The 2012 MelRock Awards
Welcome to the 2012 MelRock Awards. I know...it's 2014 already. Only a year late! This is where I roll out my usual "it's never too late to discover or remember great music you might have missed..." line. Hopefully it still works!
I apologize profusely for the ridiculously late (and hopefully not too irrelevant) 2012 Awards page. The 2013 page is right around the corner...stand by...
I've made sure to complete these awards, as 2012 was truly a killer year for music. Some amazing albums were on offer, where any of the top 5-6 could have been Album Of The Year in any other year and the plethora of classic songs made Song Of The Year almost impossible to pick. The runners up are all great songs that deserve to be in your collections - do check them out if you haven't already had them in high rotation for the last 18+ months!
Songs For The End Of The World
Not too many 60+ year olds continue to kick ass with new tunes, and even less of them can make a statement as fresh, as vibrant and as contemporary as this album. Rick Springfield delivers arguably his best album since the 80s - an album that is filled with his usual angst filled anthems, but delivered with an upbeat attitude. The energy within these songs is something a 30 year old would be proud of. There was no question this would be my album of the year after I'd had it a week. It really is the perfect melodic rock album for me and many others.
These Swedish lads deserve to be huge - their attitude, attention to detail and energy flows through every track on this album. The guys get better and better with age and fans were relieved to see that the long wait for this album was well worth it. Taking a heavier direction, the guys really turned it on and nailed it. Harmonies, melodies and rousing rock anthems from start to finish. Another perfect album in my estimation.
Address The Nation
I didn't award this album a perfect score, but it was so damn close. And as time went on, it continues to be an album on high rotation and of constant enjoyment, so for that reason it edges out the also awesome Jimi Jamison album at #4. The band took a gamble on newcomer Erik Gronwall and discovered a match made in heaven. The slightly different approach Erik brings to the table has in my view, taken this band to the next level and on the brink of world domination. This is how I love my melodic rock delivered and Erik's vocals are simply brilliant.
Never Too Late
Teaming with the guy that can do no wrong - Erik Martensson - Jimi delivers one of his best vocal performances ever on an album packed with hard hitting songs that define his career. Anthems, heartfelt melodies and emotional vocals. Fist in the air, feel good music, all delievred with a powerful production. Perfect for all fans of Jimi's past and present and still a much loved album for me.
A Different Kind Of Truth
One of my favourite groups of all time. But no one gave them a chance of recapturing former glories, so it was with genuine excitement and amazement that this album not only matched the long held expectations, but exceeded them. The energy within this album was my biggest surprise, I really didn't expect the tempo to be quite so furious from these old dogs. But what a great album - pieced together through adversity and a less than standard way of recording, but whatever they did - it worked!
Halestrom - The Strange Case Of...
- The best female fronted hard rock band on the planet and an album that lives up to that claim. The songs are fantastic and the production truly in your face. And the ballads! They are just fantastic.
Shinedown - Amaryllis
- And the best modern rock/metal band on the planet right here. They can do no wrong. The vocals of Smith and the power from the rest of the band make them leaders in their field.
Pride Of Lions - Immortal
- Life in the old dog yet... The Jim Peterik/Toby Hitchcock vehicle returns for another album of pomp friendly, feel good, anthemic old school melodic rock.
Magnum - On The 13th Day
- Another veteran of the scene also turning on their best, showing bands twenty years their junior just how it's done. Their best album since reforming.
Jack Blades - Rock N Roll Ride
- Jack's second solo album is a far better and more consistent album than his debut and sits right alongside the awesome Night Ranger album from 2011 as a must have release.
