Our pick of the 10 best albums of 2012 - from reissued classics to new releases and greatest hits collection.
10. Jools Holland ‘The Golden Age of Song’
Backed by his phenomenal Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, this album sees Jools and a number of high profile guests (including Paloma Faith, Paul Weller, Tom Jones and the late Amy Winehouse) cover a number of timeless classics like ‘Mad About The Boy’, ‘The Lady Is A Tramp’ and ‘Something’s Got A Hold Of Me’. A delectable listening experience.
9. Madness ‘Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da’
The Camden ska-pop pioneers’ tenth studio release (which translates into ‘Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes’) was one of their most acclaimed albums for decades! The sound of a rejuvenated band rolling back the years!
8. Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney ‘Ram’ [Reissue]
The second album Paul released following the break-up of The Beatles – and the only credited to himself and wife Linda – ‘Ram’ is curious, engaging and like fine wine has somehow grown better with age.
7. ABBA ‘The Visitors’ [Reissue]
The final ABBA album saw the Swedish pop institution abandon their pop roots and embrace the moody electronic sounds that defined in the early eighties. Initially it left fans bewildered, yet in retrospect it’s clear that ‘The Visitors’ is yet another ABBA masterwork.
6. The Rolling Stones ‘Grrr’
As part of their 50th anniversary celebrations, which also saw them play dates in London and New York, The Rolling Stones released this definitive best of compilation. Boasting classics like ‘Gimme Shelter’, ‘Angie’, ‘Paint It Black’ and new song ‘Doom and Gloom’, one listen to ‘GRRR’ will remind you why The Stones are among the greatest rock bands ever.
5. The Bee Gees ‘Mythology’ [Reissue]
Re-released following Robin Gibb’s tragic death back in May, split into four discs to represent each of the four brothers ‘Mythology’ showcases the amazing eclecticism and depth of The Bee Gees’ musical career. From zeitgeist defining disco to emotionally rousing ballads to pop perfect, The Bee Gees had it all.
4. Whitney Houston ‘I Will Always Love You: The Best Of Whitney Houston’
Released following Whitney’s untimely death in February, this greatest hits collection serves as a pertinent reminder of what a ‘once in a generation’ talent Whitney Houston was. From her epic cover of Dolly Parton’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ to her breakthrough smash ‘Saving All My Love for You’, every song on this album is incredible.
3. Rod Stewart ‘Merry Christmas, Baby’
The raspy voice legend’s first Christmas album is slick, polished and cool. Featuring his interpretation of classics such as ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, ‘Winter Wonderland’ and ‘Let It Snow’, your Christmas Day will be a little bit warmer with this in your life.
2. Neil Diamond ‘The Very Best Of Neil Diamond’
Drawing from the American musical icons six-decade career, this essential compilation album soothes, charms and nourishes the heart. Featuring classics like ‘Sweet Caroline’, ‘I’m A Believer’ and ‘Red, Red Wine’, ‘The Very Best Of Neil Diamond’ is essential!
1. Paul Simon ‘Graceland ‘25th Anniversary Edition’ [Reissue]
Not just one of the greatest albums of all time, ‘Graceland’ also helped introduce the western world to the delights of South African culture. Remastered and including bonus tracks, really your record collection would be a much poorer place without ‘Graceland’.