Best Rock Albums:Bruce Springsteen - Devils and DustHe's been seen as everything from the vanguard saviour of rock 'n roll's values, to "middle of the road's" most tolerable face, to, recently, a party-political activist. Despite all his changes (and a couple of disappointing albums) Bruce Springsteen never sold out. This album is awesome. Awesome. Buy it.Review + song clipsAnd ...Elbow - Leaders of the Free WorldThe true inheritors of what Radiohead were doing before they spiralled into self indulgent artistry. The true proponents of the pop sense that Coldplay gave alternative mope-rock. Look out for it - not all record shops have the sense to stock it and radio is too scared to play it (it might show how utterly pathetic most of the rest of their playlist really is.)Buy it here
Best Anthology:Iggy Pop - A Million in PrizesThis anthology might be better than the average Iggy album. You may not think you've heard his music, but take a listen and you'll soon realise how many of his songs are part of your lexicon.Review + song clips
Best DVD:Live 8 - 4DVD setIt's not just the fact that it's a 4DVD set or that it features many of the top artists of the last 4 years in never before seen and you won't see them like this again onstage collaborations, or that it's for a good cause, or that it's really well produced and edited... it's all that. Read all about it
And more rock riches of 2005 - in no particular order...
The Brakes - Give BloodSome rock groups are just, for want of a better word, special. Brakes are one of those special bands - boyish, tuneful, stylishly rough around the edges. And with lots and lots of interesting edges.Review + song clips
The Darkness - One Way Ticket to Hell... And Back!One way ticket to hell... is utterly lacking in good taste, and pretentious rock fans around the world are going to be foaming at the mouth at the sheer cheek of it all.Review + song clipsNick Cave & The Bad Seeds - B-Sides and Rarities Vol I, II, IIIA for-fans-only collection of well... B-Sides and Rarities. It's exactly what it sounds like, except even not so hardcore fans will really really love it. We reviewed it twice - that's how good we reckoned it was.2 Reviews, and song clips
Various - Killer Queen The best covers album of the year so far. Freddie would have loved it.Review + song clips
Green Day - Bullet in a Bible (CD and DVD set)Green Day come of age showcasing their massively popular punk rebellion in a slickly electrifying live CD and DVD set. Essential viewing and listening for fans.Review + song clips
Depeche Mode - Playing the AngelIt's wonderful. For serious (very serious) fans.Review + song clips
The Rolling Stones - A Bigger BangIt's hard to think of any other Brit band (save perhaps The Animals) who exemplified what American blues and soul had evolved into by the late sixties. In 2006, they show they've still got it where it counts.Review + song clips
Supergrass - Road to RouenSupergrass have always been mainly a singles band - check out their compilation Supergrass is 10 for a great summary of their career. But they return with a surprisingly good album. And what's more, Road to Rouen is actually an album, not just a collection of songs with a sure chart topper tucked inside it.Review + song clips
The Departure - Dirty WordsWhat was good about the 1980s? If you really want to know, listen to The Departure. A new band influenced by the decade whose popular face of mullets, Ronald Reagan, overspending and Wham! hides greatly underestimated pop subcultures.Review + song clips
Paul McCartney - Chaos and Creation in the Back YardA comeback album that'll grow on you from the Beatle who's never gone away.Review + song clips
Arno Carstens - The Hello Goodbye BoysThe former Nude Girl and sex symbol of SA's rock stage takes a turn for the Adult Contemporary. And though some fans will hate it, it sure works for radio.Review + song clips
Robert Plant - Mighty RearrangerWow! What an album! Some killer songs on this comeback from the ball-clutching ex Zep frontman.Review + song clips
Dave Matthews Band - Stand UpMore of the same from Dave, and it's still fantastic.Review + song clips
Hot Hot Heat - ElevatorThey're 2005's Jet. Loads of fun, not amazingly original, but that doesn't make them any less cool, somehow.Review + song clips
Seether - Karma and EffectThey came from our country. Once Saron Gas, they've changed their name so as not to scare the USA too much, and they're out there kicking er... butt. Review + song clips
Athlete - TouristThey do Coldplay better than Coldplay does Coldplay. Enough said.Review + song clips
Doves - Some CitiesDeep rock you'll listen to over and over and over again.Review + song clips
Starsailor - On the OutsideThey're overlooked by the mainstream in South Africa, but huge overseas. Starsailor are catchy. If you liked The Cure in the 80s and some of the latest alt rock, give these guys a spin.Buy it hereSystem of a Down - MezmerizeTight as nails hammered mercilessly into the head of a nuclear armed tyrant. Or something. This is radical, thinking rock reaching a popular audience in the best way possible.Review + song clips- Compiled by Jean Barker
It's easy to forget that most of the best rock music is released NOT at the end of the year but in the middle, when it's summer overseas in Europe and the USA. Here's the hottest stuff we heard on CD and DVD in 2005..
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