10 Intriguing Classic Rock Albums to Watch for in 2012

Roger Caldwell
Finally, another excuse to use this photo
Most all of us know the deal when it comes to new music from a famous, old school rock artist:

It's a waiting game.

A waiting game daunted with a lot of vague answers, and sometimes pretty flaky behavior. Some would say this is due to the pace set by successful artists who are no longer as hungry to get that new stuff out, but rather, are used to very long breaks in between very long (and hopefully profitable) nostalgia or reunion tours.

Key phrases like "slated for," and "anticipating" a new release aren't much help for us fans. Not to mention shit like "pushed back indefinitely." It's cause for a big sigh. And in many cases, cause to move forward and explore new music instead (not too shabby of an idea at all).

However, dammit, we just can't help but wonder when those new Van Halen songs will emerge, and (of course) if they're any damn good at all! Speaking of--the VH camp has easily been the worst culprit of rockstar-new-release-flakiness in 2011, after reportedly beginning work on the new songs over 11 months ago, and keeping a complete mum on any word of a release date.

Still, 2012 is shaping up to be an exciting year for classic rock artists releasing new songs. Whether or not they're any good or not, remains to be seen, but the anticipation for those of us who are fans from way back, the anticipation is undeniable.

Let's see what we can see as of press time from a big stack of rock artists' vague agendas:

10. RUSH
When: Roughly Spring of 2012

Rush claim they're starting work on their new LP this winter, and have been so bold as to already indicate a time window and title for the release, "Clockwork Angels". Rush have been on a roll lately as more elder statesmen of prog--what with a riveting documentary on the history of the band, and a retrospective tour spanning their entire catalogue, called "Time Machine."

When: March or April 2012.

ZZ's new Rick Rubin-produced material has been baking most of 2011, and looks to finally be golden brown around the edges and ready to come out in 2012. Despite delays, they did manage to burn a CD of their newest single, "Flyin' High," and send it up with Astronaut Michael Fossum aboard the Russian Soyuz Spacecraft TMA-02M. The track now sits in the International Space Station. Pretty cool sign that you've arrived as a rock star ... when your music makes it into space.

When: Unknown, still in writing stages.

Not as many details available as of press time on this one, but the metal band that just won't slow down with age has gone so far as to recently announce that they are underway with the writing phase, on a new release that looks likely for a release sometime in 2012.

When: Spring 2012.

Aerosmith has been plagued by delays in 2011 as well (due largely to drama between Stephen Tyler and the rest of the band, and his ensuing reaction to sign on to American Idol), but still have been recording some new songs in L.A., as well as Joe Perry's home studio, The Boneyard, in suburban Boston. They've enlisted old-school producer Jack Douglas for this one (Get Your Wings, Rocks, Toys in the Attic), promised the new stuff sounds more "dirty and nasty" than the last decade or so of songs, and it's tentatively due in spring 2012.

When: Early 2012.

KISS' Paul Stanley has gone public on the sound of the new in-progress KISS LP, "Monster", as being "a mix between Destroyer and Revenge." KISS have also apparently ripped a page from the Foo Fighters' playbook, and decided to record digital-free and totally analog for the new record, direct to good ol' two-inch tape. Naturally, the band plans a huge world tour behind it's release, probably adorned with a lucrative corporate sponsor.

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I hate to be a hater, but, other than possibly Soundgarden, there is not one item on this list that elicits more than a barely-awake "meh" from me.

Bob Seeger? Really? Black Sabbath? How come no one frickin' retires anymore? Oh, wait. Tons of aging Boomers, trying desperately to hang on to their youth and eager to fork over their dough. That's why.

Here's a word of advice to all these long-past-their-prime geezers: Rest on your laurels. Let your great works from the zenith of your careers speak for your greatness (if you had it - not so sure about you, Bob Seeger). Now sit down, shut up, and let the next generation do their thing. There are great new bands out there - they're harder to find now that the record company machine has beeen put down, but theyre out there.

just sayin'
just sayin'

I would be very surprised if a new Slayer record comes out next year. Jeff Hanneman is still recovering from a flesh eating virus on his arm. They have already said that they won't write or record without him.


Great read guys but just for the record, the latest KISS release (Sonic Boom) was also recorded on 2-inch tape preceding Foo Fighters' latest by 2 years. 


Yeah....spider bite, likely. How awful!

It looks like, at least according to this >  http://loudwire.com/slayer-wri... ,that they are writing riffs, and I imagine sharing them with him...Id have to continue to place the odds at pretty good on 2012. Nice to know that if it doesnt happen, that a 2013 Slayer release is pretty imminent. So, it looks evident that theyre at least writing while he recovers....recording without him is something I'm sure theyd not consider.


I stand corrected! Thats absolutely right. My B. Thanks for submitting that!So, maybe it was the Foos who ripped a page from KISS' playbook, then? Hmm.

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