Desert island albums

4 Jun

For no reason whatsoever, I finally sat down and chose my 10 desert island albums.

Since the very idea of a full album is forgotten by most twentysomethings and foreign to the teenyboppers, this is probably an irrelevant list. Plus, music tastes are very personal, so score one more point for Team Irrelevance.

Do you care about this list? Probably not. Will that stop me from typing it all out anyway? Well, since I trust your ability to glance down a few inches to the rest of this post, I suppose you know the answer to that one. Let’s just get through this quickly so I can get started on reconsidering the purpose of my stupid site and life.

By the way, I tried to rank these. Not possible.

Beatles “Abbey Road” (I ‘m not exactly a Beatles fanatic, but I certainly enjoy their music, and this album has my favorite song of theirs – “Something” – along with that incredible Side 2.)

The Decemberists “Castaways and Cutouts” (Much simpler, and superior, than their many still-awesome following albums. Hello serenity. Look at those beautiful waves. Am I ever going to get off this island? Don’t know, don’t care.)

The Flaming Lips “The Soft Bulletin” (I’ve always felt a kinship with writer Will Leitch – our shared opinions, experiences and personality quirks are too numerous/coincidental to mention – but I never agreed with him more than when he described it asan album that is so wonderful and joyous and sad that it’s hard to listen to it.” Can’t say it any better than that.)

The Format “Dog Problems” (A bunch of bright sunny bouncy pop music. “Dog Problems” is probably my least favorite on this list, but I need an album like that on the island, and there is no better selection than this. Plus, it reminds me of being a jackass a few years back with my now-wife and our group of friends, so the memories recalled while listening will probably get me through some tough times on the island, and then probably drive me to suicide once I realize there is no help on its way.)

Rolling Stones “Sticky Fingers” (Discovered the Stones in college. I realize “Exile” is considered their masterpiece, but “Exile” doesn’t have “Moonlight Mile” on it.)

White Stripes “Elephant” (Listening to “Ball and Biscuit” makes me want to run through a wall and beat the tar out of any and all naysayers. Fucking try me. “Elephant” is to date the only album I have listened to and immediately claimed, after the very first listen, “this is a classic.” I remember where I first heard it and who I was with (hi Gates). I had like $27 to my name when “Elephant” came out and I didn’t think twice about buying it. A few weeks later I got a speeding ticket and my mom had to pay it for me.)

Wilco “Summerteeth” (Wilco is and will probably forever be my favorite band. This is their take on pop music. It is stupendous.)

Wilco “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” (Perfection. If you’re one of those people whose heart breaks while listening to groundbreaking, beautiful music, your heart will explode during YHF. The mere mention of “Jesus Etc” makes me choke up a little.)

Stevie Wonder “Songs in the Key of Life” (“Innervisions” might be better. They’re neck-and-neck. I just knew I needed some Motown on this list, and this one keeps rising to the top.)

2Pac “All Eyez On Me” (A goddamn masterpiece. In my opinion, nothing in rap comes close. And this is coming from someone who grew up on Dre, Snoop and Biggie.)

Honorable mentions: Radiohead “The Bends,” Band of Horses “Cease to Begin,” Whiskeytown “Stranger’s Almanac,” The Flaming Lips “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” Replacements “Tim”


7 Responses to “Desert island albums”

  1. RandBall's Stu June 4, 2010 at 8:24 am #

    I’m thrilled that you have the right Radiohead album listed and that someone else remembers Ryan Adams’ old band.

  2. shall June 4, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    “Toes in the water”? I thought maybe it was starting to creep in on you. Bad list man.

  3. cooler rut June 4, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    very strange..actually had this very same discussion with a dude at work today. I would have to agree with this list except i would have to find replacements for the flaming lips(like em, dont love em yet) and also the decemberists(not a big fan of them)..overall pretty darn good. might put in The Jayhawks “Tomorrow the green grass”, and Counting Crows “August and everything after”..maybe.

  4. Cool Rut June 4, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    No, no, no, no, probably, no, oh hell yeah, probably, no, are you kidding, West Coast only kid.

  5. Cool Rut June 4, 2010 at 6:11 pm #


  6. RandBall's Stu June 7, 2010 at 7:46 am #

    Worth pondering: do you, the insufferable music snob, allow yourself to put a Greatest Hits compilation on this list? And if so, whose? (The answer is you probably don’t, because you appreciate the album as an art form, man. However, if no one else is looking, you grab Hot Rocks: 1964-1971, the Rolling Stones; Singles Going Steady, the Buzzcocks; Chronicle, CCR; and 20 All-Time Greatest Hits, James Brown to start. Depending on your tolerance for Morrissey, Louder Than Bombs by the Smiths, too.)

  7. A.B. June 10, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    A note about Wilco… Was just at my niece’s 8th grade graduation at her amazing, wonderful, brilliant,beautiful hippie school in Montana. At the ceremony, three music teachers serenaded the graduating class–all ten of them– with “What Light.” Three voices, a banjo, stand up bass and guitar. If a song can bring most of an audience to tears WITHOUT Jeff Tweedy’s voice, that’s some song.

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