THE 2013 MELROCK AWARDS
Welcome to the 2013 MelRock Awards.
Thanks again for reading and the great enthusiasm for these awards each year. For anyone new to this - this is not a vote or a poll; this is my own personal take on the music and news that I covered on MelodicRock.com over the course of 2013. These are my favourite songs, my favourite albums and whatever else...
In listing these artists and also handing out some awards, it is my hope as always that it will help remind folks of some music they missed or help them appreciate some of the artists behind the music for their efforts in 2013.
Enjoy the read and do let me know what you think!
Following up an acclaimed debut is no easy task, but these guys moved from a project to a band with this excellent sophomore release. A tougher, more cohesive album that contained some more stunning melodic rock songs.
Mood Swings II
This has to be the best effort at re-recording a classic album/old material by any band yet. The guys captured the energy and vibe of the original and still managed to add a few little twists. And the three new songs were as stunning as possibly could be.
I Will Survive
A sum of its parts more than individual highlights, but in the end it was everything that folks expected from the highly accomplished pair of Greer and Slamer. A more technical and progressive slice of melodic rock this time around, and so much depth to the production.
We Don't Belong
With hardly any promotion and a label that disappeared soon after the release of this album, the Swedish lads still managed to push a genre forward with a highly addictive and memorable set of songs that helps modernize the classic melodic rock sound we all love.
Tour De Force
Proof that a band can still continue to learn and improve, even on their fifth outing. The band struggled with the album prior to this, but stormed back to the forefront of Scandi melodic hard rock here.
Magnus Karlsson's FreeFall - Magnus Karlsson's FreeFall
- Powerful, passionate and right in your face from start to end!
Eden's Curse - Symphony Of Sin
- From diversity comes the rewards...and EC storm back with their most melodic work yet.
Adriangale - Suckerpunch
- Great to have these guys back and.
Heaven & Earth - Dig
- The return of classic rock - in a truly classic sense. An epic album right out of 1977.
The Winery Dogs - The Winery Dogs
- You can teach an old dog new tricks! An inspired pairing of musicians here. /font>
|11||House Of Shakira - Pay To Play|
|12||Steve Lukather - Transition|
|13||Vega - What The Hell|
|14||Find Me - Wings Of Love|
|15||Revolution Road - Revolution Road|
|16||The Theander Expression - Strange Nostalgia|
|17||John Elefante - On My Way To The Sun|
|18||Newman - Siren|
|19||Brett Walker - Straight Jacket Vacation|
|20||Faith Circus - Turn Up The Band|
|21||Covered Call - Impact|
|22||Stryper - No More Hell To Pay|
|23||Fergie Frederiksen - Any Given Moment|
|24||Crashdiet - The Savage Playgound|
|25||Royal Hunt - A Life To Die For|
|26||N.O.W. - Bohemian Kingdom|
|27||Burning Rain - Epic Obsession|
|28||Deep Purple - Now What?!|
|29||Sparklands - Tomocyclus|
|30||Jesse Damon - Midnight In The Garden Of Eve|
|31||Bai Bang - All Around The World|
|32||Laneslide - Flying High|
|33||Tainted Nation - F.E.A.R|
|34||Tom Kiefer - The Way Life Goes|
|35||FM - Rockville|
|36||Fate - If Not For The Devil|
|37||Pretty Maids - Motherland|
|38||Black Star Riders - All Hell Breaks Loose|
|39||Coney Hatch - Four|
Robin Beck - Underneath
Harem Scarem - World Gone To Pieces
Classic melodic rock. Period. Brilliant, infectious and my most played song of 2013!
W.E.T. - Walk Away
Degreed - What If
Harem Scarem - Anarchy
Revolution Road - Shooting Star
- W.E.T. - What You Want
- 7th Key - I Will Survive
- Newman - Feel Her Again
- Degreed - Blind Hearted
Revolution Road - Wings Of Hope
- Royal Hunt - A Life To Die For
- W.E.T. - Broken Wings
- John Elefante - On My Way To The Sun
- House of Shakira - Bending The Law
- Find Me - Dancing To A Broken Heartbeat
- Robin Beck - Wrecking Ball
- Steve Lukather - Judgement Day
- Degreed - Access Denied
- House of Shakira - Pay To Play
Adriangale - The Black And Blue
- The Theander Experience - Conception Of Life
- 7th heaven - We Live Life Young
- N.O.W. - I'm Alive
- Royal Hunt - One Minute Left To Live
- Rage Of Angels - Over And Over
- Eden's Curse - Unbreakable
- Crashdiet - California
- Degreed - Inside of Me
- AOR - Secrets In The Shadows
Eden's Curse - Evil & Divine
- Newman - Scar Of Love
- John Elefante - This Is How The Story Goes
- Faith Circus - Sunshine Radio
- The Winery Dogs - Elevate
- Tainted Nation - Never Promised You Anything
- Steve Lukather - Do I Stand Alone
- Bai Bang - Gonna Make It
- Jesse Damon - Black Widow
- Deep Purple - A Simple Song
Brett Walker - Reaching For The Stars
- Covered Call - Lorainne
- Gary Schutt - Half A World Away
- Eden's Curse - Break The Silence
- Rage Of Angels - See You Walking By
- Faith Circus - Inside The Circus
- The Theander Experience - Strange Nostalgia
- Covered Call - When The Lights Are Out
- Revolution Road - Pretending Hearts
- Arc Angel - California Daze
Laneslide - Flying High
- Dogface - Back On The Street
- Fergie Frederiksen - When The Battle Is Over
- Fergie Frederiksen - Price For Loving You
- LaValle - Don't Cry
- Reckless Love - Night On Fire
- Dream Theater - The Looking Glass
- The Poddles - Shut Up!
