I never want to do the lists too early in December, just in case I'm knocked out by something new that slides in after the deadline. But work is now in progress and I've spent a lot of interesting time relistening to possibles that have somehow failed, thus far, to shout their merits unarguably in my ears...
I have to report that I have still been unable to listen to the whole of Bob Dylan's Tempest all through at a single sitting - which means it's unlikely to make the cut. I've come close, but the concluding sucker punch of the interminable title track followed by the mawkish 'Roll On John' has always defeated me till now. It's a shame, because I really like some of the record.
If I had a single of the year category - I don't, because I don't buy enough to make it a proper test - then the Record Day release of 'Duquesne Whistle' b/w 'Meet Me In The Morning' would be a strong contender.
The A-side deserves to be an A-side, with a bounce and swagger and verve that I find irresistible. And it's backed with an absolute gem, unexpected given the determination with which both the bootleggers and Sony have already mined the seventies' vaults: an unreleased acoustic take of the familiar Blood On The Tracks classic, presumably from the initial New York sessions and featuring - a further presumption - Bob himself picking some lovely guitar lines, impassioned and imperfect (often the best combination, I'm sure you'll agree...). Only available on that limited vinyl, so far: do try to hear it if you can.