BEST OF 2000
+ Y2K melodicrock AWARDS!!

melodicrock.com's final word on the
best releases and recommended listening for the year 2000.


THE BEST ALBUM:
(Ranked In Order)

  1. Danger Danger
    - Return Of The Great Gildersleeves

  2. Journey - Arrival (Japanese Version)
  3. Millenium - Hourglass
  4. Mitch Malloy - Shine
  5. The Sign - Signs Of Life
  6. Kharma - Wonderland
  7. House Of Shakira - III
  8. Raine - Peace
  9. Rick Springfield - Alive
  10. Westworld - Skin

  11. Jim Peterik & World Stage - World Stage
  12. Hugo - Time On Earth
  13. Alfonzetti - Ready
  14. Sammy Hagar - Ten 13
  15. The VU - Phoenix Rising
  16. Street Legal - Thunderdome
  17. Two Fires - Two Fires
  18. Ten - Babylon
  19. Adriangale - Feel The Fire
  20. Brad Gillis - Alligator
  21. Vaughn - Soldiers & Sailors On Riverside
  22. Dreamhunter - Kingdom Come
  23. Higher Ground - Perfect Chaos
  24. Newman - Dance In The Fire
  25. David Coverdale - Into The Light
  26. Melodica - Long Way From Home
  27. Burning Rain - Pleasure To Burn
  28. Kip Winger - Songs From The Ocean Floor
  29. Marvelous 3 - Ready Sex Go
  30. SR-71 - Now You See Inside
Honorable Mentions....(in no particular order)



THE BEST SONGS:
(Ranked In Order)

  1. Journey - Higher Place
  2. Danger Danger - Dead Drunk & Wasted
  3. Millenium - Wheels Are Turning
  4. Mitch Malloy - You Lift Me
  5. Journey - Signs Of Life
  6. Millenium - Power To Love
  7. Raine - I Am
  8. Mitch Malloy - When I Try
  9. Westworld - Uneasy
  10. Newman - Burned

  11. Harem Scarem - Remember
  12. Journey - To Be Alive Again
  13. Kharma - Wonderland
  14. The Sign - Crossed The Line
  15. House Of Shakira - Unforgiven
  16. The VU - Keys To The City
  17. Hugo - This Love Song
  18. The Sign - Forever Again
  19. Kharma - Free Yourself
  20. Jim Peterik w/ Dennis De Young - To Miss Somebody
  21. Henry Lee Summer - My Turn Train (Live)
  22. Kip Winger - Resurrection
  23. Two Fires - Surrender
  24. House Of Shakira - Miracle
  25. The Sign - I'm Alive
  26. Dreamhunter - Kingdom Come
  27. Brad Gillis - Heart Shaped Wings
  28. The Sign - The Wait
  29. Millenium - Chasing Time
  30. Sammy Hagar - Tropic Of Capricorn
  31. Raine - Blinded
  32. Danger Danger - I Do
  33. Marvelous 3 - Little Head
  34. Brad Gillis - Bigger Than Life
  35. Vaughn - Is That All There Is?
  36. Danger Danger - Grind
  37. Jorn Lande - Edge Of The Blade
  38. The VU - So Long
  39. Ten - Give In This Time
  40. Two Fires - River Of Destiny
Honorable Mentions....(in no order)



2000!

So 2000 has come and gone. It has been an interesting year to say the least, with plenty of melodic rock to talk of and plenty that also didn't happen.
To start my recap and commentary of the year just past, let's go back to my 1999 wrap up and see if my predictions for 2000 came true!

It started with me stating that if the Journey album actually gets released it will be hard to beat.
Well, for those that bought the Japanese release it should indeed feature highly, as it does with me. The rest of you will have to wait for April and your Best of 2001 lists.
As for the album itself, it was the best produced album of the year, but should have been with a budget of a quarter of a million dollars.
The US version will make it even better and I predict it will be THE album of 2001.
House Of Shakira and Danger Danger both got their albums out finally - both well worth any wait and high on my personal favorites of the year.
Chris Impelliteri released his new album, but then promptly dumped Rob Rock who went solo and produced an even better album.
Impellitteri is now shackled with original singer Graham Bonnet. Now that will be interesting.

Danny Vaughn went for the modern route of the classic melodic rock strains of Tyketto, but it was still a cool effort and the next one will hopefully be even more melodic.
The Sign proved to be as good as expected, maybe even better, taking the more adventurous route. A classic in the making and I look forward to more.

Scheduled to be released in 2000 was a new Big Bad Wolf album. That never arrived and still has no ETA. But my hopes for it remain high for 2001.
Also due in 2000 was the much anticipated Mike Slamer / Chris Thompson project. Well at least that album is almost done, but don't hold your breath for a release. I have no idea when it might appear. As good as some of the tunes I have heard are, with the huge Steelhouse Lane style production, the style is just not what I was hoping for and I doubt what most other fans of these artists are looking for. The songs are not overly in an AOR vein.
As for a new Steelhouse Lane album - I won't place any money on betting when or if that will happen. For the sake of melodic rock - I hope it does - and this year!

