Looking back at 2020

This has not been, I think we can all agree, a year that we will look back upon particularly fondly. We finally saw a perfect storm of long-building problems with climate change, civil rights abuses, far-right politics, and more, and subsequently all spent most of the year locked up in our homes.

The world of music, meanwhile, has been an interesting one. I suspect revenues hit an all-time low, as pretty much nobody went out to any concerts for most of the year. Dance music in particular has taken some interesting side steps, as nobody had anywhere to go and dance, so the US and UK Club Charts have been on hold since March or April.

In spite of that, there have been many bright moments, with plenty of free concerts on YouTube (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark‘s recordings and Jean-Michel Jarre‘s somewhat successful attempt at an immersive virtual reality experience spring to mind). My age-old favourite band The Beloved have forged ahead with reissues of their first two albums, and the brilliant Sophie Ellis-Bextor took the first UK lockdown as an excuse for a greatest hits album, which is very astute indeed.

There is, of course, plenty more that we could mention, but I’ll leave it to you to consider what. In spite of everything, there has been lots of creativity to celebrate in 2020, and while I think we all hope that 2021 will see some degree of return to normality, I hope the inventiveness continues.

Jean-Michel Jarre, by the way, is trying again tonight, with his Welcome to the Other Side virtual concert, which should be a suitable way to close out this disastrous year, in case you don’t have any other plans.


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