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Tuesday
May102005

Albums suitable for an unexpected stranding on an island

It’s a common thing in magazine interviews to ask musicians what 10 albums they would take with them if stranded on an island—-presumably with nothing except their 10 albums, a record player, and plenty of electricity. Picking 10 was very difficult, and in the end, I settled on 11. (Hey, if it’s good enough for Spinal Tap…)

1) Sting: The Soul Cages 1991
This is my absolute favorite album of all time. It makes me cry, and it’s filled with water-images, which really get to me.

2) The Moody Blues  : Caught Live +5  :  1977
The funny thing about this one is that it doesn’t even have my favorite Moodies song on it. (That being “The Story In Your Eyes” from 1971’s Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.  But it does have a lot of other songs I really love, so if I ever get stuck on that island, I can just sing “Story” to myself.

3)  Depeche Mode  :  Violator  :  1989
I’ve been listening to Depeche since ‘82, when I was 7 years old, but of all their albums, this one is by far my favorite.  I was 14 when this came out, and it was that whole “I’m a freshman and my life sucks—-but at least I have my Depeche Mode” thing. 

4)  Peter Gabriel  :  Secret World Live  :  1993
The arrangements on these songs are magical.  There are all the African things, and Paula Cole doing the backup, and Tony Levin’s bass. 

5)  The Police  :  Synchronicity  :  1983
My favorite Police album because it has cool songs, like both “Synchronicity”s and it also has “Murder by Numbers,” “Wrapped Around Your Finger,” and “King of Pain.”

 6)  Bach  :  The Brandenburg Concertos  :  No particular recording
I had to pick a classical album, and this one was fighting with Tchaikovski’s The Nutcracker for this spot.  I love the way Bach uses his instruments.  The arrangements are badass.  If he were alive today, he’d be so at the top of the rock charts. 

7)  Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem  :  In Person At Carnegie Hall  :  1964
This takes me back to childhood.  There are some things on this album that just kick my ass, like the reading of W.B. Yeats’ poem “The Host of the Air,” “The Patriot Game,” which is probably one of the saddest songs I’ve ever heard, and the final song, “The Parting Glass.”

8)  Rush  :  Roll The Bones  :  1991
I discovered this album (and Rush itself) kind of late in life, but of all the albums I’ve heard, this one really stands out.  There is something so poigniant in these songs, so lovely.

9)  The Cure  :  The Head on the Door  :  1985
My favorite Cure album, and probably my favorite album that would classify as “goth.”

Here’s where I start cheating, because I couldn’t choose between the final three, so I included them all.

10a)  Tori Amos  :  Little Earthquakes  :  1991
Really ballsy.  Really real.  Really Tori.

10b)  Nine Inch Nails  :  The Fragile  :  1999
I really think this is the best thing Trent’s ever done, so far.  It’s just so powerful.

11)  U2  :  War  :  1983
Me and my sappy Irish music.  These songs are really gutwrenching for me.  I had spent a lot of my childhood listening to The Clancys, so I knew about the “Troubles” but I had a far off kind of kid’s view of it.  When I heard War, it became clear to me that it wasn’t a thing of the past, and rather that it was still happening.


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