Best of 2018: MusicRadar's review of the year

What happened to 2018, then? It doesn't seem like two minutes since we were packing for the Winter NAMM Show in January, but the Christmas decorations are up again and a new year is almost upon us.

At least we've got our memories, though: John Mayer and his hotly-debated PRS Silver Sky; Gibson's trials and tribulations; Quincy Jones sounding-off about... well, pretty much everyone; and the BBC letting you download a vast swathe of samples from its archive.

And that was just the news; we also spoke to some of the biggest guitarists, drummers and producers in the world, reviewed a frankly obscene amount of gear and told you how to do what you do (whatever that is) a whole lot better.

So, pour yourself a hot toddy, turn up your thermostat and put your internet-connected device in a comfortable reading position. We're ready to recap the very best of MusicRadar in 2018, starting with our tuneful galaxy of stars...

Stars on their favourite music and gear

Guitars

Joe Satriani's career in gear: "Don’t worry about Peavey vs Marshall; worry about what sets you free"
Shred sage shares essential electrics, amps and pedals from 30 years of instrumental guitar mastery

A Perfect Circle's Billy Howerdel: the 10 guitar albums that blew my mind
Alt-rock trailblazer reveals the inspirations behind his masterful approach to guitar textures

John Petrucci: "G3 made me rise to the occasion and gain more confidence as a soloist"
Guitar champ talks touring with Satriani and Collen, his second solo record and how Images & Words will feed into Dream Theater's next album

Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt: 10 live albums that blew my mind
Prog maestro picks faves from his expansive record collection

Gene Simmons: “Studio bassists who play with their fingers live have no idea that we can’t hear what they’re playing”
The KISS icon on bass rigs, riches and releasing The Vault

Billy F Gibbons: these are the 10 guitarists who blew my mind
ZZ Top's guitar legend names the blues players who changed his life

Rammstein’s Paul Landers: "I’ve always been the no-amp guy! I have never really bothered with them"
German metal titan on his signature Tech 21 Fly Rig and tone secrets

Rush's Geddy Lee: these are the 10 bassists who blew my mind
"…he was quite possibly the greatest rock bassist of all time. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that"

Tech

Flashmob's favourite music software
House/techno producer Alessandro Magani reveals his top five fave pieces of music software

Me in my studio: Transcode
Emerging Manchester based DJ and producer Transcode shows us the gear that drives his energetic and deep, driven techno

Benny Benassi: 10 tracks that blew my mind
Legendary Italian DJ/producer on the 10 killer dance tracks that gave him the most ‘satisfaction’

John Carpenter: "My son was kind enough to figure out the MIDI for each of those songs, so I’ve not had to suffer through listening back to too much of my old stuff”
The master of horror returns to the world of soundtracks

What So Not's favourite music software
Aussie producer and DJ Chris Emerson unveils his favourite tools for adding a little chaos in the studio

Rex The Dog takes us on a modular adventure
We steady ourselves for a lesson in analogue…

Me in my studio: The Toxic Avenger
Take a tour of the French house producer’s lair

Showtek: 10 tracks that blew our minds
Brothers Sjoerd and Wouter Janssen reflect on the 10 tracks that helped forge their style

Oliver Schories' favourite music software
Techno meets house in Oliver Schories’ music, but only with the help of some old-school plugins

Me in my studio: Crewdson
Meet the Eggiophone, Chromehatic and Concertronica

Christina Vantzou's favourite music software
The Belgium-based composer’s go-to software for hijacking audio, creative stretching and more

The Glitch Mob’s Edward Ma explains how their cutting-edge Blade 2.0 instrument will change the way they perform live
“It’s not something you can buy off the shelf”

Rig tour: Ólafur Arnalds’ live setup and the tech behind the Stratus Pianos
Melodic sequences in unexpected harmony

Rig tour: Richard Devine's Superbooth 2018 live rig
Devine's on-stage nuts and bolts exposed

Drums

Danny Carey: “It’s a sad thing when almost every band you see is keeping time to clicks and backing tracks”
Prog drumming titan on supergroup Legend Of The Seagullmen’s debut and Tool’s long-awaited new album

Prog drum king Gavin Harrison: "If everything's under control, then you’re just not going fast enough"
King Crimson, The Pineapple Thief and why success should only be measured in happiness

Joey Jordison: “I honestly would not change a f***ing thing. I’m happy where I’m at”
He’s back!