Just like that, it’s that time again, where the holiday season is upon us and the mad scrambles down store aisles to find just the right gifts for friends and loved ones commences. It’s a yearly ritual that always seems to come sooner than later. It’s also a sign that the year is coming to a close, and of course there’s no question that 2016 will remain in memory and history as one of the most turbulent, challenging, and painful times ever seen. It is for that reason that the holiday time should hold even extra special positive emotional weight, as community and solidarity run high among people during this time, acting as sort of metaphoric concrete that fills in the gaps that division among many created. And music too, is an eternal, external, and ultimately internal healing agent for the soul, regardless if times are happy or sad, joyous or maudlin. Music also reflects those aforementioned emotions and more. Here’s some of the best released this past year that will for sure excite even the most hardened by the whirlwind of the times and warm someone’s soul like kindling a hearth on the coldest December nights.
Check out our 2016 Holiday Geek Gift Guide for Music…
Led Zeppelin IV, the fourth release by the legendary hard rocking band Led Zeppelin, which contains some of their most muscular and most remembered songs of all time, including their centerpiece to many, “Stairway to Heaven,” celebrates its 45th anniversary today.
There isn’t anyone who is a fan of rock and roll in general who hasn’t crossed paths with this album at least once, whether it be the constant replay and re-re-replay of almost all the songs on the album on a daily basis on Classic Rock radio, or the various forms of media many of the songs have been included in pop culturally. It’s become a global playbook for the correct and attitudinal way to amplify the original organic blues and its become a global playbook for how to take simple chord rock and enhance it with mixtures and clovers of folk and exotic sounds, stemming from American shores like Memphis (“When the Levee Breaks”) all the way to countries like Morocco and such (“Four Sticks”).
The holidays have dawned upon us again and it seems as if the unveiling of them gets sooner and sooner each year. In a world that has seen one of its toughest and tragic years in 2015, the beauty of the holidays is more than a traditional, religious bent, but more about the communion of people and the act of humanity that seems to crawl from the cobwebs only during this time for some people. Regardless of the volume rate, whenever something can collectively bond people together with a sense of energy that runs placid and empathetic, there’s something to be said about the perennial emotion that gets reserved for this time of year. And of course with this year, comes the giving and receiving of gifts and good cheer. And as is my wont for the past few years now, I too have been rather perennial in my choices for key music items to bestow upon good friends and loved ones this time of year. So here’s some picks for this some of this years A-list offerings in music. As usual, this list goes to eleven.
Here’s the Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2015 for Music…
As part of the ongoing series of Led Zeppelinreissues with coveted bonus tracks, next month will see the re-release of what is arguably the band’s greatest moment in their recorded history, the two-record set Physical Graffiti, which was originally released 40 years ago this year.
A bonus track from the upcoming re-mastered package has gone viral, an early, previously unreleased and rough around the edges mix of one of the band’s most well known tunes, the FM radio staple “Houses of the Holy,” which was originally recorded in 1972 and was intended to be the title song of Zep’s 1973 record of the same name, but was pulled at the last minute as the band felt it “didn’t fit” on that release.
It was 45 years ago this year that Led Zeppelin released their self-titled debut album. They were a band born from the ashes of The Yardbirds, and trailblazed their way and reinvented the hard rock and roll genre with their high octane dosages of alpha male rock strut by way of early Sun records and American blues electrified and shimmering off the delta.
Now, in what seems to be one of the most massive remastering undertakings since the band’s demise back in 1980 after the death of their drummer, pomp and circumstance beats king John Bonham, Zep’s first three albums are getting the royal treatment by way of new limited edition releases, extensive liner notes, unreleased songs, and enhanced album art. Each album, which will be released on June 3, 2014, will be available in multiple CD, vinyl, and digital formats, as well as a Limited Edition Super Deluxe Box (see image above for the Led Zeppelin I box set).