Best Rock Moments of 2013

The highlights of another incredible year of rock news and industry progress. What was your highlight?

Ultimate Guitar

What a year! And what a stunning number of news stories we've had to cover! It's okay, we've plastered the bleeding fingertips of our keyboard-happy news monkeys, and they'll probably recover just fine in time for January in their boxes over the holiday. Before we all chip off and come back in 2014, let's reflect on the biggest and best themes of the year. In years to come, when we look back at what 2013 meant to us and the wider rock scene, this is where we'll come.

The Year of the Comeback Album

If the prior year 2012 was the year of the reunion, then 2013 was the year that many of them finally got out the studio and released their long-awaited records. The big one for the metal world was Black Sabbath and the critically acclaimed "13" - and let's be honest, that could have gone really badly. Kudos to producer Rick Rubin for keeping that ship on track. Another old act who came back from the brink was David Bowie, and while his music isn't to our usual tastes, his defiant artistic style which challenges the mainstream with his integrity is worth praise. It was a solid year for relatively modern bands to finally come back with long-awaited albums. Queens of the Stone Age came back with our award winning Album of the Year, and Nine Inch Nails did a sterling job with "Hesitation Marks" and some of the coolest production all year. Even Daft Punk released a new album, which was simmering with prog elements and by chart standards pretty darn ambitious. The only failures: Black Flag's comeback album (oh dear, oh dear) and the fact that Tool went another year without releasing anything. When will the wait end?!

Times are a’changin'

We might live in the future, but older music has been celebrated too. Rush were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, and Nirvana and KISS are among those who have been announced to follow in 2014.

2013 was also a year that music formats really changed. Albums sales hit an all-time low this summer, and streaming services started contributing to the official music charts. Times, they are a'changin'. But not everyone likes the new trend for cloud music - Thom Yorke, Nigel Godrich and Pink Floyd are among those who have spoke out against new music platforms and their paltry payment rates, while OH WAIT LOOK LED ZEPPELIN ARE STREAMING! LOOK EVERYONE! Expect more distraction tactics in 2014 from the streaming services like this.

Video Schmideo

To close, there have been some kicka-s vitals on YouTube this year - and some not-so-good ones. Too bad these virals never feature metal tracks.

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What's your favorite moment of the year, personal or from the wider rock scene? Share your comments, links and video in the comment section. Here's to a great New Year!

35 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Is it just me or does Krist Novoselic look like Neville from Harry Potter ?
    Gotta love them Vital Videos, amirite UG??? Catchy enough to give you a Vitus. A Vital Vitus.
    Pink Floyd spoke against streaming services this year? They joined spotify this year, can't see how that's speaking against it...
    Favorite moment was daft punk getting no 1 on the charts Worst moment was when many of our rock heroes died this year...
    Sorry but I'm going to be the only person to be honest and say it. 13-Black Sabbath was a crap album that only became successful because people refused to admit it was bad and loved it because it was new Sabbath. It's overproduced, the vocals and lyrics a crap, the whole sound is dodgey, it's just weak
    Chinese Democracy did sell as well, only because it was new GnR even if it wasn't actually GnR. Sabbath had their original members doing the thing and those guys could go record christmas songs while totally wasted and people would buy the album just because it's Black Sabbath. If Led Zeppelin did something now it would sell too, no matter what kind of futuristic über compressed Rick Rubin stuff it would include.
    Ok I agree mostly. The drums were bland and basic for me. The riffs sounded like reworkings of Sabbath clasics, Rick Rubin's sound guys suck, I think Ozzy's vocals were a bit better than some of his other recent efforts, lyrics were average, but on the whole it wasn't terrible just average. Of course people wanted to like it because it was new Sabbath though. I can't fault them for that because I did the same at first. Sadly, it was kinda dull and lifeless. Which may have been remedied by lively, heavy jazzy drums, but I guess that's a pipe dream.
    Rick Rubin has made some great albums, but I've never been in love with his sounds. One of the most overrated producers along with Bob Rock...
    I decided to listen this new album but I wasn't very excited beacause I haven't listen to them for a while ... But my gosh, that was awesome, Tony Iommi's sound is badass. Even if Ozzy is not the best vocalist the album is badass, and I say it again I wasn't excited ... at first
    broken ipod
    I hate those viral videos. Not only are the songs themselves garbage, but the videos never are funny.
    You should check something else by ylvis. And really, you can't expect top class music from them, they are comedians, not musicians, and their talk show really is the best thing I've seen on TV this year.
    OK, the harlem shake I thought was actually kind of good, and thats coming from a metalhead. But are you serious about the fox?! Yeah it was viral, but was it good, no. But the rest of the positions I thought the rest were pretty good, the comebacks, RNRHoF, The pandora and spotifly thing. But I do think personally that vinyls and CD's are better though.
    Yeah, I wasn't too impressed with Black Flag, which makes me sad... But I was impressed with how far streaming music has come. And with all the BS surrounding it, this was really the year that streaming took over, from spotify, to little guys like torch music. If anything, that's what this year will be remembered for.