Many rockers from the 60s and 70s were either inactive or forming pathetic reunion tours, but Richard Thompson came up with the year's best release, Mirror Blue, Joni Mitchell won a Grammy for Turbulent Indigo, and Carly Simon bounced back with the lively Letters Never Sent. Adrian Belew released another catchy one-man Beatlefest.
We haven't heard many really appalling discs from this year, aside from the mega-popular soundtrack to The Lion King and Bush's unlistenable faux Britpop; there are two discs we recommend for fans only: Donna Summer's Christmas album, and the Beatles' collection of BBC recordings.
The year's best jazz record was Geri Allen's 21; top Latin album was India's Dicen Que Soy. (DBW)