We got spoiled again in 2016 with new music coming from everywhere! Myself along with the rest of the HMM staff - Joe Schaeffer, Dawn Osbourne and The Music God CJ Plain all came together with individual lists of our top releases of the year. You can check out the audio companion to mine on the latest Hair Metal Mansion Radio Show. We thank all the labels, artists, and everyone involved that keeps these wheels rolling for our music.
Our lists are below!
1. The Dead Daisies - "Make Some Noise" (SPV/Steamhammer)
- Rock's new dynamic duo - John Corabi and Doug Aldrich! Different than anything else out there these days, the breath of fresh-70s/80s rock-sounding rock n roll air that we need these days. Also doesn't hurt with having guys like Brian Tichy, Marco Mendoza and David Lowy in the band as well. Hoping these guys stick together for the long haul!
2. Faithsedge - "Restoration" (Scarlet Records/Spiritual Beast)
- Giancarlo Floridia keeps outdoing himself with each release and this one is the best yet - smokin melodic rock with a great lineup that includes Timothy Gaines of Stryper, former Dokken guitarist Alex De Rosso, Mr Big/Ace Frehley drummer Matt Starr and Hardline's Alessandro Del Vecchio.
3. Apocalyptic Lovers - "Redemption Vol. 1"
- This band blew me away with their 'Dokkenized' debut outting - mixed by the legendary Michael Wagener.
4. Tyketto - "Reach" (Frontiers Music)
- They did it, this is the best Tyketto record since the classic debut Dont Come Easy - with every bit of memorable anthems led by one of the most underrated voices in rock, Danny Vaughn.
5. Michael Sweet - "One Sided War" (Rat Pak Records)
- Another year, another time Michael Sweet ends up on the list! While this will still please Stryper fans, this is an opportunity for Michael to do something a little different, and that is what he does here - could be his heaviest record to date.
6. The Defiants - Self-titled (Frontiers Music)
- Melodic rock power trio featuring reunited Danger Danger bandmates Bruno Ravel, Paul Laine and Rob Marcello - in the vein of Danger Danger for sure, with a punch and harmonies for days!
7. Jaded Past - "Believe" (Melodic Rock Records)
- Good time melodic rock that we need more of these days - great writing and all around talent from mainman George Becker - produced by Trixter's Steve Brown who also plays on it as well.
8. Jim Crean- "Insatiable" (Rocker Records)
- Another singer that is proudly flying the flag for 80s arena rock, joined by a whole cast of his friends, who happen to be some of the biggest names of our genre, including his label owner, Carmine Appice, Phil Lewis, Mike Tramp and more. Good mix of originals and covers.
9. Last In Line - "Heavy Crown" (Frontiers Music)
- All original, suriving members of the classic Dio lineup with new vocalist Andrew Freeman. Turns out the last recordings of JImmy Bain - this carries on the Dio legacy in a good way.
10. Femme Fatale - "One More For The Road" (FnA Records)
- We finally have the long, LONG awaited 2nd record from Lorraine Lewis and Femme Fatale after all this time. Very good follow up to the classic debut!
11. Mad Margritt - "Love Hate and Deception" (Perris Records)
- Every time these guys release a record, you will find it on my list - being from Atlanta, they are one of the bands that are really keeping old school rock alive - in the vein of Skid Row and Warrant, led by a frontman who should be a household name, Eddie Smith.
12. Pretty Maids - "Kingmaker" (Frontiers Music)
- One of the most consistent bands of our genre these days! Heavy but melodic metal with soaring vocals.
13. Sixx AM - "Prayers For The Damned" & "Prayers for the Blessed" (Eleven Seven Music)
- Okay so I cheated a bit on this one, these are 2 full albums, but they are connected and the best material Sixx AM has given us yet.
14. Heaven Below - "Good Morning Apocalypse" (EMP Label Group)
- Epic sounding concept record led by Lita Ford guitarist Patrick Kennison and some very special guests including Jason McMaster, UDO and more.
15. Jim Breuer - "Songs From The Garage" (Metal Blade Records)
- We all love his comedy, but this makes us take a look at him as a serious hard rock entity as well. Favorites include the throwback anthem "Old School" and a duet with Brian Johnson in "Mr Rock N Roll".
16. HazeXperience - "Hang A Crooked Number"
- The final recordings of original Y&T drummer Leonard Haze who we lost on September 11th of this year, topped off by a powerful tribute song written for him entitled "For Leonard" and a great cover of the Y&T classic, "Dirty Girl".
17. Roth Brock Project - self-titled (Frontiers Music)
- Amazing collaboration between Winger guitarist Jon Roth and Giant/Strangeways singer, Terry Brock. Rocks harder than expected with phenomenal guitar work and vocals alike.
18. Kee Marcello - "Scaling Up" (Frontiers Music)
- Jumping off of what The Music God CJ Plain said on his list, this is one of the great surprises of this year - the best Kee has sounded in years, both on guitar and vocally. Very strong, rockin' record from this former Europe guitarist.
19. The Aviators - "Coming On Strong"
- High energy, old school rock n roll out of Cali - a name you will be hearing more and more of in the rock n roll world!
20. Ted Poley - "Beyond The Fade" (Frontiers Music)
- You know what to expect from Danger Danger singer Ted Poley - top notch melodic AOR with hooks galore and this is another fine represntation of one of the truly underrated talents in our music.
