This year, the icons of rock have made big statements. Some legends like David Bowie and Prince are gone, but not forgotten, while others like Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana have reminded the world they're not going anywhere. These are acts with international appeal, as European music downloading and streaming service Qobuz can confirm. While the service caters to a wide range of styles, audiophiles across the European continent made their favorites clear — especially with these legendary artists' albums available in crystal clear High-Res Audio format.
"From the masterpieces of Bowie and Prince to guitar legends Clapton and Santana, music is a constant reminder that whatever path we take, we are always following in the footsteps of the greats," said Pauline Laurent, Qobuz partnerships manager. "Albums by legendary artists, brimming with timeless tracks, abound on Qobuz in High-Res." Here are the top 5 albums that got audiophiles on Qobuz downloading.
Here are the top 5 albums of 2016 that got audiophiles on Qobuz downloading.
Artist: David Bowie
Often called his "parting gift" to fans, Bowie's "Blackstar" was released two days before his passing. Critics and music buffs note that the British music icon was likely aware that this was his swan song, with lyrics that don't shy away from the topic of mortality. The album maintains the ethereal and experimental style that "The White Duke" was known for, this time mixing in notes of jazz for a riveting last journey fans were thrilled to go on. "Blackstar" became Bowie's only No. 1 album on the Billboard charts, and it topped the British charts for three weeks.
2. "Santana IV"
"Santana IV" is a love letter to classic rock enthusiasts of the Woodstock era, as the new album combines the talents of Carlos Santana with his four bandmates who helped the album "Santana III" go multi-platinum in the early 1970s. This reunion album 45 years in the making peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard charts, and keeps the band's well-known focus on Santana's big guitar solos and Latin flavor. Michael Carabello, Karl Perazzo, and Michael Shrieve bring a pounding percussion to the 16 all-new tracks written and produced by the band.
3. "Purple Rain"
Artist: Prince and the Revolution
Selling over 22 million copies worldwide, "Purple Rain" has grown from simply a film soundtrack to being hailed as a cornerstone of 1980s rock and culture. With three chart-topping hits in "When Doves Cry," "Let's Go Crazy"—and of course, "Purple Rain"—the 1984 release is widely considered one of the best albums of all time. Prince's untimely passing has brought new attention to the Grammy and Oscar winning album with a style all Prince's own — a blend of genres that defies description.
4. "I Still Do"
Artist: Eric Clapton
Clapton's 23rd studio album continues his successful work in blues, offering both original melodies and covers performed with smooth, soulful sound boasting a variety of instruments and a refined flow. The highly praised album by the rock icon has topped multiple international charts, including the Billboard Independent, Rock and Blues charts.
5. "Face Value" (Remastered Hi-Res Version)
Artist: Phil Collins
A remaster of Phil Collins' highly regarded solo debut album, "Face Value" gives fans a chance to rediscover his blend of lower-key R&B with pop ballads and rock. The original album topped British and Canadian charts, including hit single "In the Air Tonight" and its powerful percussion. The remaster is being praised for how well many of "Face Value's" tracks sound in High-Res Audio, with the new bonus content also getting critical approval.
Listen to the Top Albums in High-Resolution Audio
To amp up your music-listening experience, try listening to the top albums of 2016 on your Sony Walkman®. A High-Resolution Walkman® will allow you to listen to music in the highest-quality sound and provide you with plenty of storage space to hold all of your favorite music albums and playlists. To enjoy High-Resolution Audio to its fullest, consider trying out the NW-ZX2 High-Resolution Walkman®, which optimizes sound through S-Master™ HX digital amplifying technology. And for High-Resolution Audio sound with a distinctive style, opt for the NW-A20 Walkman®, which comes in a wide variety of color choices to suit your personal taste.
These tracks by some of rock's most recognizable names make a fantastic starting point for any music lover's collection. Though all these artists first made their names in rock, these albums also give European fans a taste of blues, jazz, funk, and R&B. There are tons of offerings in all of these genres on Qobuz — perfect for building a music playlist to listen to during a workout, on a drive or while relaxing at home.