Record of the year: Europe, The Final Countdown

IF the year was 1986 then perhaps the synth rock of The Final Countdown by Europe, the Swedes with big hair, would be the record of the year. When trying to decide the record that captures what 2016 was all about it is those songs inspired by big European dreams that make the final countdown.

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2016 has been a year of political shocks and upheavals and it also took one of the greatest artists of all time when Prince died in April. Other icons, from music, sport and politics, have all passed away throughout the past 12 months, seemingly abnormally so, leading to some to claim the past year has been one of the worst ever. Continue reading

Kanye West: College Dropout to first class honours

“Good dude, bad night, right place, wrong time

In the blink of a eye, his whole life changed”Kanye1

Los Angeles: The early hours of October 23, 2002 a young music producer making his way back from another late studio session is seriously injured in a car crash.

I learned how Kanye West recovered from the night he almost killed himself in a Lexus, to find his voice  Рmetaphorically and physically following re-constructive jaw surgery  Р18 months later, constantly spinning two thick black vinyl discs at a steady 331/3 revolutions per minute on the turntable my brother had squeezed, with a mixer and a second deck, on the worktop in our tiny kitchen. At times I barely made it past the first five tracks (including the opening skit) as I just dropped the needle back instead of flipping to side B . Continue reading