2020 Albums

2020 was a weird year in so many ways. But one definite outcome was that I bought fewer albums than I’ve done in previous years, albeit my spend on EPs (and live albums) probably went up significantly.

Partly that was down to a lack of visits to record shops. Whilst my pre-order shopping would be split between the artists and record shops, those spec purchases I make when I’m actually in a shop, just didn’t happen.

Whether or not that had an influence on the type of records that made it into the upper echelons of my selections I can’t be sure. But this feels like one of the more conservative lists I’ve produced in the lifetime of the blog, certainly if you consider that a good proportion of the top albums are by long-standing artists such as Thurston Moore,  Bob Mould and Wire. Having said that I’d argue that these are all examples of fine late period works, even if there’s little in the way of innovation.

I’ve also taken a different approach to listing my favourite albums. Previously I’ve always managed to rank the records individually such that, at least on the day, I’m reasonably satisfied. But this year, I find the idea of ranking my favourite records well-nigh impossible. So, I’ve banded the records broadly and within these bands, the records are listed alphabetically.

I hummed and hawed about picking a favourite, principally because I found it difficult to choose one, but in the end I think my song-for-song favourite is the first Wire album of the Year ‘Mind Hive’. So I can live with it as this year’s choice.

1. Wire – Mind Hive

A+

Stephen Fellows – Slow Glass

Man of Moon – Dark Sea

Thurston Moore – By The Fire

Bob Mould – Blue Hearts

Nap Eyes – Snapshot of a Beginner

The Pictish Trail – Thumb World

Savage Mansion – Weird Country

Sophia – Holding On / Letting Go

Vulture Party – Vulture Party

The Wants – Container

Warm Digits – Flight of Ideas

Working Men’s Club – Working Men’s Club

A

The Dream Syndicate – The Universe Inside

Echo Machine – Instant Transmissions

Fontaines DC – A Hero’s Death

Chris Forsyth and Garcia Peoples – The People’s Motel

Clementine March – Le Continent

Lee Ranaldo & Raul Refree – Tales of North End Women

Randolph’s Leap – (You Can’t Put The) Brakes on Love

Rolling Blackouts CF – Sideways to New Italy

Throwing Muses – Sun Racket

Wire – 10/20

B+

The Beths – Jump Rope Gazers

Julian Cope – Self Civil War

Tanya Donelly and the Parkington Sisters

Callum Easter – The Green Door Sessions

Martha Ffion – Nights to Forget

Chris Forsyth / Dave Harrington / Ryan Jewell / Spencer Zahn – First Flight

The Friends of David McComb – Truckload of Sky

Good Dog – Creature

Lovely Eggs – I Am Moron

Mitchell Museum – Skinny Tricks

No Age – Goons Be Good

AR Pinewood – No Life

Protomartyr – Ultimate Success Today

Randolph’s Leap – Howling at The Sun

Nadine Shah – Kitchen Sink

Adam Stafford – Diamonds of a Horse Famine

Steve Wynn – Solo Acoustic Vol 1

Pocket Knife and Moonsoup – Archipelago Vols 3 and 4

Circle Meets Dot and Henry & Fleetwood – Archipelago Vols 5 and 6

Compilations

Last Night From Glasgow Isolation Sessions

Citizen Bravo, Raymond MacDonald and Friends – Return to Y’Hup – The World of Ivor Cutler

Reissues

Steve Wynn – Decade

An 11 disc bonanza which collects 6 albums, the e-Music Singles collection and a whole range of bonus tracks

Scars – Author! Author!

Robert Forester– Danger In The Past / Calling From A Country Phone

Live albums (all downloads)

Arab Strap – Primavera Sound: Live In Barcelona

Savage Mansion – Live at the Hug & Pint

Thula Borah – You Only Die Twice

The Twilight Sad – Live

Withered Hand – Could Ya Do The Woo Woos?