Song of the Year – 2014 Ultimate Classic Rock Awards
The Song of the Year award typically is one of the toughest to choose, since the rock genre has always favored full albums over individual songs. And this year is no exception, with rock legends going up against a couple of younger artists in a field dominated by the many of the same acts who are up for Album of the Year.
These are the tracks that stand out on terrific albums. But which is the best? Vote now for Song of the Year in the 2014 Ultimate Classic Rock Awards.
With a classic riff straight out of the early ’70s, ‘Loner,’ a highlight of Black Sabbath‘s long-awaited reunion album, marches to a sludgy rhythm that reminds you who invented this stuff in the first place. Awesome bit of ‘N.I.B.’ updating too.
‘The Stars (Are Out Tonight)’
The catchiest song on David Bowie‘s surprise comeback album recalls the Thin White Duke at his vintage, artsy best. ‘The Stars (Are Out Tonight)’ is like an updated version of the period where Bowie and Brian Eno hung out in Berlin and got weird.
The latest volume of Bob Dylan‘s ‘Bootleg Series’ salvaged the much-maligned ‘Self Portrait’ album, stripping away the glossy garland to reveal one of the legend’s most personal works. ‘Pretty Saro’ is a short, sweet folk number rescued from oblivion.
The first single from Elton John‘s meditative ‘The Diving Board’ album, ‘Home Again’ feels like a warm invitation into the music legend’s world. With outstretched arms and welcoming heart, the song is a perfect intro to one of John’s most personal records.
‘Cut Me Some Slack’
Paul McCartney kicked off his awesome year with this number from the ‘Sound City: Real to Reel’ soundtrack, in which he jammed with the surviving members of Nirvana on one of the most abrasive, and loudest, cuts of his entire career.
It’s kinda silly to single out one Motorhead song from another, seeing that so many of them are built on top of the same three-chords-and-outta-there structure. Yet, ‘Heartbreaker’ defiantly stands out on the band’s best album in years.
An onstage string section breathes warm, vibrant life into this ballad from Rush‘s recent live album, ‘Clockwork Angels Tour.’ Stick around for the end, when things get complicated, lovely and stirring as band and classically trained musicians converge.
The first single from Bruce Springsteen‘s new album wasn’t written by the Boss … and it’s not the first time he’s recorded it. But this stirring new version of the Havalinas‘ rocker (which Springsteen originally included on a 1995 EP) serves as a strong, hopeful anchor.
‘Made Up Mind’
Between Derek Trucks’ boogie-blues guitar shuffle and wife Susan Tedeschi’s raspy howl, the title track to their band’s terrific second album packs one of the year’s most powerful instrumental punches. Trucks (who plays with the Allman Brothers) unleashes a killer slide too.