Monday, 17 June 2013

Celebrating 300 Album Reviews!: The 10 Biggest Surprises Since Starting This Website!




Surprise! Yes it’s another online pretend party! Dear friends, here we are on News, Views and Music number 198 which, together with 101 album reviews and two ‘specials’ that for some reason I started off not counting in the original run makes it a whole 300 albums we’ve covered now on our musical journey from ‘Surfin Safari’ in 1962 to (quick check to see what the most recent AAA album is) Stephen Stills’ ‘Carry On’ box set from March. In that time we’ve experienced highs (more hits than a ‘now that’s what I call music’ compilation, hundreds of twitter followers and quite a few loyal readers) and lows (the destruction of three computers, an ongoing internet problem, the loss of two websites and so many obstacles set by the jobcentre I’m amazed I managed to write anything understandable at all (perhaps I didn’t?!) What a long strange trip it’s been, dear readers, a long and winding road that leads – well – to your laptop as you read this actually. Now, I know we’ve celebrated a few other milestones on this set and as seems to have happened with all of them (finishing 101 ‘core’ reviews, our 50th issue, our 100th issue, our 250th issue, our 10,000th hit, our 100,000th hit) I can’t celebrate this one with you the way I’d like to because of a) internet headaches b) jobcentre headaches and c) chronic fatigue headaches. Hopefully things will fix itself soon and thanks to our planned new mobile app we can enter an exciting future where things really really really begin to happen for us here at the AAA. We wanted to do something for the article anniversary though, even if it is low-key, so here it is: the top 10 biggest surprises between starting the site (in 2008) and now:

10) That Alan’s Album Archives would reach the milestone of 100,000 hits (actually we’re on 112,000 at the time of writing). Admittedly this is split between our ‘Moonfruit’ and ‘Blogspot’ sites, comes after one heck of a lot of plugging away around the internet in which I’ve probably submitted us to every directory on the internet whether suitable or not and has probably been slightly boosted by a sudden swathe of spam messages we kept getting a few months back. But even so – anything in six numbers sounds pretty good to me, especially as more than half of these hits have come in 2012/1013 alone and we have zero budget to work with (well, £36 a year, roughly equal to 72 sausage rolls or half a ticket to see the Spice Girls Musical, money well spent I say). I certainly wasn’t expecting this much interest this early on, given how restrictive my time spent plugging this site has been due to my growing illness. At this rate Alan’s Album Archives will have bought up Google by 2020, will be the world’s number one website by 2030 and AAA mascot Max The Singing Dog will be Mayor of New York, New York by 2050.

9) That there would be a ‘Spice Girls’ musical in the style of Mama Mia. And that, despite being in the news every five minutes, it would flop very very badly. We feel very smug about this, given that the Spice Girls stand for everything we hate in music (artificialness, smugness, godawful songs, no original thoughts, supposed ‘girl power’ from a female band firmly in the control of middle aged male managers, kung-fu kicking tramps in music videos) and so does ‘Mama Mia’ (a good band made to look stupid, with songs shoe-horned into a weak and empty plot that would make a soap opera blush, leaving out several superior and more fitting songs to let wannabe singers who could only get into acting school get paid for getting it out of their systems). Frankly, writer Jennifer Saunders (who got her degree down the road from us in Edge Hill University, Ormskirk) shouldn’t have wasted her talent. Not that she has as much talent as she thinks she does, but then, neither do the Spice Girls. By quite a long way. We told the world combining the two things together was madness and a sign of the December 2012 apocalypse. Amazingly, for once they listened and the ‘Viva Forever’ musical closed last month after a pitiful amount of performances and some truly savage reviews that make even us look quite sympathetic. No, really, they do – have a read of some of them, they’re far ruder than we’d ever be about the Spice Girls, which shows just how much theatre and music critics hated this show!

8) Who thought The Beatles would become big all over again, not because of some new archive release or documentary but because of a game?! ‘Beatles Rock Band’ might not have been the biggest blockbuster in the gaming world in the past five years, but it did cause one heck of a lot more interest than anyone was expecting – and it even made The Beatles trendy again for a time (until Ringo started being weird in interviews and the whole thing went quiet). The chance to be a Beatle was irresistible for many and the song choice was a lot better (and a lot wider) than we expected it to be too, with some unusual choices alongside the hits (OK, all 313 Beatles songs were all available to download – barring the spoken word ‘Revolution 9’ for obvious reasons – but seeing as it would have cost approximately nine times the price of the already expensive game we’re willing to bet very few people downloaded them all). The success of the game inspired quite a few copycat versions too, although sadly most of them seem to be by pointless heavy metal groups and there hasn’t been any other AAA bands given a standalone game yet (although certain Stones, Who and Grateful Dead songs can be heard in the ‘Guitar Hero’ competitor – and again not necessarily the songs you’d expect). Last song in the game ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’, which accompanies the Beatles on the Apple rooftop with a swirling fog that envelops them and takes us back to the beginning again at the Cavern, has never seemed so moving (and yes, I know The Beatles didn’t actually play this at the Rooftop gig – or had even written it yet – but it’s a game, OK, not a biography!)

