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melodicrock.com's ESSENTIAL RELEASES (and final comments) OF 1999.

So here we are. Another year gone by and another new one just about underway.
I am going to cover a few things with this end of year coverage - starting with a list of my favourite releases and favourite songs of 1999.
Then some awards! A lighter look at what's been...

  1. Steelhouse Lane - Slaves Of The New World
  2. Nelson - Life
  3. Fergie Frederiksen - Equilibrium
  4. Jimi Jamison's Survivor - Empires
  5. Westworld - Westworld
  6. Rick Springfield - Karma (US Release)
  7. Glenn Hughes - The Way It Is
  8. Stranded - Long Way To Heaven
  9. Von Groove - Test Of Faith
  10. TNT - Transistor
  11. Harlan Cage - Forbidden Colors
  12. Henry Lee Summer - Smoke & Mirrors
  13. Harem Scarem (Rubber) - Rubber
  14. Jaded Heart - IV
  15. Eddie Money - Ready Eddie
  16. Sammy Hagar - Red Voodoo
  17. Def Leppard - Euphoria
  18. Johnny Lima - Shine On
  19. Badlands - Dusk
  20. Beggars & Thieves - The Grey Album
  21. Emerald Rain - Age Of Innocence
  22. Danny Danzi - Somewhere Lost in Time
  23. Rick Price - Another Place
  24. Alliance - Missing Piece
  25. Mike & The Mechanics - M6
  26. Ten - Spellbound
  27. Fiore - Body Electric
  28. Burning Rain - Burning Rain
  29. Michael Morales - That's The Way
  30. Dream Theaer - Metropolis Part 2
15 BEST SONGS: In Order
  1. Steelhouse Lane - Seven Seas
  2. Nelson - I Would If You Want Me To
  3. Jimi Jamison's Survivor - Cry Tough
  4. Def Leppard - Promises
  5. Rick Springfield - Big Beautiful Friday Night
  6. Steelhouse Lane - Slaves Of The New World
  7. Nelson - Let's Talk About Me
  8. Fergie Frederiksen - Equilibrium
  9. Harlan Cage - Two Ships In The Night
  10. Beggars & Thieves - Gypsy
  11. Harem Scarem - Trip
  12. Jaded Heart - When You Hear The Thunder
  13. Toto - Caught In The Balance
  14. Stranded - Only Human
  15. TNT - Wide Awake
Honorable Mentions: (In No Order)


The major question!! What will be the best albums of 2000?
Surely if Journey actually get an album recorded and released, it will be hard to beat.
Same goes for Damn Yankees! And speaking of Night Ranger (sort of), the other guys in the band are all planning releases, so they should register highly in the 2000 best of lists.
I have already heard the Danger Danger, so I can safely say that will be on the best of 2000 list.
House Of Shakira hopefully will get their album done and signed. That's bound to be solid AOR, as is the new Kevin Chalfant/Josh Ramos project Two Fires.
Jim Peterik's world Stage is classic AOR /Midwest pop rock at it's best and on a heavier note, if Impelliteri can get it together, their albums are always a highlight.
The Danny Vaughn album has huge potential, but does he want to record classic AOR or something a little more modern?
Signs Of Life could be awesome, especially with Terry Brock back on deck.
Could Big Bad Wolf pull off a Steelhouse Lane and go from a pretty good debut to a sensational follow up? And how about the two Slamer projects - Steelhouse Lane 3 and Slamer/Thompson...
Could the new Heartland be as heavy and raw as the demo's played to me?
And the new Westworld album will surly come highly anticipated by all.
And don't forget two new albums from Danzi and Lima.


A Tongue in cheek look at the year past...

Firstly (and sadly..) RIP: Bruce Fairbairn, Cozy Powell, Zero Records, Bareknuckle & the band Thunder.

Vocalist Of The Year: Keith Slack - for his work on Steelhouse Lane and on tour with Michael Schenker.

Worst Albums of the Year :
Lynch Mob, Zimmers Hole, Scorpions, British Rock Symphony (except for Jack and Tommy's tune...), Appetite For Reconstruction.

The 'Survivor' award for BAND NAMING RIGHTS: Saxon - for their sad recent dispute.

The 'Japanese Label' one last cash-in award: TIE! Bryan Adams for his horrible new 'Best Of Me' release, Harem Scarem (or Warner Japan) for 'Ballads' and Queen for the totally unnecessary 'Great Hits 3' release.

The Success In Replacement Vocalist Award: Journey

The Failure in Replacement Vocalist Award: Van Halen

The 'Kiss' Most Money For Least Work Award: Europe - for their upcoming 20 minute reunion gig!

The Biggest Packaging Screw-up: Europe (again) - for one re-release pressing of their Final Countdown single, missing a vitally placed letter 'O'.

The Passing Themselves Off As Something They're Not Award: TIE! Axel Rose for his contempt for fans calling Oh My God a new Guns N Roses single & George Lynch for releasing his rotten new album under the Lynch Mob banner.

The About Time Award: Sony Music for releasing the new Toto album in the US 3 months after it's international release.

The Just Release The Bloody Thing Award: TIE! Danger Danger (Return Of & Cockroach), Poison (Crack A Smile), John Sykes and Brian McDonald

The Welcome Back Award: TIE! Marcie Free, Mitch Malloy & Terry Brock.

The Go Away Award:Krokus

The Three Musketeers Award: Johnny Lima, Jimmy Lawrence & Danny Danzi.

The Bite The Hand That Feeds Award: Beggars & Thieves for announcing in an interview with German magazine 'Melodic Journey' that they hope the Internet will shut down all record labels 'like MTM'....(?!)

The Villan of The 90's: MTV Yep, not grunge or Kurt Cobain...MTV for single handedly deciding to pull the rug from under commercial hard rock and replace it over night. Shame Shame Shame.

The Positive Sign Award: VH1 For dedicating time and resources to fine music. Both in terms of developing shows (The List, Storytellers, Where Are The Now) and actually playing new video clips (from the bands that still bother to make them).