You’ve heard me talk about this before: the best music releases of the year are quite often released within the fourth quarter — specifically, between late August and late November. This is so prevalent that you can set your watch to it. We’ll have a few strong spring releases, usually bands that already have a long-lasting cred; summer will be full of chart-worthy pop; late summer will be kind of skint, but may also contain some unexpected gems. But from September to just after Thanksgiving? You’re gonna see a crapton of releases.
Why? Simple: Christmas shopping!
It works on multiple levels. The spring releases are usually slow-burners and tried-and-true names that guarantee a sale. The summer releases are the impulse buys to celebrate vacation time. The end of summer is usually quiet because the kids are too busy purchasing things for school or college. But by the time September rolls around, there’s money in hand once more. And secondly: as much as we hate to admit it, a lot of us really do start our Christmas shopping hella early. And the music business knows this, so they’ll keep the guaranteed high-sale titles for when the shopping is at its highest.
So what do we have on tap in the rock universe, anyway? What’s coming out that’s going to take my hard-earned money?
–The Wedding Present, Going, Going…
–Bastille, Wild World
—The Beatles, Live at the Hollywood Bowl reissue
—The Head and the Heart, Signs of Light
–Local Natives, Sunlit Youth
–Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Skeleton Tree
–Against Me!, Shape Shift with Me
—Steven Wilson, Transience
–Warpaint, Heads Up
–Banks, The Altar
–Big Jesus, Oneiric
–Pixies, Head Carrier
—Regina Spektor, Remember Us to Life
–Kaiser Chiefs, Stay Together
—Green Day, Revolution Radio
–Melissa Etheridge, MEmphis Rock and Soul
—Placebo, A Place for Us to Dream
–The Orb, Chill Out, World
–Beck, (title TBA)
–Korn, The Serenity of Suffering
–Empire of the Sun, Two Vines
—Madness, Can’t Catch Us Now
…and that’s just what’s been announced over the past few months that I’m interested in hearing. By late September we’ll start seeing more titles from all kinds of groups and across all the genres. We’ll start seeing more box sets and major reissues (An expansive box from Pink Floyd, and Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage, for instance). Mixes and greatest hits packages will start popping up. And somewhere in there, probably mid-October and early November, we’ll start seeing new and repackaged Christmas albums as well.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year indeed, especially if you’re a music nerd like I am.