7) That The Hollies would make #1 on Amazon! Admittedly this was the ‘box sets and re-issues’ chart during a week when nothing else seemed to be released but, hey, it outsold the special edition of that Adele monstrosity that seems to have been in the charts for as long as this website’s been around and made the top 40 in the general chart too so that’s good enough for us. After all, this is The Hollies we’re talking about – a band that only ever reached the top of the charts twice in their lifetime, once on the back of a beer commercial and once in about the only week of the 60s when The Beatles and Stones had nothing out that month. Frankly, this most popular and successful of bands have been cruelly forgotten from every 60s music show ever since and we’ve had great fun lobbying for their re-instation into the hall of greats on this very site. The Hollies outsold every single 1960s band except the Beatles (and, technically, scoring more top 20 hits than even they did thanks to an even more ridiculously busy work schedule) and despite making some of the greatest albums ever made no one seems to know them apart from a handful of singles. Their first #1 in any albums chart since ‘Hollies Greatest’ in 1968 (the superb 1963-67 complete collection ‘The Clarke-Hicks-Nash Years’) was a real day for cheering, especially being released in between a best-selling Hollies DVD (‘Look Through Any Window’, a superb anthology of interviews and TV performances) and a compilation of Hollies BBC radio sessions (which could have been better but was still well worth having). Hollies fans hadn’t had this much to celebrate in 25 years and of all the AAA groups we cover their renaissance in the media spotlight was one of the most unexpected and welcome during the five years this site has been running. The second biggest unexpected number one? Yoko Ono hitting the American dance chart #1 spot weeks before her 80th birthday! I still haven’t bought it yet, mind, so that’s another entry for another list in another 50 issues’ time!

6) That Neil Young would finally release his ‘Archives’ box set. I thought it was a joke at first when it appeared on Amazon and in adverts. I mean, Neil first announced the project way back in 1977 on the back of greatest-hits-with-extras set ‘Decade’ when he mentioned he was working on a ‘bigger box’ full of outtakes and alternate mixes. He was still talking about it when Geffen compilation (and effectively ‘Decade II’ ‘Lucky 13’) came out 15 years later. Indispensible music magazine Record Collector even filled the gap by devoting a whole feature to it in the late 1980s and about what juicy performances might be on it (sadly almost all of them were missing when the set did come out!) So used had we fans become to Neil announcing and then quietly abandoning his pet project that, after more than 30 years, I assumed its quiet appearance on ‘Amazon’ was a poor bootleg copy. I mean, just look at the picture that came with it: a heavy, bulky, slab of a box covered in cheap tacky printed newspaper clippings – was this really what we fans had come to believe was the holy grail of Neil Young releases?! Amazingly it was and ‘Archives’ finally saw the light of day in 2007, only 40 years late. Quite honestly, I’m still in shock. Neil’s been working on a follow-up in the six years since the box’s release apparently – based on the same maths Neil’s going to be 93 by the time ‘Archives II’ appears, and probably still going strong music-wise if his ‘one album a year’ work ethic maintains it’s current impressive pace, although if I have to keep buying them all I shall probably be bankrupt long before then.

5) That Oasis would split. To be fair Oasis have split almost every year since they began in 1993 and lost more members (five, discounting the last band line-up who technically couldn’t leave because the group split up) in their 14 years together than even Wings did (four in eight years on the same reasoning, a record I thought would never be broken). But few saw how lasting the feud between the Gallagher brothers would be or that the greatest rock and roll band of the past 20 years (give or take Belle and Sebastian) would end it all over something as daft as an advert in a tour brochure and a tangerine (thrown in anger). The story goes that Liam was more interested in his clothing range during the band’s last tour and album and that he dragged out the recording process for several months before adding his vocals, causing Noel to hurl a tangerine at him! To be honest, rumours had been rife for a while and one our first News, Views and Musics was a review of what turned out to be the last Oasis album (‘Dig Out Your Soul’) with an ominous final line about ‘how if this does turn out to be the last thing the band do – and rumours are they’ve already split – then it will be a sad and shameful end to such a wonderful and inventive band (a couple of you were struck how similar my review was to the famous Times review of The Beatles ‘Let It Be’, released in similar circumstances). But even though I feared it was coming the split was still a shock. In other linked surprises, I never thought that it would be Noel going solo and Liam continuing to work with the other latter-day band members of Oasis in ‘Beady Eye’ or that it would be Noel who’d find commercial fame and fortune while everyone who counted themselves ‘real’ music lovers (and who’d owned most of Noel’s so-called new songs on bootleg for 20 odd years) loved Beady Eye’s first album instead.

