A few days ago I posted a list of items that I’d save if given the chance should my house be on fire (see The Burning House Project). The particular post was inspired by a tweet that my friend Rob had posted during the Ontario provincial election. Later on, Rob commented on the post with his own list of items that he would save. The first item on his list of things to save was his collection of favorite albums. Specifically, he stated
If this list was a ‘desert island’ music pick – these would be it.
And as a typical response to anything Rob does, I started thinking. Specifically, if I were on a deserted island which albums would I want to bring with me? Which albums do I think I’d be able to listen to for a lifetime without ever getting bored with them? While the questions themselves are not new, and the idea of a ‘desert island’ list is clearly old hat, it’s one that I hadn’t really thought much about. Until now.
As with most people, I can list a bunch of albums that I like, and some that I love, but listing a collection of albums that I’d never get tired of should I be required to listen to them for the remainder of my years – that’s tough. I mean, there are a lot of albums out there; where does one start? What makes a good album? Is it the lyrical content? Is it the musicality? Is it the statement? Or is it simply that I want to dance in my chair when I hear the album? How does one classify art?
Clearly, a set of rules to govern my list selection was in order. The thought being that a set of rules would help limit the list of potential albums that could make it to my ‘desert island’ collection. I first thought to trim the collection by imposing a time constraint. Specifically, the albums had to be released during or after 1975 – hence, in my life time. Further, I could only pick one album per artist – no doubling up (and that wasn’t easy). I also excluded movie soundtracks, rap, and country. Excluding rap and country was easy, as there is no way they would have made my list regardless. Soundtracks could have made the list, but I opted for non instrumental-only albums. Next, I decided I’d allow myself 10 albums, plus one additional 10 song mixed album which could include any song from any time (for 11 in total). The mixed album would be a repository of one-off songs that I absolutely love for one reason or another. Finally, I would count a multi-disk album as a single selection on my list.
So with my list of rules in hand, I sat down and thought about my list. And dear readers, without further ado, I offer to you my desert list in no particular order. Note that I tried to select a range of music to satisfy whatever mood I might be in while on a deserted island. I assumed those moods would be think-y, day-dream-y, hungry, mosh-pit-y, dance-y, or sexy-time-y. Those are all moods, right?
- Adele – 21
- Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes
- Loreena McKennitt – The Visit
- Sarah McLachlan – Solace
- Pearl Jam – Ten
- Tragically Hip – Yer Favourites
- Florence and the Machine – Lungs
- Guns ‘N Roses – Appetite for Destruction
- Nirvana – Unplugged In New York
- Joni Mitchell – Hits
- Madonna – The Immaculate Collection
Album of One-offs
- Dee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart
- Michael Franti & Spearhead – Say Hey (I love you)
- Third Eye Blind – Semi Charmed Life
- Sir Mix-a-Lot – I Like Big Butts
- K.D. Lang – Hallelujah
- Annie Lennox – Into The West
- Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – Somewhere Over The Rainbow
- Peter Gabriel – Solsbury Hill
- Simon and Garfunkel – The Boxer
- Nina Simone – Sinner Man
I have to say, picking Groove is in the Heart was the easiest selection for my one-offs. That song is my happy song. Every time I hear it, I can picture myself and a certain group of friends dancing our collective faces and butts off. It is absolutely awesome because it always, always, always makes me smile.
So there you have it folks. My list of music. Of course, I’m sure I’ve forgotten some rather epic albums, so I reserve the right to modify this list as I see fit. And who knows, the best album that ever existed may not yet exist. I have to be allowed the ability to add that to my list.
What albums would you have included?