Also in 1999 I made a comment regarding the upcoming Heartland album.
No, it wasn't as heavy or as raw as it could have been, but it was still the best effort since the debut. I would however, love to hear the band go either really raw and heavy, or soften up and record a pure AOR album.

Johnny Lima and Danny Danzi worked hard on their new albums, neither made it to the store shelves, but are high on my expectations for best of 2001.

Van Halen anyone? Well....2000 was certainly not their year. I hope 2001 will be.

OK, some general thoughts on the year that just was...
The year began with what was easily the worst experience of my website running career. The whole February Van Halen fiasco was a disaster after I was fed and believed some bullshit information. I still believe someone in the VH camp set me up, to gauge public reaction. That I don't think I will ever know for sure!
The fan reaction to the news wasn't pleasant, nor was some of the things written on various message boards. Fair enough to some of it, as the info was crap! But a few did cross the line. One in particular you will see when you read on!
Not to mention that my own message board was hacked into and destroyed! At least that forced through the upgrade of the current board, which is easily much better.
Things improved with my follow up reports, but the year ended without a single word from the band.
There was word of Eddie's health scare, which again was played down without any real public statement.
Listen to the fans guys - let's hear some news soon!

There was a few lawsuits going around, with Dennis De Young VS Styx and Lou Gramm VS EMI, not to mention Saxon VS Saxon....the big surprise of the year was Survivor VS Jimi Jamison being settled, only to lead into Survivor VS Survivor the TV show!
House Of Lords VS Michael Guy was thankfully avoided thanks to some good will on both sides of the fence.

Tribute albums continued to flow freely...with more on the way, it seems 2001 will continue to feature some good and some crummy ones.

Quite a lot was said towards the end of the year about the quality of melodic rock. To be honest, I believe things are looking pretty damn good as far as most releases are concerned.
Of course there are always a few Dogs out there, that will always be the case as it has been since the dawn of time. I think the independent AOR labels are aware that fans want an increased production value and that will continue to improve.
As far as 2000, it was better than 1999, which was better than 1998, which was better....
I believe things will continue to get better and better, even though I do not believe that things will ever truly be mainstream again. Classic AOR I think is always going to be a cult thing. But as long as the labels we have now continue to put out strong product and continue to improve their product - and we support that - things can only improve.
At least there are some rockers out there that are willing to do this partly just for the love of it!
And believe me, if there are any dud releases; send the labels and artists a clear message by not buying it. That is the only way to getter better quality over time.

2001!

What's in store?
Releases to look out for:
If it ever gets here, the US release of Journey's Arrival will be huge, I am also expecting big things from the new Danny Danzi, Bob Catley, Dreamhunter, Von Groove, Hurricane & Johnny Lima albums.
The Van Halen album is my number one anticipated release. Eddie and Co know this has to be their best album in years, if not ever, so I am eager as hell to hear any of this. Can you imagine the value of an advance tape?!!
Mike Tramp e-mailed me from Denmark to say his new record was almost done and he believes it could be his best yet, so I am hanging out to hear that - hopefully when he lands back home here March 1!
Another big solo record will be Terry Brock's upcoming release. It's more pure AOR than The Sign and should go down a treat.
Snakes In Paradise are hard at work on making their best album ever, that's one to look for, along with new Diving For Pearls and Riverdogs releases!
After the sensational debut album from Stranded, their new album is highly anticipated.
Jeff Scott Soto's long awaited return in Humanimal should be a killer - mid year is looking good for that.
Let's hope a Night Ranger record can be made, but if not, the march release of Kelly Keagy's solo masterpiece will be more than ample. Wait until you hear these songs!!
Other Night Ranger releases include Brad's cool album getting European release and Gary Moon's unreleased work is taking shape to be released Those are also very cool tunes.
There will be NO Damn Yankees release :(
A new Aerosmith album is upon us, but at this point I have lost much of my interest in the band. I really thought Nine Lives was a little below par.
If House Of Lords can get it together, they will be in the Top 5 for the year I am sure. Same goes with Magum's re-union.
As will Zebra and Dare - IF the albums ever get finished!!
One big question that would create a KILLER rock record - will Jack Blades and Neal Schon get together for a project?

Who won't make records this year?
I unfortunately doubt Survivor will get it together, nor will this line up of Styx - especially if the lawsuit rolls on, same with Foreigner....
Rick Springfield plans to write all year, but we won't see a studio album until 2002. We might get a new EFX soundtrack though.
Heaven are still trying to finish their new album, but who knows when that might get release...same goes for the Slamer / Thompson project. MTM may now not release it.
Mike Reno solo album anyone? Wouldn't place money on it...
And I heard something funny this week. The webmaster for Boston's site has apparently said that Tom Scholtz is HOPING for a 2001 release!! Oh my God...put me down for July 2002.

