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She may have left the stage decades ago, but 2018 was a vintage year for die-hard fans of the mysterious Bobbie Gentry, with a rare vinyl release on Record Store Day followed in September by a career-spanning CD box-set, The Girl From Chickasaw County

Another of music’s great enigmas, Mazzy Star are among the guest stars on Bobbie Gentry’s Delta Sweete Revisited, contributing their cover of ‘Big Boss Man‘ to the upcoming tribute album from Mercury Rev. Hope and David also released a new EP, Still, featuring the lovely ballad, ‘Quiet, The Winter Harbour‘.

For the millions of us still mourning Prince, there was an exquisite album of acoustic demos, Piano & A Microphone 1983. David Bowie’s headline set from Glastonbury 2000 was released in full, and Trine Dyrholm starred in Susanna Nicchiarelli’s biopic, Nico, 1988.

And I’m still playing catch-up with two great albums from the last two years: Lissie’s My Wild West and The Breeders’ All Nerve.

Sharon Van Etten gave us a first listen of her next album, Remind Me Tomorrow, with the 80s rock-influenced ‘Comeback Kid’…

Another welcome return, Cat Power’s Wanderer featured the lead single ‘Woman’, with backing vocals from Lana Del Rey…

Norman Fucking Rockwell, Lana’s fifth album (sixth or seventh, if you count her Lizzy Grant/May Jailer days) will be out on March 29, 2019. Produced with Jack Antonoff, early glimpses suggest she’s going back to her roots.

Madonna, who turned sixty this year, has been busily working on her next album (expected in spring of 2019) with her old collaborator Mirwais and hip-hop producer Mike Dean. It’s said to be influenced by the ‘fado’ music she’s been soaking up in Portugal. At the Met Ball in May she owned the Catholic Art theme with a dramatic performance, including a preview of a new track, ‘Beautiful Game’.

A slew of new books commemorated her milestone birthday – the best ones came from super-fans Chris Wade, Quentin Harrison and Matthew Rettenmund

Amy Winehouse was also the subject of two great photo books from Charles Moriarty and Blake Wood, and a documentary about the making of Back to Black, featuring a full performance from 2008.

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