Coral - Move Through The Dawn (LP + Download)

Top 10 Gigs Of 2018

1. The Stranglers - UEA Norwich

2. King Crimson - Royal Concert Hall Nottingham

3. The Wailers - UEA Norwich

4. King Crimson - London Palladium

5. Ralph McTell - Princess Theatre Hunstanton

6. Toots & The Maytals - UEA Norwich

7. Hugh Cornwell (Supporting Wilco Johnson) - UEA Norwich

8. Wishbone Ash - Princess Theatre Hunstanton

9. Curved Air - Waterfront Studio Norwich

10. The Blues Band - Maddermarket Theatre Norwich

Top 10 Car Boot/Charity Shop/Record Fair Bargains of 2018

1. Jackie Leven - The Haunted Year/ Spring (CD)

2. Jackie Leven - The Haunted Year /Summer (CD)

3. Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers - Got To Get You Into Our Lives (LP)

4. Billy Talbot Band - Alive In The Spirit World (CD)

5. Temples - Volcano (Promo CD)

6. John Bramwell - Leave Alone The Empty Spaces (Promo CD)

7. Camel - Moonmadness (LP)

8. Talisman - Don't Play With Fyah (Promo CD)

9. White Denim - D (CD)

10. Ekseption - Ekseption (LP)

Top 5 Most 'Listened To' Acts Of 2018

1. Cowboy Junkies

2. King Crimson

3. Neil Young

4. Temples

5. Jackie Leven

(Also lots of reggae but not anyone in particular)


Top 5 Albums Of The Year

1. LongShoreDrift – Away From The Mad City Sprawl CD


3. The O’Reilys and the Paddyhats - Green Blood LP

4. Diverse Roots - British Rose CD

5. Stanley Holloway- ‘ere’s ‘olloway LP


I’ll take a different approach to last year, starting with a top 5 “Non-performance categories.”

Producer of the Year: Dave Cobb (of the decade actually).

Record Label of the Year: Thirty Tigers (probably of last year too).

Print Magazine of the Year: Country Music (probably of last year too).

Music Website of the Year: No Depression (of the decade in fact).

Best live music venue visited in 2018: The Apex, Bury St Edmunds

Honourable mention in the website category: Americana Boogie.

Top 5 Albums on or distributed by Thirty Tigers

1. Healing Tide by The War and Treaty

2. To The Sunset by Amanda Shires (produced by Dave Cobb)

3. Songs of the Plains by Colter Wall (produced by Dave Cobb)

4. Strange Conversation by Mandy Barnett

5. Poor Until Payday by Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band

There are other worthy albums I might have included, but I would particularly like to mention one other; My American Dream by Will Hoge (notice the acronym). This is the most conventional rock album I’ve bought this year and it would probably appeal to fans of Steve Earle. It misses out on the above top 5 because it is devoutly to be wished that it quickly becomes dated, since it is an album of protest songs against the man in the White House. In fact, “protest songs” may not be a sufficiently strong expression. The celebrated guitarist Marc Ribot in a recent interview drew a distinction between “protest” against policies enacted by an authority that is regarded as legitimate and songs of “resistance” in which the authority itself is considered illegitimate. I suspect Hoge considers the current President to be illegitimate. By the way, I think one track on this, entitled “Please Mr, Barnum”, sounds remarkably like Elvis Costello. (Who could he possibly be comparing to “The Greatest Showman”?)

Top 5 Albums produced by Dave Cobb but not on Thirty Tigers

1. The Tree by Lori McKenna

2. Encore by Anderson East

3. Tree of Forgiveness by John Prine

4. Sparrow by Ashley Monroe

5. Volunteer by Old Crow Medicine Show

An honourable mention here to Brent Cobb’s “Providence Canyon”. (Yes, he is related, a distant cousin if I remember correctly)

Top 5 Albums by Female Artists not on Thirty Tigers and not produced by Dave Cobb.

1. Dancing With The Beast by Gretchen Peters

2. Interstate Gospel by Pistol Annies

3. America’s Child by Shemekia Copeland

4. Liberty by Lindi Ortega

5. See You Around by I’m With Her

Honourable mention to Meet Me At The River by Dawn Landes. Northern folkie goes old-school Nashville.