|11||Lionville - II|
|12||Hartmann - Balance|
|13||Jeff Scott Soto - Damage Control|
|14||Black Country Communion - Afterglow|
|15||Hardline - Danger Zone|
|16||Hess - Living In Yesterday|
|17||Rush - Clockwork Angels|
|18||Delta Goodrem - Child Of The Universe|
|19||Bonrud - Save Tomorrow|
|20||Romeo's Daughter - Rapture|
|21||Threshold - March Of Progress|
|22||Richard Marx - Inside My Head|
|23||Sunstorm - Emotional Fire|
|24||Loverboy - Rock N Roll Revival|
|25||Ten - Heresey & Creed|
|26||Dare - Calm Before The Storm II|
|27||Trixter - New Audio Machine|
|28||Lover Under Cover - Set The Night On Fire|
|29||Sapphire Eyes - Sapphire Eyes|
|30||Europe - Bag Of Bones|
|31||Tango Down - Identity Crisis|
|32||Circus Maximus - Nine|
|33||Asia - XXX|
|34||House Of Shakira - HoS|
|35||Jeremey Frederick - Every Little Thing|
|36||Lita Ford - Living Like A Runaway|
|37||Casablanca - Apocalyptic Youth|
|38||Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball|
|39||Empires Of Eden - Channelling The Infinite|
|40||Empires Of Eden - Channelling The Infinite|
Rick Springfield - Our Ship's Sinking
Rick Springfield - Wide Awake
H.EA.T. - Breaking The Silence
Eclipse - Wake Me Up
Jimi Jamison - Everybody's Got A Broken Heart
- Rick Springfield - One Way Street
- H.E.A.T. - Living On The Run
- Van Halen - You And Your Blues
- Eclipse - Bleed And Scream
H.E.A.T - It's All About Tonight
- Jeff Scott Soto - Die A Little
- Pride Of Lions - Delusional
- Jimi Jamison - Never Too Late
- Rick Springfield - Signs Of Life
- Jim Jamison - Not Tonight
- Van Halen - Trouble With Never
- H.E.A.T. - Better Off Alone
- Eclipse - Battlegrounds
- Hardline - 10,000 Reasons
Jeff Scott Soto - Damage Control
- Van Halen - China Town
- Pride Of Lions - Immortal
- Gotthard - Remember It's Me
- Jack Blades - Born For This
- Eclipse - Bitter Taste
- Shinedown - Unity
- Halestorm - Mrs. Hyde
- Magnum - So Let It Rain
- Pride Of Lions - Tie Down The Wind
Hartmann - All Of My Life
- Rick Springfield - My Last Heartbeat
- Shinedown - Adrenaline
- Richie Sambora - Every Road Lead Back To You
- Magnum - Shadowtown
- Van Halen - Blood & Fire
- Threshold - Ashes
- Richard Marx - Had Enough
- Romeo's Daughter - Alive
- Bonrud - Bullet In The Back
Lita Ford - Living Like A Runaway
- Miles of Will - Wild Ride
- Pride Of Lions - Vital Signs
- Shinedown - I'm Not Alright
- Delta Goodrem - Child Of The Universe
- Tango Down - Back To Life
- Sunstorm - Never Give Up
- H.E.A.T. - Need Her
- Tyketto - Faithless
- Miles of Will - Time & Place
- Loverboy - Heartbreaker
- Jack Blades - Back In The Game
- Trixter - Tattoo's & Misery
- Shinedown - Adrenalin
- Threshold - Ashes
- Shinedown - Enemies
- Halestorm - Love Bites (So Do I)
- Threshold - Coda
- Empires Of Eden - This Time
- Circus Maximus - Architect Of Fortune
- Black Majesty - Lost Highway
- Bloodbound - Mr. Darkness
- Adrenalin Mob - Indifferent
- Delta Goodrem - I'm Not Ready
- Halestorm - Break In
- H.EA.T. - The One And Only
- Hardline - Please Have Faith In Me
- Hess - It's Over
- Jeremey Frederick - This Is Your Life
- Lita Ford - Mother
- Pride Of Lions - Are You The Same Girl
- Richard Marx - Wouldn't Let You Love Me
- Hartmann - The Best Is Yet To Come
- Ten - The Riddle
- Wigelius - Talking About Love
- Aerosmith - What Could Have Been Love
VOCALIST OF THE YEAR:
2012 was a year of veterans showing how it's done and Rick's vocal performance on his latest album was nothing short of stunning.
Honorable Mentions - Erik Gronwall (H.E.A.T); Toby Hitchcock; Jimi Jamison; Lzzy Hale (Halestorm); Brent Smith (Shinedown)
2011 - Eric Martin
2010 - Marcie Free
2009 - John Elefante
2008 - Arnel Pineda
2007 - Mike Reno
2006 - Pekka Ansio Heino
2005 - Jorn Lande
2004 - Jeff Scott Soto
2003 - Harry Hess.
GUITARIST OF THE YEAR:
Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)
Class is class. Exceeding all expectations and still relevant after 30 years of making music...still showing the kids how it's done.
Honorable Mentions - Rick Springfield; Erik Martinsson; Magnus Henriksson; Joe Hottinger (Halestorm); Zach Myers (Shinedown), Jim Peterik (Pride Of Lions).
2011 - Neal Schon
2010 - Steve Lukather
2009 - Erik Martensson
2008 - Doug Aldrich
2007 - Thorsten Koehne
2006 - Steve Lukather
2005 - Magnus Karlsson
DRUMMER OF THE YEAR:
Alex Van Halen (Van Halen)
Who would have given Van Halen a chance of delivering a high-energy album after all these years? And the old guy behind the kit hammering away furiously like a 20 year old is this year's Drummer of The Year.
Honorable Mentions - Barry Kerch (Shinedown); Arejay Hale (Halestorm); Rodger Carter (Rick Springfield); Robban Back (Eclipse).
2011 - Pat Torpey
2010 - Jamie Borger
2009 - Steve West
2008 - The Drum Machine
2007 - Kelly Keagy
2006 - Simon Phillips
2005 - Daniel Flores.