- Coney Hatch - Revive
- Covered Call - Hold On
Adgriangale - Could Have Been Me
- Harem Scarem - Brighter Day
- Seventh Key - The Only One
- Heaven & Earth - A Day Like Today
- Houston - I'm Coming Home
- Revolution Road - Revolution Road
- Adriangale - The World We Knew
- Lost Weekend - Perfect
- House of Shakira - Same Old Story
- Dogface - Back On The Streets
- Hardcore Superstar - Above The Law
- Dream Theater - The Enemy Inside
- Magnus Karlsson - Free Fall
- Tainted Nation - Dare You
- Royal Hunt - A Bullet's Tale
- Human Fortress - Child Of War
- Death Dealer - Hammer Down
- Timo Tolkki's Avalon - A World Without Us
- Dream Theater - Surrender To Reason
- Jorn - Traveller
- Taberah - Burning In The Moonlight
- Magnus Karlsson's Freefall - Stronger (feat. Tony Harnell)
- Steve Lukather - Once Again
- Robin Beck - I Swear The Nights
- Heaven & Earth - I Don't Know What Love Is
- W.E.T. - Still Believe
- Steve Lukather - Right The Wrong
- Fergie Frederiksen - How Many Roads
- N.O.W. - Strong Enough
- Robin Beck - Underneath
- Seventh Key - What's Love Supposed To Be
- Faith Circus - Tears You've Never Cried
- Eden's Curse - Fallen From Grace
- Bai Bang - How About Now
- John Elefate - This Time
- Jesse Damon - Save The World
VOCALIST OF THE YEAR:
Fergie Frederiksen (R.I.P.) & Brett Walker (R.I.P.)
Fergie and Brett win for Vocalists Of The Year not only for their superb albums delivered this year, but for their career spanning influence on the melodic music industry. Both were friends of mine and both will be dearly missed.
Honorable Mentions - Jeff Scott Soto (W.E.T), Harry Hess (Harem Scarem), Joe Retta (Heaven & Earth), Robin Ericsson (Degreed), Stefan Berggren (Revolution Road), Nikola Mijic (Eden's Curse), Jamie Rowe (Adriangale).
2012 - Rick Springfield
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:
Thorsten Koehne (Eden's Curse)
A guitarist who I think is underrated when it comes to handing out praise for their work, so hopefully this recognition will go some way to correcting that. His work on the latest Eden's Curse record is simply stunning as is his efforts on the previous albums. Impossible to replicate!
Honorable Mentions - Stuart Smith (Heaven & Earth), Steve Lukather, Mike Slamer (Seventh Key), Pete Lesperance (Harem Scarem), Magnus Karlsson (FreeFall), Vic Rivera (Adriangale), Stu Marshall (Death Dealer, Empires Of Eden) and Richie Kotzen (The Winery Dogs).
2012 - Eddie Van Halen
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:
Mike Mangini (Dream Theater)
A sublime effort on the latest Dream Theater album, giving the band a renewed focus on songwriting and delivering a classic DT album with all the quality and feel of their best work.
Honorable Mentions - Pete Newdeck (Eden's Curse), Richie Onori (Heaven & Earth), Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs), Mats Ericsson (Degreed).
2012 - Alex Van Halen
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:
Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs)
Because he's simply amazing!
Honorable mentions - Billy Greer (Seventh Key), Paul Logue (Eden's Curse), Chuck Wright (Heaven & Earth).
