The biggest rock band of 2013? That would be Imagine Dragons … and that tells you all you need to know about the year that was.
That’s not to slight the Dragons, who hustled their way into the the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and nabbed a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year. Instead, it’s meant to point out how down of a year it was for so-called established rock acts: Sure, Paramore, Kings of Leon and Pearl Jam all released records , but none of them had the impact of Night Visions. Instead, it was the newcomers — and massive (yet minor) bands like Vampire Weekend and Arcade Fire — who carried the mantle in 2013.
Though we suspect this year might be different. Could 2014 be the year the big bands strike back? Looking at the calendar, that seems to be the case. Triumphant returns, high-stakes follow-ups and much-discussed mystery projects, they’re all on tap this year … and they all made our list of the Most Anticipated Rock Albums of 2014.