Best of 2019: MusicRadar's review of the year

(Image credit: Youtube)

What happened to 2019, then? It doesn't seem like two minutes since we were packing for the Winter NAMM Show in January, but the Christmas festivities are in full swing and 2020 is almost upon us.

And what a turbulent year it was: A resurgent Gibson charmed, crushed and legally slashed and burned its way through the year, jumping between the naughty and nice lists as it alternated charm and legal offensives.

 JoBo and John Mayer continued to fascinate, as evidenced by the number of eyeballs every story we published on either attracted, while Behringer continued its reassuringly disruptive M.O. of troll, tease, release.

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 2019 starting, as ever, with our tuneful galaxy of stars...

Stars on their favourite music and gear


Paul Gilbert

(Image credit: Jason Quigley)

Paul Gilbert: these are the 10 guitarists who blew my mind
"His playing to me sounded like he was battling a dragon"

Yngwie Malmsteen: the 10 guitarists who impressed me most
"There are so many good players out there, but I’m not influenced by any of them"

Myles Kennedy's top 5 tips for vocalists: "You live and die by your placement and how hard you're pushing"
The Slash and Alter Bridge frontman reveals his singing secrets

Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt: the 10 guitarists that blew my mind
Prog titan on the players that inspire his work

George Benson: the 11 guitarists who blew my mind
Jazz icon names the game-changing greats every guitar player needs to hear


Floating Points

(Image credit: Future)

Floating Points: “Recording at 96kHz is definitely not cool… it’s completely pointless!”
Sam Shepherd on why he hates MIDI, loves Buchla and can’t get on with Eurorack

Lisa Coleman: “Prince would just use a preset and then brighten the f**k out of it!”
The Revolution’s keyboard player on life in the band and her new solo piano album

Calvin Harris shows off his jaw-dropping studio and reveals that he already has the new Mac Pro
Check out the super-producer’s stunning setup

Plugin mogul Steven Slate: "You don’t need external DSP for tracking, you don’t need it for mixing, and it just doesn’t make sense to me"
The Slate Digital boss on emulation, motivation and why the future of making music isn’t about audio engineering

BT: 11 tracks that blew my mind - "I heard this and literally pulled the car over and wept"
Multi-platinum electronic pioneer, composer and producer Brian Transeau (aka BT) reveals the tracks that rocked his world


(Image credit: Robert Downs)

Stewart Copeland on his Police career: "We fought like cat and dog over the f**king hi-hat"
Boxset Every Move You Make: The Studio Recordings dissected track-by-track

Omar Hakim: 10 drummers that blew my mind
Session titan reveals his drum heroes


MusicRadar is the number one website for music-makers of all kinds, be they guitarists, drummers, keyboard players, DJs or producers...

GEAR: We help musicians find the best gear with top-ranking gear round-ups and high-quality, authoritative reviews by a wide team of highly experienced experts. TIPS: We also provide tuition, from bite-sized tips to advanced work-outs and guidance from recognised musicians and stars. STARS: We talk to musicians and stars about their creative processes, and the nuts and bolts of their gear and technique. We give fans an insight into the craft of music-making that no other music website can.