If you read the blog last year you’ll know how uncomfortable I am with these end of year lists. You should read all the proper Mojo, Uncut, NME lists and the online magazine lists and the blogger lists, have a wee read of the odd review and then, finally write the names of the bands on pieces of paper and stick them all in a hat. Every year I have a look at the lists and think wow… that’s a lot of albums. And also, wow… that’s a lot of albums that we’ve never even had on the shelf… I’m surprised at the number of quality albums that are made every year. Especially so, the amount of quality albums made on our doorstep and I suppose that is the focus here.
I’m happy to say that out of the Sunday Herald’s top 50 Scottish Albums of 2014 we stock 25. (We also stock albums that never made that list too and a few are listed below.) Nothing omitted out of any snobbishness. Simply that there might not be a physical release or that the labels are small and they maybe don’t know that the shop exists so that neither of us has been in touch with the other. To remedy the situation, I’ll work on getting hold of the ones we are missing in the New Year. We have an open shelf policy for local music on CD and Vinyl.
So, the VoxBox favourite albums of 2014? It’s hard to pick one favourite album of the year. But this time I’ve compiled a LIST! Not one that goes over the Mojo territory with The War on Drugs and St Vincent and so on although we do stock them. This list is a mixture of my own preferences of the local/Scottish releases that we stock (and what gets played in the car) with extra weight given to our top selling artists of 2014. Bearing in mind that in our shop vinyl sells much better than CDs. Why 29? Well, it was supposed to be a top 20 and I kept finding more that couldn’t really be left out. The FoxBox compilation tape sold the most and I obviously really like it but I honestly don’t think it was the best thing released this year so it’s there at the bottom as an addendum.
It’s just a list. And this slightly embarrassing photo kind of sums up the year we’ve had. So without further ado. Ahem.
1. Vashti Bunyan –Heartleap (Joyous completion of a trilogy which began in 1971 -more on this later)
2. King Creosote –From Scotland With Love
3. Bastard Mountain –Farewell Bastard Mountain
4. Withered Hand –New Gods
5. PAWS –Youth Culture Forever
6. Honeyblood -Self Titled
7. The Twilight Sad –Nobody Wants to be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave
8. Stanley Odd –A Thing Brand New
9. Mogwai -Rave Tapes
10. Remember Remember -Forgetting The Present
11. James Yorkston -The Cellardyke Recordings
12. Young Fathers –DEAD
13. Andrew Pearson and Lovers Turn To Monsters -Everything We Miss
14. Yusuf Azak –Peace In The Underworld
15. Randolph’s Leap –Clumsy Knot
16. The Phantom Band –Strange Friend
17. Owl John -Self Titled
18. We Were Promised Jetpacks -Unravelling
19. The Son(s) -The Things I Love Are Not At Home
20. Broken Records –Weights And Pulleys
21. The John Knox Sex Club –Oh Wow Must Be The Devil
22. Colonel Mustard And The Dijon 5 -Party To Make Music To Party To Make Music To Party To 1
23. Call To Mind -The Winter is White
24. The Amazing Snakeheads -Amphetamine Ballads
25. Paulo Nutini -Caustic Love
26. Penguins Kill Polar Bears -Building Homes From Broken Bones
27. The Last Battle –Lay Your Burden Down
28. Hamish James Hawk -Aznavour
29. The Jellyman’s Daughter –Self Titled
[Gah! I forgot Jo Mango -Transformuration. She belongs on the list too.]
FoxBox Presents Post__Nothing Sessions (Various Artists CSD Release) has sold really well.
Other favourites of the year:
1. GOAT –Commune (Swedish wah-wah heavy psychedelic guitar grooves)
2. Songs Ohia –Didn’t It Rain (Reissue) (Just discovered this guy this year and his back catalogue is huge)
3. SLINT Spiderland (Reissue) (Best album of 1991 but I only heard it this year. Why didn’t someone tell me!)
4. Insect Heroes -Apocalypso (On Lost Map this year but technically out earlier than 2014)
5. The Meanest Creature Ever Known –You, Having Fun (Download only but he lives around the corner and the album is great.)
Other records that have sold loads:
01. The Twilight Sad –Fourteen Autumns Fifteen Winters (RSD Reissue)
02. Pixies -Indy Cindy (RSD)
03. Led Zeppelin I, II, III and IV reissues
04. Arctic Monkeys -AM (2013)
05. Fleetwood Mac -Rumours (as always)
06. Sparrow and the Workshop -Murderopolis (as always)
So that’s that. If you don’t recognise many of the albums above, you could look them up, come in and ask… or you could get 29 small bits of paper and a hat.
Thanks to all of the bands that bring in their records and CDs -we are a better record shop for having them.