Welcome to Uncut’s legendary Review Of The Year issue. Beginning on page 49 of our latest issue, you’ll find a bustling 37-page section featuring our Top 75 New Albums, Top 30 Archive Releases, Top 20 Films and Top 10 Books. Alongside these lists – let the great debate begin! – you’ll find new interviews with some of the artists who’ve helped shape our year: The Smile, Elvis Costello, Sharon Van Etten, Dexys, Michael Head, Joan Shelley and Nathan Salsburg, black midi, Richard Dawson, Makaya McCraven and Michael Rother. As you’d imagine, there’s quite a lot to dig into.
You can hear 15 songs from our Top 75 New Albums list on this month’s free CD, of course.
This year, I’m pleased to report, 43 contributors voted in our polls for a total of 411 new albums and 207 archival releases. These robust numbers are a reassuring sign that the disruption brought about by the pandemic continues to recede. Of course, there are other problems ahead, but as our lists demonstrate good music will always endure. As an example, one of my favourite albums of this year, Jana Horn’s Optimism, was released privately in the depths of lockdown before No Quarter gave it a wider release: a win for Horn and evidence that someone out there is always listening.
What else can you find in store this month? For our cover story, Peter Watts goes deep into a trove of rare and unreleased Hunky Dory material in the company of David Bowie’s friends, bandmates and collaborators. Brace yourself for revelations galore. All copies of the issue also come with two exclusive Hunky Dory art prints.
Elsewhere, we bid farewell to Jerry Lee Lewis and Loretta Lynn, there’s the return of Bill Berry, Sparklehorse, The Murder Capital, Roxy Music, Richard Williams on Springsteen, Rick Rubin on Neil and the Horse, Al Jardine on “a whole new vision for the Beach Boys” circa 1972, plus Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell on Tom Petty. There’s more, of course.
We’re back next month with a major interview featuring one of our most beloved cover stars. No spoilers, but he has plenty to talk about…