I’ve run down my list of rock, country and old-timers’ albums you should check out before the clock strikes 12 this Dec. 31, but what about all the extraneous releases that didn’t make it onto those lists? With that in mind, herewith are the music notes left over in my inbox.
Almost eclipsing that time they sang with Elmo, but not quite
The Goo Goo Dolls came roaring back with “Boxes,” their best album since the ‘90s.
Although it could explain Ringo’s drumming
Listening to the newly re-released “Live At The Hollywood Bowl,” the question isn’t why The Beatles gave up touring, but how they toured as long as they did while the entire audience was screaming and screeching like it was about to get picked up by Kong.
Add Spider-Man and it’s like the best issue of Marvel Team-Up ever
Beyonce and Jack White took a break from taking over the world to produce a “Lemonade” highlight, the unexpected collaboration “Don’t Hurt Yourself.”
Apparently Elmo was not available
Van Morrison covers “Bein’ Green” -- twice! -- on the newly released “It's Too Late to Stop Now...Volumes II, III & IV” from 1973.
They were immediately appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services
“Revolution Radio” didn’t have much new to offer, but the world still needs Green Day so that there’s someone willing to yell “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA” on national television.
And Col. Tom Parker somehow still collected his 50 percent
Elvis Presley, who passed away 39 years ago this past August, still managed to put out two (good!) albums this year: “Way Down in the Jungle Room,” which revisits his final recording sessions, and “The Wonder of You: Elvis Presley with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,” in which the orchestra plays with an Elvis hologram, presumably.
They had remained united in their resentment of Lionel Richie
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed a stunning version of “Purple Rain” in Brooklyn to mark the passing of Prince in April. (And released it as a free download afterward.)
If HE’S depressed, you can imagine how I feel
Springsteen also released what many were calling the best music book of the year, his memoir “Born to Run,” which detailed his struggles with depression and anxiety.
Taking their name way too literally
Canada’s Tragically Hip mounted a farewell tour with frontman Gord Downie, who’d been diagnosed with brain cancer.
Which would explain his fondness for capes
Charles Bradley released “Changes,” his third critically acclaimed soul album since launching a solo career at age 62 following 14 years in a James Brown cover band.
If it doesn’t make you want to punch Blake Shelton in the nose, there’s something wrong with you
Miranda Lambert released “The Weight of These Wings,” a massive double break-up album that covers all the feels.
Apple, meet tree
Ryan Harvey, Ani DiFranco and Tom Morello recorded “Old Man Trump,” based on a recently discovered 1951 Woody Guthrie song about how Donald Trump’s father was a racist a-hole.
Making country music adorable again
Kacey Musgraves tipped the cute meter with “A Very Kacey Christmas,” featuring a song about a hippopotamus and a duet with Willie Nelson that may or may not have had a reefer reference.
Although they’re still tough to listen to while you’re on the elliptical
Finally, sales of vinyl records continue to increase, even overtaking digital downloads in earnings this past month for the first time since Apple launched iTunes. If only they weren’t so expensive: It may come to the point when hipsters have to choose between their vinyl and their mustache wax.
Peter Chianca is Director of News & Operations for Gatehouse Media North of Boston and author of “Glory Days: Springsteen’s Greatest Albums.” Follow him on Twitter at @pchianca.