2020 is about to come to an end – and the last three posting of the years re about to honor the best experiences of the year. The first posting will be about my favorite songs, followed by my favorite albums and EPs – and New Year’s Eve will simply feature The Best Ones – travel, music and sports experiences. In contrast to the 2019 posting, I decided to share more songs with you in this posting for 2020 – music simply took a significantly major role on Flyctory.com in 2020 compared to previous year.
My Favorite Non-Country Songs in 2020
It is getting harder and harder for me to name non-country songs, which heavily influenced me. I even switched from mainstream radio (there is no radio-transmitted country radio in Germany) to rather news and info channels, as I hate the overflow of similar songs. Still, these seven tracks really deserve it to me listed – and they cover a wide range from German Schlager to Heavy Metal.
7. Brief an meinem Vater by Michelle
This song, which deals with Mcihelle’s father, who repeatedly persuaded his wife to come back from the women’s shelter (and abused her again), is a hidden gem of songwriting, but of couse also a the saddest track on her 2020 album Anders ist gut. A clear proof that German Schlager is not necessarily cheap and thin. Great one!
6. Where The Angels Fly by U.D.O. & The German Armed Forces Band
After the collaboration of German metal legend U.D.O. and The German Armed Forces Band (Musikkorps der Bundeswehr) was already done and their album We Are One about to be produced, they recorded this additional track to thank and honor the German Covid-19 helpers.
5. Kuchen und Bier by Böhse Onkelz
The Böhse Onkelz are likely one of the most controversal bands in the German hard rock scene, but undoubtedly, they do great music. Their 2020 self-titled album was another masterpiece – and this track really accompanied me during 2020 a lot.
4. King & Queens by Ava Max
You will see a lot of rock and hard rock in this ranking – as well as stuff, which is not mainstream. But if it is done well, I do like pop music (which, vice versa, means that I feel a lot of stuff is no longer done well). Kings & Queens by Ava Max is the only song in my ranking, which also made it to the Top 100 Annual Single Charts in Germany. I simply like it – and I like some more tracks on her September 2020 Heaven and Hell album.
3. Big Distortion by Joe Satriani
According to my new rating system, Shapeshifting by Joe Satriani was the first album to receive the full 5.0 / 5.0 rating. This may be a bit of surprising as the album is in fact instrumental. I could have picked from a long list of candidates from this album to enter my Favorite Song ranking – but Big Distortion is simply my favorite one.
2. Lydian Sea by Jim Kimo West
I ran into a lot of very interesting instrumental tracks and albums – but more guitar stories by the wonderful Jim Kimo West was definitely another great release in 2020. The album is nominated for the Grammys – I keep my fingers cross that he makes it. If you like to learn more about Kimo, by the way, just enjoy my Spotlight interview with the guitar player of Weird Al Yankovic.
My Favorite Non-Country Song:
Strange Days by The Struts feat. Robbie Williams
I have to admit that I did not know The Struts at all before I received the promo for their October album release Strange Days. Having the title track alongside Robbie Williams is already quite a statement that you got a good reputation in the British music industry – and these guys deserve it, no doubt. My favorite song spot for one of the most interesting collaborations of the year.
My Favorite Song during 2020, which has been recorded in previous years
Live Is A Full Time Occupation by Thinkman (1988)
I have to say, that my trip to Gran Canaria, especially my chase for old recording places of the German Zärtliche Chaoten II movie, really influenced me during the last two months of the year. The soundtrack of the movie ran again and again, not only while on the album. This track, played at the very beginning of the movie, did not have any major commercial success. Sad fact about this song: the mastermind behind Thinkman and Life Is A Full Time Occupation, Rupert Hine, died in June this year.
My Favorite Country Songs in 2020
I got in touch with so much great country music – I just felt to share ten of my favorite songs with you in this listing for 2020.
10. This Year Sucks by Twinnie
The wonderful Twinnie was the last artist to enter this listing. This Year Sucks is a typical looking back to the year how only the British country-pop girl could do it. I absolutely love her and this track.
9. Hoodie by Cassadee Pope
During the second half of 2020, Hoodie by the wonderful Cassadee Pope was one of my favorite tracks on my Country Music Playlists. Nearly unnecessary to mention that the song is also a great one on her August 2020 release, Rise and Shine.
8. betty by Taylor Swift
Two new albums by Taylor Swift – and both were very late announcement, each just promoted by her social media accounts less than 24 hours before the release. Both albums, folklore and evermore are really good, but the summer release folklore is simply outstanding and also contains this lovely song, betty, which reminded me strongly of Catherine McGrath. Congrats, Taylor, amazing year!
7. Ain’t That Hard by Lauren Jenkins
After her great 2019 No Saint debut album, Lauren Jenkins struggled with her record company – but now working as an independent artist feels to boost her creativity. In a bunch of online shows, she already disclosed new songs, which are likely released in 2021 – but her 2020 Ain’t That Hard again shows her amazing songwriting and performing talent. Deeply miss her.
6. Tip Of My Tongue by Gary Quinn
To me, Gary Quinn is one of the most remarkable people in the British country music scene. One of the song proofs that he is great in writing is this 2020 single, Tip Of My Tongue. Great song, catching melody, love it!
5. Honey In My Head by The Cumberland River Project
Not being “patriotic”, just loving their style: half of my country songs of 2020 are recordings of non-North American artists – and The Cumberland River Project is likely the most amazing one on this list: Frank Renfordt from Hagen near Dortmund is fulfilling his dream, saving some money and releasing his debut album, produced in Nashville. The result is an amazing self-titled album, which has been released in early March 2020. Honey In My Head is the second single, a great listen. I also did a Spotlight interview with Frank this yer.
4. The Song We Sing by Zoeee
Another really interesting artist is Zoee: the lovely Australian is in fact living in Scotland. She released some great songs this year, including the lovely charity single Nashville. The Song We Sing, a sing-along track, is definitely my favorite one, though. Lovely song.
3. Lonely Battle by Sylvia Aimee
Her EP Supehero was already in my most favorite EP of 2019 – and this year, the Dutch Sylvia Aimee produced some great ones again. Lonely Battle, however, was outstanding. An autobiographic song about her own eating disorders. This young lady is a jewel. Hope it can even sparkle more in 2021.
2. Six Feet Apart by Luke Combs
Six Feet Apart is not only the longest running song in my Country Music Playlists, but also some sort of my hymn and cheer-up song during the tough challenges the pandemic gave us this year. We are still waiting for the time concerts are back to normal and we can visit our families without previous testing. Luke Combs simply finds the right (personal) words for this situation.
My Favorite Country Song 2019:
make you by Lindsay Ell
You can compare make you to Lonely Battle somehow: as part of her 2020 album release Heart Theory, make you is simply the song which touched me most during 2020. Lindsay Ell discloses her feeling about being raped twice in her life. What brave, intense and intimate lyrics. My personal favorite song of 2020 is recorded by a Canadian artist – Lindsay simply deserves it!
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