2016 has been a year of seismic and often disturbing change, one with great loss and glimmers of hope to hang onto. A year when we lost some of music’s greats, David Bowie, Prince, Rod Temperton, Maurice White, George Martin and Leonard Cohen to mention just a few. And that’s just in music. We also saw the departure of comedic genius in the shape of Victoria Wood, Caroline Aherne, Gene Wilder, Andrew Sachs aka Manuel from Fawlty Towers and Gary Shandling. In good ol’ Blighty, Brexit became a frightening reality and the USA had one final, nasty, twist up its sleeve with the election of a bigoted, narcissistic reality TV tycoon named Trump.
But amidst all of this, 2016 was a year of the underdog: Leicester City were the unlikely winners of the Premier League. While the humanity and courage that poured forth at Muhammed Ali’s funeral, and everywhere when the people of Aleppo were under siege, still showed that the march of humanity and progress can never be halted by the results of a few elections.
But it was also twelve months crammed with some really great music. The decline in the ‘music industry’ as we knew it, may be very real but the art still shines through the cracks and offers us rays of hope at the end of long dark tunnels. So we raise a glass to fifty albums of the year that were voted for by our core staff members in a blind poll. Full of diversity and brilliance, established names and emerging ones, these 50 albums are a snapshot of our year. We’ll kick you off with albums 21-50 alongside a playlist featuring each act. These will then be followed by albums 1-20 next week presented by our albums editor Loz Etheridge. Meanwhile have a very Merry Christmas and a hopefully Happier New Year. Bill Cummings(Editor)
21) Pet Shop Boys – Super
26) Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
29) Chris Cohen – As If Apart
33) Saul Williams – MartyrLoserKing
35) Christine and The Queens – Chaleur Humaine(Human Warmth)