Top 5 Albums by Male Artists not on Thirty Rivers and not produced by Dave Cobb.

1. Please Don’t Be Dead by Fantastic Negrito

2. 13 Rivers by Richard Thompson

3. Global Griot by Eric Bibb

4. Last Man Standing by Willie Nelson

5. Downey to Lubbock by Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore

Honourable mention to Out of the Blues by Boz Scaggs (still hip after all these years)

An Over-all Top 5 Selected From The Above Titles.

1.Please Don’t Be Dead by Fantastic Negrito

2. Dancing With The Beast by Gretchen Peters

3. Healing Tide by The War and Treaty

4. 13 Rivers by Richard Thompson

5. The Tree by Lori McKenna

(Subject to change at any given moment, of course.)


1. Dark Weave by Mark McDowell

2. Huldreland by Jennifer & Hazel Wrigley

3. British Rose by Diverse Rootes

4. Books Songs Volume 1 by Anne-Marie Sanderson

5. The Sleeping Tunes by Tim Edey

6. May Monday by Karen Tweed and Timo Alakotila

7. Such & Such by Steve Tilston

8. Hey Joe Opus Red Meat by Otis Taylor

9. Nobody Knows by Willis Earl Beal

10. Wider Circles by Rising Appalachia


Top 5 CD Albums Bought In 2018

1. Serpent Power - Electric Looneyland (promo)

2. Death In Vegas - Scorpio Rising

3. Charlie Fink - Cover My Tracks (promo)

4. Noah & The Whale - The First Days Of Spring

5. Skye/Ross - Skye/Ross


Top 5 New Releases of 2018

1. Lost On The Road To Eternity – Magnum (CD)

Best album since the definitive Storytellers Night, in my opinion………..now there’s a claim!

2. Stringhenge – Richard Durrant (LP)

A truly refreshing acoustic guitar album from the self-described “concert guitarist”, being a mix of Bach, traditional “folk” tunes and self-penned compositions which verge towards English whimsey. I love it!

3. 13 Rivers – Richard Thompson (CD)

Once again Mr Thompson proves he’s one of the best song writers and guitarists around today.

4. The Age of Absurdity - Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons (LP)

Guitarist Phil Campbell’s first full length post-Motorhead album proves to be a very satisfying slab of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

5. Follow Them True – Stick In The Wheel (LP)

In my opinion, the most innovative folk band around at the moment, SITW consolidate their edgy-trad reputation on this their second long-player.

Top 5 Coolest Colour Vinyl Purchases of the Year

1. Warp Riders – The Sword - on see-through orange

2. Infected Nations – Evile – on white limited edition

3. Living The Dream – Slash – on see-through dark red

4. Can U Cook – Seasick Steve – on crystal clear

5. Shake A Leg – Bad Touch – on gold

Top 5 Second-Hand Vinyl Finds

1. Gong Est Mort – Gong

Yep, these psychedelic French hippies top my second-hand list for the second year running with the other LP I’ve been looking for………well, for ages, in fact.

2. Seventh Son – Iron Maiden

Unbelievably, I’ve never owned this metal masterpiece on vinyl…….until now, that is.

3. Yessongs – Yes

A true prog artefact; triple live LP in amazing fold out sleeve…….and in pretty good condition as well. Where’s my cape.

4. Don’t Bend, Ascend – God Speed You Black Emperor

The second GSYBE record I’ve found in Rebound Records of York, and a very nice find as well. Get this; the recording comprises a 12” LP and a 7” single which is played in this order: track 1 on 12” side 1, track 2 on 7” side one, track 3 on 12” side 2, track 4 on 7” side 2. How cool is that?

5. Star Spangled Molly – De Dannan

I’d only been aware of the existence this LP from looking at a De Dannan discography. Long deleted, I’d never even seen a copy in real life………until flicking through a box of folk LPs of dubious musical quality at a record fair in Wells, Somerset. I’ve never parted with a fiver so quickly!