Buckethead Rewind – Year in Review 2020.
Good evening everybody, 2020 is almost over and good bloody riddance. For most people 2020 was a complete write-off, but, for Buckethead fans, it was a actually pretty good. So, let's take a look back at Buckethead's 2020, a year in review. Woo!!
First up, Buckethead's glorious Pike album series was up and running again following no pike album releases in 2019.
Pike 276 'Healing Inside Outside Every Side' (March 25th – Physical / April 4th - Digital)
The first of which was Pike 276 'Healing Inside Outside Every Side'. The cover art of the album used a previously released sketch titled 'Reach' by 'Twilight' actor Booboo Stewart. And was one of his more mellow Pike releases of the year.
Pike 277 'Division is the Devil's Playground' (March 25th – Physical / August 22nd - Digital)
This was followed by Pike 277 'Division is the Devil's Playground'. This was Buckethead's most experimental off-the-wall album of the year and in my opinion, his most underappreciated. With riffs and effects aplenty, it might be too out there for some people, but it's definitely worth a second listen if you weren't sold the first time. And as a side note, a month after its release, the album's cover art was flipped, being the only one in the Pikes series to do this.
Pike 278 'Unexpected Journeys' (July 29th – Physical / July 20th - Digital)
Pike 278 'Unexpected Journeys' was next, with 2 songs being notable standouts and two of his best songs of the year. 'Booboo got his Black Belt' and 'Familiar Spirit'. Fantastic!
Pike 279 'Skeleton Keys' (October 1st – Physical / August 24th - Digital)
Then came Pike 279 'Skeleton Keys' once again using a sketch from Booboo Stewart.
From start to finish it's one of Buckethead's stronger albums of the year with obvious standouts being 'Eyes of the Wind' and the excellent 'Maskatron Roper Day of the Robot', which was dedicated to acclaimed actor, John Saxon who passed away a few weeks prior to the songs release.
Pike 280 'In Dreamland' (December 15th – Physical / November 13th – Digital)
Pike 280 'In Dreamland' came next, and the title of the album definitely suits the mood. Once again, there's 2 clear standouts. The relaxing sounds of 'the Dream Bridge' and the excellent 14 minute title song 'In Dreamland'.
Pike 281 'The Sea Remembers its Own' (December 15th – Physical / October 4th – Digital)
Next up was Pike 281 'The Sea Remembers its Own'. Personally I don't feel it was one of Buckethead's stronger albums of the year, but the opening track 'Reflection on the Clouds' was by far the highlight.
Pike 282 ' Toys R Us Tantrums' (October 27th – Physical / October 5th – Digital)
Pike 282, the excellently named 'Toys R Us Tantrums' was next, again being a solid album from start to finish. 2 of the songs on the album were also used as a benefit. The first being 'The Kids that Rain Lightning' with all sales of the song going to the River City Drum Corp, who Buckethead performed with at his 2019 birthday show. And the 2nd was the song 'Mysteries in the Spanish Moss' which was later renamed 'Statue for Bootsy'. With all the proceeds going towards building a statue for Buckethead's best friend Bootsy Collins in his home of Cincinnati. With Buckethead adding “he truly is a hero with the kindest heart”.
Pike 283 'Once Upon a Distant Plane' (October 27th – Physical / September 10th – Digital)
Pike 283 'Once Upon a Distant Plane' came next, and like Pike 281, this wasn't one of Buckethead's stronger albums of the year, with the easy standout song being 'The Cosmic Mirror'
Pike 284 'Through the Looking Garden' (Yet to arrive – Physical / November 28th – Digital)
Next was Pike 284 'Through the Looking Garden', 1 song, 30 minutes, outstanding.
Arguably Buckethead's best composition and solo of the year.
At the time of this video Pike 284 was the last Pike to be released in 2020, although the experimental sounding Pike 285 'The Stone of Folly' should drop any day now.
So Buckethead released 9 pike albums in 2020 that featured 40 original songs.
As for the release schedule of the albums, it was certainly random. Not only did almost all of the albums arrive in digital form before physical (which, it should surely be the other way around) but the sequence of the albums were also mixed. There was also severe delays on the albums release dates, possibly due to the pandemic but also possibly due to Buckethead reworking some of the songs, as the preview samples differed from the final cut of certain songs.
(Stand alone songs & releases)
Besides the Pike albums, Buckethead also released numerous stand alone songs including the gloriously djenty song 'Guest of Honor Paul Frees'.
The funky ''Float like a butterfly sting like a bee' in honor of late-actor and friend of previously mentioned Booboo Stewart, Cameron Boyce.