4) That we’d see reunions or returns by no less than eight previously defunct AAA groups or artists. Admittedly, even I could have guessed that Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young’s band Crazy Horse and The Who would get back together at some point (given that splitting and getting back together has been their pattern of making music for several decades now). At a push I would have guessed too that The Rolling Stones (not officially split but undeniably quiet since 2004’s ‘A Bigger Bang’) would be cooking up something for their 50th birthday in 2012 (although not as much as I was hoping to be honest, with a handful of gigs and only two new downloadable songs). Belle and Sebastian, too, only spent four years separated between 2006 and 2010, which is pretty good going by AAA band standards, so their reunion wasn’t entirely unexpected (especially given how badly the spin-off solo albums sold). The other three reunions though were complete surprises and shocks. The Beach Boys reunited with Brian Wilson for the first time since the mid-80s in 2012 and even brought in David Marks back into the band for his first studio record since 1963 (even if they did break up again not long after – which was sadly much more predictable!) The Monkees got back together with Mike Nesmith in 2012 too for the first time in 15 years, the one Monkee who doesn’t need the money and seems to resent the fame, in 2012 and at the time of writing is still touring with them. Finally, who’d have guessed that Cat Stevens would have returned to make his first rock albums in 30 years, albeit under a new name (‘Yusuf’), coming back into the spotlight both because his son learning the guitar ‘inspired’ him to pick his own up (for which we fans will be forever thankful) and to help get a Muslim singing about peace back on the telly after so many years of brainwashing media reports about how they all want to destroy Christians in their beds. Anyone who saw those three reunions coming must have a better fortune telling device than me. Whose to say which AAA band members will get together by the time we write article 600 (somewhere around our finishing date we reckon) – Oasis maybe? Pink Floyd?! (They have come pretty close, although the ‘Live 8’ reunion was just before we started writing sadly!) or even The Beatles?!? (I hear they can do wonderful things with holograms nowadays!)

3) Time to get serious for a minute: we didn’t know that we would lose four very special AAA leading lights: Rick Wright (Pink Floyd), Pete Quaife (The Kinks), Bert Jansch (Pentangle) and Davy Jones (The Monkees). Admittedly, on the law of averages four in five years is somewhere slightly better than we might have expected given that these groups are reaching their 70s and 80s in some cases, but it was still a shock to lose them all and of the four only Pete had been ill for any length of time before their death. It goes without saying that we wept buckets when all of them died and we mourn them every passing day.

2) While we’re still serious, one other thing we weren’t expecting was that the UK would be run by the first coalition since World War Two. Unfortunately, what should have been quite an interesting political experiment, where legally all parties should be forced to work with each other for a year until another election is called, was wiped out straight away by in-fighting between the parties and some illegal (till the law got changed retrospectively) law changes to keep the same two parties in power. We warned you all that the Conservatives would only make the credit crunch worse and it gives me no delight whatsoever in saying ‘I told you so’ three years on, even with the lib dems to supposedly hold them back. Even cynical old me has been amazed, though, at just how much scandal, corruption and heartlessness this Coalition have shown. I could spent the rest of this article talking again about how evil and cruel these politicians have been, trying to blame everyone but themselves to the point where those on benefits have taken their own lives, from jobcentre pressure, peer and media hatred and ‘sanctions’ of money that leave unable to pay their bills while the ones who caused the hatred get a few more quid to spend on their expensive eating habits (claimed back from the taxpayer). All I will say is that there are three names that will live on in the nightmares of millions of people for the rest of their lives: ‘Cameron’ ‘Hague’ ‘IDS’ and the biggest surprise of all traitor ‘Clegg’ and one word that will forever shame our generation over its ignorance, shame and hatred when this decade gets discussed in the history books: ATOS (a bunch of poorly trained lawyers given more rights to decide who lives and who dies than real doctors). Closely followed by ‘Workfare’ (slave labour by another name and the most blatant use of it in the Western World since the American Civil War). What an uncivilised time we live in – and I’m not just talking about the lack of money, banking mistakes, MP expenses scandals, ‘Big Society’, plebgate and the rich attacking the poor. It’s the public’ reaction to all the lies and nonsense spouted by these uninformed gorillas in suits that has hurt and disappointed me most, admittedly spurred on bigtime by a media who should know better: trust me, there are no such things as ‘scorungers’ - you really wouldn’t want to live in the shoes of someone poorer than you if you could help it. It’s not the poor’s fault they have no money. It’s not the disabled’s fault they’re ill. And it’s not the unemployed’s fault there are no jobs to be had. We’ve been swindled, good and proper, with the country in a much sorrier state than it was five years ago – and despite apparently being the cause of it all the credit crunch isn’t even in the top five reasons why this should be so (in fact the UK’s debt went up under the Coalition, mainly on MP claims and tax breaks for millionaires while the rets of us turned to foodbanks to live). In the end, the only bigger surprise of the past five years have been why there haven’t been more riots against the system than just the one blown-out-of-proportion skuffle (where ‘looters’ who nicked 50p bottles of water received sentences much harsher than MPs who lied in court about their speeding tickets and millionaires ho paid no tax on their billions of profits) and why there isn’t more public hatred against the villains who’ve forced us to fight against ourselves.
Moving on,

