What better way to start 2013 than with the return of David Bowie? On January 8 the legend celebrated his 66th birthday by surprising fans with his first album in 10 years. The success of ‘The Next Day’ was followed by an Arcade Fire collab, a Mercury Music Prize nomination and a new role as the face of Louis Vuitton.
Iconic high street music store HMV went into administration on 15 January 2013 after a losing battle against online retailers. At first the shop enraged customers by refusing to accept vouchers despite selling them over Christmas, but it backtracked later in the month.
January saw the emergence of two of the year’s biggest new acts, LA-trio Haim and London-quartet Palma Violets. Both were tipped for success in NME’s Stars Of 2013 issue and went on to release roaring debut albums later in the year.
Morrisey was forced to cancel a series of US and Mexico gigs in January 2013 after suffering from a bleeding ulcer, double pneumonia and a throat condition called Barrett’s oesophagus. “I spent over four weeks on a drip, but I refused a blood transfusion,” he said.
When White Noise – Disclosure’s track with AlunaGeorge – was released on 1 February 2013, it shook up the UK dance scene. Fast-forward 10 months and Disclosure have had a Number 1 album and four Top 20 singles.
After 22 years of waiting, My Bloody Valentine fans were finally treated to a new album on 2 February 2013. Drum’n’bass-inspired ‘m b v’ was downloaded so many times it crashed the band’s website before its physical release later in the month.
Former Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr bagged Godlike Genius at the NME Awards 2013. He was celebrated by fans and peers including Noel Gallagher, who said: “He can’t be imitated as a guitarist as he came up with something totally unique.”
On 4 February 2013, The Postal Service announced their first tour in a decade – including two UK gigs – to celebrate the 10th anniversary reissue of ‘Give Up’. Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello had only hit the road together once before.
After reports of a altercation between Frank Ocean and Chris Brown over a parking space, it was no surprise when Chris remained seated when he lost out to Frank at the Grammys on 10 February 2013. What was a surprise was Adele appearing to give Chris a telling off for it.
The Cribs picked up the Teenage Cancer Trust Outstanding Contribution To Music prize at the NME awards on 27 February 2013. The band also played at the event. “A huge honour. Thanks so much!” they posted on Facebook.
Prince revealed his stance on free music streaming on 11 February 2013. The pop icon unveiled a new track titled ‘Boyfriend’ on his 3rdeyegirl website, but charged fans 57p to listen to it. He also wouldn’t allow fans to watch the video for single ‘Screwdriver’ online, instead making them pay £1.13 to download it.
Adele bagged an Oscar for best original song for Skyfall, the soundtrack to last year’s Bond film, on 24 February 2013. The track is the first Bond theme to ever win an Oscar.
Oh, the ‘Harlem Shake’. Who could have predicted the Bauuer track would take on such a life of its own? After a clip of a group of Aussie teenagers dancing to the hit was uploaded to YouTube in early February, it seemed everyone was making copycat videos.
In March, Arctic Monkeys announced they had a new Dr Dre-inspired album on the way. ‘AM’ was released in September and bagged NME Album of the Year.
The Brit pop world imploded on 23 March 2013 when sworn enemies Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher played together at a Teenage Cancer Trust gig in London.
Justin Bieber’s year didn’t start well There was the whole ‘disrespecting Anne Frank’ kerfuffle, the ‘peeing in a bucket’ saga, the tour bus drug search and, of course, Mally the monkey who was confiscated in March (and who’s started a new life in a German zoo).
The black parade finally ended on 23 March 2013 when we said goodbye My Chemical Romance. Gerard Way posted a poetic blog post to announce their split. “My Chemical Romance is done. But it can never die. It is alive in me, in the guys, and it is alive inside all of you,” he wrote.
Some might have lost hope when The Strokes’ 2011 comeback album ‘Angles’ was shrouded in drug rumours, but the band’s comeback-comeback album (released on 25 March 2013) was a corker.