Reflecting On a Year In Music Like No Other

Music was no stranger to the horrors of 2020. As March lockdowns rolled around and COVID cases soared, it became evident that tours would, at least temporarily, become a thing of the past. Our favourite artists were forced to go back home and twiddle their thumbs whilst we were forced to stay at home and...twiddle our thumbs. In the modern age, where record companies take the vast majority of earnings from record sales, it is from tours that artists now make their money, so let's not underestimate the financial hit that many of them, particularly smaller artists, took on behalf of our health.

But it hasn't all been doom and gloom. By their very nature, musicians are creative people and if they can't go on tour, you can bet they'll compose instead. The combination of lockdown and home studios has seen a torrent of new music that otherwise wouldn't have existed, including efforts from the likes of Charli XCX and Corey Taylor, not to mention the TWO albums from Taylor Swift, with Folklore sequel Evermore coming out of absolutely nowhere to be released today.

Indeed, adversity fuels creativity. Aside from new music, artists tried a few other ways of entertaining both themselves and us too. Many artists, including Chris Martin, John Legend and Lady Gaga performed virtual concerts from their homes, often raising money for charity in the process. Others, like Goldfinger, remade old songs and released them as home studio videos. And then there were the actors who decided that singing John Lennon's 'Imagine' in an attempt to show solidarity would be a good idea...

Yeah, we'll gloss over that.

Iron Maiden were also active, though not always musically. Guitarist Adrian Smith has certainly been busy, having written a part-autobiography, part-fishing book Monsters of River and Rock, recorded a new project with fellow guitar legend Ritchie Kotzen and has also just started a new series in which he tries - not altogether successfully - to remember how to play some of the more obscure tracks of Maiden's catalogue. Bruce Dickinson, meanwhile