My Favorite Albums of 2016


Another year gone by, another year filled with musical delights. We lost quite a few musical legends starting in December of 2015 – Scott Weiland, Lemmy Kilmister, David Bowie, Prince, Sharon Jones, Leonard Cohen, and George Michael to name just a few (and let’s not mention an overall list of artists who have left us in 2016). I lost my Aunt unexpectedly back in February the morning after attending a Black Sabbath show. The year was filled with unexpected highs and unexpected lows for me. As with anything in life, sometimes you have to feel bad to feel good (and vice versa). I made some friends, lost some friends, and reconnected with some old friends. Throughout it all, I had music playing. Here are my top albums of 2016:

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Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression


If you had told me late last year that 2016 would herald the coming of masterpiece albums by David Bowie and Iggy Pop, I probably would have been a bit skeptical. And yet, here we are. January brought us a Bowie album that has made my all time favorites list. I speaking of course, of Blackstar, released just two days before the unexpected death of Mr. Bowie. It is one of those rare records that grows in stature with each listen. In fact, I love it even more now than I did when I reviewed it. Industrial pop jazz, it seemed to be the culmination of everything Bowie had striven to create over the last 25 years or so. It was also the greatest grand finale in rock n roll history. 2 1/2 months later, I have in my hands the latest record by David Bowie’s famous 70’s partner in crime, Mr. Iggy Pop. With increased rumblings of this being the last record Iggy will put out, it is fair to ask if this album “pulls a Bowie”. And the answer, my friends, is a resounding yes. Comparisons aren’t always fair, but I’d say it captures the vibe of those two albums Iggy did with Bowie – 1977’s The Idiot and Lust for Life while bringing some of the aggression back from his work with The Stooges. For good measure, there is some Leonard Cohen style crooning on a few songs. An essential listen, it is one of Iggy’s best albums.

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The Stooges – I Wanna Be Your Dog


Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.

Truth be told – I’ve never gotten around to seeing Iggy Pop or the reconstituted Iggy & The Stooges in a live forum. That’s a shame, with the band apparently again on ice. Fortunately, Christmas comes to Seattle in August this year by way of the Raw Power tribute band’s free show on Sunday, August 23rd from the roof of Pike Place Market. The band features Mark Arm of Mudhoney on vocals, Duff McKagan of Guns n Roses on bass, Mike McCready of Pearl Jam on guitar, and Barrett Martin of Screaming Trees on drums (side note – Duff, Mike, and Barrett are also members of a fairly new-ish Seattle group called Walking Papers, whose debut album was incredible). I’m looking forward to the concert, but it also got me thinking – what’s MY favorite song by The Stooges or the later incarnation, Iggy & The Stooges? There are contenders from the 1st three albums, but I always have to come back to the band’s debut single, I Wanna Be Your Dog. The single was released in June of 1969 and stands as arguably one of the heaviest songs of the 60’s. Heavy in a way that paved the way for bands such as The Fall and Sonic Youth (in fact, I mistook it for a song by The Fall during a memorable scene in a Guy Ritchie film for some odd reason). The repetitive guitar riff plays throughout the entirety of the song and once you’ve head it, you’ll never forget it. Sleigh bells and piano (by John Cale!) add to the mix of imminent self-destruction, an unholy atmosphere of riotous rebellion. It certainly stands as my favorite song by The Stooges, but I could easily pick out highlights from each of the band’s albums (including the 2 reunion albums). My only hope is that the Seattle musical icons that make up the Raw Power cover band find it in their hearts to play this gem – one of the greatest songs of all time.