1) That we would write somewhere in the region of three million, six hundred thousand five hundred words during our five years bringing you news, views and music reviews. Just to put that into context, it’s the equivalent of six editions of ‘War and Peace’ (written over a four year period) or four and a half complete editions of the Bible (old and new testament). We’ve worked out that at our average word count of 12,000 words for 300 issues by the way, which is more or less what you get every week (sometimes its an awful lot more when we cover double albums or write about every book/DVD/solo/live/compilation album – occasionally, when we started the newsletters in 2009 it was a lot less, so we reckon these two extremes cancel each other out). Well, to be honest, this was probably the one entry in our top ten you would have been expecting in 2008 isn’t it?! With all that in mind, we reckon we aren’t too far off our assertion in our first Youtube Video that ‘we will have written so much that we’ll have crashed the internet by 2014’ – sadly for us it looks as if the internet was relegated to just our house and came a year early!
Thankyou for standing by us through 300 albums, 200 top five/ten/whatevers and five years of hard but deeply enjoyable and heartwarming (not to mention ear-warming) work. Fate can cut off my internet access. It can scramble my computer. It can hijack my money illegally via some stupid jobcentre mistake they can’t be bothered to put right. It can give me a body that refuses to work most hours of the day. But I’ll still come back fighting, with an 8000 word music review and a song in my heart. The pile of albums left may be about half what it was when I started in 2008, but I still have oh so much to say to you all. We hope to see you soon for issue 301 – and for all the issues after that. Keep reading! Keep rocking! Keep fighting! This is Alansarchives going for a much needed lie down...

A NOW COMPLETE List Of Top Five/Top Ten/TOP TWENTY  Entries 2008-2019
1) Chronic Fatigue songs http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/08/news-views-and-music-issue-1-top-five.html

2) Songs For The Face Of Bo
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/news-views-and-music-issue-2-top-five.html

3) Credit Crunch Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/news-views-and-music-issue-3-top-five.html

4) Songs For The Autumn
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/news-views-and-music-issue-4-top-five.html

5) National Wombat Week
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/news-views-and-music-top-five-national.html

6) AAA Box Sets
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/news-views-and-music-issue-6-top-five.html

7) Virus Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/10/news-views-and-music-issue-7-top-five.html

8) Worst AAA-Related DVDs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/10/news-views-and-music-issu-8-top-five.html

9) Self-Punctuating Superstar Classics
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/10/news-views-and-music-issue-9-top-five.html

10) Ways To Know You Have Turned Into A Collector
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/10/news-views-and-music-issue-9-top-five.html

11) Political Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/11/news-views-and-music-issue-11-top-five.html

12) Totally Bonkers Concept Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/11/news-views-and-music-top-five-totally.html

13) Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/top-five-issue-13-40-years-of-beatles.html

14) Still Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/news-views-and-music-issue-14-top-five.html

15) AAA Existential Questions
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/news-views-and-music-issue-15-top-five.html

16) Releases Of The Year 2008
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/news-views-and-music-issue-16-top-five.html

17) Top AAA Xmas Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/news-views-and-music-issue-17-top-five.html

18) Notable AAA Gigs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/news-views-and-music-issue-19-top-five.html

19) All things '20' related for our 20th issue
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/02/news-views-and-music-issue-20-aaa-songs.html

20) Romantic odes for Valentine's Day
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/02/news-views-and-music-issue-22-top-five.html

21) Hollies B sides
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/news-views-and-music-issue-23-top-five.html

22) 'Other' BBC Session Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/news-views-and-music-issue-24-top-five.html

23) Beach Boys Rarities Still Not Available On CD
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/news-views-and-music-issue-25-top-five.html

24) Songs John, Paul and George wrote for Ringo's solo albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/news-views-and-music-issue-26-top-five.html

25) 5 of the Best Rock 'n' Roll Tracks From The Pre-Beatles Era
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/04/news-views-and-music-issue-27-top-five.html

26) AAA Autobiographies
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/04/news-views-and-music-issue-28-top-five.html

