Monday, December 17, 2012

Top 5's of 2012! - Matthew Phillips!

Next up on our "Top 5's of 2012" we have Matthew Phillips! Good ole Matthew is always somebody I can count on for a good long post once in a while when I ask something like this.. He is always happy to share what he purchased and I for one am always eager to read as I am sure the rest of you are!
Any time Matthew wants to talk some music and records he always has a place to post his thoughts and views on Maritime Vinyl!
Take it away Matthew! 

"Since 2009 I have been keeping track of my album purchases in simple text files.


It started with tracking the name of the band/album, and progressed to band/album/date.


What I do now (as of 2011) is to not only keep track of band/album/date, but also where something was purchased, and I organize them into groups (for example if I buy a bunch of things on the same date they get grouped together).

It's given me new perspective on my buying habits.

2012 was a banner (i.e. expensive) year for album purchases, and most of these were back catalogue.

For me, 2012 started with buying almost all of Queensryche's discography on CD through their online shop (at 50% off). For anyone following the Queensryche drama that happened later this year...ugh, I really picked the wrong time to get into this band. I've been a fan for years, but go figure the year I buy all of their stuff...they splinter in two. Curious to see what becomes of the two touring "Queensryche"s.

I rediscovered Digital World in Fredericton this year. You just can't beat 4-for-$10 CDs ($2.50 each!) all of which were mint/near mint, save for cracked jewel cases (which I replaced). I made 8 trips to Digital World this year and always came back with something. One of the best finds was a mint copy of Metallica's "Garage Inc." double-CD from 1998 (again, for only $2.50!)

Replacing those jewel cases also lead me to discover that it's rather hard to find those 10.4mm plastic jewel cases (the original black ones, and the clear ones). Ironically, it's easier to find blank VHS tapes and cassettes. I still haven't been able to find many of the clear ones. Most stores will have the thinner cases, if they carry any at all. When I found stacks of the black ones by chance in Woodstock at a Dollar Store while visiting my friend Tim Durling (who you also interviewed this year) I bought every single one.


I bought 11 new albums that debuted in 2012. Nothing obscure or indie in my list, it's classic rock all the way. (What, no Foo Fighters? No Black Keys?)

My 5 favourites (in no particular order) were:

·         Devin Townsend "Epicloud"
Released: September 18, 2012 (6 days after my birthday!)
Bought online from

·         Van Halen "A Different Kind Of Truth"
Released: February 3, 2012
Bought at Fredericton Walmart (Northside)

·         The Darkness "Hot Cakes" 2-disc Special Edition
Released: August 27, 2012

Bought online from

·         The Beach Boys "That's Why God Made The Radio"
Released: June 5, 2012

Bought online from

·          Black Country Communion "Afterglow"
Released: November 8, 2012

Bought online from



I bought 6 other albums that debuted in 2012, including:

·         KISS "Monster"

·         Aerosmith "Music From Another Dimension"

·         ZZ Top "La Futura"

·         Big Sugar "Eliminate Ya! Live"

·         Slash "Apocalyptic Love"

·         The Cult "Choice Of Weapon"

I wasn't expecting anything groundbreaking from KISS or ZZ Top, but I was rather disappointed with the latest from The Cult and Slash, and most recently Aerosmith.

Slash's record, "Apocalyptic Love" is decent; some might consider it very good. But it just doesn't compare (for me) with his previous album from 2010 that featured so many great, eclectic songs and guest vocalists like Lemmy, Adam Levine, Fergie, Ian Astbury, Ozzy, Iggy Pop and Chris Cornell.

However, seeing Slash live in concert for the first time totally made up for it.

Check out my show review here:

My favourite purchases of the year were:

·         Finally getting brand new (still in the shrinkwrap!) copies of all 3 of The Beatles' "Anthology" double-CDs from Bullmoose in Bangor, ME. I couldn't believe they had all 3 UNopened. It took me 17 years to finally buy them (the first one was released in Nov 1995, and I got them in Nov 2012). I've had the gigantic hardcover "Anthology" book, and the superb DVD documentary since they were released, but never the actual CDs. Listening to them for the first time was quite a treat.

·         The Devin Townsend Project's "By A Thread Live In London 2011" which I also bought at Bullmoose back in June. Excellent 9-disc live boxset from four Devin Townsend Project concerts held in London, England (4 DVDs, 4 CDs and 1 bonus CD). The live concert footage is not true "HD" quality, but it was a steal for less than $50 for the 9-disc set. And what an epic set of shows!

·         Some various vinyl albums by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, The Beach Boys (their latest, and also the 7" single for "That's Why God Made The Radio"), The Cult ("For The Animals" 7-inch picture disc) and Metallica's "Beyond Magnetic" vinyl EP.

·         A special edition of Metallica’s So What! magazine called "Metallica The 30th Anniversary Event" that came with an exclusive 7-inch vinyl single of “So What!” and “Through The Never,” recorded during the four 30th anniversary shows in 2011.

So far I haven't made any album purchases in December. But the month is still young :)

I would like to get a copy of Devin Townsend's "Epicloud" on blue vinyl, and for that matter any of the other favourites on my top 5 list, on vinyl. I had Van Halen's latest in my hands, but $45 was just too much for something I already own on CD.


Unexpectedly, I guess my favourite album (and biggest surprise of 2012) was Van Halen's "A Different Kind Of Truth". Still enjoying this record 10 months later. They reached way back into their '70s demos and pulled out a winner IMO. A special addition to the album is a second CD with video interviews of David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen.

Check the interviews out online here:


Runner-up would be the reformed The Darkness with their first album in 7 years, "Hot Cakes". It's a really superb album of cheeky, well-produced hard rock that's less grandiose though more accessible than their first 2 albums. And oh, that album cover!

Check out the making of the "Hot Cakes" album cover here: "

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