Back in the day, the long-gone Tower Records used to publish a free magazine called Pulse. I’d pick it up whenever I was in there which was fairly frequently. They always had a Desert Island Disc* section wherein people would write to the magazine and advise what their discs were. I found a lot of them to be fairly esoteric and I wondered if some of them were just trying to impress each other. (The world has far too many low self-esteem people.)
So I’m stealing the idea which is this – You are stranded on a desert island. Or, more to the point, you know you’re going to be stranded. And you can bring 20 albums (CDs, vinyl, cassette, etc.) with you. Since you don’t know how long you’ll be there, you’ll want to bring ones that bear repeated listening. (Pulse said ten but come on. If I say ten you guys will crucify me. (“They’re gonna crucify me.”)
Now I am going to apply some rules because if If don’t you’ll all be sending Box sets to maximize it. No way. You get a maximum of two (2) box sets, one (1) compilation or Greatest Hits and two (2) live albums. The rest should be either single or double albums.
Should these be your favorite albums of all time? They could be. But for me these are ones that are A) largely great and B) bear up on repeated listening as I could be stranded here for quite some time. Hopefully, I can bring as many changes of clothes as the people on Gilligan’s Island did for a three-hour tour.
What follows is my list (with comments and a few selections). If you feel like playing, do so when you comment. But please, spare me the “I can’t pick only 20 albums.” I left at least 10 equally good albums off of here. You bloody well could do it if your feet were to the fire. Plus it’s only a game. No one’s really stranding you on an island. Yet.
Music Enthusiast Desert Island Discs
- Exile on Main Street – Rolling Stones – My favorite album ever. I listen to it all the way through about every 6 -8 weeks. This is my idea of rock and roll and why, frankly, much current rock leaves me cold. It just doesn’t sound like this.
- At Fillmore East – Allman Brothers Band – Have you actually ever read my blog?
- Citizen (box set) – Steely Dan – My first box choice. The one to have.
- My Aim is True – Elvis Costello – I almost went with his second album but I really love this one.
- Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd – Please.
- Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues – Buddy Guy – Blues at its finest.
- Led Zeppelin I – Crunch ‘n blues
- The Four Seasons – Vivaldi – I like classical quite a bit but don’t write about it as I am hardly the expert. But if I’m stranded on a desert island, this would be nice.
- The Essential Bob Dylan – ’nuff said.
- The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle – Bruce Springsteen – Those romantic young boys. All they ever wanna do is fight.
- Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs – Derek and the Dominos – The pain of unrequited love at its most searing
- Chicago Transit Authority – Chicago – I could be happy with the second one too.
- Playback (box set) – Tom Petty – More good stuff than you can shake a stick at.
- Santana III – Could have been 1st or Abraxas. But I must have some early Santana.
- The Koln Concert – Keith Jarrett – My second live album. When I sit and contemplate how and why I got stuck on a desert island I’ll turn to this.
- Abbey Road – Beatles – The Beatles were a possible box set choice but there is some early stuff I cannot listen to anymore.
- Texas Flood – Stevie Ray Vaughan – A bluesman who channeled it from somewhere.
- Arthur – Kinks – I wanted Kink Kronikles compilation but I ran into my stupid rule. Life without Kinks is not worth living
- Pearl – Janis Joplin. I’ll need to hear a female voice and for me it’s Janis all the way.
- Steamin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet – With John Coltrane. From 1956. Great jazz, straight up.
There it is folks. Give me those and I’m pretty happy for a while.
*My understanding is that the BBC does or did this as well.