2014 is coming to a close and so much has happened it’s hard to remember it all. Luckily, now is the time to rewind and take a look at some of the biggest music stories of the year. There were epic comebacks, rockstars getting in trouble, break ups, and lots of controversy. This may not be everything that happened in the music world, but these are the moments that blew up Twitter and Facebook. How many do you remember?
Class of 2014
Even though the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an annual event, this was one of the institution’s biggest years with induction of Hall and Oates, KISS, and Nirvana. It was especially big news for the grunge band as they were one of the few acts to be inducted during their first year of nomination. But the event didn’t happen without controversy. It was originally stated that former Nirvana drummer Chad Channing would be inducted with the other members, since he recorded with the band on their debut LP “Bleach,” but this turned out to be false. KISS faced a similar issue. They lambasted the ceremony when they learned Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer, who’ve been playing with the band for a number of years, wouldn’t be inducted with the four original members. Luckily, things went off without a hitch the night of the ceremony. Let’s hope the 2015 inductees won’t cause a stir.
A Plot to Kill
A lot happened in the heavy metal world this year, but this was one of the year’s most shocking stories. Last May, Tim Lambesis, founding member and lead singer for metal band As I Lay Dying, was arrested in Oceanside, CA for attempting to hire a hitman to kill his estranged wife. The couple separated in 2012 after Lambesis told her he no longer loved her and took part in an extramarital affair. Though the singer initially pleaded not guilty for solicitation of murder, he changed his plea to guilty in February 2014 and was sentenced to six years in prison. All of this prompted members Phil Sgrosso, Nick Hipa, and Josh Gilbert to leave the band with Jordan Mancino as the only original member. While it’s not clear whether or not the band will continue without him, Mancino and the other ex-members formed the new band Wovenwar.
Saying goodbye to the Crue
When Motley Crue says this is the end, they really mean it. Though they haven’t released a new album since 2008’s “Saints of Los Angeles,” the metal band embarked on what was to be their final tour before retiring. To ensure they kept their word they signed a “Cessation of Touring” agreement, which will go into effect when the world tour wraps up next year. Guess they won’t be following Cher’s strategy for farewell tours.
Return of the King of Country
2014 was the year of Garth Brooks. Not only did he come out of his 2004 retirement, he also released his first new album “Man Against Machine,” in 13 years. To support the disc, he embarked on a world tour that’s been selling out all over the country. Unfortunately, Brooks did not play Ireland as he was originally scheduled when the Dublin City Council refused permission for two of the five shows planned. Brooks didn’t want to short change fans and canceled all five performances. Amid all of this, it proves that Brooks is still the king of country music and will hold the title for many more years to come.
Reunited and it feels so good
By now we’re used to at least one notable band getting back together to give it one more shot at making music, but this year saw many heavy hitters united again. The most talked about reunion came from Outkast who went on hiatus in 2007. The duo returned this year for a string of shows, including Coachella and Lollapalooza. Pink Floyd are another band who reunited to deliver what’s to be their last album, “The Endless River” and metal band Atryeu returned from their 2011 hiatus with a new song “So Others May Live” to the joy of all their fans. With so many exciting reunions, we can’t wait to see who will come together in the next year.
Red Hot Chili Peppers Controversy
People didn’t know what to think when it was announced Bruno Mars would perform at the Superbowl Half Time show. He had big shoes to fill, which he did flawlessly at the event. Surprise guests Red Hot Chili Peppers even helped. While everyone marveled at how buff 52-year old Anthony Kiedis looked, the next day it was revealed that bassist Flea and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer weren’t actually playing their instruments. Rather, they mimed along to pre-recorded music. Flea tried to defend the decision by stating it’s a rule for all Superbowl Half Time artists to use pre-recorded music. As it turned out, Mars’ backing band also didn’t play their music live, but largely went unnoticed with the Chili Peppers taking all the fire. It wouldn’t be a half time show if there wasn’t some bit of controversy.
Not so innocent afterall
Ever since Beyonce dropped an album that no one knew about in 2013, other artists have been using the same tactic with not-so-great results. U2 was next in line to try it out, but with a twist. Instead of posting their latest LP, “Songs of Innocence” online, they released it on every iTunes account whether people wanted it or not. While the band was trying to share their music free of charge, many people became enraged and kept screaming for the album to be taken off of their account. It also lead to the debate whether releasing music free of charge devalues the art of music. Bono and the gang did eventually issue an apology, but it’s sure to be an event to go down in the band’s history.
“Weird Al’s” hits #1
“Weird Al” has always been the king of parody, but he cemented the title in 2014 with the release of his fourteenth studio album “Mandatory Fun,” which included parodies of hit songs like “Fancy,” “Blurred Lines,” “Happy,” and “Royal.” Turning the familiar songs into tunes about foil, bad grammar, and tacky fashion sense gained him his first number one album of his long career. The single “Word Crimes” even became his fourth top 40 song, making him one of the few to achieve a feat in four different decades. Sadly, it may be Yankovic’s last traditional album since his contract with label RCA has come to an end, but hopefully it won’t be the last time we hear from him.
Michael Jackson’s Xscape
The King of Pop’s first posthumous release “Michael” was met with mixed reviews and lots of controversy. Luckily, things turned out better for his second posthumous release. “Xscape” was a collection of unreleased demos from Jackson’s estate, which were then given a contemporary spin thanks to producers like L.A. Reid and Babyface among others. Though there was some debate as to whether the demos should’ve been tampered with or left alone, no one could deny how fantastic the single “Love Never Felt so Good” was. Everyone from the critics to the fans loved it and it even charted at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. It was a surefire hit for the late singer proving he still had some tricks up his sleeve.
A Year in Memorium
Though lots of big things happened in music this year, the music world also lost a number of artists. On January 3rd, Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers passed away. In the same month, Dennis Frediksen, singer of Toto and LeRoux, died at the age of 62. The heavy metal world felt great loss when Dave Brockie AKA Ordorous, leader of GWAR, died on March 23rd at the age of 50. Tommy Ramone, drummer and founder of seminal punk band The Ramones, lost his battle with bile duct cancer and Bobby Womack died from illness complications at the age of 70. The one death no one saw coming was that of Wayne Static, the Static-X frontman. He was only 40 years old. 2014 also saw the loss of Devo guitarist Bob Casale, Johnny Winter, and Casey Kasem. They will all be sorely missed.
It’s no surprise that Jay-Z was involved with one of the biggest stories of the year, but it had nothing to do with his wife, Beyonce for once. Instead it was about his seemingly random beat down from sister-in-law, Solange. Footage of the scrap from New York’s Met Gala was leaked and posted on TMZ. The black and white clip showed Solange kicking and punching the rapper while he attempted to ignore the whole thing. Beyonce and co were very quiet on the incident and only released the following vague statement: “families have problems and we’re no different.” While the world is dying to know the cause of the fight, this is probably all the insight we’ll get from the family.