BASSIST OF THE YEAR:
Wolfgang Van Halen (Van Halen)
The kid delivers. On a hiding to nothing - son of the band's legendary guitarist and deposing the very popular Michael Anthony - Wolfgang withstands the pressure and shows talent runs in the bloodlines. A great effort on the VH album.
Honorable mentions - Matt Bissonette (Rick Springfield), Jack Blades, Glenn Hughes (Black Country Communion).
2011 - Billy Sheehan
2010 - Nalle Pahlsson
2009 - Bruno Ravel
2008 - Matt Bissonette
2007 - Jack Blades
2006 - Marcel Jacob
KEYBOARDIST OF THE YEAR:
Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, Lionville, Issa, Empires of Eden, Laneslide)
The Italian master made 2012 his own with a hand in more than 10 albums over the course of the year, either playing, writing and/or producing...with even more coming up in 2013/2014!
Honorable mentions - "Mr. Keyboards" Eric Ragno, Michael T Ross, Jim Peterik (Pride Of Lions), Mark Stanway (Magnum).
2011 - Eric Ragno
2010 - CJ Vanston
2009 - Darren Wharton
2008 - Eric Ragno
2007 - Eric Ragno.
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR:
Erik Martensson (For the Eclipse album - with Magnus Henriksson - and also the Jimi Jamison album)
Two fantastic albums with huge, bombastic sound...brining the best out of everyone.
Honorable mentions - Ross Hogarth (Van Halen); Rick Springfield & Matt Bissonette; Tobias Lindell (H.E.A.T); Howard Benson (Halestorm); Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, Lionville, as well as helping with parts in Frozen Rain, Code of Silence, Charming Grace, Sapphire Eyes, Wheels Of Fire)
2011 - Kevin Shirley
2010 - Steve Lukather, CJ Vanston, Steve MacMillan
2009 - Erik Martensson
2008 - Dennis Ward
2007 - Dennis Ward
2006 - Harry Hess & Pete Lesperance (Harem Scarem)
2005 - Dennis Ward
2004 - Fabrizio V.Zee Grossi
2003 - Tommy Denander.
Chris Stamp (Manager The Who); Elysium's guitarist/vocalist Terry Allen; Rick Chadock - guitarist for White Sister; Beyond The Bridge guitar and keyboard player Simon Oberender; Scandal keyboard player Benjy King; Rob Grant, founding member and bass player of the Canadian group Sarasin; guitarist for Starship - Mark Abrahamian; Elton John's longtime bassist Bob Birch; Daryl Cotton iconic figure in Australia, vocalist for Zoot & solo; Larry Hoppen, one of the founding members of the band Orleans; the legend Jon Lord (Deep Purple); John Harrison, founding bassist for legendary space rock band Hawkwind; Rock City Angels frontman/founder Bobby Durang; Tommy Shaw's mom; Mark McConnell (Seb Bach band drummer); comedian CC Banana; Men At Work's Greg Ham; pop culture icon Dick Clark; Child's Play frontman Brian Jack; Doobie Brothers drummer Michael Hossack; legendary guitar great Ronnie Montrose; The Monkees' Davey Jones; Sven Gali guitarist Dee Cernile; Dean Alrich, aka Rockindeano; Riot guitarist Mark Reale; Robbie France (played drums for UFO and Diamond Head); Therese Hanserot, the original lead singer in Destiny.
May these great names all be remembered for their contribution to music and may they continue to rest in peace, with their collective legacies living on.
- Axxis - Rediscovered
- Yngwie Malmsteen - Spellbound
- S.A. Adams - Unearthed
- Cannon - Burning Love
- Steve Harris - British Lion
- Kaisas - Unify
- Dee Snider - Dee Does Broadway
- The Angels - Take It To The Streets
- Imperial State Electric - Pop War
- Great White - Elation
Seriously Great White....you only had the budget for half an album cover??
Could there be a worse band name than Audio Porn?
Dee Snider doing Broadway. In what universe do some of these artists think that albums like these will appeal to the fan base?
Longest album title of 2012: Docker's Guild - The Mystic Technocracy - Season 1: The Age Of Ignorance. Quite a mouthful! Very interesting album though.
I'm still trying to work out how Night Ranger came up with "24 Strings and a Drummer". If Brad had 12 strings, Joel also, then what about Jack's bass? That'd make 28. If Brad had 6 and Joel 12 plus Jack, then that's 22. And what about Eric's keys? Ah well...it's a great album!
UPDATE: "NR called it "24 strings" because Blades actually play a guitar on the DVD, not a bass. And in the middle of the concert, they have an extra guitarist from Shaw-Blades help them, so 4x six strings guitars..." Still doesn't explain the keyboards :)
German rockers Dominoe FINALLY released an album without the song Here I Am on it! Congrats guys...
I'm sure there was lots more, but this was 2012, I can't think back that far. Time to get onto the 2013 Awards!