27) Rolling Stones B-sides
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/04/news-views-and-music-issue-29-top-five.html

28) Beatles B-Sides
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/news-views-and-music-issue-30-top-five.html

29) The lllloooonnngggeesssttt AAA songs of all time
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/news-views-and-music-issue-31-top-five.html

30) Kinks B-Sides
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/news-views-and-music-issue-32-top-five.html

31) Abandoned CSNY projects 'wasted on the way'
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/news-views-and-music-issue-33-top-five.html

32) Best AAA Rarities and Outtakes Sets
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/06/news-views-and-music-issue-34-top-five.html

33) News We've Missed While We've Been Away
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/news-views-and-music-issue-35-top-five.html

34) Birthday Songs for our 1st Anniversary
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/news-views-and-music-issue-37-top-five.html

35) Brightest Album Covers
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/news-views-and-music-issue-37-top-five.html

36) Biggest Recorded Arguments
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/news-views-and-music-issue-38-top-five.html

37) Songs About Superheroes
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/news-views-and-music-issue-39-top-five.html

38) AAA TV Networks That Should Exist
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/news-views-and-music-issue-40-top-five.html

39) AAA Woodtsock Moments
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/news-views-and-music-issue-41-top-five.html

40) Top Moments Of The Past Year As Voted For By Readers
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/news-views-and-music-issue-42-top-five.html

41) Music Segues
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/news-views-and-music-issue-43-top-five.html

42) AAA Foreign Language Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/news-views-and-music-issue-44-top-five.html

43) 'Other' Groups In Need Of Re-Mastering
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/news-views-and-music-issue-45-top-five.html

44) The Kinks Preservation Rock Opera - Was It Really About The Forthcoming UK General Election?
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/news-views-and-music-issue-46-top-five.html

45) Mono and Stereo Mixes - Biggest Differences
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/news-views-and-music-issue-47-top-five.html

46) Weirdest Things To Do When A Band Member Leaves
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/nerws-views-and-music-issue-48-top-five.html

47) Video Clips Exclusive To Youtube (#1)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/news-views-and-music-issue-49-top-five.html

48) Top AAA Releases Of 2009
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/12/news-views-and-music-issue-50-top-five.html

49) Songs About Trains
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/news-views-and-music-issue-51-top-five.html

50) Songs about Winter
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/news-views-and-music-issue-52-top-five.html

51) Songs about astrology plus horoscopes for selected AAA members
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/news-views-and-music-issue-53-top-five.html

52) The Worst Five Groups Ever!
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/news-views-and-music-issue-54-top-five.html

53) The Most Over-Rated AAA Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/03/news-views-and-music-issue-56-top-five.html

54) Top AAA Rarities Exclusive To EPs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/03/news-views-and-music-issue-57-top-five.html

55) Random Recent Purchases (#1)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/news-views-and-music-issue-58-top-five.html

56) AAA Party Political Slogans
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/news-views-and-music-issue-60-top-five.html

57) Songs To Celebrate 'Rock Sunday'
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/news-views-and-music-issue-61-top-five_21.html

58) Strange But True (?) AAA Ghost Stories
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/news-views-and-music-issue-61-top-five.html

59) AAA Artists In Song
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/news-views-and-music-issue-63-top-five.html

60) Songs About Dogs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/news-views-and-music-issue-65-top-five.html

61) Sunshiney Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/news-views-and-music-issue-67-top-five.html

62) The AAA Staff Play Their Own Version Of Monoploy/Mornington Crescent!
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/news-views-and-music-issue-68-top-forty.html

63) What 'Other' British Invasion DVDs We'd Like To See
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/news-views-and-music-issue-69-top-five.html

64) What We Want To Place In Our AAA Time Capsule
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/news-views-and-music-issue-70-top-five.html

65) AAA Conspiracy Theroies
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/news-views-and-music-issue-72-top-ten.html

66) Weirdest Things To Do Before - And After - Becoming A Star
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/news-views-and-music-top-ten-aaa-stars.html

67) Songs To Tweet To
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/news-views-and-music-issue-74-top-five.html

68) Greatest Ever AAA Solos
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/news-views-and-music-issue-75-top-ten.html

69) John Lennon Musical Tributes
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/news-views-and-music-issue-77-top-five.html

70) Songs For Halloween
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/news-views-and-music-issue-78-top-five.html

71) Earliest Examples Of Psychedelia
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/news-views-and-music-issue-79-top-five.html

72) Purely Instrumental Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/news-views-and-music-issue-81-top-five.html

73) AAA Utopias

74) AAA Imaginary Bands
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/news-views-and-music-issue-82-top-five.html

75) Unexpected AAA Cover Versions
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/news-views-and-music-issue-83-top-five.html

76) Top Releases of 2010
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/news-views-and-music-issue-84-top-five.html

