Looking back at 2014

Well, way back at the start of 2014, we tried to predict what might be coming up this year. Let’s see how accurate those predictions were!

January

With a lot of care, we made our way into a brand new year by officially getting very excited about Awards season!

February

We went all out on investigating the history of the BRIT Awards, as well as covering the Grammys and – exclusively – our own Stowaway Awards!

March

Launching “exciting” new features in March seems to have become traditional on this blog, and sure enough, March 2014 saw the start of the hugely successful Beginner’s guide series. Which, incidentally, will be back very soon…

April

We celebrated the 30th anniversary of West End Girls, the 20th anniversary of Liberation, the 10th anniversary of Flamboyant, and the 5th anniversary of Yes, all in one action-packed Week of Pet Shop Boys.

May

In May, as every year, we celebrated the latest Eurovision Song Contest.

June

The middle month of the year saw us running the last series of reviews of early demos from Joy Division, New OrderDepeche Mode, and The Beloved.

July

In the height of summer (in the northern hemisphere), we celebrated our second anniversary, celebrated the addition of streaming to the UK chart, and looked at new releases from Sébastien Tellier and Andy Bell from Erasure.

August

In August, we ran a series of movie reviews, including Tomb RaiderThe Beach, and Sparks‘ wonderfully obscure movie-to-be about Ingmar Bergman.

September

We held our second annual Week of oldies, with reviews of great and not-so-great albums from Lightning SeedsEverything But The GirlYazoo, and others.

October

We posted our 808th post, and rolled back to see the finest singles of 2003 and 2004, as well as celebrating the 2014 Q Awards!

November

We celebrated the 40th anniversary of the release of Kraftwerk‘s Autobahn by reviewing a selection of their fantastic back catalogue.

December

… brings us to the end of 2014! Happy new year!

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Top tracks of 2014 – Zero 7

Zero 7 have had their ups and downs over the years, from the fantastic debut Simple Things to some of their more questionable latter albums. Whether you agree with that statement, or disagree one way or another, we should all be able to settle on one thing – their latest single Simple Science is truly brilliant. Number 6 on our countdown of 2014.

Top tracks of 2014 – U2

A lot of people were upset, incensed, or otherwise miffed when U2 handed out free copies of their latest album Songs of Innocence. If you bother to track it down, what you’ll find is that it’s actually quite good – so much so that Sleep Like a Baby Tonight is number 7 on our countdown of 2014.

Top tracks of 2014 – Diamond Version

Pet Shop Boys‘ own input to 2014 was pretty minimal (the Flourescent 12″ single which was released for Record Store Day and a special Prom were their main contributions, and neither was quite up to the standard of 2013’s breathtaking Electric album). In his spare time, however, Neil Tennant also contributed to Diamond Version‘s album CI with this track, Were You There. Number 8 on our countdown of 2014.

Christmas 2014 for stowaways

I don’t know if you know this, but it’s Christmas today. In the northern hemisphere it’s the middle of winter, and merry orphans are singing. Or something. But do take a moment to contemplate, because someone very important was born on this day.

Last Christmas, I shared some snippets from earlier moments on this blog, and you’ll have no doubt seen the extra festive features from the last few days. Which should give you plenty to do between opening presents. Merry Christmas!