YEAR IN ROCK: 2012

Top Rock Stories & Milestones of 2012

2012 was a great year. We saw the reunion (kinda) of Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones celebrated their 50th Anniversary, Van Halen released their 12th studio album and Kiss released their 20th. We saw meltdowns, family problems, inductions and we lost some of rock's greatest. Take a look back through the year as we recap some of the top rock stories and milestones of 2012.

Year in Rock: 2012  

Led Zeppelin get back together ... kinda
On October 9th, a slightly testy Led Zeppelin met the press at New York's Museum Of Modern Art following the screening of their new concert movie, Celebration Day. Although John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham were respectful to the writers and reporters, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were clearly annoyed that they genuinely wanted to know if the band is considering any new work or concerts. Page and Plant would respond to any reunion questions by staring the reporter down -- Plant alternately pretended to snore and even called a reporter from The Associated Press a "schmuck" for asking about ...
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The Rolling Stones in 2012
The Rolling Stones released six digital downloads over the course of 2012 chronicling some of their legendary shows over the years as part of their ongoing "official" bootleg series via Google Play. The official boots included such newly remixed titles as Hampton Coliseum: Live 1981; L.A. Friday (Live, 1975); Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones - Live At The Checkerboard Lounge - Chicago 1981; Light The Fuse: Toronto 2005; Rolling Stones Tokyo Dome (Live 1990); and The Rolling Stones: Live At Leeds Roundhay Park - 1982.Mick Jagger says that due to the fact that rock is among the oldest ...
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AC/DC finally comes to iTunes
The Internet got a little bit louder in 2012 as AC/DC's entire catalog was finally made available on iTunes.The band was one of the last major holdouts who were yet to release their music via iTunes. They'd previously rejected the format in an attempt to preserve the sanctity of the album as a format. "Since iTunes came into existence, we've actually increased our back-catalog sales without being on the site," Angus Young had previously said. "We are a band who started off with albums and that's how we've always been. We always were a band that if you heard ...
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Rush releases 20th studio album
2012 saw the release of Rush's 20th studio album, Clockwork Angels. It debuted at Number Two on the Billboard album chart on Wednesday (June 20th) selling 103,000 copies in its first week of release. The disc marks Rush's highest chart debut since 1993's Counterparts, which also entered at Number Two. The Canadian trio has yet to land at Number One despite having 28 releases make the Billboard chart in the past four decades. Clockwork Angels also beat out the band's previous effort, 2007's Snakes & Arrows, which sold 93,000 copies to debut at Number Three.The past 10 years have ...
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New Van Halen album arrives; band pulls off the road
After years of rumors and speculation, Van Halen released its 12th studio album, A Different Kind Of Truth, on February 7th. The disc was the first full-length set of original material from the band in nearly 14 years and the first with founding vocalist David Lee Roth since 1984. At least seven -- if not more -- of the songs included on the album were reworked versions of tunes first recorded on demos or performed live back in the mid-to-late-Seventies. Although the album and subsequent tour were generally well-received, Van Halen pulled off the road and canceled most of a ...
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Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi battles cancer
No sooner had the original members of Black Sabbath -- singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward and bassist Geezer Butler -- announced that they were regrouping to record their first all-new album in 34 years than those plans were completely upended when Iommi was diagnosed with cancer in January. A 2012 world tour was scrapped, although two festival dates -- England's Download Festival in June and Chicago's Lollapalooza event in August -- were eventually scheduled.To complicate matters, Ward announced a month later that he could not participate in either the album or any potential tour unless ...
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Kiss releases 20th album
Kiss is back with a hit album, proving that nearly 40 years into their career, the band is still a force to be reckoned with. Their newly released collection, Monster, debuted on the Billboard 200 album charts at Number Three -- one position lower than 2009's Sonic Boom collection -- but tied with the band's next highest charting set, 1998's Psycho Circus.Gene Simmons admits that the love and support the band has been given by their "Kiss Army" remains beyond their wildest imaginations: "Kiss fans are beyond anything we ever dared hope for, in terms of fans. We were ...
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Aerosmith return to Boston
On November 5th Aerosmith returned to their Boston, Massachusetts neighborhood to perform an hour-long set in front of thousands of fans. The concert was played in celebration of the release the next day of their long awaited new studio album, Music From Another Dimension, the 2012 Presidential election, along with Boston Mayor Tom Menino declaring the 1325 Commonwealth Avenue building -- where Aerosmith lived from 1970 to 1972 -- a historic landmark, with a special commemorative plaque placed outside on the building. The band was introduced by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his son Jonathan. Joining the Kraft's ...
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The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Although a winning night for music fans everywhere, the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Cleveland's Public Hall on April 14th was marred by the absence of three major performers. The Faces' Rod Stewart, who frankly has always found an excuse to not reunite with the band in the past decade, backed out of the brief reunion performance at the 11th hour claiming he had the flu and was ordered by doctors to remain at home in Los Angeles. Shortly before his death, the Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch had been battling cancer for the past several ...
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The Who in 2012
The Who closed out the 2012 London Olympic ceremonies on August 12th with a three-song medley, featuring "Baba O'Riley," "See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You," and "My Generation." Roger Daltrey, rather than Pete Townshend, sang the bridge to "Baba O'Riley" and changed the words to "Don't cry, just brace your eyes/There's more than teenage wasteland" in deference to the young Olympiads surrounding him. Veteran British keyboardist Chris Stainton joined the band onstage, along with longtime Who associate Billy Nichols on backing vocals. Drummer Zak Starkey played a clear multicolored drum-kit, with Townshend's younger brother Simon Townshend on rhythm guitar, and ...