77) Songs About Snow
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/news-views-and-music-issue-85-top-five.html

78) Predictions For 2011
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011_01_02_archive.html

79) AAA Fugitives

80) AAA Home Towns
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/news-views-and-music-issue-88-home.html

81) The Biggest Non-Musical Influences On The 1960s
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/news-views-and-music-issue-89-top-five.html

82) AAA Groups Covering Other AAA Groups
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/news-views-and-music-issue-90-top.html

83) Strange Censorship Decisions
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/news-views-and-music-issue-91-top-ten.html

84) AAA Albums Still Unreleased on CD
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/news-views-and-music-issue-92-top-five.html

85) Random Recent Purchases (#2)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/news-views-and-music-issue-93-top-ten.html

86) Top AAA Music Videos
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/news-views-and-music-issue-94-top-ten.html

87) 30 Day Facebook Music Challenge
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/news-views-and-music-issue-95-top.html

88) AAA Documentaries
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/news-views-and-music-top-five-aaa.html

89) Unfinished and 'Lost' AAA Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/news-views-and-music-issue-97-top-ten.html

90) Strangest AAA Album Covers
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/newsa-views-and-music-issue-98-top-ten.html

91) AAA Performers Live From Mars (!)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/news-views-and-music-issue-99-top-ten.html

92) Songs Including The Number '100' for our 100th Issue
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/news-views-and-music-issue-100-top-five.html

93) Most Songs Recorded In A Single Day
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/news-views-and-music-issue-101-top-five.html

94) Most Revealing AAA Interviews
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/news-views-and-music-issue-102-top-five.html

95) Top 10 Pre-Fame Recordings
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/news-views-and-music-issue-103-top-ten.html

96) The Shortest And Longest AAA Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/news-views-and-music-issue-104-top-ten.html


97) The AAA Allstars Ultimate Band Line-Up
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/news-views-and-music-issue-105-top.html

98) Top Songs About Sports
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/news-views-and-music-issue-106-top-ten.html

99) AAA Conversations With God
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/news-views-and-music-issue-107-top-ten.html

100) AAA Managers: The Good, The Bad and the Financially Ugly
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/news-views-and-music-issue-108-top-ten.html

101) Unexpected AAA Cameos
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/news-views-and-music-issue-109-top-ten.html

102) AAA Words You can Type Into A Caluclator
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/news-views-and-music-issue-110-top-five.html

103) AAA Court Cases
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/news-views-and-music-issue-111-top-five.html

104) Postmodern Songs About Songwriting
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/news-views-and-music-issue-112-top-five.html

105) Biggest Stylistic Leaps Between Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/news-views-and-music-issue-113-top-ten.html

106) 20 Reasons Why Cameron Should Go!
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/news-views-and-music-issue-114-top.html

107) The AAA Pun-Filled Cookbook
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/news-views-and-music-issue-115-top-five.html

108) Classic Debut Releases
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/news-views-and-music-issue-116-top-five.html

109) Five Uses Of Bird Sound Effects
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/news-views-and-music-issue-118-top-five.html

110) AAA Classic Youtube Clips Part #1
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/news-views-and-music-issue-119-top.html

111) Part #2
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/news-views-and-music-issue-120-top.html

112) Part #3
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/news-views-and-music-issue-121-top.html

113) AAA Facts You Might Not Know
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/news-views-and-music-issue-122-top-ten.html

114) The 20 Rarest AAA Records
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/news-views-and-music-issue-123-top.html

115) AAA Instrumental Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011_12_04_archive.html

116) Musical Tarot
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/news-views-and-music-issue-125-top-23-i.html

117) Christmas Carols
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011_12_18_archive.html

118) Top AAA Releases Of 2011
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011_12_25_archive.html

119) AAA Bands In The Beano/The Dandy
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/news-views-and-music-issue-128-top-five.html

120) Top 20 Guitarists #1
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/news-views-and-music-issue-129-top-ten.html

121) #2
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_01_15_archive.html

122) 'Shorty' Nomination Award Questionairre
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_01_22_archive.html

123) Top Best-Selling AAA Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_01_29_archive.html

124) AAA Songs Featuring Bagpipes

125) A (Hopefully) Complete List Of AAA Musicians On Twitter
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_02_19_archive.html

126) Beatles Albums That Might Have Been 1970-74 and 1980
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_02_26_archive.html

127) DVD/Computer Games We've Just Invented
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_03_11_archive.html

128) The AAA Albums With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_03_18_archive.html

129) The AAA Singles With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_03_25_archive.html

130) Lyric Competition (Questions)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_04_15_archive.html

131) Top Crooning Classics
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_04_22_archive.html

132) Funeral Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/news-views-and-music-issue-142-top-five.html

