Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time

KamerTunesBlog Year In Review 2011

It’s that time of year, when music critics, bloggers and fans compile lists of their favorite albums of the year, and KamerTunesBlog is no exception. I created this blog to document my rediscovery of artists I like enough to have purchased the bulk of their catalogs, but for some reason never got to know them as well as my favorite artists. In the first 9 months of blogging, I’ve written over 40 posts and revisited more than 120 albums, so I’ve covered a lot of ground. Following are two lists of my favorite discoveries and re-discoveries (with links to the related posts, in case you missed them the first time), plus two lists of other albums I’ve enjoyed this year apart from the blog. Thanks to everyone who has visited, shared their thoughts, and who might have been inspired to check out some great music they never knew or had forgotten about. I hope everyone has a happy New Year, and I look forward to sharing more discoveries with you in 2012.

Albums I Didn’t Know Were Great, But Now I Love Them
Van Morrison – Saint Dominic’s Preview
Van Morrison – A Period Of Transition
Talking Heads – Talking Heads: 77
Talking Heads – The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads (Live)
The Band – Stage Fright
The Band – The Basement Tapes
Roxy Music – Stranded
Paul Simon – There Goes Rhymin’ Simon
Paul Simon – Hearts And Bones
Joni Mitchell – The Hissing Of Summer Lawns
Joni Mitchell – Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter
Joni Mitchell – Night Ride Home
David Bowie – Space Oddity
David Bowie – The Man Who Sold The World
David Bowie – Station To Station

Albums I Already Thought Were Great, And Now I’ve Confirmed It
Van Morrison – Moondance
Van Morrison – Tupelo Honey
Van Morrison – Hymns To The Silence
The Band – Music From Big Pink
The Band – The Band
The Band – The Last Waltz (box set)
Roxy Music – Country Life
Paul Simon – Graceland
Paul Simon – Songs From The Capeman
Joni Mitchell – Court And Spark
Joni Mitchell – Hejira
Joni Mitchell – Mingus
Television – Marquee Moon
Television – Adventure
David Bowie – Hunky Dory
David Bowie – The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust…

Albums Released In 2011 That I Love (in alphabetical order)
And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Tao Of The Dead
Beardfish – Mammoth
Big Country – Dreams Stay With You: Live In Edinburgh (I was at this show)
Blackfield – Welcome To My DNA
Lindsey Buckingham – Seeds We Sow
Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare
The Decemberists – The King Is Dead
Chris Difford – Cashmere If You Can
Dream Theater – A Dramatic Turn Of Events
The Duke And The King – The Duke And The King
Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys
Steve Hackett – Beyond The Shrouded Horizon
PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
Jakszyk Fripp & Collins – A Scarcity Of Miracles
The Jayhawks – Mockingbird Time
Shelby Lynne – Revelation Road
My Morning Jacket – Circuital
Opeth – Heritage
Rumer – Seasons Of My Soul
Shearwater – The Golden Archipelago
Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What
The Tedeschi Trucks Band – Revelator
Teddy Thompson – Bella
Mike Viola – Electro De Perfecto
Tom Waits – Bad As Me
Lucinda Williams – Blessed
Steven Wilson – Grace For Drowning
Yes – Fly From Here
Young Knives – Ornaments From The Silver Arcade

Reissues & Compilations I Loved, And Artists I Finally Discovered, In 2011
Kevin Ayers – Songs For Insane Times (4-CD anthology)
Blue Murder – Blue Murder
Burning Spear – Chant Down Babylon (2-CD anthology)
Chic – Magnifique: The Very Best Of Chic
Leonard Cohen – The Complete Studio Albums Collection
Dukes Of Stratosphear – expanded reissues of the two albums
The Durutti Column – The Best Of The Durutti Column
Kathleen Edwards – Asking For Flowers
Ben Folds – The Best Imitation Of Myself (3-CD edition)
Serge Gainsbourg – Histoire De Melody Nelson
Grand Drive – Grand Drive
Donny Hathaway – Free Soul: The Classic Soul Of Donny Hathaway
The Jayhawks – Hollywood Town Hall/Tomorrow The Green Grass (expanded)
Billy Joel – The Complete Albums Collection
The Motels – Apocalypso
Orange Juice – …Coals To Newcastle (box set)
Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon & Wish You Were Here (Immersion Editions)
Sky – reissues of both albums (Doug Fieger’s old band, before The Knack)
The Swell Season (everything they’ve released so far)
Richard Thompson – Live At The BBC (box set)
Yes – Union Live (Deluxe Edition)

2 comments on “KamerTunesBlog Year In Review 2011

  1. Dina
    January 3, 2012

    I strongly agree with a couple of the albums on your “Albums Released in 2011 That I Love” list. Big Country – Dreams Stay With You: Live In Edinburgh: I was at that show too. There was great energy from the band- they looked like they were having so much fun up on stage. And that great energy spilled into the audience. But I wonder if being at a show places an unfair bias toward liking an album. Do I like it because it brings back the emotions of the experience of being there? Or, do I like it because it’s genuinely good? I think it’s a little of both. Either way, I’ll keep listening and enjoying it.
    Rumer – Seasons Of My Soul: Her music sounded familiar from the first time I listened to this album. But, it’s not predictable. Maybe it’s how her voice reminds me of Karen Carpenter’s. The album is comforting though and I like it.
    I don’t think I’ve heard the newest Mike Viola album yet, but does he have a BAD album?


    • I’m glad we both enjoyed that Big Country show. To answer your question, I believe that being at a show does affect one’s judgment of the live album, since there are specific emotions involved.

      I agree about the Rumer album sounding familiar, and I can definitely hear the Karen Carpenter influence. There are few better singers to emulate, and considering that it’s been nearly 3 decades since we lost Karen Carpenter, it’s nice to hear a similar voice writing & recording wonderful songs. I’m just disappointed that the album was never released in the U.S., and I’m not sure if she ever toured here. Hopefully a record company will release it and give her music the exposure it deserves.

      As for Mike Viola, he’s been consistently good-to-great since I first heard his music over 15 years ago, and this new album is no exception. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed when you hear it.

      Thanks for commenting, and happy New Year.


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