Newt’s Top 10 Albums of 2018

By Steve Newton This year I picked some instrumental rock, some hard rock, some southern rock, and some Beatles, but the underlying thread running through most of this stuff is the blues. You just can't beat the blues. Joe Satriani What Happens Next Bay Area guitar wizard hooks up once again with Langley producer Mike Fraser … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 Albums of 2018

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2017

By Steve Newton Welcome to the old-rocker department. You won’t find much in the hip-and-happening realm here, but it’s not all about the kids, ya know. Gregg Allman Southern Blood One of the hardest-hitting musician deaths this year was southern-rock legend Gregg Allman’s passing in May of complications from liver cancer. But he left his millions … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2017

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1991

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 1991 By Steve Newton Rap and dance music made strong inroads in 1991, but the year wasn’t a total write-off. The sacred power of the electric guitar could still be heard above the soulless clatter of MC Moronitis and DJ Jerkaround. Danny Gatton 88 Elmira St.  Fellow scribe … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1991

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1990

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 1990 By Steve Newton A good portion of my album picks for the year turned out to be from ageing rock veterans. Maybe 1990 wasn’t a great year for new artists—or maybe I just missed ’em—but the tunes that really got me going were by artists I’ve followed … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1990

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1986

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 19, 1986 By Steve Newton Steve Earle Guitar Town Catchy country-rock with a down home feel that sounds fresh even after repeated listenings. Eurythmics Revenge Irresistible little rock gems that make you hum whether you want to or not. Brian Setzer The Knife Feels Like Justice Stray Cat … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1986

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2016

By Steve Newton Please, God, don’t let any more of my rock heroes die this year. Jeff Beck Loud Hailer The world’s greatest living rock guitarist isn’t resting on his laurels at the age of 72. With Loud Hailer—another term for “megaphone”—Beck delivers a fresh-sounding blast of intense, politically minded rock. His fretwork has never … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2016

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1983

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 13, 1984 By Steve Newton Stevie Ray Vaughan Texas Flood  “Texas Flood is by far my most played album these days. It’s one of those rare albums where every song is a winner…if your’re a fanatic of electric blues guitar, you’ve got to have this record.” Gary Moore Corridors … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1983

Newt’s top 10 albums of 2003

By Steve Newton In a fucked-up music world where turntables pass for musical instruments, thuggish recording “artists” are judged by how many bullets they’ve taken, and the week’s top seller is directly related to whichever surgically altered and heavily made-up tart has the skankiest video, it’s no wonder I’m such a cranky bugger when the … Continue reading Newt’s top 10 albums of 2003

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2008

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 10, 2008 By Steve Newton I still like the sound of guitars the best. Martone Clean  Local rock-guitar instrumentalist Dave Martone aims for the stratosphere with his self-produced debut on the New York specialty label Magna Carta. His band includes primo bassist David Spidel and drummer Daniel Adair, who no doubt … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2008

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2006

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 20, 2006 By Steve Newton Throughout 2006, as in the previous few years, an American idiot named George inspired recording artists everywhere to lambaste his putrid foreign policies. Others just wanted to rock out. Neil Young Living With War  Although it includes a couple of duds, Young’s antiwar offering is … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2006

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2010

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 15, 2010 By Steve Newton Drive-By Truckers The Big To-Do “Birthday Boy” has to be the greatest rock song of the year, and it’s no surprise it was written and sung by the underrated Mike Cooley. The other main DBT tunesmith, Patterson Hood, does his part as well, especially on the booze-fuelled … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2010

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2011

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 14, 2011 By Steve Newton It wasn’t a great year for humanity, what with Fukushima and all, but at least there was some good music released along with the hot particles. Foo Fighters Wasting Light The Foos went back to the garage on their seventh studio album, and lucky for us … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2011

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2012

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 13, 2012 By Steve Newton Sorry, I’m just not into the Gangnam style. Neil Young and Crazy Horse Psychedelic Pill  The Can-Am rock legend gets back together with his favourite combo for a platter that, while not in the league of Crazy Horse offerings like Zuma and Ragged Glory, still delivers … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2012

