, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It was another busy year for melody-drenched rock and roll. Releases were coming fast and furious and frankly I could barely keep up. Still, I managed to get 82 posts up on the blog in 2022 and write over 64,000 words on the loosely-defined rock and roll sub-genre I call ‘poprock.’ I couldn’t write about everything that crossed my desk or what others may have necessarily thought was review-worthy, I just covered what caught my ear or worked itself into some kooky theme I cooked up. So let me be clear, what appears here is a completely arbitrary exercise in personal taste and discretion. I’m sure others may have a somewhat different set of worthy tunes that deserve more attention. And that is totally cool. The point is to celebrate the artists and perhaps give people another shot at checking them out.

So here it is, Poprock Record’s top 50 should-be hit singles from 2022:

1. Grrrl Gang “Pop Princess”
2. The Bleeding Idahos “The Beat Said”
3. Dazy “Rollercoaster Ride”
4. Bloody Norah “Shooting Star”
5. Allan Kaplon “Restless One”
6. Televisionaries “Over and Out”
7. John Larson and the Silver Fields “Reversible Heart”
8. Push Puppets “There’s No-one Else Like Lynette”
9. Tamar Berk “Your Permission”/“Tragic Endings”
10. Freddie Steady Krc “Bohemian Dandy”
11. The Toms “Atmosphere”
12. The Proctors “You and Me and the Sea”
13. The Minders “Home”
14. Richard Turgeon “Better With You”
15. Flipp “You Can Make It Happen”
16. Bill DeMain “Lone Ranger”
17. Limblifter “Haystack Rock”
18. Stephen Schijns “I Met Her Yesterday”
19. The Rubs “When I Dream About You”
20. Edward O’ Connell “Golden Light”
21. Superchunk “Endless Summer”
22. The Kryng “Get”
23. Freedy Johnston “There Goes a Brooklyn Girl”
24. Phil Thornalley “Fast Car”
25. Lawn “Down”
26. The Stroppies “The Perfect Crime”
27. Beachheads “Jupiter”
28. Martin Luther Lennon “jfkha”
29. David Woodard “Stupid Kid”
30. Linda XO “California Girl”
31. Richard X. Heyman “When the New Dawn Comes”
32. Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard “Break Right In”
33. Sloan “Magical Thinking”
34. Teenage Tom Petties “Boxroom Blues”
35. The Demos “Streetlight Glow”
36. Suburban HiFi “In Her Reverie”
37. Moonlight Parade “Amsterdam”
38. Ricky Rochelle “In a Dream With You”
39. The Telmos “What She Knows”
40. Marc Jonson and Ramirez Exposure “Tape Recording”
41. Sky Diving Penguins “Run Boy”
42. Novelty Island “Jangleheart”
43. Goodman “Au Pair”
44. Pictish Trail “Melody Something”
45. Kevin Robertson “Tough Times (Feel Like That)
46. U.S. Highball “(You’ve Got To) Activate a Carrot”
47. The Wends “What A Heart Is For”
48. The Rallies “Must Be Love”
49. Jane’s Party “It’s Been Years”
50. Frank Royster “Open Door”

There were so many great songs put out this past year, I was spoiled for choice. And choosing wasn’t easy. Sometimes I cheated a little. Grrrl Gang’s “Pop Princess” technically came out before 2022 but I only got around to writing about it this last year. What a tune! It’s a perfect example of the kind of excitement a great single can generate and, really, why I write this blog. People need to hear it! Or there’s the fresh indie hooks driving The Bleeding Idahos’ “The Beat Said” and Bloody Norah’s “Shooting Star.” Dazy had a knock out AM radio earworm with “Rollercoaster Ride.” And then there was veteran songster Allan Kaplon coming on like The Highwaymen at first only to let loose the Rockpile hooks in the chorus of “Restless Ones.” There were new faces and old favourites and surprises aplenty. Click on the links to go to the original posts featuring each song.

I had to create a few new categories this year, just to capture all that was good and groovy about 2022. The post-Covid covers album phenomenon continued and most were great fun. But some were particularly inspired. And then there were a lot of acoustic guitar-dominant tunes out this past year that I felt really needed to be singled out in a category I’ve dubbed folk pop.

So, without further ado, here are Poprock Record’s most inventive covers from 2022:

1. Kurt Lanham “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (The Beatles)
2. Lisa Mychols and Super 8 “I Can’t Explain” (The Who)
3. Bill Lloyd “The World Turns Around Her” (The Byrds)
4. Andy Bell “Light Flight” (Pentangle)
5. Murray Atkinson “Bus Stop” (The Hollies)

And here are Poprock Record’s top folk pop singles from 2022:

1. Fjord Mustang “Health Class Field Trip”
2. Rogers and Butler “Oh Romeo”
3. Bats “Golden Spoon”
4. *repeat repeat “Hm Feels Like”
5. Steve Robinson and Ed Woltil “Make Amends”
6. Chris Castino “Chinese Whispers”

I do love making lists but the choices do not amount to any big heavy pronouncement on anything – just my bit of fun and chance to celebrate these artists a little bit more. Check them out and see if you don’t agree, they’re seriously good!

Photo courtesy Fred Rockwood.