133) AAA Songs For When Your Phone Is On Hold
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/news-views-and-music-issue-143-top-five.html

134) Random Recent Purchases (#3)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/news-views-and-music-issue-144-top-five.html

135) Lyric Competition (Answers)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/news-views-and-music-issue-146-top.html http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/news-views-and-music-issue-145-top-five.html

136) Bee Gees Songs/AAA Goes Disco!
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/news-views-and-music-issue-147-top-five.html

137) The Best AAA Sleevenotes (And Worst)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/news-views-and-music-issue-148-top-ten.html

138) A Short Precise Of The Years 1962-70
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/news-views-and-music-149-top-eight.html

139) More Wacky AAA-Related Films And Their Soundtracks
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/top-five-for-news-views-and-music-150.html

140) AAA Appearances On Desert Island Discs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/top-eight-aaa-desert-island-discs.html

141) Songs Exclusive To Live Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/news-views-and-music-issue-153-top-10.html

142) More AAA Songs About Armageddon
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/aaa-armageddon-songsalbums-top-5-for.html

What difference does a name make? Arguably not much if you’re already a collector of a certain group, for whom the names on the album sleeves just...

This week’s top ten honours the humble motor car. The death trap on wheels, the metaphor for freedom, the put-down of capitalism, a source of...

This week we’re going to have a look at the 10 AAA singles that spent the most weeks at number on the American chart ‘Billboard’ – and it makes for...

Following on from last issue’s study of the American Billboard charts, here’s a look at which AAA albums spent the most weeks on the chart. The...

There are many dying arts in our modern world: incorruptible politicians, faith that things are going to get better and the ability to make decent...

This week we’ve decided to dedicate our top ten to those unsung heroes of music, the session musicians, whose playing often brings AAA artists (and...

Naturally we hold our AAA bands in high esteem in these articles: after all, without their good taste, intelligence and humanity we’d have nothing to...

What do you do when you’ve left a multi-million selling band and yet you still feel the pull of the road and the tours and the playing to audiences...

‘The ATOS Song’ (You’re Not Fit To Live)’ (Mini-Review) Dear readers, we don’t often feature reviews of singles over albums or musicians who aren’t...

In honour of this week’s review of an album released to cash in on a movie soundtrack (only one of these songs actually appears in ‘Easy Rider’...and...

Hic! Everyone raise a glass to the rock stars of the past and to this week’s feature...songs about alcolholic beverages! Yes that’s right, everything...

154) The human singing voice carries with it a vast array of emotions, thoughts that cannot be expressed in any other way except opening the lungs and...

Everyone has a spiritual home, even if they don’t actually live there. Mine is in a windy, rainy city where the weather is always awful but the...

Having a family does funny things to some musicians, as we’ve already seen in this week’s review (surely the only AAA album actually written around...

Some artists just have no idea what their best work really is. One thing that amazes me as a collector is how consistently excellent many of the...

159) A (Not That) Short Guide To The 15 Best Non-AAA Bands http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/a-not-that-short-guide-to-15-of-best.html%20%0d160

160) The Greatest AAA Drum Solos (Or Near Solos!) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/the-greatest-aaa-drum-solos-or-near.html%20%0d161

161) AAA Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame Acceptance Speeches http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/aaa-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame.html%20%0d162

162) AAA Re-Recordings Of Past Songs http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/aaa-re-recordings-of-past-songs-news.html%20%0d163

163) A Coalition Christmas (A Fairy Tale) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/a-coalition-christmas-news-views-and.html%20%0d164

164) AAA Songs About Islands http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/aaa-songs-about-islands-news-views-and.html%20%0d165

165) The AAA Review Of The Year 2012 http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/the-aaa-review-of-year-2012-news-views.html



166) The Best AAA Concerts I Attended
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-best-aaa-concerts-i-attended-news.html

167) Tributes To The 10 AAA Stars Who Died The Youngest http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/tributes-to-10-aaa-stars-who-died.html



168) The First 10 AAA Songs Listed Alphabetically
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-first-10-aaa-songs-if-listed.html


171) The 10 Best Songs From The Psychedelia Box-Sets ‘Nuggets’ and ‘Nuggets Two’ http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/the-best-of-two-nuggets-psychedelia.html%20%0d172

172) The 20 Most Common Girl’s Names In AAA Song Titles (With Definitions) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/girls-names-in-aaa-song-titles-from.html 








180) First Recordings By Future AAA Stars http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/first-





185) A Tribute To Storm Thorgerson Via The Five AAA Bands He Worked With http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/a-tribute-to-hipgnosis-via-five-aaa.html



188) Surprise! Celebrating 300 Album Reviews With The Biggest 'Surprises' Of The Past Five Years Of Alan's Album Archives! http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/celebrating-300-album-reviews-10.html