12 months from now, let's take another look back and see what happened!




The 2000 melodicrock AWARDS:
A sometimes serious (sometimes not) look at the year just past:

Take A Look at 1999's Awards.


Firstly (and sadly..) RIP: Loverboy bass player Scott Smith, Benjamin Orr, Mike & The Mechanics vocalist Paul Young, Ian Dury, NYC drummer John Guido and Harem Scarem, UFO, Portrait Records, Fair Warning.

Vocalist Of The Year: Steve Augeri - for both his work on Journey's new album and on tour with the guys. This man deserves a lot of praise for filling an un-fillable void. Runner up - Jorn Lande for the awesome job on Millenium and his solo project and having the guts to work with Yngwie!

The Best Producer Award: Kevin Shirley for the 'spanking' sound of Journey's Arrival CD. Runner up - Ralph Santolla for Millenium and Teer & Roy Z for Rob Halford, Rob Rock & The Tribe Of Gypsies.

Worst Albums of the Year :
Yngwie Malmsteen, Southfork, The Liberators, Rock Superstars (crappy label's fault), Bigelf, John Farnham, 58, King Prawn.


The 'Survivor' award for BAND NAMING RIGHTS: TIE! Frankie Sullivan - winning his own award for suing the TV show for releasing a CD titled Survivor and Styx for their upcoming dispute.

The 'Japanese Label' one last cash-in award: Warner Bros. Japan for the second year running! Well done guys! They get this award for another year of Harem Scarem releases, with yet more to come!
Close runner up - Styx and REO Speedwagon for that awful effort on the Arch Allies release.

The 'Journey' Award for Successfully replacing a Vocalist: Van Halen - even though it hasn't been announced or confirmed!

The Failure in Replacement Vocalist Award: Impellitteri - for throwing out the great Rob Rock.

The 'Kiss' Award for Most Money Made For Least Amount Of Work: Tribute Albums - For those regulars that pop up on every tribute album released.

The Just Release The Bloody Thing Award: TIE! Journey (Arrival USA Version), Danger Danger (Cockroach), Slamer / Thompson and Dare (Belief), Wicked Alliance & Alias 2.

The Welcome Back Award: MULTIPLE TIE! House Of Lords, Magnum, Hardline, Tesla, Winger, Drive She Said, Oni Logan & Jeff Scott Soto.

The 'Krokus' Go Away Award:Michael Bolton

The Donald Trump Award: Goes to Greg Giuffria and his new attire. One hopes he will alter his appearance for the House Of Lords photo shoot!

The Worst Case Of Publicity Award: Rick Springfield for that unfortunate arrest.

The Worst Record Label Award: Blue Dolphin Records for having a courier standing by at the studio to pick up master tapes because the band had run over draconian deadlines.

The Beat The Bootleggers Award: Marcie Free for making old demo MP3s available from her site. Great job!

The 'Spinal Tap' Award: UFO for that fabulous UK tour and their added onstage antics.

The Best Fan Website Award: VHForums.com - That's my favourite place to cruise and listen to Van Halen fans debate everything and anything. Great site.

And last but not least!

Dickhead of the Year Award: Pazzo - Who the hell is Pazzo? I wish I knew, but that's the handle he goes by. He's a Van Halen fanatic that sent me several e-mails in the early stages of this year. They are so seriously funny, I had to share them with you. I can only hope any of you don't have the misfortune of crossing this clown's path.

E-Mail One: (On discovering there was no update as promised)
There isnt shit at your fuckin site. I thought you were full of shit now I know it. ha ha fuck you.

E-Mail Two: (On seeing the Van Halen update)
Andrew, Your site was just updated here in MA. so first I want to apologize to you for thinking you were full of shit. Second I want to apologize for the other stuff I said and I want to thank you for sending me mail when you didnt have to. The site didnt update until I went to "lots new in review" and then back to the frontpage. But whatever thats hindsight. Thanks again for your confidence and I'm sorry I blew it with my big mouth and (not that it matters to you ) I will continue to use your site above all others for music news.
paZZO

E-Mail Three: (On not liking the update!)
Hey Andrew there are a lot of people out there who think your full of shit!!! Your info better be legit or you better start wearing a disguise!!! lol or maybe a cup!!! ha ha
You will have to shut down your site if your the piece of shit they are saying you are!!!
I hope for your sake it's legit. Or maybe I don't after what you wrote to me!
see ya jerky boy
PAZZO

E-Mail Four:
You little piece of shit! Your a fraud and to think I was dumb enough to actually waist keystrokes mailing your pussy ass.
Your site is in trouble now as the major Van Halen and David lee Roth sites are calling you melodi CROCK.com. Your just trying to get extra play on your site by posting rumers. You have no sources asshole, your a punk and I'm the one laughing . Hang it up your done...
Last time you chump!
PAZZO

Hope you have all enjoyed the 2000 run down!


VOTE IN THE 2000 POLL!