Top 7 biggest upcoming rock releases

1. David Bowie: ★, Jan. 8

Blackstar is due out on Bowie’s 69th birthday. “All my big mistakes are when I try to second-guess or please an audience,” Bowie said in 2003. “My work is always stronger when I get very selfish about it.” Blackstar seems to be Bowie’s own thing — audience be damned. It features an odd blend of jazz, hip hop, and electronica.

2. Megadeth: Dystopia, Jan. 22

Megadeth’s 15th studio album features some new artists: Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler and Angra guitarist Kiko Loureiro. The disc quickly follows up the band’s 14th album after guitarist Dave Mustaine felt “a sense of mortality” upon the death of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman.

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3. Yoko Ono: Yes, I’m a Witch Too, Jan. 22

A follow-up to Yoko’s 2007 LP, Yes, I’m a Witch, this sequel includes collaborative covers of her large catalog by a range of musicians including Death Cab for Cutie, Tune-Yards, Sparks, and Yoko’s son Sean Lennon.

Here’s Death Cab’s interpretation of her work:

4. Elton John: Wonderful Crazy Night, Feb. 5

Elton John’s 32nd studio album was largely written and recorded in three weeks (per UCR). “For me, it’s a joyous record,” he continued. “It’s like going back to the ’70s, there’s a lot of ’70s-influenced things in there, but it’s a record that’s been made in 2015.”

5. George Fest: A Night to Celebrate the Music of George Harrison, Feb. 26

This disc captures 2014’s George Fest. The star-studded event paid tribute to the former Beatle with performances by Brandon Flowers of The Killers, Conan O’Brien, Brian Wilson, the Flaming Lips, Wilco, Norah Jones and others.

6. God Don’t Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson, Feb. 26

A host of superstars pay tribute to Blind Willie Johnson’s ethereal gospel music on this new disc. Among the stars: Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Cowboy Junkies, The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Sinéad O’Connor, Luther Dickinson, Maria McKee, and Rickie Lee Jones. Here’s the song Lucinda Williams will cover:

7. Nada Surf: You Know Who You Are, Mar. 4

Nada Surf’s back with their understated pop rock. You Know Who You Are is the band’s 9th studio album. The band’s most iconic song “Popular” became a mid-90s anthem.

Here’s a track from their newest disc:


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