21. Lita Ford - "Time Capsule" (Steamhammer/SPV)
- Another one that is 'old' material, originaly recorded in the late 80's, but I could have seen this being an album that would have done well- Many special guests including a duet with Jeff Scott Soto "Where Will I Find My Heart Tonight", which could have been a chart-topper, reminicent of her prior duet with, Ozzy.
22. Mitch Malloy - "Make Some Noise"
- Great to see an underrated talent like Mitch Back and back to his rock roots. One of the few whose voice still sounds like it did back in the day.
23. Nordic Union - self-titled (Frontiers Music)
- The collaboration between Ronnie Atkins of Pretty Maids and Erik Martensson of Eclipse - as powerful and heavy, but yet still melodic, as you would expect. The 2nd appearance from Ronnie on this year's list!
24. Madysin Hatter - "Lose Your Mind"
- An up and coming rock queen in the making out of Jersey! The songs, the pipes, Madysin has 'it'!
25. Punky Meadows - "Fallen Angel" (Main Man Records)
- The return of legendary Angel guitarist Punky Meadows - his first new material in a long time and it is great to have him back. Classic sounding songs topped off by a familiar name in vocalist, Chandler Mogel.
Glenn Hughes - "Resonate", The Last Vegas - "Eat Me", Last Call Messiahs - "Sermons of Debauchery", Graham Bonnet Band - "The Book", Bryan Cole - "Sands Of Time",
Acoustified - self titled, Phantom 5 - self titled, Streetlight Circus - "Needle Down", Primal Fear - "Rulebreaker", Jackyl - "Rowyco", Beasto Blanco self-titled, Whitford St Holmes - "Reunion", Hardline - "Human Nature", Catalano - "Dark Skies", Glenn Hughes - "Resonate", Enuff Z'Nuff - "Clowns Lounge", Four By Fate - "Relentless", Shiraz Lane - "For Crying Out Loud", Jesse Damon - "Southern HIghway"
1. Bullet In The Chamber (Hair I Go Again)
2. Autograph - Louder
3. Bad Boy Eddy - Take A Bite Outta This
4. 3 Parts Dead - Master
5. Damon Johnson - Echo
1. Kix - Can't Stop The Show: The Return of Kix
2. Night Ranger - 35 Years and a Night In Chicago
3. Tesla - Mechanical Resonance Live
4. Extreme - Pornograffitti Live 25 Metal Meltdown
5. Crazy Lixx - Sound of the Live Minority
Rock Doc Of The Year:
HAIR I GO AGAIN
1.Glenn Hughes – Resonate
2.Metallica – Hardwired to Self Destruct
3.Last in Line – Heavy Crown
4.Megadeth - Dystopia
5.Tyketto – Reach
6.The Defiants – S/T
7.Sixx AM – Prayers for the Damned/Blessed
8.The Dead Daisies – Make Some Noise
9.Dan Reed Network – Fight Another Day
10.Alter Bridge – The Last Hero
11.Nordic Union – S/T
12.Punky Meadows – Fallen Angel
13.Beasto Blanco – S/T
14.Primal Fear – Rulebreaker
15.Pretty Maids - Kingmaker
16.Jackyl – Rowyco
17.The Aviators – Comin’ On Strong
18.Jim Crean - Insatiable
19.Faithsedge - Restoration
20.Whitford/St. Holmes - Reunion
Femme Fatale - One For The Road
Kix - Can't Stop The Show The Return of Kix
Lita Ford - Time Capsule
1. Apocalyptic Lovers - Redemption Vol 1
2. Damon Johnson - Echo
3. Autograph - Louder
4. Chris Green - Unveil
1 Grindstone, Cold Truth
2. Rock the Cradle, Crossbones
4 Kingmaker, Pretty Maids
5. Reckless Love, Invader
6 Wild Rose 4
7 Apocalyptic Lovers, Redemption Vol 1
8 Dead Daisies, Make some Noise
10 Angels Or Kings - Go Ask the Moon
~THE MUSIC GOD CJ PLAIN's TOP 30~
30) TEMPT - Runaway
29) Major Crush - Trophy Kids
28) The Defiants - The Defiants
27) Ted Poley - Beyond The Fade
26) The Tip - Sailor's Grave
25) King Company - One For The Road
24) Kee Marcello - Scaling Up
23) Pretty Maids - Kingmaker
22) Eclipse - Armageddonize
21) Billion Dollar Babies - Chemical God
20) Massive Wagons - Welcome To The World
19) KAATO - Kaato
18) Nordic Union - Nordic Union
17) Darkh - A Story Yet Untold
16) Bryan Cole - Sands of Time
15) Apocalyptic Lovers - Redemption, Volume 1
14) Roth Brock Project - Roth Brock Project
13) Tyketto - Reach
12) Jim Crean - Insatiable
11) Nitroville - Cheating The Hangman
10) Madysin Hatter - Lose Your Mind
9) Gene The Werewolf - The Loner
8) Jace Pawlak - Promise
7) Faithsedge - Restoration
6) Mitch Malloy - Making Noise
5) Catalano - Dark Skies
4) Sister - Stand Up, Forward, March!
3) Michael Sweet - One Sided War
2) deVIence - deVIence
1) Jim Breuer and The Loud & Rowdy - Songs From The Garage
Read more details on CJ's here.
Courtesy of Hair Metal Mansion, www.hairbangersradio.ning.com