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2013

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 11, 2013 By Steve Newton Whatever happened to the Gangnam style? Gov't Mule Shout!  Mule fans got a double dose of their favourite southern-flavoured blues/jam-rock outfit this time around, as all 11 tracks on Shout! were rerecorded on a second disc with a stellar cast of guest singers, including Ben Harper, … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2013

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2014

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 10, 2014 By Steve Newton One of the biggest music stories of 2014 concerned the trials and tribulations of AC/DC, which had one original member retire due to dementia and another facing criminal charges. The return of Pink Floyd after two decades also made a few headlines—or garnered a ton … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2014

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2002

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 12, 2002 By Steve Newton My fave recorded music this year, as listed below, ranges from garage-y, instrumental prog-metal to fingerstyle acoustic-guitar wizardry, from improvisatory jam bands to North Mississippi hill-country blues. Everything involves guitars; I still haven’t come to grips with how a turntable can be anything … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2002

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2001

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 13, 2001 By Steve Newton Cranky bugger that I am, I often use my allotted space to vent my displeasure with the popular, live music–killin’ DJ scene, but this year I don’t feel like it. Oops, what’s that down there in my Strokes entry? John Hammond Wicked Grin  … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2001

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2000

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 14, 2000 By Steve Newton Sometimes I feel like I don’t know anything at all about popular music. Maybe you feel that way too—like I don’t know anything at all about popular music. I just don’t understand how a hate-filled sicko like Eminem can be revered by millions. … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2000

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1998

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 17, 1998 By Steve Newton Yee-hah! I managed to make it through yet another year without having to listen to anyone named DJ anything. The Tragically Hip Phantom Power  Ontario’s guitar-rock kings continue their winning ways with a potent batch of raggedy ruminations on everything Canadian, from Bobby … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1998

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1997

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 18, 1997 By Steve Newton There were a lot of things that sucked the biggie in the world of music this year. From a local angle, the major disappointment was the continued vacancy of the once-fabulous Commodore Ballroom. Nationally, the lack of a new studio album from the … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1997

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1996

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 1996 By Steve Newton Neither of my two favourite recording artists released any music in ’96, but even though I had to suffer through the serious withdrawal of no Jeff Beck or Joe Satriani, the year had its moments. Various Artists Twang! A Tribute to Hank Marvin & the … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1996

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1995

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 1995 By Steve Newton I must have gotten tired of listening to rock vocalists in 1995, because the majority of my top picks for the year turned out to be instrumental releases. Who needs to rack their brain deciphering lyrics when a well-handled guitar can do all the … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1995

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1993

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 23, 1993 By Steve Newton Popular music hit an all-time low this year with the outbreak of something called gangsta rap, an ugly, expletive-laden noise that degrades women and glorifies real-life crime and violence. We can only hope this latest strain of the rap virus will help bring … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1993

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1992

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 1992 By Steve Newton I was really hoping that I’d be able to praise 1992 as the year that rap “music” finally dried up and blew away, but the music industry’s lucrative plot to make recording “artists” out of low-talent bozos grows stronger by the day. Fortunately, there … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1992

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2015

By Steve Newton The more I see pictures of headphone-wearing DJs alone on-stage, dickin’ around with laptops and turntables, the more I think: fvck off. Bottle Rockets South Broadway Athletic Club  One of the world’s most underrated bands comes up with a killer album of catchy guitar rock that rivals its stellar ’94 release, The Brooklyn … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2015

Stevie Ray Vaughan tops my Top 10 albums of 1983

It's always fun getting your Top 10 albums of the year list together. My list for 2013 went out earlier this month, including longtime faves like Gov't Mule, Steve Earle, Buddy Guy, Sabbath, and Satch. But when I was rustling around in my boxes of old Georgia Straights recently I came across my Top 10 … Continue reading Stevie Ray Vaughan tops my Top 10 albums of 1983

The Newt’s top 10 albums of 2013

Gov't Mule Shout! Mule fans got a double dose of their favourite southern-flavoured blues/jam-rock outfit this time around, as all 11 tracks on Shout! were rerecorded on a second disc with a stellar cast of guest singers, including Ben Harper, Dr. John, Steve Winwood, Grace Potter, and West Van resident Elvis Costello. Black Sabbath 13 It was definitely a … Continue reading The Newt’s top 10 albums of 2013