2012 - Wolfgang Van Halen
2011 - Billy Sheehan
2010 - Nalle Pahlsson
2009 - Bruno Ravel
2008 - Matt Bissonette
2007 - Jack Blades
2006 - Marcel Jacob
THE 'ERIC RAGNO' KEYBOARDIST OF THE YEAR AWARD:
Eric Ragno (Jesse Damon, Mecca, London, Redrum, Chasing Violets, Rockers For St. Jude)
Mr. Keyboards is now named the honourary title holder for future Keyboardist Of The Year Awards. So Eric, that means you have to let others have a turn now! Another awesome year for one of the best guys around.
Honorable mentions - Arlan Schierbaum (Heaven & Earth), Alessandro Del Vecchio (Revolution Road, Fergie Frederiksen, Silent Force, AOR, LaValle, Laneslide, Axe), Steve Williams (Eden's Curse).
2012 - Alessandro Del Vecchio
2011 - Eric Ragno
2010 - CJ Vanston
2009 - Darren Wharton
2008 - Eric Ragno
2007 - Eric Ragno.
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR:
Alessandro Del Vecchio (Fergie Frederiksen, Revolution Road, Paris, Charming Grace, Code Of Silence)
Moving from Keyboardist Of The Year in 2012 to Producer OTY in 2013. And 2014 looks no less busy for the Italian maestro who is putting his stamp on a number of high profile projects - all of which have come up winners so far!
Honorable mentions - Dave Jenkins (Heaven & Earth), Paul Logue (Eden's Curse, Code of Silence), Erik Martensson (W.E.T.), Mike Slamer (Seventh Key), CJ Vanston (Steve Lukather)
2012 - Erik Martensson
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.
Lou Reed, George Kristy (White Widdow), Jan Kuehnemund (Vixen), Fernando Perugino Sr. (father of Frontiers Records president Serafino), Allen Lanier (Blue Oyster Cult), Peppi Marchello (The Good Rats), JJ Cale, Shaun Kirkpatrick (Bronz), Magnus Kristensson (Mister Kite), Petra Degelow (Bad Sister), Ray Manzarek (The Doors), Jeff Hanneman (Slayer), Michael Sundén (Swedish rock n roll manager for the likes of ColdSpell and others), Richie Havens, Chrissy Amphlett (The Divinyls), Storm Thorgerson (cover artist), Andy Johns (Producer), Peter Banks (Genesis), Clive Burr (Iron Maiden), Alvin Lee (Ten Years After).
- Bret Michaels - Jammin' With People I Paid A Lot Of Money Too
- Boston - Life, Love & Hope
- Sammy Hagar - Sammy Hagar & Friends
- Thunderfuck & The Deadly Romantics - Starfucker
- Tribute Albums - All Of Them! Down at the Whiskey: A Tribute to Mötley Crüe's Greatest Hits - 1981 - 2013; Still of the Night: A Millennium Tribute to Whitesnake; Fly Like An Eagle – An All-Star Tribute To Steve Miller Band; All-Start Tribute To The Who; All-Star Tribute To Supertramp.
- Amaze Me - Guilty As Sin
- Hedley - Wild Life
- Berlin - Animal
- Kingdom Come - Outlier
WORST PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS:
W. T. F!
Boston - underdone. That one word should sum that whole release up. My review was very critical, yet some others called for my 65% to be further reduced by tenfold! I did receive one single email in the album's defence - a lengthy letter outlining all the reasons why my review was too critical and the score too low, but nothing could ever change my mind there. I'm convinced it will be the final Boston release. Not even the cover art was worthy of the Boston name. Good one Tom!
Bret Michaels - if he's got any friends left after that last solo release I'd be surprised. I can't imagine anyone will ever be talked into future 'special guest' slots on any recording projects. Just get Poison recording again already!
FireFest - final fling indeed. Can't say I blame them. Busting your ass to put on a huge event like that with no financial backing or sponsorship and working within a finite pool of bands that folks will pay to see is a hard task. I should know! MRF4 will likely be the last one for a while also - not because it has/will lose money (not so) - but merely because the investment required to bring in bigger names is too much of a risk without corporate backing. Simple economics. It's a hell of a job to put together, so time for a year off.
I guess we know who won the battle of the Queensryche's!
7th heaven had their own brush with lead singer disease in the form of former Idol contestant Anthony Fedorov. They continue their search for a new long term frontman.
Yngwie Malmsteen issued his own version of history with his Relentless memoir, but the Anders Tengner written unofficial one is far better! www.amazon.com
Note to Jon Bon Jovi - you can run your corporation as you see fit, but don't expect fans to want to buy shares in your corp without question if your MVP isn't there - don't forget what made the corporation what it is today!
Is there a silly band name than State Cows? Please no more naming bands with farm animals.
Best speech EVER - Alex Lifeson for the Rush Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame induction - www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKuO1FpCWRI.
Worst album title for 2013 - Michael Des Barres - Hot And Sticky Live. And the cover does him no favors either...
Air Drums. That is all.