A handful of spoken-word songs with therapist and friend Barry Michels.
Some acoustic noodling known as the 'Beach Fire Pit' songs.
And 'Beyond the Visible' named after late-Swedish artist Hilma af Klint.
(Pamela Colman Smith – Music in Pictures)
And speaking of deceased-artists, in September Buckethead announced a new ambitious project he's working on titled 'Music in Pictures'. Dedicated to late-British artist and writer, Pamela Colman Smith.
Famed for her tarot card designs, Buckethead will release 78 songs based on the artwork of Pamela's 78 tarot cards, which will be completed and released in May 2021.
Buckethead has released numerous previews of the project as well as regularly posting pictures of Colman Smith on his website.
(Buckethead & Bootsy Collab)
In June Bootsy Collins used my gloriously photo-shopped Pulp Fiction picture to announce a collaboration album with Buckethead that was planned to be released for Christmas 2020, but has seemingly been delayed or scrapped.
Buckethead would later make a brief cameo in Bootsy's video 'Power of the One'.
(Buckethead & Prismo collab)
Another announced album collaboration is with DJ and singer, Prismo. So far 2 samples of the upcoming album have been released. And it certainly sounds different.
(Buckethead & Paul Gilbert)
One collaboration we'd certainly love to see is between Buckethead & Paul Gilbert. Gilbert spoke about Buckethead in April 2020 and as usual, it was glorious.
“Buckethead came up to my house without the bucket. And we spent the whole afternoon just hanging out and eating lunch. It was great to reconnect with him again.”-Paul Gilbert.
With 2020 making it impossible to tour, Buckethead began using his website more times this year than he has in the entire 20+ years of having a web presence combined.
Posting free album downloads of new pikes, the bucketheadland live album, remixed pikes, as well as countless free songs and previews. He also made older classic albums available for the first time via digital download.
And beginning in March with the release of the video 'Eagle Cauldron Pool' Buckethead began releasing previously unseen clips of live shows, backstage footage, Halloween clips of him dressed as Michael Myers, visiting Michael Jackson's childhood home, video recommendations, shout outs, numerous photos and more.
By the years end, Buckethead's homepage was like a cross between a never ending Instagram feed and a game of Jenga. Glorious!
(Buckethead is watching)
In May 2020 this channel released a video titled 'The Fascinating Live-Action Buckethead Movie' showing a screening of a never-before-seen unreleased Buckethead DVD from 2012. With the end of the video urging Buckethead to release the footage “please Buckethead let's see it” and then just over one month later, Buckethead began releasing the footage. Hell yeah!
And if that's not proof enough that Bucketheadland is watching, in July during our 'Gloriously Head-Scratching Buckethead Moments' video we mentioned this:-
“Head scratcher number 3, lies at the bottom of Buckethead's website, Bucketheadpikes.com. There you'll find a drawing of Buckethead titled 'The Kid' . And if you click on 'The Kid' it'll take you to Buckethead's old website Bucketheadland.com, which is strange because, the website has pretty much been abandoned for almost a decade”
and then one month later, the link which had been there for almost a decade was finally removed.
And in August 2020 we released the video 'Rappers who used Buckethead songs' highlighting the uncredited use of Buckethead's Aunt Suzie in the Youngboy NBA song 'House Arrest Tingz'. One month later, Buckethead was finally given credit on the album later posting on website 'Aunt Suzie still doing stuff'. Damn right she is.
So if indeed Buckethead is watching or someone close to him is, 2021 sounds like a great year for a Buckethead interview with the channel doesn't it? Please!
(Live from Bucketheadland, Backstage DVD)
One of the more surprising Buckethead moments of the year came in the form of 2017's backstage DVD. First available for purchase in August 2017, the DVD was never shipped and seemingly forgotten about. Then in May 2020, 2 years and 9 months later, it arrived. Outstanding!
And finally, Bucketheads paintings and artwork. In our 2019 Year in Review, we labeled Buckethead's 2019 as 'The Year of the Paintings', releasing over 500 original paintings.
In 2020, Buckethead released over 300 paintings and at the time of this video, released almost 1000 individual canvas cards. Which is more canvas cards than the previous 3 years combined. Crazy.
3 pieces of artwork sold by Buckethead were also used as Pike cover albums , pike 281, 282 & 283. Marking only a handful of occasions since the Pike series began that album cover art was made available for purchase, making them instant collectors items for Buckethead fans.
So, with all the activity that occurred in Bucketheadland throughout the year. 2020 wasn't all that bad after all. In fact, for a Buckethead fan, it was pretty damn glorious! Woo!!