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The Doors release classic Hollywood Bowl show
In October, the Doors released Live At The Bowl '68. The collection, which marks the first time the Doors' complete July 5th, 1968 show has been released in its entirety, is available in a number of formats, including CD, DVD, Blu-ray disc, and a double album.Unlike nearly every other artist that releases a live collection and tells you it sounds just like it did onstage, co-founder Ray Manzarek told us that as great as the DVD sounds -- it was far better sounding where he was sitting that night: ["(Laughs) Are you kidding?!? It doesn't sound like it sounds ...
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Bruce Springsteen in 2012
On March 6th, Bruce Springsteen's released his 17th studio album, Wrecking Ball. The collection, which was the followup to 2009's chart-topper, Working On A Dream, features 11 new recordings and was produced by Ron Aniello and Springsteen, with longtime manager Jon Landau serving as executive producer. The late Clarence Clemons contributed to two songs on Wrecking Ball, the title track and the studio version of the E Street Band live staple, "Land Of Hope And Dreams" -- which has been re-worked with hip hop-type rhythms and a full gospel choir. The album's sound broke new ground for Springsteen with touches ...
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Bon Jovi: family trouble and a world tour
19-year-old Stephanie Bongiovi, the eldest of Jon and Dorothea Bon Jovi's four children, was busted at Hamilton College on November 14th on charges of drug possession. She was taken into custody after police responded to a report of an unresponsive female who had allegedly overdosed on heroin. Bongiovi was taken to a local hospital to recover, but in the meantime she and 21-year-old Ian Grant were arrested after police found marijuana, a small amount of heroin and drug paraphernalia in her dorm room.The two students were booked on misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana ...
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Glenn Frey releases first album in 20 years
In May, the Eagles' Glenn Frey released his first solo album in nearly 20 years, the standards collection, After Hours. The set, which is the followup to Frey's last album, 1992's Strange Weather, features a string of American classics -- but stretches the "American Songbook" genre to include songs through the 1960's, including "Route 66," "I Wanna Be Around," "For Sentimental Reasons," Burt Bacharach & Hal David's "The Look Of Love" Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds closer, "Caroline, No."We asked Frey what made him want to join the legion of artists going the standards route: "I ...
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Joe Walsh returns after two-decade hiatus
Joe Walsh issued his first album in 20 years on June 5th, with Analog Man. The 10-track album was produced by Walsh with ELO/Traveling Wilburys co-founder Jeff Lynne. Walsh explained to his belated return to recording, admitting that he's at a loss for digital technology, saying, "I am what I am -- I'm an 'Analog Man.' I just really feel like it's all come together and finally I feel like a complete person and a complete musician. I think there is some confidence in there that I never had. That's what I was hiding."One of the album's standout tracks, ...
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Frampton Comes Alive ... again
Newly released is Peter Frampton's new DVD and Blu-ray FCA 35 Tour: An Evening With Peter Frampton and it's companion triple CD set, Best Of FCA! 35 Tour. The DVD features footage taped at New York City's Beacon Theater and Milwaukee's Pabst Theater, with Frampton personally going through the tour's performances for the hottest versions of all the songs for the CD. As well as performing the 1976 Frampton Comes Alive! album in it's entirety, the new set dips into his recent works -- including the 2006 Grammy Award winning instrumental collection, Fingerprints, his most recent album, 2010's Thank You ...
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ELO's Jeff Lynne returns with two albums and new documentary
ELO's Jeff Lynne came back in 2012 with two new albums -- the covers collection called, Long Wave and his note-for-note re-recordings of ELO's biggest hits -- Mr. Blue Sky - The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra. Long Wave, which is released under Lynne's name, is his first new set since ELO's 2001 album, Zoom. Long Wave features such pop and rock standards as the Everly Brothers' "So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)," Don Covay & The Goodtimers' "Mercy, Mercy," Roy Orbison's "Running Scared," Etta James' "At Last," the Four Aces' "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing," ...
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Green Day: new albums, meltdown, rehab
Green Day was supposed to return in triumph toward the end of the year, releasing the first of three all-new albums, Uno!, on September 25th, with Dos! to follow in November and Tre! to arrive in January. But things took an unexpected turn when frontman Billie Joe Armstrong sought treatment for substance abuse following a profanity-filled tirade at the iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas on September 21st.Armstrong exploded after his band's set was cut from 45 minutes to 25, and he was given a signal halfway through their seventh song that they had one minute left. After screaming for ...
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The Beatles in 2012
On February 7th, Paul McCartney released his first standards collection, Kisses On The Bottom. The set was produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Tommy LiPuma and features Diana Krall and her band -- as well as guest appearances from Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder. The album is most notable for being the first album in which McCartney plays no instrument on, choosing instead to sing live in from of the jazz ensemble.McCartney told us that it was nice to work outside the confines of the rock world, which can seems to be pretty cut and dried once you hit the ...
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2012 Obituaries
Ronnie MontroseFamed '70s guitarist Ronnie Montrose, who co-founded the Northern California hard rock band Montrose with Sammy Hagar, died on March 3rd at age 64, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Montrose had been undergoing a battle with prostate cancer. Montrose, who was born in Colorado, but ran away to San Francisco when he was 16, first made his mark on the rock world with his contributions to Van Morrison's 1971 collection Tupelo Honey, before a brief stint with Boz Scaggs, which led to his joining the Edgar Winter Group, and performing on their two biggest hits, ...
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