Good summer for music fans

1. Black Sabbath, “13”

 Easily the most-anticipated comeback of the year, although we do not get the full package, due to original drummer Bill Ward’s departure after a contract dispute.  But the other three iron men, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and, of course, Ozzy Osbourne, have pulled together 11 new tracks with session drummer Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine, proving that no one does heavy metal better than they who brought it into being 43 years ago. The first single “God Is Dead?” is already out, and the album will follow on June 11.

2. Daft Punk, “Random Access Memories”

Daft Punk is probably one of the few times the French have beat us at anything (along with cuisine, the Louvre and health care). Already reigning lords of dance music long before the EDM boom, the duo will soon return with their new album, bringing along guests like Pharrell, guitarist/producer Nile Rodgers, Julian Casablancas and many more. The first single, a Pharrell/Rodgers collaboration titled “Get Lucky,” is already making waves on the internet. The duo have planned to scale back their sampling in favor of a classic rock vibe. Look for it May 21.   

3. Wu-Tang Clan, “A Better Tomorrow”

It is impossible to imagine what hip-hop would have been like without the nine masters of the Wu-Tang. Though prolific individually, with new albums and even a kung-fu film coming from various members, they have not done an album as a unit since 2007’s “8 Diagrams.” But with the 20th anniversary of their debut this year, the Wu have a new album for the occasion titled “A Better Tomorrow,” scheduled for a July release. The RZA has stated that this could be the group’s swansong, which hopefully is not true. Even if it is, though, it will be a going-out that will leave upstarts like Drake and Kendrick Lamar wondering how to follow.  

4. BT, “TBA”

Maybe it is just me that is excited for this upcoming release, but everyone else should be, too. Brian Transeau is a Zen master of EDM, and his upcoming dance music album, set for launch this summer on Armin Van Buuren’s Armada Records, has been sounding like a knockout to me ever since the first beat dropped. He has already released two killer singles: the anthemic “Must Be The Love” and the instrumental roller coaster “Skylarking,” while teasing others through DJ sets, previews, and a remix contest over the last year. The guest list is amazing too: Aqualung, tyDi, K-pop singer Bada, Austin trance duo Tritonal and Christian Burns all have places on the record, among others. The clubs and dance floors of the world have no idea what is coming.