Remember December: My Top 20 New Posts of 2020

I’ll sidestep an expansive soliloquy, as I have one planned for next week, and instead focus exclusively on matters Old Grey Cat. Overall, including this one, I’ve thus far shared 102 missives in 2020, including 30 First Impressions reviews, 25 Top 5s and 20 Essentials celebrations. (Of Concerts Past remembrances, Song Roundups and assorted ephemera make up the rest.) Today, I thought I’d share my Top 20 new posts from the past 12 months; in the days ahead, I’ll share my personal favorites and the overall Top 20, which features 13 archival treasures.

You’ll notice a pattern, I’m sure…

  1. First Impressions: Neil Young’s Archives II
  2. First Impressions: Bruce Springsteen – The Live Series: Stripped Down
  3. First Impressions: “Letter to You” by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
  4. The Essentials: Juliana Hatfield – God’s Foot demos
  5. First Impressions: Neil Young’s Homegrown
  6. First Impressions: Melody Gardot’s “From Paris With Love”
  7. The Essentials: Jackson Browne’s Late for the Sky
  8. The Essentials: Crosby, Stills & Nash’s Daylight Again
  9. First Impressions: Letter to You by Bruce Springsteen
  10. A Bootleg Review: R.E.M., Opal, Steve Wynn, 10,000 Maniacs – May 24, 1987
  11. The Essentials: Neil Young – Trans
  12. First Impressions: Blonde on the Tracks by Emma Swift
  13. The Essentials: Talk Show by the Go-Go’s
  14. First Impressions: The Wine of Youth by Zach Phillips
  15. First Impressions: Melody Gardot’s Sunset in the Blue
  16. Today’s Top 5: 10,000 Maniacs
  17. First Impressions: The Times by Neil Young
  18. Remember November (2020): Album(s) of the Year
  19. Today’s Top 5: Linda Ronstadt Live
  20. The Essentials: Imagination by Gladys Knight & the Pips

Some, no doubt, will scoff at the greying demographic that the above artists and albums represent, but – as I often say – I’m a middle-aged white guy with catholic tastes (“catholic” meaning “broad in sympathies, tastes, or interests” as per Merriam-Webster’s secondary definition, for those unaware of the word’s non-religious connotation). The odds are good, in other words, that something by Neil or Bruce (or Bob Seger, for that matter) will be cranking from my car’s sound system when I’m on the road – or from my desktop speakers when ensconced in my den. (Springsteen’s Live Series – Stripped Down collection is playing as I write this, for example.)

Yet those 20 posts don’t represent the entirety of The Old Grey Cat’s 2020 playlist, as regular readers can attest, just one-fifth of it. The odds are equally as good that I’m listening to Courtney Marie Andrews, Malin Pettersen and Niamh Regan, among other newer artists. That my posts about their works didn’t place high on my year-end chart simply means they don’t have the same readymade fanbase. I have faith that they eventually will.

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