The Year in Music: October 2010

October 2010, the subject of our latest look at the year’s biggest events in music, was full of big releases and a lot of insider knowledge about our favourite musicians.

To honor what would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday, most of his albums were remastered and re-released both individually and in the limited edition Signature Box set. Also made available were two compilation albums, Power to the People: The Hits and Gimmie Some Truth, and Double Fantasy: Stripped Down, which contained alternate mixes and takes on the original 1980 album.


The 25th annual Farm Aid benefit concert takes place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Performances by Willie Nelson, Jason Mraz, Norah Jones, Neil Young, Band of Horses, John Mellencamp, the Bo Deans, and more brought in over $2 million in ticket sales.


Bruce Springsteen’s The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town airs on HBO.


Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?), a documentary about the life and music of the singer behind such songs as “Without You”, “Everybody’s Talkin’”, “Best Friend”, “Midnight Cowboy”, “Coconut”, and “Spaceman”, is released on DVD. It featured many interviews from musicians and industry insiders like Brian Wilson, Eric Idle, Yoko Ono, Micky Dolenz, All Kooper, Van Dyke Parks, and more.


It was announced that the popular Broadway musical Jersey Boys, based on the story of the Four Seasons, would be turned into a movie, with Frankie Valli himself as a possible executive producer.


It was also announced that a Mama Mia-styled movie musical based on the music of the Beach Boys is in the works. Actor John Stamos, who previously toured with the group, will be one of the film’s producers.


Rolling Stone Keith Richards’ memoir Life was well received by most critics and hit the top of the nonfiction charts. The book reportedly took over five years to write and moved publishers to offer Richards a $7 million advance.


Taylor Swift’s Speak Now album goes platinum in its first week and becomes one of the best-selling albums of the year.


Some of the other notable albums released this month included Big Time Rush’s B.T.R., Bruno Mars’ Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Darius Rucker’s Charleston, SC 1966, Kings of Leon’s Come Around Sundown, Sugarland’s The Incredible Machine, Emily Osment’s Fight Or Flight, Finger Eleven’s Life Turns Electric, Joe Satriani’s Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards, David Archuleta’s The Other Side of Down, and the Hannah Montana Forever compilation album.


Some of the notable musicians we lost this month were “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” singer Solomon Burke, rapper Eyedea, Chairmen of the Board’s General Norman Johnson, opera singer Joan Sutherland, the Caravans’ Albertina Walker, keyboardist T. Lavitz, the Nylons’ Denis Simpson, and reggae musician Gregory Isaacs.