190) Comparatively Obscure First Compositions By AAA Stars http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/comparatively-obscure-debut.html



193) Evolution Of A Band: Comparing First Lyric With Last Lyric: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/evolution-of-band-comparing-1st-lyric.html







200) The Monkees In Relation To Postmodernism (University Dissertation) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/university-dissertation-monkees-in.html


202) Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain': Was It About One Of The AAA Crew? http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/carly-simons-youre-so-vain-was-it-about.html















217) AAA 'Christmas Presents' we'd most like to have next year http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/aaa-christmas-presents-wed-most-like-to.html




221) Dr Who and the AAA (Five Musical Links) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/01/dr-who-and-five-musical-links-to-alans.html

222) Five Random Recent Purchases http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/01/five-random-recent-purchases-news-views.html

223) AAA Grammy Nominees http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/02/aaa-grammy-nominees-top-twelve-news.html

224) Ten AAA songs that are better heard unedited and in full http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/02/ten-aaa-songs-that-are-better-unedited.html

225) The shortest gaps between AAA albums http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-shortest-gaps-between-aaa-albums.html

226) The longest gaps between AAA albums http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-longest-gaps-between-aaa-albums.html

227) Top ten AAA drummers http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/03/top-ten-aaa-drummers-news-views-and.html

228) Top Ten AAA Singles (In Terms of 'A' and 'B' Sides) http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/top-ten-aaa-singles-and-b-sides-news.html

229) The Stories Behind Six AAA Logos http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/the-stories-behind-six-aaa-logos.html

230) AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! The Best Ten AAA Screams http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/the-best-aaa-screams-top-ten-news-views.html

231) An AAA Pack Of Horses http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/aaa-songs-about-horses-top-ten-news.html

232) AAA Granamas - Sorry, Anagrams! http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/aaa-anagrams-news-views-and-music-issue.html

233) AAA Surnames and Their Meanings http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/aaa-surnames-and-their-meanings-news.html

234) 20 Erroneous AAA Album Titles http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/twenty-erroneous-aaa-album-titles-news.html

235) The Best AAA Orchestral Arrangements http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/fifteen-great-aaa-string-parts-news.html

236) Top 30 Hilariously Misheard Album Titles/Lyrics http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/top-thirty-hilariously-misheard-aaa.html

237) Ten controversial AAA sackings - and whether they were right http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/ten-controversial-aaa-sackings-news.html

238) A Critique On Critiquing - In Response To Brian Wilson http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/a-critique-on-critiquing-in-response-to.html

239) The Ten MusicianS Who've Played On The Most AAA Albums http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/the-ten-musicians-whove-played-on-most.html

240) Thoughts on #CameronMustGo http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/thoughts-on-cameronmustgo.html

241) Random Recent Purchases (Kinks/Grateful Dead/Nils Lofgren/Rolling Stones/Hollies) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/six-random-recent-purchases-kinksg.html 

242) AAA Christmas Number Ones http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/aaa-christmas-number-ones.html 

243) AAA Review Of The Year 2014 (Top Releases/Re-issues/Documentaries/DVDs/Books/Songs/ Articles  plus worst releases of the year) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/aaa-review-of-year-2014.html

244) Me/CFS Awareness Week 2015 http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/mecfs-awareness-week-at-alans-album.html

245) Why The Tory 2015 Victory Seems A Little...Suspicious http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/why-tory-victory-seems-deeply.html

246) A Plea For Peace and Tolerance After The Attacks on Paris - and Syria http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/a-plea-for-peace-and-toleration.html

247) AAA Review Of The Year 2015 http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/the-aaa-review-of-year-2015.html

248) The Fifty Most Read AAA Articles (as of December 31st 2015) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/the-fifty-most-read-aaa-posts-2008-2015.html

249) The Revised AAA Crossword! http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2016_07_10_archive.html


251) Half-A-Dozen Berries Plus One (An AAA Tribute To Chuck Berry) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/an-aaa-covers-tribute-to-chuck-berry.html

252) Guest Post: ‘The Skids – Joy’ (1981) by Kenny Brown  https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/guest-post-skids-joy-1981.html


254) Guest Post: ‘Supertramp – Some Things Never Change’ by Kenny Brown https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2018/06/guest-review-supertramp-some-things.html

255) AAA Review Of The Year 2018 https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2018/12/the-aaa-review-of-year-2018.html

256) AAA Review Of The Year 2019 plus Review Of The Decade 2010-2019 https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2019/12/the-alans-album-archives-review-of-year.html



257) Tiermaker https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2019/06/alans-album-archives-on-tiermaker.html

258) #Coronastock https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2020/04/coronastock.html

259) #Coronadocstock https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2020/05/coronadocstock.html

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