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Best of 2017: Reviewing Soundcheck’s year in review, from best songs to best albums to best concerts

By Jay Cridlin | Pop Music/Culture Critic
Published: December 29, 2017 Updated: December 29, 2017 at 11:01 AM
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena in May, just months before his death in October. Photo: Luis Santana

When all is said and done, the thing Florida music fans may remember most about 2017 might be the death of Tom Petty.

Petty's death from cardiac arrest on Oct. 2 shocked the rock world, spawning innumerable tributes and deserving reappraisals of his career. Gainesville painted murals and might build a statue, and everyone fondly remembered all the music and memories and images he and the Heartbreakers gave us over the past four decades.

TRIBUTE: Tom Petty was the scruffy Florida boy who helped us feel

Petty wasn't the only musician who left us in 2017 — there was also Gregg Allman and Glen Campbell, Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, Lil Peep and Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Paul O'Neill. We lost Chuck Berry, for pete's sake.

But while it might not always seem like it, there was a lot of good stuff about this year that's worth not only remembering, but celebrating.

RELATED: Reasons to find hope in music, movies, theater, more for 2018

Let's look back at our year-end best-of recap on Soundcheck:


St. Vincent's Masseduction took our top spot, but we also had love for SZA, Spoon, Ryan Adams, Khalid and Kendrick Lamar. Click here for our Top 10 Albums of 2017.


Why list 10 when you can go full Casey Kasem and count down the Top 40? From Logic to Lorde to Linkin Park to Lil Uzi Vert, we list them all for you — complete with a Spotify playlist! — right here.


Several Soundcheck contributors ranked their favorite Tampa Bay concerts of the year:

Jay Cridlin: Rachel Platten, Tony Bennett, Spoon, Eric Church, the Weeknd, Roger Waters, Lionel Richie, Green Day, Arcade Fire, Katy Perry

Stephanie Bolling: Run the Jewels, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Roger Waters, Arcade Fire, New World Brewery's final blowout

Tara McCarty: Rae Sremmurd, Paul McCartney, New Kids on the Block, Lil Wayne

Brittany Volk: Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Lionel Richie, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Johnnyswim/Striking Matches, 97X Next Big Thing

Times features staff: Game of Thrones Live, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Mumford and Sons, Aaron Carter, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in Concert

Happy New Year! See you in 2018!

— Jay Cridlin