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MARK TAYLOR'S BIG CITY NIGHTS
BEST OF 2012
BEST BAND - LYNYRD SKYNYRD
The band been ridiculed these past two decades for carrying on since that fateful plane crash, but Lynyrd Skynyrd is one big evolving family who have just made the best album since 'Street Survivors' with 'Last Of A Dyin' Breed'.
Not only that but they delighted fans in the UK with two visits to these shores this year with some fantastic shows. Skynyrd are back on top of their game. Raise the flag!
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BEST ALBUM - EUROPE: 'BAG OF BONES'
Often scoffed at by the Heavy Metal community, but those in the know know how hard the Swedes can rock. Producer Kevin Shirley has got the best out of the band with John Norum's guitar just oozing out of your speakers.
I surprised a few people this year by playing them the advance copy without telling them who it was... jaws were dropped when I told them it was Europe.
Singles are confined to the golden age of vinyl as far as I'm concerned but my favourite track of the year is the album track 'Stay Frosty' from Van Halen's comeback album 'A Different Kind Of Truth'.
Van Halen were once upon a time the hottest Metal band on the planet and now seem to be suffering from Alzheimers as they often forget what made them hot in the first place and are constantly in danger of derailing at any given time. However when they get it right the ole magic is still there as displayed on 'Stay Frosty'... Play loud!
BEST DVD - LED ZEPPELIN: 'CELEBRATION DAY'
I was one of the fortunates to attend this magical event held at the O2 Arena in London in an evening that will never be forgotten. Whilst the live footage dosn't quite capture the full emotion of the night but at least the concert is finally immortalized.
BEST GIG - QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT: HAMMERSMITH APOLLO, LONDON
The Sonisphere Festival was cancelled this year due to poor ticket sales because supposedly open minded rock fans couldn't get their heads around the fact that Queen were going to be fronted by a gay flamboyant singer. That really was a shame because Queen with Adam Lambert was a triumph over adversity with a mammoth two and a half hour show with a killer Queen set list. A different kind of magic, but magical it was.
Having been to 23 festivals in the two previous years I opted to slow down and keep them to a minimum this year but Wacken Festival in Germany is still the biggest, baddest and most definitely the loudest of them all.
Read a review of the Scorpions headlining slot at this year's Wacken by clicking here.
MOST ANNOYING MOMENT OF 2012 - THE BLACK SABBATH/BILL WARD SAGA
It was MetalTalk that broke the story of Bill Ward not taking part in the Black Sabbath reunion shows and quite frankly it totally drew a big dark cloud over the greatness of the first ever Heavy Metal band.
However what is is what is and Black Sabbath were still breathtakingly good at this year's Download Festival.
NEW BAND TO WATCH IN 2013 - THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT
Rootsy rock n' roll from this Glaswegian/London outfit with a singer who owns a carbon copy voice of Jimmy Barnes. If the Rival Sons is your bag then we have our own saviours right here in the UK.
You can see MetalTalk.net's Mark Taylor's many reviews and interviews right here. It's an impressive list...