Bruce here. Click here to listen to my annual playlist of the most interesting songs released in 2023. You’ll like it! At least listen to the first song, Wicked Mind – it’s the best new Tom Petty song in years.
I started creating playlists in the 70s, handing out cassettes at Xmas to friends. In the 90s I burned CDs and created custom art and liner notes and sent them to clients. More recently I’ve sent end of year playlists to Bruceb News subscribers. My tastes are different than yours, sure, but break out of your bubble, try some new music for an hour, it won’t hurt, I promise.
As always, all songs were recorded and released in 2023, and they will appeal to anyone who grew up with bands that had guitars and keyboards and drums.
Wicked Mind isn’t a new Tom Petty song, of course, what with him being deceased and all. It’s from his lifelong guitarist, Mike Campbell, who naturally gravitates to Petty-like songs and even sounds a bit like him. It’s not an homage, it’s not a cover, it’s just a great song from someone playing rock and roll under the radar. I can’t wait to see him live.
Stay tuned for the second song from KillerStar, a new band reuniting musicians who worked with David Bowie during his career – Earl Slick on guitar, Gail Ann Dorsey on bass, and many more. Again, it’s not a cover band working for nostalgia dollars – the songs are new but you can hear the things that made Bowie songs special in the arrangements. For example, if there is something hauntingly familiar about the piano in the song on my playlist, Falling Through, then perhaps you’re recalling Mike Garson’s distinctive playing on Aladdin Sane in 1973, still sounding fresh fifty years later.
There are other old-timers on the list who are recording strong new songs instead of playing greatest hits tours for well-heeled baby boomers. Great songs this year from Iggy Pop, Johnny Marr, The Long Ryders, and even Gong, an obscure art-rock band from the 70s that resurfaced with a song that channels Gentle Giant.
Any Kraftwerk fans out there? Anyone who spent happy nights in 1977 smoking dope and listening to the second side of Trans-Europe Express, the uninterrupted twenty-minute electronic excursion? My number one song for 2023 is the extended mix of Theia from Australian lads King Gizzard. Their new synth album The Silver Cord reflects a lot of love for the Kraftwerk era. Put on Theia (Extended Mix) and jump past the vocals to 3:25 and you’ll see what I mean.
Happy holidays! More Arrgle book news next year.